As adoptive parents are still digesting the news about the possibilities of taking two trips to Ethiopia, agencies around the United States are continuing to update their clients as the new court procedures are refined and focused. This morning, Dove Adoptions issued another "adoption alert" to us that has served two purposes; to further clarify and to ease fears. According to Dove, adoptive families who have been matched with children AND have had their papers submitted to the Ethiopian government ON OR BEFORE April 8th will NOT need to appear for court proceedings. Adoptive families who have been matched with children and HAVE NOT had their papers submitted to the Ethiopian government WILL be required to travel to appear for court proceedings. Additionally, Dove has stated that Ethiopian officials are saying that both prospective adoptive parents will need to attend court. I feel better having a definite answer as to whether we will need to come up with the money to fund two trips. We have not been matched with children as of yet (a reminder to myself that patience is in order here), so we will be going to Ethiopia twice! How cool is that?!?! Dove has kindly stated that the new change has not stopped Ethiopian adoptions and that referrals are still being made, documents are still being submitted to the Ethiopian government, and custody is still being granted to adoptive parents!!!!! Thank God!!!!!
One of my biggest fears is that the program will shut down. This has happened with numerous international adoption programs in the past such as with Romania, Vietnam, Russia, China, and Guatemala among others, and the shut down of a program can happen at any time for a number of very small and/or very strange reasons. That is one of the reasons Tony and I chose Ethiopia. It was said to be a stable and growing program. I guess that it is still a growing program with growing pains! Anyway, we are expecting our referral for two baby girls between the ages of 0 to 3 months sometime between the dates of March 24th and May 24th. We are almost there! Laurel and Willow are out there somewhere, and I really miss them and want them in my arms. I sometimes wonder how I can miss someone so much whom I haven't even have yet to meet. I suppose that would be one of the mysteries of being human. I ask you for your continued prayers and positive thoughts for our family and that you include a prayer for clarity and ease for the Ethiopian court officials. There are over 5 million orphans in Ethiopia alone, and a moratorium on Ethiopia's international adoption program would spell doom for thousands of children who could have had a chance to live by being adopted into loving homes.