We have been in the 'waiting' stage of our adoption for almost four months. This is exciting! However, there has been increasing time frames for the wait that seem to escalate each month. I wanted to take a moment to explain some changes to you.
I understand I may have some readers who are open to adoption, and I hope I can be an advocate for international adoption. There are certainly some stressful periods, but there is redemption!
I believe the main reason there has been slowdown in our adoption process is due to AGCI using only ethical practices in ensuring an orphan is in fact an orphan. Unfortunately, there are corrupt agencies "buying" children from their parents, lying to their parents, etc. We are so fortunate to have chosen an agency that is based on ethical principles.
During the last week in January, AGCI hosted four Ethiopian delegates including federal and regional MOWA officials and a Parliament member. The purpose was to spend time with the agency to see how it is running, to visit with adoptive families, and for re-licensing.
The Ethiopia goverment has been concerned with several agencies and their practices. They are aware of unethical and even illegal practices and are working to eliminate this. They agree there are too many agencies processing adoptions in the country. There are over 70 US agencies completing adoptions in Ethiopia! But only 21 are licensed!
All licensed agencies operating in Ethiopia are in the process of renewing their license. I have heard that there have been several adoption agencies that have already closed over the last several weeks due to unethical or illegal practices.
AGCI has been told to operate their agency per usual. This seems to mean that the delegates have not found anything faulty with our agency and implies their license will be renewed. Praise God!
Because of extensive wait times for families, AGCI has made a big change in their Ethiopia program. Beginning March 1st, AGCI will only be accepting families into their Ethiopia program who are open and eligible to adopting a child who is a minimum of 3 years of age and older. This does NOT affect us or our age parameters. I think this is a very good thing, and I HOPE this means they will have an abundance of babies, older children, and hopefully siblings in Hannah's Hope very soon.
Colin and I have FULL trust and confidence in AGCI. They have assurred us that the Ethiopia program is alive and active. Although an unknown future is difficult to process, we have faith that the process will pick back up soon. We know God has His hands all over Ethiopia and is working for the good of all of His children. Please continue to pray for us, for orphans, and for multitudes of families to be united with their little ones very soon!