Monday, November 1, 2010
Explaining "The Wait"
We have officially been "waiting" for 7 months now (that's AFTER our paperwork set on desk in South Georgia for 3 months). My mom called the other day and proclaimed that she couldn't believe this process had "already taken 2 years!"
Yeah. She's not the best at math. But mostly I just think she's just eager to be a grandmother (wow, that makes her sound old). This is the woman who bought a crib 2 weeks after we told her we were adopting.
So, if there are are 4.5 million orphans in Ethiopia alone (and there are, according to UNICEF), what's with the "wait"?
Well, there are several reasons.
Just like we had to spend several months (4, to be exact) collecting paperwork, each child must have correct paperwork, too. It's a pain, but it's necessary. The paperwork documents the child's life up to that point and how he or she became an orphan. Paperwork is important to preventing child-trafficking. (I know, it seems really crazy that child trafficking happens when there are so many children in the world truly in need...) Anyway, for our paperwork - I worked like a mad-woman - drove all over creation to pick up documents (had family members drive all over creation to pick up documents) - and it took 4 long months. Imagine social workers and orphanage directors attempting to gather the proper paperwork for children in their facilities. Internet certainly isn't reliable, multiple languages are involved, children often come from remote areas, etc, etc, etc.
Courts in Ethiopia - the ones that process adoptions - close for 2 months out of the year for rainy season. So NOTHING happens during that time. And, when rainy season has passed, there is a log jam in the courts.
Ethiopia (like any country) has limited resources to put towards intercountry adoption - there are a limited number of workers at the various Ethiopian agencies responsible for processing adoptions and apparently they only have 24 hours in their day, too....bummer.
Also - we're adopting a baby. There are many, many waiting children in Ethiopia. Paperwork is already in order. They are just waiting on a family. We are adopting a baby for various reasons. He will be our first child and we thought it would probably be best to start with an infant who wouldn't know that we don't know what we're doing. Let's be real, a 7 year old would OWN us.
So, that's the deal with "THE WAIT" - hopefully it will end soon!