it's been a while since i posted any kind of an update on how close we are to bringing ruby home. this is mostly because we have been living week-to-week, thinking that at any moment things were going to shift in our direction and the embassy would grant us an appointment, and we would be able to bring our daughter home. well, this has not been the case. when we left addis we were told that because ruby has some special medical needs, we would likely be back in 2-3 weeks, but clearly, here we are, 12 weeks later, with no concrete end in sight.
ethiopian adoption has been under scrutiny for several years now. there have been all too many cases of corruption. corrupt agencies and orphanages have been found taking children and placing them for international adoption under false pretense, using coersion to separate them from their parents. ethiopia has already stripped corrupt agencies of their license and has (and continues to) closed many 'dirty' orphanages. both ethiopia and the U.S are commited to ethical adoptions, and are taking every possible precaution to ensure that children leaving their homeland to join american families are, in fact, truly orphans. in march of this year all eyes were on MOWA, the ethiopian agency that issues approval letters that ultimately determine whether a family passes court. MOWA had issued a statement that they would be cutting down the number of letters they would write each day. They stated that they would only write 5 letters each day, this was an estimated 90% decrease from the previous trend. while all eyes were on MOWA, the U.S. embassy in addis was quietly re-organizing. in july there was a complete turnover of staff at the embassy and, seeminly overnight, new procedures for orphan investigation were being put into place. this left agencies confused becuase there had been no communication between the agencies and the embassy, and as a result, many cases were taken to the embassy and not accepted for submission because the files were not meeting new embassy standards. last week the embassy (finally) met with agencies and laid out new guidelines, they also posted a notice on the state department website. in this notice they disclosed that 80% of files are not meeting new embassy guidelines...this is resulting in a 'traffic jam' of sorts at the embassy...files are coming in at a still steady pace, be nearly all files are requiring an 'orphan investigation' and so they are not leaving the embassy as quickly as they are coming in. becasue of this overflow, hundreds of files are being sent to nairobi for processing.
so, you ask, why on earth am i telling you alllll of this?? for one, anybody who is newly in the process of ethiopian adoption, or is considering ethiopian adoption, will find this very interesting...it's the climate of adoption in ethiopia right now. secondly, it is why we have. not. moved. there was a miscommunication between the embassy and our agency, regarding a tuburculosis test that ruby needed, and it held us up for 6 weeks. once our case was finally submitted and processed we were told that we could not pass embassy until ruby's birth mother was interviewed. agian. this is where the most recent problem came in. she could not be located. anywhere. our agency followed several leads on her whereabouts, but they all resulted in a dead-end. we do know that the last time she was seen she was very sick, and there is a distinct possibility that she may no longer be living, but we don't know, we may never know...and that is a whole different post. but as there has been nothing concrete, the embassy is still investigating. yesterday a notice was placed in the addis paper, notifying her that she was needed at the embassy. if there is no response to the notice in several weeks, we have every reason to hope that we will pass embassy and be free to travel. in the meantime, our agency has told us to pray that our file is not sent to nairobi, as that would add another month to our already long wait.
we are hopeful that we will have ruby home by thanksgiving, and we are confident that our God is in control of this situation. we have been completely caught off guard by the complications that have arose with this portion of the process, and yet we know that HE has not been surprised by any of it. the other day i was looking for a verse in the bible...i wanted a promise. i went straight to 1 samuel. i wanted the verse that said this: "i prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what i asked of him." i was craving this promise, the answer to hannah's prayer. the answer to the prayer that chad and i have been praying since the moment we started this adoption. i was so engrosed in the reading of this verse that i almost missed the next one, the so-important next verse: "so now i give him to the Lord. for his whole life he will be given over to the Lord." i wanted the verse that felt so reassuring, that God would give me this child that we have asked and begged for, that i almost missed that part where i am to give her back to Him. where i was looking for a promise, i found a challenge that i will carry with me as i wait, and a challenge that will continue even when i have her here in my arms.
well, thats it. i've got nothing more...do with it what you will:-)