As shared with families yesterday, this is what the TWO trips will now look like:
"Beginning today, families need to be prepared to travel to Ethiopia approximately 4 - 8 weeks after receiving a referral in order to be present in Ethiopia for their appointed court date. Families will remain in Ethiopia for roughly 5-7 days and will then return to the United States. After officially passing court, families will then travel back to Ethiopia approximately 10 -12 weeks later to pick up their adopted child(ren)."
No one is exactly sure about the specifics on why the government would make this drastic change that would affect so many families and more importantly waiting children.
There are four major challenges with yesterday's ruling:
- This will leave more orphans in this particular region. Many families will decide to NOT adopt from Ethiopia because of the three reasons I list in #2, #3, and #4.
- Families will now incur a hefty financial expense in addition to the $25,000 that I've shared with you before. This will now mean that in addition to the $25K, families will now need to pay such as in our in total and on the low end approximately another $5,200 to complete the adoption process.
- Families with children at home will need to make arrangements to leave their children twice for a week within a 3 1/2 months - 5 month period. WOW! That's a lot of time to leave our 9 and 11 year old with relatives while we're thousands of miles away! It will be hard on us and them. This will also mean that we will eat up our leave at work very easily resulting in less time for us to bond with our daughter before leaving her with a daycare provider.
- It will be heart-wrenching for the adopting parents to leave their child behind in Africa after the first court visit. Imagine this...for almost a year, you are actively and aggressively going through the adoption process. You're pleading for papers to be signed by the U.S. government, saving money, holding fundraisers, and making sacrifices at home to take care of all of the costs associated with the adoption along with preparing your child's room and what they will need when they get home. (Trust me, I have learned that international adoption is not for the faint at heart.) Upon the issuance of the first court date in Ethiopia, you go to court and during your time there, we will meet our daughter for the VERY FIRST TIME. Can you imagine the excitement, tears, and joy? Days later, we must leave her behind in the orphanage while the courts hear her case to ensure that she is a true orphan. As we leave, it will be heart-wrenching to leave her behind knowing that it will be another two and half to three months before we see her again (and that's if all goes well within the court system). During that two and a half months, we'll continue to miss some of her firsts. We'll miss holding her again and looking in her eyes. What an ordeal to put parents and children through.
So Satan, let it be know on this day that if you thought this would shake us, let it be know to you that it hasn't! If you thought it would break us, it hasn't! If you thought you would make us lose the fight for our daughter who will accomplish great things in God's kingdom, it hasn't! We said Yes to this journey no matter how tough it would get and we intend to see it all the way through to the finish line until God says "It is finished"! This journey is not about us, it's about Him. We said Yes and we meant it.
As you can probably tell by now, I love music. Here's a song that speaks of our commitment to God through this adoption. As you listen to the lyrics, think about what is God asking you to do in your life that needs a Yes to Him and His Will....something that will take you totally out of your comfort zone and cause you to rely on Him to complete.
Here are the lyrics....
Will your heart and soul say yes
Will your spirit still say yes
If I told you what I really need from thee
Would your heart and soul say yes
Soul just say...Yes
Open up your heart and tell the Lord Yes
Say yes, yeah yeah
Say I'll obey Jesus, I won't stray Jesus
But this time I've made up in my mind, I've made up in my mind
I'll say, say say yes
My soul says yes, my mind says yes, my heart says yea, yea, yes I will Jesus,
I'll do what You want me to do
I'll say what You want me to say
I'll go, if You lead me, if You lead me, if You lead me, if You lead me, if you lead me I'll go oh oh
Lift your hands and tell the Lord yes
Come on open up your heart and say yes, yes, yes
ALL God wants is yes, all God wants, all God wants, all God wants is yes, yes yes
I won't be afraid
I'll step out on Your Word
I'll declare Your glory
Yes I will, Yes I will
My soul says yea yea yea yea yea yea ~
submit your way to His, tell Him yes tell the Lord yes
I wanna do Your will Jesus,
I wanna do Your will, I wanna do Your will
My soul says yes, yes, yes,yes yea yea yea yea yea yea~
My soul say yes jesus
My soul says yes
My soul says yes
My soul says yes
He's sayin' there is more that I require of thee
There is more that I require
He's calling you higher
There is more that I require of thee (repeat)
He said don't be afraid of men and their faces
Don't be afraid, don't be afraid
There is more that I require of thee