Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Ethiopian Adoption News


Since you all know I tend to write more about adoption than just about any other subject, I thought I'd touch on today's news about the change in Ethiopian Adoptions.

There's been a lot of panic after a few news stories about a couple of unscrupulous agencies. Often these were agencies we would NOT have expected. Of course this threw people for a loop! It's horrible to see how children can be viewed as profit, instead of the cherished blessings they are.

The Ethiopian government, thus far, has shown strength and thought as they've tried to dissuade corruption in Ethiopian adoptions. They have not only implemented more (rightly so) paperwork to insure the children are really orphans, but also the relinquishing party must appear at court. Those are only two of the things we "see". I'm sure much more goes on behind the scenes.

The latest news occurred today. It has been stated that two trips will now be required for those adopting from Ethiopia. There are several versions I've heard and I don't believe any of us have the full picture of what this will mean. It could mean that those awaiting court dates are not effected...COULD being the optimum word.

WHY?
Though I'm not aware of the complete reasoning behind it, my thought is that they are trying to insure the children are not left with little options. As many of you know, most only make one trip to Ethiopia. Their newly adopted children are theirs legally before they even arrive. Court has already taken place. In a few instances parents arrive there and feel they cannot take custody of the child. I will not comment on my feelings on this, but just that this leaves the child in a very difficult place. The child belongs, legally, to one set of parents (from another country) and they abandon them again. I can't fathom not only the legal ramifications and time to void the adoption, but the emotional ramifications for the child. That would be my guess in answer to "Why?"

HOW DOES THIS EFFECT US?
All the facts are not in place yet. We honestly don't know. If, because we are awaiting a court date and our papers are already with the court, we are grandfathered in...this will effect us very little. If we are not, we will be in Ethiopia very shortly. We're not worried and will touch on why we are not a little later on.

WHAT IS THE BIGGEST WORRY FOR ETHIOPIAN ADOPTIVE PARENTS RIGHT NOW?
The biggest concern that we are seeing from many adoptive parents right now is finances. The cost of adopting can be daunting anyway. Add to that the cost of a second trip...ouch! Yet (as we've said many times...sorry to be repetitive :)) we have never had the funds for adoption and, because we were secure in following God, the funds came in truly amazing ways. If you are reading this and concerned, we would love for you to contact us (there is a place at the right side of this page) and we'd love to talk to you...just to let you know that it really will be okay. Check this verse out though...an awesome reminder that God is listening...

"Jesus replied, 'I tell you the truth, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.'" Matthew 21:21-23

THE BENEFIT AND THE COST
Here is a benefit that I don't think many may have thought of. The current laws discourage much contact with biological family or parents. Being at court should enable us (if it's not normally possible) to meet the biological families. Some agencies still arrange this, but many do not. The hardest part would be leaving your child for weeks, before coming back. That makes my heart hurt thinking of it. It also concerns me that the "one trip" is the reason some choose this country (because they know their hearts could not handle leaving) and adoptions in Ethiopia may decrease.

WHAT WOULD I SUGGEST
I am SO not always wise AND I do think the idea of seeing the children before court is a wise one for the Ethiopian government, but I wish it was set up a little different. I wish an adoptive parent was required to be in Ethiopia about three days before court to meet the child, then required to attend court. Next, I wish (as long as they passed court) that the embassy appointment was only one week after court. This way it would be one trip...a little longer than previously, but only one trip. This would require our government to give as well. Will this happen? Unlikely, but I'd love to see it happen this way.


GOD IS IN CONTROL
When it comes down to our worries, our stresses about the the changing view of Ethiopian adoption, we need to realize that God has a panoramic view, an encompassing view. He sees it all. Man cannot undo God's will. Man cannot change God's plan. Yes, we can choose not to answer His call (we have freedom of choice), but if we trust Him all things will work together for good.

As I've said before to many...God's got your back, front, sides, and all over. God cannot be undone. Trust Him...this will be okay too.

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