Wednesday, March 10, 2010

New News from ET

Taking a queue from my sister Melissa, I am going to attempt to put on my "positive pants" about this situation since I know that
A. Being frustrated, annoyed, angry and generally sad about it will do me no good and will not change a darn thing.
B. Trying to think of something positive to say will stretch my brain and may get my forehead out of its now-near-permanently wrinkled state. 

Ethiopian High Courts have announced a quick little blurb today that states in a nutshell that all adoptive families who do not have a court date scheduled as of today will be required to attend court personally instead of using the agency's attorney, with our POA, who is in Ethiopia.
Positive Pants:
Traveling prior to the visa appointment will allow our kids to come home on an IR-4 visa (I believe thats the right one) which basically says they get to become US citizens upon setting foot in the USA. Now families have to file a lot of paperwork once home to get their kids recognized as citizens.

An already expensive venture just got MORE expensive by adding another travel date, another hotel stay, another stay in Ethiopia with meals and such, and the logistics of providing for the kids at home.
Positive Pants:
Yes, it is expensive and that "grand total" number is never set in stone until you are home and done with the processing. This is just one more twist and turn along the adoption road. It's unexpected, but you can't get GPS-quality routing down the adoption road. And, in the grand scheme of things, what's another $3-$5K?

Will both parents have to travel for court? If so, that pretty much ensures that Paul and I both have to make both trips since neither of us alone could travel to bring home three preschoolers on a 20+ hour flight. Not knowing the answer to this not only leaves a question mark over our dollar signs, but the added frustration of feeling that if we had passed our committee the first time around (or even the second) our dossier could have been done faster and maybe we would have missed this new requirement. 
Positive Pants:
If everything happens for a reason, and I believe this is all in God's control... there must be some reason why our paperwork is on the path and with the timeline we have right now. If I trust Him for the calling, trust Him for the money, then...I have to also trust Him for the timeline. 

One more thing...
It seems that most of the information I am reading online is all happy-isn't-this-fabulous from the perspective of adoptive parents who are ALREADY HOME. While I love and respect those parents, I think they have a form of adoption "pregnancy amnesia". They have forgotten how the unexpected ups and downs affect everything. They have forgotten what it is like to wait.
They have their children home.
 I understand the reasoning behind this has to do with making sure the adoptions are all ethical and that parents are able to see the child/ren they are adopting before it is legal and nearly impossible to reverse. HOWEVER, when we entered into this process we were told Ethiopia was a one-trip country and that made it very appealing to us for several reasons. (Finances, planning, logistics with the rest of the kids, etc.) Changing the requirements for parents who have dossiers already turned in seems like a breach of contract or something, even though 
I know we never had a contract with the government in ET. 
Positive Pants
The Ethiopian government is within their rights to change the rules at any point they so desire. They can stop all together and close the country if they want - it has happened before (Guatemala). It hurts because my children are there and they have been waiting 6 months already and now, that wait is extended. 
I suppose if the option is two trips or a closed country... I would choose two trips in a heartbeat. 

Please pray for our finances. I am applying for every grant I can find, planning fundraisers and basically hoping to meet some wealthy benefactor who loves orphans and wants to see our three come home soon!
Now with this added trip, our expenses just went up.


  1. Those positive pants look good on you! :)
    I'm praying for you guys...specifically for clarification regarding the changes.
    I love you, Chris!

  2. Hugs to you-
    What I am hearing is that both parents have to travel for the court date but not the visa stuff (not that it helps you with getting your munchkins home) If only one travels to court, the children will not qualify for the IR3 visa and they would still come home on the IR4 (with all the extra paperwork steps)

    I am impressed with your positive pants- I would be freaking out if we were still in process

  3. You have written a post of my feelings in a nutshell. Just went on We Have Room and saw people post what great news this was (people whose kids are home). I say great news would be if we could take them straight home from the court date! We have 3 kids at home now, the logistics of flying to Africa twice and leaving them. . . . whoa. It is a heartbreaking reality that fewer people will adopt from Ethiopia because of this requirement= fewer kids having families.

  4. Love the positive pants, Chrissy! I had a lot of trouble putting them on last night when I had to break the news to my husband. He took it completely in stride - which is why I married him! Can't have BOTH of us freaking out about stuff. The logistics of it all makes my head spin. Post something about your fundraiser on line. We'd love to help get those boys home for you!

