Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Situation in Ethiopia

Hey, friends! So sorry I'm just now posting a follow up on what is currently going on with Ethiopian adoptions. However...

On Thursday, I spoke to our adoption consultant, Ashley.  I found out a couple of things.  First of all, we are currently {officially} sitting on our waiting list at number

So, while we haven't moved up much in the almost three months that we have been on the list, we have moved up a little, so that's good.

Here is what I learned about the "situation" in Ethiopia:

Short version:  It's not as bad as we thought.

Long version:
There are two separate things that have been going on there that have affected us.  First, there has been a lack of referrals and second, the MOWA is making some changes to slow down their portion of the adoption process.

To address the lack of referrals, Ashley informed us that the transition house (babies waiting to be matched with a family) is full right now, but they have not been able to offer referrals on them.  The reason has to do with a lack of HIV tests.  The HIV test that they do on older children has been available, but the test for babies has been out since January...basically, we got on the list and they ran out of tests right around the same time.  So, while we were on the phone, she was telling me what they thought they might do as an alternative and then she said "Wait...just a minute...I JUST got an E-mail...THE HIV TESTS ARE IN!  Next week is going to be a great week!!"  Basically, they have run the tests, are waiting for the results, and will be offering a bunch of referrals next week.  Praise Jesus!!
Now, let me clarify...we do not expect to get a referral next week.  Since we are requesting siblings, we have to wait until we are at the top of the sibling list.  So, unless there are about 10 sets of siblings, we won't get a referral next week {praying for lots of twins waiting!;)}.  However, we expect to see a big jump in our number on the list next week.  This is a good thing...a God thing...and quite a relief!

Secondly, the Ministry of Women's Affairs deal.  Ashley first explained what this means.  When we go to our court date (our first trip to ET), three things have to be present: 1) Us, 2) the birthparent if he/she is living, otherwise the orphanage representative, 3) the letter from MOWA stating that they have reviewed our dossier and approve us to adopt our children.  Currently, MOWA does this the day before court and generally does up to 40 (contrary to what the initial article said).  They are planning to decrease that to 5 per day which truly would drastically reduce the number of court cases that would be able to be complete. 
HOWEVER, the MOWA is having major conversations with child advocacy groups and adoption agencies to try to increase that number.  Ashley told us that they are hoping to be able to help the MOWA facilitate the dossier review and ease the load.  There is a lot of speculation about why the MOWA chose to drastically decrease their dossier review including some corruption in the process {we believe our agency is not at all a part of this} and the fact that the MOWA is overworked and understaffed. 
Ashley stated that they feel good about the conversations they are having, but no one really knows exactly how the change will pan out and manifest itself.  Only time will tell. 

Please pray tomorrow (Monday) as the talks/negotiations/etc. will continue.

I'm sure I didn't answer all the questions, but hopefully this helps to clarify some of what is going on.

I honestly did not realize how much the bad news was affecting me.  To say I was in a funk last week is probably a pretty big understatement.  I needed some good news and God provided it just at the right time.  It was like a dark cloud lifted off my head.  So much is still uncertain, but I feel so much better about it now than I did before.  Thank all of you who are praying for us and who intensified your prayers in the last week...they were felt and appreciated.  Also, thank you everyone who offered a word of encouragement and concern.  I can't acurately express how much each word means to us!

Let's pray for more good news this week!  I can't wait to post our new waiting list number at the end of the week!!


  1. Can't wait to hear either. So to clarify even further.....the MOWA deal has no affect on referrels, it MAY (not necessarily and this is what we all are praying for) just lenghten the time before the original court date if they keep it to 5 cases a dat or lengthen the time between the 1st and 2nd trips (which will be hard enough to leave our babies and come home without them) so hopefully it won't be stretched out too far. I too was encouraged when we met with our consultant on Thursday during our home visit that I fretted about for no reason at all. By the end of March our home study should be complete. Hooray!!!!

  2. can't wait to hear about LOTS of referrals next week!

  3. I LOVE that you got positive news! I'm praying many times a day that a compromise can be worked out and the number of MOWA letters written would increase significantly.

    I'm anxious to hear what God is going to do today.


  4. thank you for such a clear explanation. There are so many speculations going around, I am glad you were able to get the skinny!