We are overdue to update our friends and family on what is happening with our adoption! Here it is!
In April our Immigration approval came up for renewal. It was two years old! We can’t believe we started this process that long ago! The renewal didn’t require too much, just paperwork and a home study update. During that update we did change some of our criteria. At the rate Ethiopian adoptions are happening we felt we needed to open up our age range a bit. As a result, we are now approved for a child up to 2 years of age (which is actually 2 years 11 months) and are willing to accept a sibling set. (up to 2 children)
In the middle of that update we received very shocking news that has affected our adoption since. Our caseworker informed us that our agency, AAI, was most likely completing their current cases with referrals (=not us) and then exiting work in Ethiopia as quickly as possible. They feel with the current difficulties with adoptions in Ethiopia the problems are insurmountable and cannot sustain their program at the pace it has been operating at. Their hands are tied as well as their representatives. I won’t go into more detail here but if you have questions, feel free to ask! Our agency highly encouraged the waiting families to find another program to adopt through or other plan but they cannot guarantee a referral in the future. The bottom line is AAI feels the future of adoptions in Ethiopia is bleak and our doorway into Ethiopia seems to have a time limit.
Honestly, we were pretty blindsided by this news and emotional about it. Here we thought the long wait would be our challenge! After the shock wore off and we could think clearly about what comes next, we really felt God’s peace. The time we’ve taken has given us some perspective. We know that God still has a plan even when it seems to have gone awry. Our hearts are still tied to Ethiopia and the estimated 4.6 million orphans in that country alone. We know God will “work for the good of those who love Him” (Romans 8:28) and He is moving is unseen ways.
Verses we have found comfort and encouragement from:
James 1:12 “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.”
James 1:5 “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.”
Deuteronomy 31:6 “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Isaiah 41:10 “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed for I am you God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Philippians 1:6 “he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion…”
Our agency gave us a June 1st deadline to decide what we would do-- continue in the Ethiopia program, fully aware of the risks and unlikelihood of referral, withdraw, or transfer to another of their programs. The third option isn’t feasible because for various reasons we don’t qualify for any of their other programs beside domestic. About half of the families on the waiting list removed themselves from the Ethiopia program or transferred elsewhere.
What we decided based on the information we have currently is to buy ourselves a bit more time. Now our deadline is July 31st to see what happens in the time until then. We have been encouraged by the number of families travelling this month from our agency and others. The likelihood of us starting with a new agency after July 31st is pretty high but we just want to be certain that it is the right move for us. You can pray for us as we seek God’s will as we continue forward and for confidence in what we decide.
With all that being said, we are number 17 now. Thank you, sincerely, for those of you praying for us through this. Please continue and pray for a miracle in Ethiopian adoptions!
<3 The Averys