It has been sometime since our last update and many wonderful things have happened over the past several months. We have patiently moved down the list and are currently (unofficially #46 girls / #14 siblings). With each sunset we move one day closer to a referral. We have expanded our parameters for siblings to include a sibling pair of one boy and one girl 0—24 months.
When we first received the news in March that the Ministry of Women’s Affairs (MOWA) was proposing to reduce its case load dramatically (from 50 cases per day to 5 cases per day), we were very distraught with concerns that our wait time would go from being months to possibly years, as in other programs such as China. It was a confusing and frustrating time, but through this period we leaned very heavily on our “Rock” and prayed that God would show us what He would have us learn through this struggle. We opened our hearts and our ears to find out what the meaning of all this may be. In theory, this slow down will help an already low-staffed and overwhelmed MOWA have a greater ability to study each child’s case more closely, ensuring that any instances of fraud or trafficking can be removed from the international adoption process. Stronger efforts can be made to build up intercountry adoption and help Ethiopian children remain with their families, which is always optimal. While this is a very important focus, we do get discouraged when we think of all the beautiful children who may see increased time spent in orphanages and all of the heartbroken families, like ourselves, who will experience longer wait times away from their children.
While there was an initial slow down for several months, it is hard to estimate what increased wait times may look like until more time passes to develop a trend. We remain optimistic, as we have seen many families blessed over the past several months with referrals from our agency. We are continuing to move down the list (unofficially #46 girls, #14 siblings) and there are reports that the number of cases reviewed, which were initially 5 daily, have increased to 15 daily.
We continue to see so much encouragement from our families and friends and know that down the road, our Lord will make his plans crystal clear. In the meantime, we are trying to stay busy to keep our minds off the waiting. We are currently working on finishing our basement to convert our office upstairs into a future nursery. We are planning a local car wash later this summer to fundraise and raise awareness in our community, and we both hope to possibly run another half-marathon in the fall for Team Bella, which mean training starts very soon. We continue to be amazed everyday by everyone who loves our child(ren) so much already and can’t wait to share our blessing(s) with everyone. Many thanks goes out to all of those who have been a comfort over the past several months, you give us strength to press forward!
The waiting is the hardest part, Every day you get one more yard, You take it on faith, you take it to the heart, The waiting is the hardest part.
– Tom Petty