Yesterday marked the 5th month of our “official” wait for a referral. For the most part, 5 months has gone by rather fast. Other than mentioning it to M. early in the day and having him shrug back at me unimpressed the day got little acknowledgment.
When I say the wait has gone fast, I mean for the most part it has gone by fast. I still find time between meetings, training, and social engagements to obsess over whether or not we will receive a referral before court closure cutoff which is approximately June 15th. When we turned in our dossier back in November the current wait was 5 -7 months, and since the cut off date was the longest time frame in our wait window, we knew thought we would get a referral late spring and travel in the summer. But now since the cutoff date of June 15th no longer marks the longest estimated wait time, but rather 7 months of our wait, we sit on the cusp of court closure which halts referrals for the 4 – 8 weeks that correlate with court closure in Ethiopia. I can continue to explain and you will scan to the bottom and comment politely that you hope the wait goes by fast, or I can summarize, in which you may still do the same, but at least I will not have wasted my energy explain something that may not hold true anyway.
In summary, for those of you asking when we will receive a referral, my current answer is: “Families are currently receiving referrals in their 8th month of waiting, so we will either receive a surprise referral in late June or it will be September.” I may even quote the very nice response sent our way from our program specialist when I inquired about our time frame on April 3rd:
I agree with previous program specialist that we can’t predict if you will receive a referral before court closure. To give you a sense of where you are in comparison to others, families who submitted a dossier in mid-July are currently at the “top of the list” for receiving the referral of an infant.The timeline for court closure is never predictable, and we often don’t have much information to provide families as to when exactly courts will reopen, or when we will begin presenting referrals again. Our thoughts at this time are that we will stop presenting referrals in mid-June ( is the tentative cut-off) in preparation for the court closure. Courts are typically closed form early August through early October. In preparation for courts to reopen, we hope to begin presenting referrals again in early September and will pick up where we left off on “the list.”We estimate that families will travel 12-16 weeks after accepting a referral; 12 weeks seems to be the typical time frame for most families right now.I appreciate the desire to have better information to plan with, and I wish that I could be more precise with my responses. I hope that this information gives you some sense of direction. Let me know if you have other questions or concerns.
If I left out the court closure part of my response above, then you will ask, “Why June or September, but not July or August?” To which I will reply the courts close in Ethiopia during the rainy season so to prevent families getting a referral and not making it through court before closure and having to wait more than the already 3 MONTH wait after referral to travel and pick up their child, our agency chooses to stop giving referrals in a time-frame that correlates with court closure.?
If you are still engaged at this point you may follow-up with questions like, “Courts close completely?” or “Isn’t the lengthening time-frame frustrating?” or “How can you plan?”, to which I answer, “Yes, Yes/No, There is little concrete planing in adoption.”
I feel as if I am waddling through my 9th month of pregnancy lately because I did tell people that we would be hearing something late spring. Although I kind of knew this may be a possibility becasue waiting and adoption are tight buddies, it just seemed a little easier to grasp spring/summer rather than fall/winter because it was at the time less than a year away. Even though I may not know anything new, I don’t mind being asked, and actually enjoy talking about it because I have learned how many people are so incredibly excited for us. Just think how fun it will be to share the news. Perhaps I should start posting more in anticipation, huh?