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.

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