It's been awhile since I've updated, and I hate the fact that I'm updating with a discouraging post. Unfortunately, my heart is deeply saddened this weekend and I need the support and prayers of friends and family.
Friday night we received an email update from our adoption agency regarding a potential change to Ethiopian adoptions. Currently, within the country, prospective parents must be approved by the Ethiopian courts as well as the Ministry of Women's Affairs (MOWA) prior to being granted full custody. This past week MOWA made the decision to decrease their daily case hearings to only 5 per day...they are currently hearing 40 cases a day, so you can see this is a HUGE decrease. This change will significantly delay any and every process throughout the country. If this decision is permanent, it could potentially take 8 times as long for families to be united. What sad, sad news.
Our agency is urging families to "not panic" because of this news, but added that the Chief of the Adoptions Division for the Children's Issues of the Department of State is "extremely distressed" by the news as it was not expected.
This coming week (March 7-11) there will be discussions among adoption attorneys in Ethiopia (including our agency's lawyer), the Minister of MOWA, and the President of the Courts regarding this potential change and possible solutions. The Department of State has said that they are willing to assist MOWA with the training of more judges and social workers to help with adoption cases, unfortunately they have not gotten any responses as of yet.
Please pray for next week's discussions...that hearts would be softened and resolutions could be made that would be most beneficial to everyone this would affect, particularly the sweet little children. JT and I are both very concerned about this 1.) because we already love our little boys and want them to join us as soon as possible and 2.) because this decision could be very detrimental to literally millions of children awaiting homes. The drastic reduction of daily cases could become a deterrent for many families seeking adoption from Ethiopia, a country generally known for it's smooth adoption process. According to UNICEF, there are currently an estimated 5 million orphans in Ethiopia, these sweet, beautiful souls longing for the love of family.
My heart has been broken and I've shed several rounds of tears since learning of this news. I can't help but question why this is happening. As difficult as it is to believe, I know that God has a plan in all of this, but it's hard to see what it could be right now. I'm urging you to pray with me this weekend and throughout next week; to pray for the attorneys to be influential with their proposed solutions, to pray that MOWA would not feel overwhelmed by the number of cases being brought before them but rather feel an urgency to place these children into loving homes. I would ask that you would pray that this case reduction does not remain permanently, but that willing workers would move into jobs that will once again increase their daily adoption approvals. Please pray for the children as they wait, specifically that each individual wait time between referral and court date would be shortened, that as these children hear of "family" they will not lose hope in the prospect of a mommy and daddy to call their own. Also, please pray for all the families who are currently in any stage of an Ethiopian adoption, that we ourselves would not lose hope in the process, that our faith would be strengthened and we will persevere through this difficult news.
Please pray with us and pass this information along to any friends and family who would be willing to pray about this situation. This week will be a important week of discussion and decision. Please feel free to post this blog to your fb page or email a link to our site. I'll update next week's decisions as soon as we get official word from our agency. Thanks for all your prayers in advance.
" Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need." Hebrews 4:16