This month marks one year on the wait list for us, so that calls for an update! We have moved very few places because there have been almost no referrals since early 2014. There are many reasons for this but mainly the holdup is in Ethiopia. We have known the situation there for a while but honestly it’s been pretty hard to swallow. Our agency sent their founder, head of the program and executive director there in October to talk to key contacts and get a feel for things in Ethiopia. The overall impression is that this slowdown we’ve experienced since earlier in the year is the new pace of things. International adoption is continuing in Ethiopia and the head of the Ministry of Women, Youth and Children’s Affairs (MOWYCA) has stated there is no intent to close international adoptions; however it is a last resort for their children. Improving the integrity of the process is important and it is good for their children to stay in their culture if possible but the downside is the kids who are waiting without families for so long. Our agency now estimates our timeline to be 3 years wait time until referral. People have asked us if there is another adoption route we could go and there are, but we are committed to Ethiopia. Ethiopia has really grown in our hearts and we are calling on God to bring this to completion. Our child will be worth the wait!
I looked back at the last blog post and kind of laughed at myself and how positive I was. We, very smugly, thought we’d be super-star adoptive parents and this wait time would fly by with no complaints from us! Very soon after joining the wait list we were drawn into the ups and downs of waiting parents. An email with good news lifts our spirits, rumors fly about bad news dampen them…..it goes like that each week or month with shifts in the climate of Ethiopian adoptions all the time! That is what we couldn’t have prepared for even when it is a well-known fact that international adoption is unpredictable and really, uncontrollable. The only thing getting us through, reminding us of our calling, is constant conversation with the Lord. We pray for a miracle, for lots of referrals, for His hand working in Ethiopia, movement even when we can’t see it, for patience, the Ethiopian officials, and the birth family….the list goes on. At times we didn’t know what to pray because no movement seemed to be happening. This is when we feel like our dear friends have stepped in on our behalf—in prayer and in encouragement. It is so uplifting to us when people randomly tell us they were thinking of us or ask for updates. A big thank you to all those who are praying for us/our child! We’re convinced we need to “pray this baby home”. Right now in the waiting period it is all we can do.
We know that God’s timing is perfect but there are days when we are aching for our missing family member. God is using this time to refine us as parents and Christ-followers. God will see this to completion and His faithfulness is unending. One day, I’m sure we will look back on this period of time and think how minor it was because of the blessing of our child.
On a lighter note, if you ever get the chance to enjoy Ethiopian cuisine, we highly recommend it! On National Adoption Day and the day after our official 1 year on the wait list, we had friends take us to Altu’s. Altu’s is an Ethiopian restaurant near us and it did not disappoint! Our friends navigated the menu for us (having two adopted from Ethiopia, they are the experts!) and we just really enjoyed the flavors. Injera is a spongey sourdough-like bread that we used to pick up the meat and vegetables. We had to do it Ethiopian style, of course, and shared platters and didn’t use utensils. It was a pleasure and wonderful to learn more about our future child’s culture! We will be celebrating there in the future often.
On a final note, we’re number 44!
Ways you can pray for us:
God’s hand on our baby’s situation
Peace with God’s timing of our referral
Regional directors in Ethiopia (signature required on documents)