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:).