We received this message from our agency today. Next Thursday marks our 20 months waiting. Here's hoping that our timeline doesn't extend any further than they are predicting.
"The Ethiopian government and the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa recently began revising several components of the adoption process. We are supportive of the improvements that have been (and continue to be) made and appreciate the efforts of the authorities to ensure that children, birth families and adoptive families are protected during the adoption process.
As a result of the revisions, the processing of adoption cases through the Ethiopian court and the U.S. Embassy has been taking more time and we have adjusted our estimated travel time lines to reflect the change. In addition to lengthened estimated travel time lines, we have begun to see a lengthening of the current estimated wait to referral. This is especially true for families waiting to adopt a child who is 0-12 months of age with no known medical concerns and/or who is a specific gender; most recently these families have waited 25 months for a referral.
Given the current dynamics in adoptions from Ethiopia, it is possible that families who are waiting for the referral of an infant and who entered the program prior to September 2009 may experience a wait of 25-27 months.
We continue to anticipate that families entering the program in late 2010 and 2011 will experience an estimated wait to referral of 13-18 months. (This is due to the fact that they stopped accepting applications for children 0-24 months for over a years time and have only recently began accepting applications again.)
We regret the stress and uncertainty that a lengthened wait time may cause you, but are committed to providing you with the most accurate information available so that you can make informed choices for your family. We encourage you to contact your adoption social worker for support and your country specialist for information about your case."
For those of you who aren't familiar with the Ethiopian adoption process, Ethiopia has a rainy season (August-October) where the court system shut down completely. If we were to receive a referral (when we are matched with our child) prior to or during the court closure, we will have to wait to receive a court date (our first trip to Ethiopia) until after courts open which will then push our second trip (when we bring our child home) back even more also. We really were hoping to get our referral a couple of months prior to the court closure and then hopefully get a court date prior to court closure. It now sounds like that's not much of a possibility.
We are trying to take everything in stride. We know that when we hold our baby in our hands, all our pain and tears will melt away. In the mean time we are going to continue to enjoy our first little miracle, work on moving, and possibly tackle a project or two.
On March 26, 2008 our lives were forever changed by the birth and adoption of our first little miracle.
Our second little miracle arrived home from India on November 30, 2011.
It's our dream to welcome more children into our family through adoption, but for now we are enjoying being a family of four!