changes in ethiopia

The potential policy change I mentioned in a recent post is now official. Today our agency (along with several other agencies) notified its PAPs (prospective adoptive parents) that as of March 1st, the Ethiopian government is now requiring PAPs to attend the adoption court hearing. This hearing takes place a few weeks after a referral is received, and up until now, it did not involve the adoptive parents. Because many steps need to be accomplished between the court hearing and bringing the child home (and this step takes several weeks), this means that we will most likely be required to make two trips to Ethiopia.

This is a good thing on many, many levels. If it helps to avoid situations where adoptive parents abandon their new children, then I’m all for it. It’s also a good step to take in terms of transparency and ethics. And, of course, we will get to meet our child earlier! So that will be wonderful. Also, because of this change, our child will enter the US on an IR-3 visa instead of an IR-4, and that means that he or she will automatically become a US citizen. Without the additional trip, we would have to complete the citizenship process once we are home. Additional benefits include additional time in Ethiopia to soak up the culture, tour around, and so forth.

Of course, the cost of an additional trip comes as a big shock to our finances. We’ll figure it out, though, so I’m not too worried about it. I’m just letting the shock settle in a bit. Also, I imagine it will be very difficult to meet our child and become his or her legal parents, and then have to leave for several weeks. Just thinking about that makes me choke up a bit.

I suppose this is all part of the unpredictability of international adoption. Our agency’s director in Ethiopia is participating in ongoing discussions about this, and we are scheduled to have a call with the agency next week. Hopefully there will be a bit more information then. For now, this is all we know.

And with that, I’m off to pour myself a big glass of wine!

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13 Responses to changes in ethiopia

  1. Christine says:

    I realized after the last post that this seems very similar to the process Russia has in place… and while it appears very hard when hearing about it, it works. I’ve also heard from many friends who adopted from Russia that the “in between” time is so filled with picking things out for a child who you have met, who you’ve seen glimpses into their personality, that it does have a certain sense of peace (while being completely anxiety-ridden of course)

    Don’t get me wrong… I completely understand how impossible it will be to live your life *here* while your heart is *there* … but it seems to be for the good of the kids… and that’s what we all want! Hang in there!

    (Oh, and the finances… we took a cash transfer offer when we got our travel call earlier than we thought and actually smiled every time we paid that bill! You’ll find a way!)

  2. sue says:

    i just heard about this from my friend Melissa. it sounds like a good thing, but i’m sure a shock to the system – especially financially. i agree with CCL, you will find a way!!!

  3. live2roam says:

    You have a great attitude! It is so hard to wait and it seems like IA is constantly changing.. Hang in there!!

  4. Kris says:

    This does sound like a good thing, especially the fact that you will get to meet your child earlier. I know that it brings other changes too, but you sound positive about all of it. Enjoy your wine!

  5. Jenny says:

    it will be nice to not have to mess w/re-adoption… 🙂

  6. E says:

    I’m glad you’ve explained all of the pros related to the changes, because with your last post about this, I only thought about the extra cost of another trip. But I think all of those positive things definitely outweigh the financial part (after all of this, it’s just a drop in the bucket, right?!) Sounds great, Kelly. I got excited for you just reading about it!

    Pour me a cyber-glass! We’ll do a toast to positive changes!

  7. amy says:

    Kelly, I knew I could rely on you for a good post tonight. As I sit here in a hotel room with very mixed emotions: 1) financial implications 2) vacation time 3) leaving our children for several weeks, I do recognize the positive, and will try to take advantage of the time at home btwn trips to prepare for our children. Its just one more thing to be anxious and feel unsettled about right now 😦

    Thanks for posting the sweet entry on Tam’s Miracle. Doug and I appreciate it!

  8. Though it may be difficult emotionally to leave your child behind after meeting, I love how you’re looking at the positives of transparency, ethics, and getting more absorption of culture.
    And finances? Ugh, we’re in a similar boat right now. We are applying to grants like crazy people, opened new credit cards that offer 0% financing for up to a year, borrowing from family… ick. We all find ways, as unsavory as they may be.

  9. Kelly Cole says:

    Wow, what was a “potential” change in policy became a reality pretty quickly, eh? I appreciate your positive perspective about this change and I agree, it’s mostly a good thing – especially for the kids and the integrity of the process generally. Though I hear ya on the financial impact two trips will take. You’ll make it work.

  10. Erin says:

    Huh, I wonder what was happening to make this change.

    It doesn’t sound like a bad change at all just more money 😉

  11. Joanna says:

    Though change can be a hard thing to deal with…sounds like you have embraced all the good that comes with this change.

  12. Leah says:

    My agency still hasn’t notified me. Not cool!

  13. CatherineD says:

    You have such a great attitude about this change. And yes, it will just be more time to experience the culture! I have heard so many wonderful things about Ethiopia. It’s on my [very long] list of places to see.

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