I’ve been reading blogs, news reports, Embassy notifications, and letters from other agencies to try to figure out just what is happening with adoptions in Ethiopia.
The southern region (which our kids are from) is re-evaluating their system. There don’t seem to be any ethical problems at this time, but they have closed down about 20 orphanages. The main reason; because those orphanages are not doing enough regional humanitarian work outside of their orphanages (which is a requirement to run an orphanage in Ethiopia).
It appears that the regional government has put a hold on adoptions from that area for the next month while they try to revamp their system. In the meantime, hundreds of children have been relocated to other homes and orphanages in the area. UNICEF is pressuring the regional government to return all of these children to their living relatives or to their home villages. UNICEF also estimates that there are 5,000,000 orphans in Ethiopia. The number one reason: poverty. The families and villages can’t care for their children.
The US Embassy is trying to encourage the National government to go ahead and complete the adoptions of children already in the system (that’s us). We heard from our agency today. They are also petitioning for us to be able to complete our adoption. Since we are only missing the MOWA (Ministry of Women’s Affairs) recommendation letter, and our kid’s closest living relative has already appeared before the judge to relinquish all rights, it seems reasonable that we will be able to move ahead. Right now, everything in very tense in the region and so we wait.
Ethiopia and neighboring African countries are struggling right now with famine, measles outbreaks, and political unrest. It seems the norm for that part of the world and most of us are unaffected by it. But, it hits close to home for this mama’s heart, with two children living there and knowing their extended family will be touched by all that goes on in that region.
Please pray with us that we will receive the recommendation letter we need soon. We are at times very discouraged by all that is happening/has happened in our adoption journey. But even in those moments when tears fall and discouragement is felt, peace reigns. We know we are doing what we are called to do and it is the desire of our heart to build our family through adoption, no matter the cost.