I have a few thoughts/comments to make about this:
- First, like every adoptive family I know, I want corruption issues to be minimized to any extent possible...none of us want to have to deal with the aftermath of an adoption that has such huge ramifications for our children and their birth families. I have been expressly supportive of mowa's many changes and initiatives in the last two years, knowing that what they are doing is designed to reduce improprieties that we know exist within the system.
- Second, my hunch is that, although mowa may well deal with up to fifty files/day, I think that this must be the exception rather than the norm. In fact, it was communicated already some time last year that the number of files being processed daily by mowa had been reduced to 20-25/day. This makes more sense to me as a starting point. Think about it. There are 260 working days in the average year, but let's reduce that down to 225 working days in the year by mowa, to account for any additional training days or religious holidays. If fifty files were being processed during a typical day, over 225 working days, that would represent 11,250 adoptions being processed per year. But worldwide, approximately 5,000 Ethiopian children are adopted every year, including in 2010. That means that, on average, approximately 20-22 files are being processed daily. To reduce the number being processed down to approximately five is a huge change, but I wanted to be realistic first about what the real differences are.
- The fact is that, as I just mentioned, a reduction from twenty down to five files/day is huge. It will have massive implications for the number of families able to adopt, should this be a direction that mowa persists with in the medium term. My hope, of course, is that it is a short term situation as we have often seen before; that either mowa will find itself able to process more than they think they can, or that they will bring additional staff in to deal with the backlog of files that will accumulate very quickly.
- I'm also scared for ourselves. I'd be lying if I said otherwise. The new directive is effective March 10. Our second court date is seven business days later, on March 21. Our passing court on that day seems significantly less likely now, if mowa will be dealing with only five files/day. The second implication for us is that, if we don't pass court on March 21, it is likely that a third court date will not happen quickly. And in the meantime, our children live in an orphanage.
I'd also be lying if I said that this wasn't taking a toll. The six weeks between our first and second court date is admittedly passing more quickly than I could have anticipated, and I am grateful for that small mercy. It seems, though that every time we get close, some other obstacle is presented. Even ignoring our pre-Ethiopia adoption history for the moment, our journey to these particular children has been fraught with delays: First the bankruptcy, when we were so close to a referral, followed by time spent to enable corporate recovery; then, our first referral fell through because of things beyond our control; then, at long last, after an accepted referral which appeared to be proceeding smoothly, a failed court date and the prospect of additional delays yet to come.
And I'm one of the lucky ones! We have a referral. We are in the system and have every hope that eventually we will pass court. I feel horrible for people, many of whom have become friends, who are still waiting for a referral, knowing that it is possible that this turn of events may lengthen even more their wait.
I'm so thankful to know the faces of our children. But I have to confess that I'm so, so tired of waiting and waiting, wondering how this new hurdle will potentially impact us; wondering what obstacle will next threaten our family's future. This month marks nine years of being in the adoption process. Nine years. God, if you're trying to teach me patience, resilience, isn't it possible that I've learned those lessons by this point?? I'm tired and worn out from this process. I want our kids home.