Many of you wonderful followers of our adoption journey ask us each time you see us "What is going on with your adoption?" That's a good question and we appreciate that you are interested and are so supportive. What a blessing to have so much support!
My response at this time really is "We are just waiting!" And even as I write that my heart is aching and the tears are filling up my eyes. Waiting seems like an eternity and at the same time it can be a bit of relief. There are approximately 5 million orphans in Ethiopia. So, why in the world are we waiting when there are children who need homes now? Well, the answer isn't simple. One large reason is that we chose an adoption agency that seems to be pretty popular. They make every effort to take extremely good care of the children that come into their transition home in Ethiopia. One way they do this is to have a small staff to child ratio so that each child receives wonderful, loving care. As a result, they can only house so many children. When parents are able to pick up their children and take them home forever, then more beds open up. That means another child will be placed in that bed and in the loving arms of the caregivers. That also means that another child will be referred to his/her forever family. The process of accepting a referral and then actually bringing the child home forever can take several months. The turnaround just takes time and so you have a wait.
Another reason we wait is that the experts say it is in the best interest of all children involved to not adopt out of birth order. That being said, since Noah just turned 3, we are not going to adopt a child any older than Noah. There are more families requesting babies than there seem to be families requesting older children. Therefore, the waitlist is long. I looked at the unofficial waitlist recently and it looked to me that the oldest age that a family is waiting for is around 5 years old. There are however, children that are older who do need homes. I hate that they wait, so if anyone has any interest in adoption and your youngest child is above the age of 5, there are children who need loving homes that are WAITING for you to be their forever family. Just thought I'd sneak some advocacy in :o)
The hardest part of this wait right now is waiting to see exactly how long the wait is going to be. Recently, the Ministry of Women, Children and Youth Affairs in Ethiopia made a change to their policy. They previously reviewed approximately 50 adoption cases per day and have reduced that amount to 5 per day so they can monitor cases more closely to prevent fraud and abuse of the system. The US government as well as other orphan advocacy groups offered to help them, so who knows. They may be able to review more cases in the future with added support. So basically, we wait to see how this change will effect the timeline of our wait.
As we wait, it is very hard some days and not so hard other days. Some days, I am thankful for this time so that I can spend more quality time with Noah and we can continue to fundraise (which I must say has gone well and we have raised over $22,000 towards our adoption! Praise God!). Some days, however, my heart aches and I long for the chance to meet my child(ren) and bring him/her/them home. I also recognize that there are no guarantees in this life, so I also am reminded most days that this is completely in Gods hands and He is completing His work in my life and in Mike's life. He knows how everything will work out and I trust that He knows what is best for everyone.