A Really Bad Email

Our kiddo’s birth mom got interviewed by the US Embassy on Tuesday the 14th.  Because of the time difference, this was Monday night our time.

This interview is the last step in a very long process.  By this time, she has already been interviewed by the Ethiopian courts.  She has already relinquished her rights.  The adoption has been finalized in the eyes of the Ethiopian government.  This Embassy interview is a last check, a way for the US Government to make sure that everything is being handled fairly and ethically.

Typically things happen very quickly after the interview.  Usually within a day or two you hear something- either that your case is cleared and that you can come get your kids, or that they need more information or paperwork.  We were hoping to wake up to an email Tuesday morning that told us we could come get our kids.

But we didn’t.  The Ethiopian business day is over at 8am our time, so we didn’t expect to hear anything that day. We did get confirmation that the birth mom showed up for her interview, which was a good sign.

We didn’t hear the next day either.

Or the day after that.

We grew very frustrated.  Not only are we so ready to get these kids home and move on with everyone’s lives, but with our situation we want them to be home as long as possible before the baby comes.  And, I really want to travel and wont be able to for much longer.

Our agency wasn’t that helpful.  They told us that although families usually hear quickly, that’s not always the case, and that sometimes it can take up to a couple weeks.  They told us not to worry.  We did anyways.

And it was for good reason.  Like everything at every step of our adoption, nothing has gone as it does for most families.

We found out today that in the interview, the Embassy told the birth mom she would never see her kids again (she has been told this many times before).  She told the officer that she “needs her children back” if that would be the case.

This puts our adoption in a very weird place.  She has already relinquished her kids.  The adoption is already final, and non-reversible, in the ET government’s eyes.  But until the Embassy clears our case, we can’t bring them home.  And is the Embassy going to clear a case when a birth mom is saying she needs her children back?

Emotionally it puts us in a weird place too.  On the one hand, your heart just goes out to the birth mom.  This isn’t a mom that got knocked up and doesn’t want to take responsibility for her kids.  This is a lady who loves her kids but lost at the birth lottery.  Think of how much you love your kids.  Could you give them up, never to see them again, if you couldn’t feed them?  Could you give them up, never to see them again, if it meant they would get an education you never had?  No one should have to answer these questions.

But on the other hand, she has not had her kids for over 2 years.  She cannot meet even their basic needs due to no fault of her own.  The kids need security.  They need consistency.  They need parents.  They need an education.  They’re not getting those things now, and they would if this adoption can be completed.

I don’t know what’s going to happen next.

Can you please pray that God will be with that birth mom, and the decision makers in our case, and most importantly with the kids?  Pray that things work out for these kids, because spending days in an orphanage is no way for a childhood to pass by.  I know several of you that read this don’t believe in prayer, and that’s fine, but can you pray too?  Maybe God will be really excited to hear your prayers 🙂



Filed under USCIS in Nairobi

10 responses to “A Really Bad Email

  1. Emily

    I’ve been in a similar-ish situation. We adopted a three month old baby boy domestically. After him being home for over a month, the birth mother wanted him back. On one hand we were in love with our child, on the other hand we were in love with “her” child. My prayer was always very similar each day. “God, may this child be where he needs to be… whether it’s with us or with her. I know if he goes back to her its because you were using us for a purpose. May both sides have peace about the situation. Amen”. Its stressful, I know! We have our boy. It was meant to be.
    Praying for you.

  2. *Comment removed at request of commenter

    • Scoopy, as an adoptive parent I can relate to your feelings of guilt. I think we all have to process those feelings.Sometimes I wonder why my daughter is here – her birthmother could have kept her if I had sponsored her, which I would have gladly done. But I wasn’t offered that option. And you weren’t either. And you are absolutely right – our kids don’t need all the stuff that America has to offer, they need a mother. And like it or not, that’s you right now. Your child no longer has her birth mother. When you use phrases like “suffer from adoption” and “screwed up for life”, you are teaching your child that she will never get through this and the colossal suffering WILL go on. You need to take your position as her mother and help her through this! As long as you believe that you are a kidnapper and that she can never get over this, she will believe it, too. If you are a praying Christian, you can must believe that this problem isn’t bigger than Jesus’ sacrifice. You can lead her to the healing that God has to offer, if you are willing to let go of the past. Your daughter needs you to do this Scoopy!

  3. justjames44

    Thank you both for your comments. I would never delete a comment unless it was just plain hateful. Scoopy, I’m so sorry for the trauma that you’re in the middle of. Adoption is not always pretty, is it? When we first started this journey 3.5 years ago I was a bit naive. I only viewed adoption through my privileged eyes. I thought adoption was always a good thing. I didnt know any birth parents who gave their kids up. I didn’t know any people who had been adopted. Throughout this process my eyes have been opened over and over again. Adoption is not always the answer. It should not be the first choice. But it is a good option, and sometimes the only real option, for many many kids. There are a lot of details in our situation that I don’t want to share in such a public forum. If after meeting the mom and spending a week with the kids we felt unsure about the case, or felt like the birth mom had been bribed, or that the kids would not adjust well, or that being adopted was not the best option for these individual kids- this incident would give us serious pause. It would be a time for reflection, a time to ask ourselves if this was really the right thing to do. I would never pray for these kids to come home with us, because although it feels like it to us, I am aware that might not be God’s plan. Instead I pray that we can trust Him, and that He will keep these kids safe and make this all work out for their best interest. I will pray for your family too.

  4. Kimberly Bock

    Praying for you! I can’t imagine. These questions are asked a thousand times and for the last answer to be different is so horrible for all of you. We have completed an ET adoption and again are in process of ET adoption. Our birth parent does have photos and hopefully will see their/our child again, the birth parent is studying English to prepare and we have traded letters and photos and video. That is not okay for our Embassy to lie to a birth parent that way. Some adoptive families are hoping for an open or semi open adoption. Our birth parent was informed and made an adoption plan for their child. Glad our US Embassy never harassed our poor birth parent!!!!! Praying for you!!!!!

  5. Elsie

    I’m not sure I understand the last comment from Kimberly. The US Embassy is there to make sure the birth parents know what adoption is. That it’s final. They aren’t there to harass.

    I agree with Scoopy. Unfortunately, agencies and orphanages lie. They tell the parent that the children will have a better life and that people in other countries can provide more for their children. They tell them that they will go to school in the US and then they will come back to Ethiopia to help them. They say that these kids are “waiting children” when in fact they haven’t been waiting at all. They say other horrible lies to the PAP to get them to think, “Wow, these kids really need us!” When it’s just not true. Please pray on this. Please send someone to speak with the birth mother. Please find a way to ask her, “Do you want your children adopted? What did the orphanage say to you? Is there anything that would keep you together?”

    • kentT

      The governments involved in this adoption don’t understand how big our God is. His will be done.

    • Kimberly Bock

      Our story was prior to 2011 and Embassy taking over the process. I will leave out our Embassy experience and what was said to us and other families at US Embassy in 2010. Our BP was well aware from the beginning that they made an adoption plan it was on video. They even talked about the adoption plan again with us before court and knew we were the adoptive parents and lived in the US. Not everyone who adopts plans to sever all ties with a child’s past as part of their adoption plan, we offered an open adoption. I am praying for all sides of Hand in Hand adoption and their hearts!!!!!

  6. *Comment removed at request of commenter

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