Monday, January 25, 2010

1 Month of Waiting!

1 month down ??? to go until we meet our little ones! We're currently finishing up some grant applications and waiting on our I600A to get approved through US Immigration.  Nate had a surprise surgery a week and a half ago and has been home recovering from that. We also have 10 little fur balls aka golden retriever puppies who are keeping us very busy! A lot of people have been asking us what they can specifically pray for. We are going to start a side bar on our blog that will list prayer requests we have as they arise. Here is a specific situtation that was just recently brought to our attention. As many of you heard, there is a possible change pending concerning the number of trips we would have to make for our adoption. Below is an email we received from our case worker that explains the whole issue very well. Please keep this in your prayers as we and many other adoptive families across the country await to hear any decision made. 
    We thought we'd share an Ethiopian adoption issue brought to our attention
today. According to our Country Representative, Ato Zerihun, there is currently a discussion by the court system in Ethiopia whether or not to require adoptive parents to appear in person for the court hearings of their prospective children. This has the potential to make Ethiopia a two trip country; one trip for court and one trip for the Embassy appointment.
    This discussion has been precipitated by the alarming number of cases being revoked – 43 thus far. We are attempting to get clarification on the exact nature of revocations, but assume those are dissolutions.  The network of adoption agencies will meet with the president of the First Instance Court to discuss this proposed procedure. We do not have a date for this meeting as yet.
    AT THIS TIME, this is only in the discussion stage and no changes have been made to the requirements. We just want to keep you informed as we learn more ourselves. As always, your prayers are requested regarding this potential development. There are obvious benefits to parents meeting their children before court, but it could be prohibitive for families who will find it difficult financially to make two trips overseas. We will keep you apprised of any additional developments as we hear of them.

Friday, January 8, 2010

More of a Framework...

Early this week, we were able to talk with our new case worker, Ben, who will lead us through the rest of our journey. He actually just spent 4 weeks in Ethiopia himself. As we were talking he kept referring to a family he spent his time with when he was over there. We figured out that it was the Shannons! This is the family that my dad is friends with and we were able to connect with them as we were starting our adoption. They just left to be missionaries in Ethiopia and our church has been following their story and recently just joined them for a day of prayer. It turns out they needed temporary housing and actually stayed at CWA's facility the few weeks that our case worker was there as well! This is just another exciting connection that God's making through all of this!

There's a lot of variables that will play into how the rest of the process goes for us. We're trying our best not to get out heart set on a timeframe, genders, and ages as all this is in God's hands. This is of course easier said than done! We did find a few things out that we want to fill everyone in on...

1. Our referrals will come at the same time or very close together for both kids.
2. Twins would be a possibility. But, twins often have a harder time surviving there and the chance of both surviving to the point of being adopted out is much lower.
3. Getting 2 children will not make our process longer. If anything, he said it would make it shorter or about the same. This really surprised us...but we're not complaining:).
4. The longest someone has currently been waiting for an infant girl (which is currently the longest wait) is 8 months. This is the only timeframe they give out; the longest someone has been waiting.
5. There are currently 63 families waiting for children from Ethiopia. This is the highest they've ever had! It's really exciting to know that there are other familes and churches all over the country who share the same vision God's placed in our hearts.
6. CWA is currently working with 7 orphanages in Ethiopia. This is the most they've ever worked with!
7. They will actively be looking for a toddler or infant for us, whichever comes first. Once we get 1 child we will automatically be at a much higher priority for the 2nd child.
8. The children could or could not be siblings. This really could go either way.
9. When we receive our referrals we can show pictures to people, but cannot post anything on the internet containing names, pictures, or any other personal information that may be released to us. He said people have actually had adoptions halted because they shared information too soon. Yikes!

I think that's a pretty good summary of the interesting stuff we found out. Ben also shared with me his thoughts on Ethiopia while he was over there which were very insightful. That will probably be a whole other blog as this one is getting a little long:).