It was an interesting weekend. Emotionally, I felt the way I used to when I would get a negative test. I cried. I wondered how I would get through this. If I had it in me to keep going.
And then the next day, I dusted myself off, and realized I did have it in me to keep going.
I heard from several friends who are with other agencies about what they've been hearing. And then I received the following email from my case manager:
We have consulted with our Director of Africa Programs (Dr. T) and confirmed that the Ministry of Woman’s Affairs (MOWA) in Ethiopia has sent a letter to the Ethiopian courts announcing their intention to dramatically slow down approvals of adoption cases. Since an approval from MOWA is a required component of every adoption, this could significantly impact time frames between referral and bringing a child home.
Our Director of Programs is in Africa now. We have been in regular communication with both of them this weekend and will continue to be in touch with them to discuss this issue. We know very little at this point about implementation of the proposed change. Under the leadership of Dr. T, we have already engaged in conversations with MOWA and other Ethiopian government officials to better understand their intentions, their plans for implementation and the effect this decision will have on the children we serve through our adoption programs. We respect the Ethiopian government and MOWA’s effort to promote ethical adoption, but we are concerned about the negative consequences this proposed action might have on orphaned and vulnerable children. As always, we will strongly advocate that the needs and rights of children be considered first and foremost.
We understand that this announcement and the potential changes it may bring are very concerning to our Ethiopian pre-adoptive parents. We will do our best to understand and communicate about the impact of MOWA’s proposed changes, but it will likely take some time to assess. It is possible that after additional research and feedback MOWA may change their proposal. Even if they move forward as they have announced, we do not yet have information about how MOWA will select which cases to process and how long this proposed change will last. It is impossible to predict changes in time frames at this moment. As we receive more concrete information, we will share it with you immediately.
And while it's not the best news I've heard in a while, at least I now have official word from my agency. I'll just keep doing what I'm doing.
And on another note, I received the following email (in part) from a friend who is traveling to bring her kids home from Ethiopia:
Thankfully, I am past MOWA. They review for court, and court is done for me. If they follow through with what they plan to do, they will review five cases a day not fifty, and Ethiopia could become another China.. taking years upon years to get through. My timing was perfect even with a potential glitch now of a week or two more.
She asked that we not respond to her email because she doesn't want to fill her in-box while she's awaiting word from the Embassy, so I couldn't reply to this and ask her to think about the fact that there are at least two of us on her email list that has this MOWA thing hanging over our heads, that spent the weekend probably thinking of nothing else.