As I have previously blogged about, the last month or so has been a crazy time for Ethiopian adoptions. If you haven’t been following it, it’s a long story…but the CliffNotes version is that due to some isolated instances of corruption, the Ethiopian government has cut back the adoption cases they’re processing by 90%. From 50 a day to 5.
Before this happened, we were told to expect an 18-24 month wait before we get matched with our children. So this little change would mean we’d get our kids…oh, maybe before we retire?
We had some questions about what exactly this meant for us and what our other options might be. Earlier this week we set up a call with our adoption case worker, Angie. (If you’ve been following really closely, you might remember me referring to our case worker Nikki. Nikki handles the home study and the post adoption reports, but Angie is the person we work with from the time our paperwork is done until we get home with the kids. Nikki is here in Kansas City and we developed a pretty good relationship with her. Angie is in St. Louis and we have not met her in person).
One of our first questions was “what happens to us if Ethiopia shuts down for adoption?” This has happened before to countries like Vietnam and Guatemala. This has been one of our largely unspoken fears.
Angie answered this question by saying that the talks have focused around the shared goal of Ethiopia NOT shutting down for adoption. She said that all of the involved parties want to keep it open and that she does not anticipate that happening. If it did happen, we would probably not get any of our money refunded, but we could transfer to another country. We were relieved to hear that it does not sound like it is shutting down.
A few months ago, I didn’t know much about Ethiopia. I didn’t know anything about their people or their country. I heard Ethiopia and I thought “poor.” But so much has changed over the past seven months. We know dozens of families who have adopted from this country. We see Isak regularly. I can tell you about their coffee and their cities and their customs. Seven months ago it was not a huge deal, but now we would be very disappointed to just switch countries. So hearing that it is not expected to close was a very positive thing.
We are currently requesting young siblings. Young siblings currently have the longest wait time. (Doesn’t that seem counterintuitive? I would think that single babies would have the longest wait). We asked some questions about what would happen if we switched to a single baby or raised our age limit on the sibling set. Angie answered our questions; giving us more things to discuss between the two of us.
The call was positive. It reassured us and calmed our fears. It felt good to talk to someone from the agency rather than just read mass emails or listen to rumors. But at this point, I feel like we know everything and we know nothing. We’ve asked all the questions and done all the research. I’ve talked to people who have been through this and I’ve read unbiased articles about Ethiopian adoption. But I don’t know how things are going to turn out. I don’t know if we’re going to get a baby or young siblings or older siblings. I don’t know how long it’s going to take or what’s going to happen with the government in Ethiopia. We are in the period of the Great Wait, and that’s a hard spot to be in.