Thursday, June 4, 2009

Countdown again (and an update)

It's Thursday! Today it's been 5 weeks since we applied for our I-171H (immigration approval). Which means we should have four more weeks at the most until we get our approval. Who knows; maybe we'll get lucky and get it early. (Tiger prays before every meal that our adoption will move quickly, and his prayers have been known to be looked upon with favor!)

Meanwhile, there's been a lot happening in Ethiopia. When we started this process, we ignorantly assumed that most of the children being adopted were "true orphans" (meaning that they had no living parent). In reality, the grim truth is that many of the children available for adoption have either been relinquished or abandoned by a living parent due to extreme poverty. I don't think we can even begin to imagine the desperation that leads a mother to give up her children because she is unable to feed them and unwilling to see them starve. I have often come to tears as we pray for the child who will be part of our family, because as a mother I find it so painful to consider that it's very likely that our little boy has a mother in Africa who will not see her little boy grow up.

For the last few weeks there's been a freeze on the adoption of abandoned children in Ethiopia. This is really a good thing. To put it simply, the judges who process adoptions had noticed a spike in the number of abandonment cases and ordered a police investigation to insure that these abandonment situations were legitimate. I'm thankful for this, because there can be so much corruption in the adoption process and I'm glad for anything that works against that. Yet it's been very painful for families who had already been assigned a court date for an abandoned child and had to be postponed indefinitely. And painful for those children who have had to remain in orphanages instead of uniting with families. But in the big picture the desire is to protect children and families. Yesterday I heard from a new friend (who's waiting for the referral of a little boy from Ethipia) that the investigation may wrap up by the end of June, allowing adoptions of abandoned children to open up again. For us this means that this situation should not really have an impact on our family since we should be sending our dossier to Ethiopia in early July. In fact, it's possible that our wait will be shorter since there may be a group of children ready for referral at one time after the last few weeks of no referrals. And thankfully, it means that more of these little ones who've been abandoned will be placed in families. Once again, we just don't know but are praying for God's perfect provision for the child He's chosen for our family.

John 14:18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.

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