I am extremely emotional as I write this post. We received an email from our agency giving us a program update that we didn't want to hear. Apparently on the day after Christmas the House Speaker & the directer of Women, Children & Youth Affairs (MOWA) in Ethiopia made a public statement stating their intent to put an end to all foreign adoptions from their country. It went on to outline their desire to "give priority to use local means to raise orphaned children rather than giving them away to foreign families".
Now, let me say that in theory I think this is ideal. I have always said that it is best to help families (in Ethiopia or elsewhere) stay intact when possible, and that the next best option is for the child to be cared for and raised by a family in their birth country. However, when neither of these options are possible (as so often is the case) foreign adoption is the best option for a child, not being raised in an institution or on the streets...or worse.
I am so upset that I'm having a hard time putting my thoughts and feelings in to words. I am upset at what this could potentially mean for our family, but even more upset at what this will mean for so many children in Ethiopia. With millions of orphaned children in their country and hardly the infrastructure to care for so many people suffering from disease and poverty already...how do they suppose that they will begin to be able to care for additional children - let alone that even if they can provide food and shelter for these children, that what they need is a home and family. The studies are indisputable, children develop and thrive best in a family and home environment. While the loss of country and culture is a real one, it is nothing compared to what a child loses by not being raised in a family.
This was an official and public statement, but there was no timeline given and no date outlined by when foreign adoptions will be cut off. Rumors I am hearing online say possibly within one month. Considering that we anticipate our adoption taking us another 3 years I can only assume that this will essentially put an end to our adoption from Ethiopia, but I don't know for sure yet. We felt that this was the right avenue to pursue, so we will continue doing so until there is no possibility (not to mention that we are over $16,000 into things)...and if that happens I simply do not know what plan B is. When it comes to your child there usually isn't simply a plan B in place. I cannot picture anything else right now. The one thing we do know from our past experiences (with both adoption and fertility treatments) is that things happen when and how they are supposed to. I am trying to have faith in that and know that things will work out how they are meant to.
Please, please, please add your prayers to ours. Of course we pray that we will be guided to make the decisions that will help us find our way to our daughter that we feel is out there...wherever and whenever that may be. But more than that - please pray that government authorities in Ethiopia will find wisdom in keeping foreign adoptions open in their country (in some capacity) as they concurrently develop necessary programs to help care for children in their own country. As broken as my heart is right now, it is nothing compared to the loss and heartbreak of so many children (who have already experienced trauma in their young little lives) as yet another country plans to close its doors to providing them permanent loving homes.