Friday, August 12, 2011

What's Going on in Ethiopia?

I realize I haven't posted much about the adoption.  There really is a reason for that {because nothing much has been happening}, but I realize that just because our number isn't decreasing doesn't mean there's not information to post.  So, here goes...

1) Our number actually increased after the last time I posted {in June}.  An Ethiopian family joined our agency's wait list, so they were placed on the top of the list.  When I checked with our consultant, she gave me our new official number of 16.  We have not moved from this spot since then.

2) Referrals from our agency have screeched to a roaring halt.  With the exception of one special needs little girl who was referred to the #17 spot, there have been NO referrals in 7 weeks.  This is the longest lull in referrals there has been since we have been on the list.  It's difficult, to say the least, to be this close to getting a referral and yet for there to be none given.  Just another opportunity to learn patience {you'd think I'd be getting good at it by now! ;) }.

3) Reasons for the slow-down were given to us last week by our agency.  There's a list...
  • First of all, our agency's in-country representative changed in June.  This transition has caused a little of the halt. 

  • Secondly, as part of Ethiopia's attempt to crack down on unethical adoptions, the country is requiring a lot more paperwork, which is difficult in a country that does not have the abundance of technology that we do.  For example, if we need a copy of our birth certificate, we get in our car, drive 15 minutes to Carthage, Missouri, pay $15 and get a printed, state-sealed copy within minutes.  However, many children in ET are not even registered as they were born in their homes and not given care in a hospital {this also explains why many adopted children are given an approximate age}.  

This article, though a little dated, explains the issues with the process and the new paperwork requirements 
  • Last, our agency is beginning to work with a new orphanage,  Debreberhan Orphanage Centre.  While this may seem like it should increase referrals, the fact is that the orphanage is going through some trainings with our in-country staff and won't offer referrals out of that orphanage until the orphanage has received all the training and all the kids in the orphanage are paperwork-ready.  {I could totally be wrong, but this is where I believe our little one is!}

4) MOWYCA Letters have increased from the five letters per day {which is what they alledgedly were planning} to anywhere between 10-15 per day.  This is still a slow-down from six months ago, but it is better than expected.

5) Court Closure began this week.  In ET, courts close for the rainy season from August through September.  What this means for the process is that although referrals are given through rainy season, no one will be traveling for their first trip {the court date trip}.  However, people who have passed court can still get their Embassy date, which means they can go get their little ones! YEA!  Also, the MOWYCA is still open, so we are hoping this will be a time that they will be able to get caught up on the cases that have passed court except for their letter.  This court closure is a difficult time for many families who have a referral but did not get a court date before the rainy season.  Please keep those families in your prayers!

6) Orphanage Closures have been occurring in the southern region of Ethiopia.  The closures have occurred for several different reasons and the children are being taken to different orphanages in the country.  While this is a good thing in a number of ways, it's scary to think that in a country with so many orphans, they now have less places to go.  This coupled with the slow-down in getting the children into adoptive homes makes for a grim picture. :(

7) The Drought in the Horn of Africa is heartbreaking!  Having recenty gone through a natural disaster in our area has amplified in my mind the amount of help that's needed in the midst of a disaster.  Please pray about how you can help.  There are many's one:

Thank you all...for your continued prayers, for continuing to read {even when there's not a lot of news}, for your support.  Hopefully we will have some more news soon!


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