Archive | January, 2014

Reasons for the long wait

17 Jan

On the first day of every month our adoption agency let’s us know if we’ve moved any spots on the waiting list.  Some of you may remember that when we got that email in August, we had moved 16 spots in one month!  It was amazing.  Since then, we have only moved one spot on the waiting list.  There has been a major lag in referrals these past five months.  One reason for this is because the courts in Ethiopia close for the “rainy season” which spans from August to October.  Many families in the adoption process are getting discouraged, antsy, frustrated and wondering if this long period of “silence” is a sign that yet another country is closing it’s door to international adoption.  It’s hard to wait. I get asked all the time why the wait is so long, how much longer will we be waiting, if there are so many children needing families, why does the process have to be so hard and take so long?  

To answer some of these questions and bring encouragement to families in process, our adoption agency posted this explanation on their facebook page today.  It’s very informative and clear so I decided to repost it here instead of trying to explain everything in my own words.  

There are lots of questions about why infant referrals have lagged, and if it has any relation to the recent rumors of a closure in Ethiopia. I figured I would address these questions in a new post in order to reach more of you. Not all referrals have stopped or slowed down, but since the majority of our families are requesting infants it sure feels that way! Most orphaned infants come from rural areas, we don’t see a lot of abandoned or relinquished infants in the larger, or more developed areas of Ethiopia. When a child is abandoned or relinquished the process for adoption starts at the local level. Adoption Agencies do not receive documents for a child until the child’s documents are approved, and the child has been deemed eligible for adoption (which also means that the child has no other options). Rural areas in Ethiopia do not have Regional Authority, which means that once the child has completed the local process, the Regional Government then needs to verify the process. This is an extra step when a child comes from a rural area, versus a child from an area where the local government has regional authority. Since the majority of orphaned infants come from these rural areas, the process before referral is slightly longer. Referrals slowed from these areas when court and government offices closed for the rainy season. Once these Government agencies reopened in mid-late October, Federal MOWCYA had imposed new requirements for the local process. Anytime we see new requirements in the process, we experience delays. Meetings, training, and other adjustments are made, and there is a lag in the process for those children who are in process. We have experienced these adjustments to the process, and delays many times. However, when you add rumors of a closure it adds stress and panic to the process. What always gives us comfort in the Ethiopia Adoption process is the Ethiopian Government’s constant improvement to the adoption process. Although we tend to view delays as problematic, or threatening to the adoption process, it is very much the contrary. Why would the Ethiopian Authorities make appropriate and necessary changes to a naturally imperfect system if they planned on shutting it down? Why would they impose extra checks and verification to a child’s orphan status unless they were striving to improve the ethics of adoption in Ethiopia? Referrals always ebb and flow. Some months we see many referrals, while other months are slow. This has been a long stretch for infant referrals, and we understand the concerns some of you may have. The new step in the process imposed by MOWCYA, is an additional verification to ensure that the child has no other options for support. Previously this was verified by one of the Government agencies in the local process, either the local Court, or the local MOWCYA. Now MOWCYA has organized a committee of five Government workers from the local Government to verify cases. This committee will review the child’s circumstances, and determine if the child has any other options for support before being approved for international adoption. This is a great improvement in the adoption process, and further assurance that the Ethiopian Government’s concern is that adoptions are completed ethically. Unfortunately, this can result in a delay or hiccup in the process, as it is viewed by the many waiting families. What we do know is that there are many children in process. Their document process has been returned back to the local Government for committee approval, and it will then go back to the Oromia Regional Office for final approval. After which, we should see many referrals again. We are working closely with the Orphanages that we partner with to provide them the extra support that they need during this time. They have many children in their care, and are working diligently with the local Government to get their documents completed. The local Authorities are receiving pressure from the Orphanages to get the process moving, as facilities are filling up with children in need. Prayers are needed! Especially for those who are caring for these children, and those who are responsible for verifying each child’s circumstances and determining what is best for the child’s future. 

We have made numerous attempts in Ethiopia to verify information concerning the meeting with Parliament, and we have not been able to confirm that there has been a meeting since the last meeting which was reported by Allafrica.com. We will continue to check on this, and keep you all informed. We have communicated the rumors of a closure with several Officials in Ethiopia, and have found no reason for concern. We certainly do not dismiss how hard the wait for a child is on a family, and understand how situations like this add stress and uncertainty to an already stressful process. We are praying for you all daily! We stand behind, and support the Ethiopian Government in their efforts to provide ethical adoptions. We love each of you, and appreciate your support to each other during the adoption process.

Online Auction Fundraiser

13 Jan

My sister and I are collaborating on an AWESOME adoption fundraiser — an Online Auction on Facebook.  This is your official invitation!  Come one, come all.  Invite all your friends, neighbors and family.  We’ve got over 175 items and there’s a little something for everyone.  You can check it out here:

Online Auction Fundraiser 

My sister and brother-in-law are also in the adoption process and have already been matched with two precious girls from the DRC.  We are hoping to raise enough through this auction to pay for her court costs and our immigration fees for renewing our fingerprints with USCIS.

There’s a huge variety of items and more will be added in the coming week.  All items are represented by a photo on our auction facebook page.  To bid, simply comment on the item’s picture how much you want to bid.  The auction page is public and open to anyone.  All items will be mailed to the winning bidders so it doesn’t matter where you live!  Feel free to invite your friends and family if you see things they might like.

Here’s a little sneak peek of some of our items…ImageImageImageImageImageImageImage