I've put off blogging until I had more concrete information. I knew there was some red tape our team in Ethiopia was trying to straighten out, but I hoped it woudn't take too long.
Today I talked to our agency and received some upsetting news. Despite their best efforts, the team in Ethiopia has not been able to get the necessary sign-offs, and it looks like obtaining them is going to take some time--if they are able at all.
You may have heard about a case in Seattle where an adopted Ethiopian child was made to sleep outdoors, forced to shower with the garden hose, and ultimately starved to death. Her adoptive parents have been charged with murder.
That case caused a lot of bad press for the Ethiopian government. They were made to look as though they had not done their due diligence, and now they are very hesitant to allow international adoptions at all. Their constitution guarantees that right, but the current government is making it nearly impossible for agencies to do their work.
A series of approvals have to be given at Ethiopian's city, county, and state level before a child can be approved by their federal government to be adopted internationally. Our children received those letters more than a year ago--but now the federal government is requiring additional information on those documents.
Unfortunately, our children's region--the Tigray region--is no longer allowing int'l adoptions from their region, and they are refusing to re-issue the approval with the necessary information. And so we are at a stalemate. Nobody wants to budge.
It seems like it would be easy enough to solve, but Ethiopian culture is completely different than ours, and getting things done requires a different set of cultural rules and etiquette. We are thankful that our agency has employed an amazing team in Ethiopia that consists of Ethiopian men and women who know better than anyone the rules of the game.
This team, led by a man named Sebilu, is working every angle they can to get our children cleared. Right now Sebilu is making the argument that the federal government needs to look at the best interest of the children rather than simply crossing items off of a checklist.
Friends, will you pray?
Pray that God gives Sebilu favor as he meets with these people in authority. That God would show him favor.
Pray for our children. The last report we received says our little girl, Lucia, asks continually when her family is coming. David and Mary ask to look at the photo books we've sent almost every day.
These children have been without a family for nearly seven years--since Lucia was just an infant. David recently told a social worker that he'd seen a lot of other kids get adopted, but after all this time in orphanages, he never thought it would happen for them.
Pray for the leaders in Ethiopia. I understand their desire to give due diligence, but at this point, it seems are children are political pawns in an unfair game.
And pray for us. Our hearts are broken. We want our children home.
Finally, as I've written about before, I know that our struggle is not against flesh and blood but against spiritual forces of evil.
Wouldn't it be just like Satan to make an innocent child question his worthiness to have a family? Doesn't Satan want us to feel lonely, isolated, unlovable, and forgotten by God? That's what he's doing to our kids. He's hardening the hearts of those in authority so that our children will never know the love of a mother and father. They won't be told of the goodness of our God and see His provision in their lives.
But God is greater.
Will you stand with us in agreement, wherever you are right now?
We are human, but we don’t wage war as humans do. We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God.
For with God, nothing is impossible.