M. dropped of the dossier today and met with the Program Specialist assigned to us. She was satisfied with the paperwork & announced that we are officially “a waiting family.” The projected wait for referral is 6 -7 months and the time travel after referral is currently at about 12 weeks. Barring any unseen circumstances that puts us about 10 months out. Fairly equivalent to a gestation period, I guess you could consider us newly “pregnant.” Don’t start calculating any dates yet, just as in a pregnancy, it is still early in the game. I have not calculated the date yet and I am avoiding doing so. It is easier to count down the months than count toward a distant season – or more accurately, to the season we are currently in lapped once around.
The time from referral to travel has increased recently. M. asked about this and our program specialist informed him there are possibly a few reasons. The first being that Ethiopia has recently opened up for additional agencies to process adoptions. Previously there were just under a half dozen or so, but now that list is expanding. The influx of cases may be bogging down the processing. Another possible reason was the recent closing and reopening of the courts. The courts in Ethiopia close annually for the rainy season, which corresponds with the change in many governmental offices. This year was also the Ethiopian millennium and the courts took longer to reopen again. Either way, there are backlogged families with referral waiting for their child to be processed in the court system so they can travel to pick them up. We have some time before our referral and this problem may be fixed or it may be exacerbated, either way it is out of our control.
Yesterday we received our first e-mail newsletter from the Ethiopia Program. It appears to be published monthly and contains many resources within the adoptive and Ethiopian communities as well as program updates. Front and center were the figures everyone who is waiting cares most about. They are below:
Awaiting Referral: 184 families
With Referral: 48 families (55 children)
Waiting Children (WIC): 10
2007 Placements: 287 children to 231 families
Since this came out late yesterday and our dossier was accepted early this morning, I can say that we are probably family 185 on the list. I probably don’t need to worry about the baby’s room just yet, but judging from the number of adoptions they processed so far in 2007, the list will move.