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{{Adoption Update}}

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{Photo by Lauren Pinson Photography}

I suppose it is about time for an adoption update!  I have neglected writing updates for a long time for several reasons.  For a very long time, there was nothing to update.  We were simply moving very slowly down the waiting list.  We were finally blessed this past March with a referral of a precious baby boy.  Since then, I’ve still been avoiding a public update.  I’ve had to push it out of my mind a lot in order to remain emotionally stable.  Knowing my boy is stuck waiting in an orphange for me to come get him is brutal.  A lot of days I can’t really cope, and so I compartmentalize my brain and force myself to focus on other things.  I have to do this to survive, otherwise I would be a constant blubbering mess.  So my lack of updates is really due to me trying to keep it all together, or just not feeling up to sharing at the time.  But things are picking up now, and it is time to break the silence!

I know my friends and family are all very anxious for him to come home, and are interested in when that will be.  I get asked all the time about when we’ll be able to go get him.  And my answer is always, “I don’t know.”  For a while we were saying, “He’ll hopefully be home by the end of the year.”  Well, as you can see, it’s the end of the year and we haven’t even made our first trip yet.  We’ve now changed the answer to, “We’re hoping to travel in January.”  But honestly, I have absolutely no idea when we will get to go.  There’s so much that goes on behind the scenes in an adoption process.  I wish it were as easy as — here’s a baby for you — come and get him!  But it’s just not.  When you’re working with two different countries and their very different governments, things get complicated.  Both countries are working towards the safest and most ethical process possible.  This requires a lot of ground work and time.  And unfortunately, things aren’t always done as quickly and efficiently as I would like.  Adopting a child is hard.  But it’s about to be worth it.

We’ve come so far… and are now simply waiting on a phone call telling us when we get to travel to meet and officially adopt our boy!  I mean any. minute. now.  It could literally be tomorrow.  But we just don’t know!  Currently, we are waiting on an Ethiopian government agency to issue an approval letter for our case to be submitted to court.  We are just hanging by a thread waiting for this letter!  And the frustrating part is that it could be tomorrow or it could be months from now!  And we have absolutely no way to know.  The thought that I cling to and live by right now is that God is controlling the timing.  If our court date doesn’t happen for a few more months, God has a reason and will make it all work out for his glory.

When we get “the call,” we will jump on a plane to go meet our son, appear in the Ethiopian court, and legally become his parents.  When we leave Ethiopia, he will officially share our last name!  That is SO exciting!  The sad part is that we will not be able to bring him home the first trip.

The next question I am preparing myself to hear is, “Why can’t you bring him home now?  Why do you have to wait two months to go back and get him?”  I will attempt to nip the question in the bud and give you the answer here.  Writing it out will make much more sense to you than if I were to try to answer it on the spot in person.  Trust me.

First of all… it does stink that we have to wait two months to bring him home after we adopt him.  In fact, this small detail had me dead set AGAINST adopting from Ethiopia when I first began researching African adoptions.  Out of all the African countries that you can adopt from, Ethiopia was THE ONE COUNTRY I refused to consider.  I refused to meet my child, adopt them, and then leave them again.  But obviously, God had other plans for us.  We ended up choosing Ethiopia, and I am very glad we did.  I am still dreading leaving our son, but you do what you have to do for your children!

Here is what must happen after we travel and the court approves our adoption.

  1. The adoption decree is created.  This happens after we appear in court.  There’s only one judge who writes all the adoption decrees, so this could take several days.
  2. We apply for our son’s new birth certificate. (about 1 week)
  3. We apply for his passport. (10-14 days)
  4. We apply to conduct a medical examination, then the Embassy issues a date for the exam. (1 – 12 weeks)
  5. We apply for his visa.
  6. He is taken to his medical examination.
  7. Once we’re provided with his medical clearance, we’ll submit our case to the US Embassy to have his visa issued.

This whole process averages two months.  This is the reason we can’t bring him home after the first trip, and why we must wait several months before going back a second time to bring him home.

So please continue to keep our boy in your prayers as he waits for us.  Please also pray for quick issuance of the letter we are awaiting, and for us to be assigned a court date soon!  While you’re at it, there are quite a few other families with our agency in the exact same boat as us, so keep them in your thoughts as well.

We appreciate all the prayers and thoughts you’ve sent our way up to this point, and for all the amazing support you provide us!  We look forward to sharing great news with you soon!





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