We had our conference call this afternoon at 5:00 pm with our agency AGCI. There were 77 families on the phone to hear what the latest developments were. That doesn't include the many families that took part in the identical call yesterday.
There have been several reports recently that have shed a negative light on Ethiopian adoptions. Specifically, two have been at the forefront - one by ABC and one by CBS. As a result of the bad publicity, Ethiopian officials have requested changes to their adoption program. They are now implementing an additional travel trip by the adoptive parents. This new requirement is being implemented immediately and there are still many unknowns as to how the details will be handled.
We now know that this additional trip will last 5-7 days and will take place at some point following the referral (when we are paired with an adoptee). The purpose of this trip is to meet the child and to be present for some of the legal proceedings in Ethiopian. Then we will fly back home (without our girl) and wait for 2-4 months when we will take another trip to Ethiopia, lasting again for 5-7 days, and bring home our girl.
The purpose of the added trip is to make sure the prospective adoptive parents have met their adoptee and have thought about things for awhile before taking legal custody. There have been some issues with some parents backing out after meeting their child.
This additional requirement has taken us by surprise. We're feeling a little bit shocked and concerned over the apparent instability. The additional trip results in adding $4,000 - $6,000 to the cost of the adoption. It requires an additional week of vacation from work. It involves many additional details. But in the end we are reminded that adoption is about the kids and if this helps the kids, then that's a good thing.
We are also reminded again that changes can take place at any time. With the recent bad publicity there's always a chance that more changes could happen to the Ethiopian program and it could even close. But our hope is not in governments, social workers, legal proceedings, news reports, or anything else man controls. Our hope is in God and He is in control of the situation. We rest in Him.
Please continue to pray for the situation. We appreciate your support.