Saturday, March 19, 2011

New number and New news

That is our NEW number! The last few months we did not move at all so we are so thankful to see some movement despite the unrest in Ethiopia. We also receive good news from our caseworker about the decision in Ethiopia. They put it much better than I could explain it so I will quote my email.

We have spent the entirety of this week and last connecting with our own Foreign Staff, participating in caucus calls led by Joint Council and the US Department of State, and independently collaborating with other Adoption Service Providers to get clear and accurate information concerning this matter. Your grace and patience has been so appreciated during this time! What we know as facts are:

1. MOWA posted a notice indicating as of March 10th they would be reducing the number of adoptions processed through their office to 5 cases a day.

2. Within days of this announcement, the director of MOWA and several other staff members from the ministry have been terminated.

Today we want to update you on the feedback we received yesterday from our foreign staff in Ethiopia, which was confirmed in a discussion with our adoption colleagues in a Joint Council caucus call later in the day.
At this time, all Foreign Staff on the ground in Ethiopia are reporting that MOWA has completed their staffing changes and are now currently working at full capacity to complete those adoption cases currently re-scheduled or assigned a court appointment through the courts of Addis Ababa. Our staff believe this to be around 800 cases they are working at full force to complete with no restrictions on the number of cases processed each day. This is great news! We are thrilled to hear these drastic changes do not seem to be going into full effect.
We are also pleased to report that for new cases moving forward; it appears the original changes proposed by MOWA will not be implemented to the degree of 5 cases a day. At this time it is unknown whether or not MOWA will issue a formal statement regarding how they will process cases in the future, but from all discussions it will not be a drastic decrease from before. Through the continued work, meetings, and advocacy of many Foreign Staff members in Ethiopia, it appears any future changes within the case processing for MOWA will avoid sweeping and disproportionate alterations to the number of cases processed each day. Rather, the hope is that MOWA, Joint Council, Adoption Service Providers, the US Department of State and other NGO organizations can come together to support the government of Ethiopia in strengthening the process for ethical adoptions to continue while also improving the general social structures to assist with family preservation in Ethiopia. This plan was acknowledged in the recent posting by the US State Department this morning at We understand the US Department of State cannot issue a formal statement without MOWA issuing a retraction. Based on the information we are receiving, MOWA is concentrating on processing the current adoptions and the new staff is not focused on numbers, but doing their jobs.

Thank you so much for your prayers and support.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

I don't want my children to be happy

I came across this blog and was so moved by this woman's post in reaction to negative comments about their decision to adoption. She hits is right on. It is one of those posts you read as a parent and want to print it out and hang it on the bathroom mirror so you never forget it.
The title of the post is "I Don't Want My Children to Be Happy". You can find it here

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Scary Changes for Ethiopia. PLEASE READ AND TAKE ACTION

Statement on the Pending Reduction of Intercountry Adoption in Ethiopia

Last week the Ethiopian Ministry of Women’s, Children’s and Youth Affairs announced their intention to reduce intercountry adoptions by 90% beginning March 10, 2011. The Ministry’s plan for a dramatic reduction is apparently based on two primary issues; 1) the assumption that corruption in intercountry adoption is systemic and rampant and 2) the Ministry’s resources should be focused on the children for whom intercountry adoption is not an option. Without further announcements by the Government of Ethiopia, it is our understanding that the Ministry’s plan will be initiated this week.
The Ministry’s plan is a tragic, unnecessary and disproportionate reaction to concerns of isolated abuses in the adoption process and fails to reflect the overwhelmingly positive, ethical and legal services provided to children and families through intercountry adoption. Rather than eliminate the right of Ethiopian children to a permanent family, we encourage the Ministry to accept the partnerships offered by governments, NGOs, and foundations. Such partnerships could increase the Ministry’s capacity to regulate service providers and further ensure ethical adoptions.
The Ministry’s plan, which calls for the processing of only five adoption cases per work day, will result not only in systemic and lasting damage to a large sector of social services, but will have an immediate impact on the lives and futures of children. Moving from over 4,000 adoptions per year to less than 500 will result in thousands of children languishing in under-regulated and poorly resourced institutions for years. For those children who are currently institutionalized and legally available for adoption, the Ministry’s plan will increase their time languishing in institutions for up to 7-years.
Joint Council respectfully urges the Ministry of Women’s, Children’s and Youth Affairs to reconsider their plan and to partner with governments, NGOs and foundations to achieve their goals and avoid the coming tragedy for children and families.


Go to this website and encourage anyone you know to sign this petition.

Thursday, March 3, 2011


Sorry for any awful grammar, it is not my gift.

So often I am amazed at how excited and connected my girls are to this process despite the long journey. They still pray for their little brother or his parents every night. Our oldest Gabbie has surprised Jason and I on her spiritual wisdom at the young age of 6. Her and I had a chance to have some quiet time one afternoon due to the fact that she was being disciplined (lol). We began discussing some of the details of our adoption. She was inquiring when we would get her little brother, and who would go get him. She often says that she hopes he is our Christmas present next year. She even went as far as to tell one of her teachers that she would be fine if he was her only Christmas present. Not so sure she could stand by this one. After we talked for a while, she asked, "Why would God put a baby in a mommy's tummy just so she has to give it away? My brother's mom isn't a bad mom, she just maybe doesn't have enough money to take care of him or she is too sick."

My heart dropped. She really understands that while adoption is a celebration of a child finding his/her forever family, it also is an amazing picture of true sacrifice. I talked with her about how her brother's birth parents will love him so much that they will be willing to give him up so that he can have a better chance at life. I explained to her that God did indeed put the baby in the mommy's tummy, but because of sin in our world; things like disease, poverty, and family brokenness are present. I also explained that the good thing is that God can take a broken situation and turn it for His own good. Our "little man" will get the chance to grow up knowing not only that his parents loved him enough to sacrifice a life with him, but that Christ loved him enough to sacrifice a life so he could be WITH him for eternity.

Tonight I am praying for our "little man's" birth parents. Although I do not know them and may never meet them, we are eternally grateful.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Blog Auction Update

Bring My Nephew Home

Here is where you can find all of the info for the blog auction my sister is hosting for us. I still cannot get it to create a link, so you will have to cut and paste it.

There were so many items donated. I wish I could bid on many of them. I think that might be weird.

I have been blown away at how many items have been donated. I hope all of those who have donated know they have allowed us to be one step closer to bringing out "little man" home.