Saturday, March 12, 2011

Just an update.

I guess I don't always get into the specifics of the adoption on here...I have never been one to want to just post facts or timelines, I guess I usually am more of a rambling writer :)

But just to point out, we were always going to court in less than two weeks. That has not changed, even with the new (now official) rules in Ethiopia. For those of you interested, here's a little peek into the process.

When you decide to adopt from Ethiopia you fill out one million pieces of paper, you submit financial records, medical records, letters of recommendation, a homestudy, federal background check and fingerprints, state background check and fingerprints, child abuse clearances, pictures, warranty deeds on your house, letters to the Ethiopian government, etc. etc. etc. It's quite a bit and it's called your dossier. When this is translated and registered in Ethiopia, you are placed on a waiting list for a referral.

When you are given a referral you can either accept it or not. It never occurred to us not to accept a referral--before we even saw their little pictures we looked at each other and screamed "YES!" At any rate, when you accept your referral your file goes to two places:
1) Ethiopian court
2) Ministry of Women's Affairs (MOWA)

You wait for two things:
1) Court date with approval from the judge
2) A letter from the MOWA stating you are approved.

This basically involves two government entitites working in parallel on your case. Normally--hopefully--you go to court, pass, and also receive your MOWA letter at about the same time. Then and only then can your case proceed to the US Embassy for their review and processing.

When we received our court date everything was moving along as originally planned. Then the MOWA announced major changes--that it would only write five letters per day instead of the normal 40-50. And a spokesperson for the US Embassy in Ethiopia stated that persons currently in the pipeline (as in US) might very well go through court but then face a very.long.wait for their MOWA letter.

And just for the record, I applaud any effort by the Ethiopian government and adoption agencies to ensure that every single adoption in Ethiopia is ethical. Of course. I would be sad about additional waiting times but could deal with it if it assured me every single aspect of the adoption was ethical. Of course. I hope (!) those who know me would know at least that much about me. But there is a lot of debate about how well any of the recent changes in Ethiopia have done anything to ensure more ethical adoptions. I don't really know. I do know this: the agency we chose was chosen with careful consideration, with references, after we started with another agency and then switched, and is run by a physician who has dedicated his life to uniting orphans with families. He is a part of every single effort to reform adoptions in Ethiopia. The orphanage from which we are adopting has a very good reputation.

Obviously there is a huge element of trust involved in international adoption--after all, you cannot be there personally to know the circumstances of every adoption, to know how thoroughly everything was done, to know without a shadow of a doubt there are no ethical violations. But you don't just blindly trust, you do your research.

So here we are, getting close to our court date, praying for our MOWA letter, and hopinig to have our case move forward to the U.S. Embassy. But if I found out tomorrow that something was 'wrong' with our case, that our babies were not actually available for adoption, my heart would break but I would only ever want what is the absolute best for them.

Because I love them.

21 comments:

  1. Oh, I hope nobody has been questioning your "motivation" and desire for this to move quickly and smoothly!
    I think that it's an understood fact that you (and hopefully ALL) adoptive parents want the child that is theirs to have gone through every single step possible to ensure that their case has been handled ethically.
    My heart hurts for the many very real reasons that these changes had to be made effectual. But that doesn't stop me from hoping that the process moves quickly and seamlessly for you as well as the other parents stuck in this "limbo" in between here and there.

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  2. Argh, my heart skipped a beat at the end...I read too quickly and thought you said something was wrong with the case. But, no, you said if. *Breathing again.*

    Thinking about you and hoping it all goes smoothly. XO

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  3. Hi! I have been following your blog for some time now, as I was going through my IVF treatments. I just wanted to say how inspirational both you and your husband are to so many of us out there going through what you are/were going through. I was soo incredibly happy to see that you were adopting and are finally getting "your two lines". I wish you both so much luck and blessings throughout this process. I was wondering if you happened to see the Today show this week Monday (I believe)? There was a segment about a couple who have adopted several children from Ethiopia, two of them having HIV/AIDS. I know that is not exactly your situation, but I think you would appreciate the segment. This family happens to be family friends of ours. The wife Carolyn has been to Ethiopia several times throughout the process of adopting their children. If you would like further information, you can watch the segment on Hulu or perhaps the Today show website. Their last name is Twietmeyer... They also run a non-profit called project hopeful. It's a beautiful story, and they are amazing people. Again, I wish you all of the blessings in the world...
    Sincerely,
    Katie Lacny - Chicago

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  4. Hope you get your MOWA letter & your case gets expedited! Any update on the CDs or can we make a direct donation (I think this is the trip where you bring donations, right? Can't hurt at least to help the orphanage where your babies are at!). Praying, praying, praying!
    B

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  5. Hoping everything goes smoothly for you and that you get to bring those two little ones home real soon.

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  6. Hoping for only good news for you!!!!

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  7. I hope all goes smoothly and that you're head of the line for your MOWA letter!

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  8. Hoping for good news and a quick return with the babies!!! xo

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  9. Thanks for the explanation and I hope no one made you feel bad for wanting this to be done quickly!

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  10. And that is what parents do, we want the best for our children even if it isn't the best for us...sending lots of love and hope your way!

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  11. Sending lots of prayers your way! I hope things go quickly!! That totally makes sense to me. I am so anxious for you all!

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  12. Just popping in to say - I second what Penny says!!! (I got your email but haven't replied yet - obviously - we've had guests! Tomorrow :) )

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  13. it's too bad that this had to coincide with the timing of your adoption plan, but as you said, it's better in the end if this helps ensure that the adoptions are ethical. i wish you strength during this time of waiting and hope with all my heart that you and your husband are blessed with your babies soon!

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  14. I really hope things move faster than this. I so want you to have your babies and I know how you love them and wants what is best for them. Personally, I think its you and Mr. LC.

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  15. I follow another blogger who is in the midst of adopting from Ethiopia, she posted a call to action that is going around and I thought I would share the link with you.

    http://aheritagefromthelord.blogspot.com/2011/03/ethiopian-orphans-need-your-help.html

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  16. Thanks for sharing the details of adoption. It sounds brutal, all that paper work and then the wait, oh the horrible wait! I really wish they could find a more efficient way to process adoptions as there are little lives on hold that need their new mommy and daddy. As always, hoping for a speedy process for you.

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  17. I am so thankful that you talked about what it takes to just start the adoption process. It confirms what I thought - you are through and through - brave, strong and graceful.

    My heart breaks to know that this process is being slowed.

    I am thinking about you!!

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  18. God, you are an exceptionally loving and caring woman. I hope the time you get to spend with the babies will make all of this feel worth it, and that they'll be home soon, soon, soon.

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  19. I just wish that every person who has ever said "Why don't you just adopt?" knew what was truly involved in this process. I'm hoping that things will be as speedy as possible for you.

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  20. I hope everything moves smoothly from now on and that you have a safe trip. Thanks for explaining the process too...wow!

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  21. Just to say am thinking of you Mrs MTL and Mr MTL too. Must have been a hugely emotional trip and one can have no idea of the journey you have gone through unless you were there. Really looking forward to hearing how you met your babies xxx

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