    China, ME
    from the Holt ET Yahoo Group

  5. Oops! I said boys - I meant kids! I hadn't had my coffee yet!

    China, ME

  6. Just found you via Jamey... this is a great post. I forced my own positive pants but am really having to take lots of deep breaths. We are still probably a year away from any thing happening, but it's still a big shock!

  7. keep those pants on chrissy... and maybe start looking for a second pair :)

  8. Thanks for writing this, Chrissy. I'm really trying to put the positive pants on but they're not fitting right now...the logistics and unknowns can be so overwhelming.

  9. Positive pants paid off....better news today! Hang in there. Can't wait to see pictures from your mom- hopefully this weekend.

  10. I really like what you said here Chrissy.......

    If everything happens for a reason, and I believe this is all in God's control... there must be some reason why our paperwork is on the path and with the timeline we have right now. If I trust Him for the calling, trust Him for the money, then...I have to also trust Him for the timeline.

    That is exactly how my hubby and I feel! Anyway, sorry to be stocking you on your blog....I found you through the Holt Yahoo group. I'm glad I peeked at your page as I found your post "positive pants" encouraging! Thank you!

    From the Holt ET Yahoo Group

  11. thanks for your comment. i love finding new blogs. you know what is really weird-when we were waiting i lived vicariously through families who had their children home. now i find myself living vicariously through those still waiting. i am sorry about the changes in the ET program for you waiting families. i know it would have really thrown me for a loop. glad you can put on those positive pants in the midst of the frustration and confusion. hang in there!
    btw, i LOVE your "about me" comments.

  12. I vote for you keeping the positive pants on and never taking them off. :)

    As far as the adoption amnesia, I would beg to differ on that. It's not just that it's "easy for us to say" simply because we have "forgotten," but it's because we HAVE ALREADY WALKED THIS ROAD OF ADOPTION, and many of us multiple times. Therefore, we can see objectively and know that God has a better plan than you can imagine. BUT, more importantly, what post-adoptive parents who have been to Ethiopia already know that you don't is that ONCE YOU HAVE BEEN to Ethiopia, you want to immediately go back. AND, we know what a PLUS it would be to meet your kids FIRST.

    I can say this also because I DID MEET MY KIDS FIRST in our first adoption and it changes EVERYTHING. I would give anything to be able to meet our kids first. It's not like it's making the wait to bring them home that much longer. And truly, if you believe that God called you to adopt these kids, then you have to believe that God is WAY bigger than a few dollars and this is HIS timeline. He owns the cattle on a thousand hills and He can do whatever He pleases or sees best fit according to His eternal purposes and timeline.

    I really think that God wants to use this new "catch" to shake people's trust in Him and test the core of people's faith, so that it will be strengthened and solidified to the core. This is the EASY part of adoption, though it isn't necessarily easy. It's NOW that you have to determine once and for all that NO MATTER WHAT, you will think positively, see in faith, and trust FULLY without complaining about HIS plan. Because once you get home and the rubber meets the road, the adoption journey itself will seem like cakewalk.

    I would encourage you to be sure you are not begrudging the experienced adoptive parents, but to trust that God might be speaking through them.

    It's SO important to yield to His plan NOW.

  13. I don't think that the issue was ever a matter of not trusting God, looking for an easier way or complaining about the changes or difficulties of adoption. I don't think in any way that she was begrudging the experience of adoptive parents. Just like the parents who have done this before aren't trying to belittle the perspective of parents who were in process when this happened.

    Even us inexperienced adoptive parents see how this benefits Ethiopian adoptions and can see where and how God is at work in our adoptions. Faith isn't measured by the number of adoptions someone has completed.

    I think that denying that this is a shock to families who are already in process, especially those who are close to travel is short-sighted and using our emotions and experience to tell us that we're not yielding to his plan is just unkind. Of course it's easier to see only the benefits of this program if you're not currently in process because you don't have to make any adjustments or changes to your current plans.

    All of us are still reeling a little and it seems like encouragement and compassion would be more helpful than lecturing.

  14. Regardless even of if someone has adopted or not, a positive attitude and faith go a long way. No matter what.

    You can take it as a lecture; or you can see it as truth-telling encouragement, which will last a lot longer.

    It's never helpful to agree with someone in their state of discouragement or negativity. That's not what true friends do.

  15. Yeah...I'm pretty sure my wife and I would be basket-cases right about now. Please know my wife (Christy) and I are praying for you and all of the other families who have been hit with this bombshell.

    And while I do understand why they're doing it, that doesn't mean I'm very happy about it (or the circumstances that have led to them making this decision).


Drama-free comment zone: