GREAT NEWS BUT THE REALITY OF IT AS WELL
This past week, I posted on Facebook about some great news. Through this whole journey, I have tried to be very real and informative about what is happening, so let me take a few minutes of your time to explain.
GREAT NEWS: Ethiopia has decided to not close international adoption. Many of you were probably not aware of this, but a few weeks ago, it did not look good for adoptions in Ethiopia. Due to media shining light on bad cases of adoption, the government was considering closing international adoption like many other countries such as Guatemala and Russia. Ethiopia is now working to make sure that adoptions that occur are adoptions for children who are truly orphans and trying to remove some of the terrible things that occur for money reasons. SUMMARY: ETHIOPIA IS CONTINUING INTERNATIONAL ADOPTION BUT HOPING TO REMOVE SOME OF THE CORRUPTION THAT IS TAKING PLACE THROUGH ADOPTION.
GREAT NEWS: We are working with an adoption agency who we truly believe operates in a manner we approve of. They do multiple interviews of birth parents (if they are alive if not they find closest living relative) to explain what international adoption means. They want to make sure that no one has tried to give them money in exchange for their child (yes, some orphanages are trying to make money in very disgusting ways). If they are older children, our adoption agency makes sure that all the stories line up. They make sure that the children were not trained to say answers. Our adoption agency only works with orphanages that have a positive relationship with the government of Ethiopia, and if they feel a story does not line up, they will not proceed with an adoption. SUMMARY: OUR ADOPTION AGENCY HAS A POSITIVE RELATIONSHIP WITH THE ETHIOPIAN GOVERNMENT, AND WANTS TO DO WHAT IS BEST FOR THE CHILDREN OF ETHIOPIA. OUR ADOPTION AGENCY BELIEVES THAT IF A CHILD CAN BE REUNITED WITH THEIR BIRTH PARENTS THAT THIS IS OBVIOUSLY THE FIRST OPTION. THEY WANT TO MAKE SURE THAT THE CHILDREN THAT THEY ARE REFERRING TO FAMILIES ARE TRULY ORPHANS.
GREAT NEWS: The US Government has added an extra step to the adoption process that makes sure that under US law children are truly orphans and are not passing court in Ethiopia and getting stuck there because they do not pass through the requirements of the US Government. This was happening often with adoption agency. It wasn't happening with ours since they do such intense background and interviews before allowing a child to be matched, but in some other cases this was happening. SUMMARY: THE US GOVERNMENT IS TRYING TO MAKE SURE CHILDREN ARE TRULY CLEARED AS ORPHANS BEFORE COMING TO THE US.
REALITY FOR US: Many of our friends assumed that since we were so excited and happy to hear that international adoptions were staying open that it meant that we would soon have our babies in our arms. This does not look to be the case. SUMMARY: WE STILL HAVE A LONG WAY TO GO.
REALITY FOR US: With the US Government now stepping in and doing this new step in the process, things have slowed down significantly. There have been 150 applications (from all different adoption agencies from all over America) submit their paperwork through this new process over the past couple of months, and only 25 cases have been processed. This is a new position for the US, so we are hoping to see them become more efficient in processing these papers, but right now it seems to really slow things down. There are currently 7 families from our adoption agency waiting for their clearance letter. SUMMARY: PAPERWORK IS SLOWING THE PROCESS DOWN.
REALITY FOR US: Wait times are increasing for a variety of reasons, but the reality that we want our friends and family to know is that they are increasing. The family at the top of the list from our agency has been waiting for 36 months. Wait times are looking like they will be increasing to 42-48 months (YES! FOUR YEARS!). Although we have almost been waiting 2 years, in adoption time frame, they only mark us at 13 months since that is when all our paper work officially arrived in Ethiopia. SUMMARY: WE BELIEVE IN THE IMPOSSIBLE, BUT WE ALSO WANT OUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY TO BE AWARE OF THE FACT THAT WE ARE POSSIBLY LOOKING AT ANOTHER 3 YEARS POSSIBLY MORE TILL WE MEET OUR BABY.
OUR SUMMARY: WE ARE NOT AFRAID OR WORRYING ABOUT THE FUTURE. WE ARE WALKING IN PEACE AND ENJOYING LIFE UNTIL WE ARE UNITED WITH OUR BABY.
WE ARE PRESSING FORWARD BY FINANCIALLY PREPARING FOR THIS BEAUTIFUL JOURNEY. PLEASE CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR US. THOUGH IT IS NOT EASY TO WALK THROUGH THIS AND OUR HEARTS ACHE OFTEN, WE ARE BLESSED TO HAVE FRIENDS AND FAMILY WHO ARE CONSTANTLY THERE TO ENCOURAGE AND SUPPORT US.