Since announcing our adoption to family and friends, many of you often ask for updates about the adoption process. While we LOVE the support and curiosity involving the process, sometimes we don't know how to answer the questions, especially considering some recent happenings in Ethiopia.
We originally expected the whole process, from application to brining baby home, to take approximately a year, maybe a year and a half (despite repeated warnings from our agency to avoid "time expectations").
Earlier this fall, we began receiving emails from our agency saying that the U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia was cracking down on adoption cases, scrutinizing each case to such a degree that the process was slowing down significantly.
Then, in late November, we received an email from our agency with some bad news. Here is an excerpt, because I can't explain it any better.
"Many of you might not understand the process a child has to go through to become "paper ready" for a referral. A letter granting adoption has to be issued by the local Ministry of Women's Affairs and then approved by the Addis Oromia Ministry of Women's Affairs (referred to as the regional Oromia MoWA). Once all the paperwork has been approved by the regional Oromia MoWA, the child is ready for a referral.
The orphanages we work with are all located in Oromia. Historically, this section of Ethiopia has been the most pro-adoption region in all of Ethiopia. We received word that for the time being the regional Oromia MoWA office is not processing paperwork for new children. This does not affect the children who have already been approved, but it does slow down the paperwork process for all the new children that have come into our orphanage system.
We have absolutely no idea when this office might resume issuing letters for adoption and we cannot even make an educated guess ... or even a wild speculation. We will just have to wait and see… It is anticipated that for the first time in our history, referrals might not happen immediately."
This email was the first setback that we've experienced in our adoption process so far. I panicked, assailed by fears and worries that were in no way honoring to the instructions I'd heard so distinctly months before: Trust and obey.
Thankfully, I have a husband who is more level-headed than I am. Doug reminded me of God's faithfulness and His calling. Doug called our caseworker and talked through the situation, and she actually seemed fairly optimistic that this won't be a long-term holdup. In the worst case scenario, everything we've done so far in the process can be transferred to our partner agency, Children's House International.
We are continuing to trust God's timing and control and push forward.
For those wondering - we are still in the process of gathering paper work to complete our home study.
Please continue to pray for our adoption, our child, our child's birth parents, the adoption agency, the MoWA and Embassy...
We'll keep you updated.