Today I received my regular email update from Rainbow Kids and it contained this tid-bit:
"Very positive news coming from Ethiopia. Yesterday Minister Zenebu, along with other high level MOWCYA officials, met with agency network representatives. In this meeting it was clearly expressed from Minister Zenebu that she does not plan to work to stop adoptions, but desires to focus on eliminating bad practice in Ethiopian adoptions and focus on good practice. She stated that both MOWCYA and the Ethiopian Government do not plan to shut down adoptions within Ethiopia. She encouraged agencies to continue their work as normal."
Then, just 30 minutes later I received this email from our agency (AGCI):
"Dear Ethiopia families,
This week an AGCI representative had the opportunity to meet in Ethiopia with the head of Network ministry to hear and discuss first hand the status of adoption in Ethiopia. The overall sentiment on adoption is that all parties want to avoid closure. The good news is that yesterday there was a meeting scheduled between the minister of MOWA and the network executives and the minister expressed his support of ethical adoptions numerous times. From that meeting it does not appear adoption is on the brink of closure, however there is still great instability in international adoption due to corruption and public perception of the process. AGCI continues to see drastic slowdowns on referrals and processing of paperwork.
An example of these type of slowdowns become evident with the seven children we have been caring for in the Tigray region for the past 14 months. This fall we believed we were in the final stages of their abandonment process. Unfortunately, last month the federal government decided to take over all cases from the regional governments. This means almost all of the children will start the abandonment process completely over. These types of delays are devastating for the children and it is so frustrating as we watch you wait to welcome them home.
As we continue to gather more information from the meetings taking place this week we will pass it on. Please know that AGCI remains invested in Ethiopia and with you during these uncertain times. We are here for you, and we want to support you in every way we can."
This is very, very good news from my perspective. We are by no means home free with the long wait ahead of us and the constant state of uncertainty within the international adoption process...but we knew that much going in to things. The more acute possibility of a pending closure of Ethiopian adoptions (based on the statements made by influential officials in Ethiopia just over a month ago) has left me in a heightened state of worry the last month. The only thing I have to compare it to is this:
I had scares with both of my pregnancies, but I'd like to share the one with Max. After getting pregnant with Max (after a rough round of in-vetro) I was driving one day and had to pull over the car doubled over in pain. Mark was out of town so I had to get some friends from church to come pick me up and take me to the emergency room. There I found out that I was also bleeding and was told there was a good chance I would miscarry, but that nothing could be done so early in my pregnancy and I would just have to wait it out. I was worried, scared, sad, and while I had hope I felt unjustified in allowing myself to picture life with him and didn't feel "allowed" to do things like imagine the nursery or talk about baby names. It wasn't until things subsided and I was later able to see my baby (and his heartbeat) on the ultrasound at my doctor's office that I felt reassured. While waiting for that doctor's visit I had no control over things, and worry wasn't productive...but worry I did. Did the acute danger of miscarriage passing guarantee that I would carry to term? Of course not. No woman has that guarantee. But even with the possibility always being in the back of my mind it was possible to put that fear aside, relish in preparations to welcome him, and to anticipate the day this little peanut would join our family.
That is all I was hoping for with this situation. Do we have a guarantee that this will all work out the way we plan and that this little girl will eventually join our family? Unfortunately not. But I feel like we are out of the acute danger zone now, and now I am "allowed" to get back to planning her nursery, daydreaming of girlie things, and researching all sorts of odds and ends as we anticipate her joining our family. Will the concern of things going wrong still be in the back of my mind - sure, but I'd rather it was in the back of my mind than consuming all my thoughts.
Thank you so much to all those of you that have included us and the government leaders in Ethiopia in your prayers and fasts in various capacities...and even to those of you who have just continued to ask how things are going. We can't tell you how much those things mean to us. We have a very long journey ahead of us, and while we feel over the moon right now we are also not oblivious to the fact that there will still be bumps in the road that will come up. We're so grateful to have such wonderful family, friends, and neighbors who support us during this roller coaster process that adoption is.
We continue to pray for all involved in the adoption process from those in government, running orphanages and agencies, but most of all the children in need of families and homes. We hold hope that in the long run there will be more and more families within Ethiopia in the position to be able to care for their children themselves, but until that major social and economical change has occurred we pray for these children to find their way into loving homes wherever they may be...and we look forward to the day our little one will come home and be a blessing in our lives.