We just found out as of March 1, that all adoptive families will now have to make 2 trips to Ethiopia. We knew this was a possibility, and in many ways, we are relieved that a definite decision has been made which we can now prepare for. We're very thankful that it happened at this point in the process for us. Some families literally have to switch gears for their first trip in a few days! Our first trip will be about 2-3 months after we receive our referral for 5-7 days. We will appear at the court hearing where we officially adopt them and the birth family gives them up. We'll then come home for 2-3 months and return for a 7-10 day trip where we appear for the embassy appt and then bring them home. I spoke with our case manager earlier this week and he assured me that these kinds of decisions are making adoption stronger and healthier in Ethiopia. Although it's so hard to predict when getting 2 children, he said that we can hope for a referral by September. That is if referrals continue at the slow pace they've been going. Keep praying for the four Oromia region orphanages to reopen! Here are the ups and downs as we see it for 2 trips. For us, we'd travel 3 times around the world to get them home if that's what it took!
-Paying for 2 trips to Ethiopia instead of 1
-Taking time off work, twice
-Meeting our little ones only to leave them there for 2-3 months
-Meeting any surviving birth family at the court hearing
-The children would come home on an IR-3 visa, meaning we wouldn't have to readopt them in the states
-We'll meet them earlier in the process and be there when they actually become "ours"
-We'll be able to take lots of pictures, give the children special things until we return, and meet their caregivers for the time we'll be apart
-2 trips to soak in the culture and country of our children