Wednesday, June 16, 2010

What's the holdup?

Well, it's like this.

Trying to phrase this in a way that does not come back to bite me in the rear...

There's this government agency in Ethiopia.
We call it MOWA.
It's the Ministry of Women's Affairs.

They are understaffed and overextended.

Following is my understanding of how the 
MOWA staff affect our ability to go pick up our children.

In order to complete our adoption, MOWA 
staff needs to submit 4 letters on our behalf.
(This may be per child, I am not sure.)

Letter #1 is for the court date.
(the lack of this letter is why our 
court date was May 18th, 
then we were rescheduled to June 1st)

Letter #2 is is to process the post-court paperwork.
This letter starts the process of getting our children ready to go home.

Letter #3 is so that we can get a birth certificate issued.
We need the birth certificate in their new names 
so that we can get the passport.

Letter #4 is so that we can get a passport issued.
We need the birth certificate to get the 
passport, and both to get the visa.

So where are we in this process??
Who the heck knows.

MOWA is closed this week.
HOPEFULLY it is for some kind of efficiency
 training or staff training or something...
because there are a LOT of parents 
who have passed court, are legally their child's 
parents and who are just waiting to be allowed 
to go pick them up.

We have some other stuff, too.
Stuff I can't go into on the blog for privacy reasons...
but some darn good reasons why we 
need to get the kids home soon.

Last week we thought we could go with 
the next travel group...
but surprise,
our MOWA letters were not written 
before they closed for the week.

This was a major set-back for us in that we have weeks that we need to be here and available for our extended family. Of course, MOWA does not understand this on a personal level. I am sure there are people there who would understand, but due to the fear of something sinister happening under the table, no agency is allowed to contact MOWA directly to ask for the status of a family's paperwork. It is excruciating to know that had these letters been written and submitted, we could be leaving in a week and be home in two and get our lives somewhat settled before all of the chaos July will/may bring in our family.

Our agency - they have been wonderful.
They totally understand and have advocated 
for us with the Ethiopian staff.
They understand our particular situation and have tried,
 unsuccessfully, to help get us there in the window 
we had available. They were willing, but 
MOWA was not caught up to our point yet.

I received updated photos of the kids yesterday!
While this was really nice, it was also somewhat 
heartbreaking as I have been able to watch them get 
older and older over the past 7 months since 
we first saw their photos.

I guess this qualifies as a "down" day.
We have a lot on our plates right now and
a lot coming up.
I just want my kids here
or at least to be able to plan the trip
with more than 14 days notice.


  1. As I am I reading this, it just reminds me of what a miracle it is that our kids come home at all.

  2. Oh Chrissy...I'm hopeful everything will fall into place for you. I'm sorry things are starting to get knotted up as you get closer to travel...fingers crossed that MOWA gets it together when they re-open!

  3. How wonderful to get new pictures!!!!!

  4. I'm sorry there is another delay. We passed on the 11th (AGCI), and we have been told that travel is usually 4 to 6 weeks after passing court. (Of course, so far we haven't fit into that "usual" group.) I'll be praying that you get a pleasant surprise.

    Thanks for listing out MOWA's responsibilities. I wasn't aware of the 4 letters.


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