January 28, 2014

Good News!

As I typed out the title of this blog post I immediately thought about the gospel of Jesus Christ-He is the ultimate Good News!  I was just reading a devotional about it today and how He's making us into a new creation and our call as Image bearer's of Christ is to show and share that good news that has/is/and is going to save us! 

The adoption journey is one way I feel that the Lord is trying to accomplish His purposes of making me more like Himself.  Romans 8:25 "but if we hope for what we do not see, we wait with endurance."  I'm waiting for Jesus to come back, I'm also waiting for a daughter from Ethiopia...the latter is helping produce endurance for the former.  It has been SO encouraging to hear from so many of y'all this month about how God has laid me and our family on your heart to pray!!  This prayer support has gotten me through a long month of waiting, and moving (we sold our house, moved in with a sweet family, and are moving into a rental this weekend until we can find a house to buy).

ok I just gotta say it....Ethiopian international adoptions are staying open!!!  Thank you Lord for answering our prayers!!!  This excerpt is from our email earlier today;

"We are thrilled to share positive news from Ethiopia.  Earlier today Minister Zenebu, along with other high level MOWCYA officials, met with agency network representatives.  In this meeting it was clearly expressed by Minister Zenebu that she does not plan to work to stop adoptions, but desires to focus on eliminating bad practice and continue to invest in good practice of Ethiopia adoptions.  She reiterated that neither MOWCYA nor the Ethiopian Government plan to shut down adoptions within Ethiopia, and went on to encourage agencies to continue their work as normal."

January 3, 2014

Please pray

I've been going back and forth on whether to share this information on our adoption right now because, quite honestly, it's hard, and I hate being a debbie downer for the new year!  I finally decided that I would rather have you all aware to pray than to pray alone right now.  What a very long week it's been! This is a copy of the dreaded "Ethiopia program update" we received last friday.

Ethiopia Program Update

"Hello Ethiopia families,
We hope you had a great Christmas with your family and friends. We wanted to take a moment to reach out to you today and share some news with you. We have received the following article and wanted to be sure to pass it on to you. At this point we have not been able to confirm the weight or accuracy of the details within the email, but wanted to let you know we are aware of it. We will work to connect with our staff and share any updated information we receive. Should you have any questions we are definitely here to support you, however, at this time we do not have any additional information outside of the posting below.

Ethiopia: Stakeholders, Public Has to End Foreign Adoption

The House of Peoples' Representatives and the Ministry of Women, Children and Youth urged stakeholders and the public to undertake integrated work to totally stop adoption of Ethiopian children by foreign families.
In a press conference, House Speaker Abadula Gemeda and the Minister Zenebu Tadesse told journalists that stakeholders should work closely to end foreign adoption.
Abadula urged the importance to give priority to use local means to raise orphaned children rather than giving them away to foreign families.
He suggested the importance to establish and support local NGOs which raise orphaned children with the close collaboration of the public.
He urged stakeholders and the public to support these initiatives and protect children from any kind of abuse.
The Minister Zenebu on her part said the government is working hard to end foreign adoption and facilitate situations to raise the children within their community.
Over 9,000 children were adopted by foreign families during the previous years, in a yearly basis, she said.
Through various activities carried out over the past years, number of children adopted by foreign families reduced to less than 1,000 in 2005EC.
She attributed the success to implementation of various laws and increasing knowledge of the public."
First of all let it be known that I fully support domestic adoptions within Ethiopia and any measures that they take to reform their adoption system to help children have a permanent, safe, loving home!  Our agency wholeheartedly agrees on this matter too!  We will only have an ethical adoption.  We believe that is possible in Ethiopia with our agency.  The parliament of Ethiopia is not pro-adoption, however, many other government branches are and it's a hot topic within the media in the country right now.
Since last friday we've only found out that they held an all day long conference with parliament, house of representatives, MOWCY (the portion of the govt. that processes adoptions), and many local orphanage and adoption agency directors to discuss adoptions in Ethiopia.  The end result was a research paper that is currently being translated for us.  Parliament will give official word (sometime, but we are hopeful for january 13) on whether or not they will sign a bill for the shutdown of international adoptions. 
I am a wreck, distracted, sick to my stomach, hoping, praying, clinging to God's promises, being held up by Jesus, and trusting in His creative plan for us and for Marlee.  I'm concerned for our adoption journey to an extent...we have been in this process a little over 3 years and I've become attached to the idea of Marlee coming from this country, but I know God would provide another avenue for us to adopt.  I'm mostly concerned about Ethiopia's children.  Would you join us in praying for the country to remain open, and for reform?  right now, Ethiopia's adoption system is in need of reform, but to close off adoptions altogether would devastate the orphan crisis that is in that country.  They are set up to be dependent on international adoption to care for these orphans, if that option is shut down they don't have any other options in place to care for them other than overcrowded orphanages.  I'll let you know when we hear of anything else.  Thank you for praying.