It's been nearly 4 months since I've posted anything here. Not a whole ton new to tell. The wait is still long. Our agency is still working hard to facilitate orphan care (including adoption) in Ethiopia, and we did recently learn of two potential orphanage partnerships that AGCI is working on solidifying. One is is Gambella, the other is in Benishangul. Both are in western Ethiopia, bordering Sudan.
Other changes include the Hannah's Hope (transition home with AGCI) in Addis Ababa had to change locations. It didn't move far, but had to downsize including no guest house anymore (so we won't get to stay on site on our visits to Ethiopia), and they had to let several staff members go. Lots of families on our agency's private FB page naturally were sad to see the special mothers that took care of their children be let go.
Lastly, over the last few months there has been more corruption in more agencies (not ours), including arrests...which of course doesn't help the climate for adoptions in Ethiopia. Regional clearance still hasn't signed off on children in the Tigray region where children have been waiting for a very long time. I believe that I heard the federal government took over those cases because of that, but that means they will have to start over the already slow orphan verification process all over again.
There have been all sorts of other staff changes too, which is always a bit unsettling even if not directly affecting us. First, Almaz (the director within Ethiopia) resigned and was replaced. Next, AGCI has let go both case workers with the Ethiopia program and restructured things to be a "team" that responds to families needs (each person specializing in their own area). We'll see how that goes. I recently participated in a conference call and was very impressed with the knowledge of one of the women who is involved with orphan care projects in Ethiopia as well as facilitating round table discussions with both 'Save the Children' and 'UNICEF'. She is also helping to further the partnerships in Gambella and Benishangul.
So, if the estimated wait time doesn't change from what it is now (which in all likelihood it will), and if we went with the longer estimated range...then we are still looking at about 5 years until the referral of our little girl (plus a few months to get her home after that). That is soooo stinking long. If the timeline had been what it was when we signed up then we'd only be about a year away from seeing her little face. I never thought that we'd be still adding a child to our family in our 40's...but what about us adding children to our family has gone as "planned" anyway? :)
I think about our little girl every day. There just isn't always a concrete update to share. However, for those of you that have asked for those updates - thank you, and sorry we don't have something more exciting to share!