Last week I posted asking you to pray for the meetings that were to take place in Ethiopia over the weekend. Both meetings did take place, and the overall outcome was positive. Thank you so much for praying with us and for us. Here is the news.
-Adoptions are going to continue to move forward in Ethiopia. This comes as such a relief. If you have been reading here for a while, you might remember the big scare we had right at Christmas when it looked like adoptions from Ethiopia were going to halt altogether. We were terrified. And it seemed to be true, as NO paperwork was processed for SIX months. But the Minister of MOWA has completed her investigation and come to the conclusion that international adoption is still a necessary last resort for orphaned children in Ethiopia.
-Things are not going to get moving as quickly as we thought. At first, it looked like things would start right away and that we would see movement (for the first time in six months) by the end of April. However, that is not going to be the case. The Minister has decided that an extra step should be added to the process wherein orphaned children in Ethiopia are put up for domestic adoption for a period of two months prior to being made eligible for international adoption. The goal is to exhaust all avenues for keeping children in their country of birth before allowing them to be adopted by families from other countries. I see the value here; I really do. What I am struggling with now is that these children who have been paperwork ready for the six months during which nothing was happening now have to wait an additional two months before they can be adopted. I just do not understand the reasoning behind that part of this decision. And then, selfishly, we are devastated that this means two more months with no referrals, no children being matched with their families. We got the news on Monday, and I will be transparent here and tell you that I completely broke down before I could get out of my school building. In fact, two of my students walked in on me sobbing at my desk. Marvelous. I cried the entire rest of the day. So much of this seems so unfair. These kids (and their families) have already been waiting. These kids need parents, homes. And under the new system, we will not see any of these kids matched with their families until mid June. We already love our children so much, and it breaks our hearts to know that even more time will pass before we get to see their beautiful faces.
So that is where we are now. The result of these meetings will ultimately be good, but right now it is one more mountain for us to climb on exhausted legs.
I would humbly ask that you continue to pray for us, especially for our hearts; they are raw. We are hurting. It seems as though this process continues to stretch out in front of us, far beyond the horizon. Pray that we would turn to God during this time and not let this be something that hardens our hearts. Please pray for our children; they are the innocents caught up in this mess. We long so desperately to meet them and tell them how much we have loved them for so long.