I’ll warn you now that the following post will likely be a real bummer.
It’s getting more & more difficult to believe that we will ever complete this adoption & bring our daughter home. We joined the world of international adoption knowing that the road ahead would be strewn with bumps & potholes and the odd detour, but we didn’t ever expect it to be this difficult. Though I am a pessimist, I like to think that I’ve kept a pretty level, calm head about me about the bankruptcy and everything associated with that. For some reason, I never really believed in my heart of hearts that the dream was really over. And it wasn’t. And sure, the referrals have been fairly slow, about 5.5 per month for the first year, but that was okay too, at least it was moving at a fairly steady pace. And then it was coming up on 2 years since our dossier hit Ethiopia, so we had to renew a bunch of our paperwork. No problem there, we’d done all that before, so there was nothing difficult about that. So our dossier is now with the government for approval, which there is no reason to believe we won’t get, they approved us before. And there were worries about the long-term stability of the agency, because of the slowdown in referrals. That scared me a bit – would we get our referral before the funds ran out? Then came the new agreement with another local agency, which helped ensure that the agency would stay open. Amazing, considering the position we were in just a year & a half ago. And there have been various other bumps on the Ethiopian side too – requests for more paperwork (birth certificates, death certificates, a new undertaking letter), a hold being put on adoptions of relinquished children is one region, but we weathered it all. Perhaps there wasn’t always a smile on our face, but we were still on the road. But then, a post on an American website, saying that Ethiopia would be cutting the number of inter-country adoptions it processes per day, by up to 90%. In the word of the article, “Ethiopia’s Ministry of Women’s, Children’s and Youth Affairs has issued a directive saying it will process a maximum of five inter-country adoptions a day, effective March 10. Currently, the ministry is processing up to 50 cases a day… the reduction of up to 90 percent in cases will allow closer scrutiny of documents used to verify a child’s orphan status.”
I am all for transparency in adoption, and for making sure that the children up for adoption are legitimately adoptable. I would hate to have any suspicions at all that my adoption was tainted with corruption. But this news (the agency hasn’t verified it yet) has hit me like a ton of bricks. Will it slow the number of adoption from a trickle to a drop? I estimate that we are around #62 on the list for a single referral, if less referrals start coming in, how much longer will we have to wait? Another 2 years? Another 5 years? What would happen to the program in that time? From the sounds of the article, the slowdown would be on the post-referral side. So, would you get a referral & then have to wait months & months & months for a court date? I don’t know what to think. My head is telling me that I need to bide my time, to see how the program progresses in the next few months. But after that, then what? We can’t afford to change programs at this point, and what program would we change to? I’m scared. Scared to start painting & decorating a nursery that may never house my daughter, scared to buy anything at all for her, scared to get my hopes up that this will all work out. I need to keep believing, to keep hoping, to keep the faith, but I don’t know how long I can do that. I’m tired of feeling anxious, I want to feel joyous. I’m just tired, deep down inside, in my soul. Tired.