1. Wait time – Average wait time is now 9 months with the longest waiting family waiting 10 months. This makes me a bit nervous because if the wait goes up again, we could be waiting until the fall to bring our baby or babies home. Remember the Ethiopian government shuts down during the rainy season (sometime between July and October).
2. New Regulations – Many may already be “in the know” but there has been some recent controversy in Ethiopia surrounding human trafficking and “recruiting” (meaning agency workers are allegedly going into villages and recruiting parents to give up their children for a chance of a better life in America). Watch the video below, it’s simply disheartening.
Having friends that had a positive adoption experience with the agency in question, it’s hard to know what’s truth and what’s embellished by the media. Perhaps it’s not true and it’s just the enemy’s way of stopping a good thing from happening. It’s hard to know for sure, but at any rate . . . there needs to be more regulation surrounding Ethiopian adoption to prevent such corruption from taking place.
In light of recent controversy, the US State Department announced new requirements regarding visa processing for children adopted from Ethiopia. Basically, a new form needs to be completed verifying that the child is indeed an orphan. These new requirements will cause a delay between the time we pass court and the time we bring our child home. Sad to hear about another delay, but if it means that checks and balances are being put in place to help alleviate corruption and to allow only “true” orphans to be adopted – then waiting a bit longer is worth it.
3. Travel – Ethiopia is now requiring parents to be present at the court hearing (before someone represented us by power of attorney), which means we will now be traveling twice. Once for the court hearing and then again for our embassy appointment and to bring our child(ren) home. At first, I was sad by the news because I do not get paid adoption leave from my company – which means I’m relying on stored vacation time and the money we have in savings. Ugh! Another week’s vacation and $4000 for plane tickets taken from savings. Hard to swallow.
After wallowing for a while, Travis and I are determined to make lemonade. How fun that we get to kiss our child’s face that much sooner (although we have to say goodbye for a short time)! We are also exploring the idea of working remotely from Europe during the wait between passing court and embassy. A lot has to fall into place to make this happen . . . like approval from our bosses, affordable housing while in Europe and finding someone to watch our house and our 2 dogs while we are away. So if you are reading this and have any connections and/or ideas . . . let us know!