The adoption process is unpredictable and ever changing. Choosing to be blessed by adoption means committing your heart to an uncertain roller coaster.
Perhaps we’re taking our first nose dive on the coaster… one that will lead us to join with many other adoptive families in fasting for Ethiopia’s orphans this Thursday through Saturday.
In a recent meeting, an Ethiopian governmental committee was given the task of developing an action plan to improve human rights in Ethiopia. The committee has 10 days to deliver their plan to Parliament. Improving human rights encompasses improving international adoption, among other issues like teen pregnancy, poverty, orphaned children, and awareness of local adoption.
This meeting came after a TV broadcast in Ethiopia portrayed a generally negative view of international adoption and exposed improvements needed to the process, including claims that some birth parents have not understood that adoption entails permanent placement and that orphanages have been given money for the placement of children.
These claims are heartbreaking, and one can only hope they are the very rare exception to an otherwise ethically solid system. The Christian orphan care movement is a wonderful reality, but the evil one is lurking, seeking to steal, kill, and destroy the beauty of a gospel-centered act. We have no way of knowing how much corruption exists, but we believe any system under scrutiny is wise to take a step back and evaluate opportunities for improvement.
Ever since this meeting, rumors have been swirling about the impact this plan will have on international adoption. Increasing wait times? Tightening restrictions on adoptive families? Some have gone so far as to assume Ethiopia will completely close to inter country adoption, although most don’t believe that the Prime Minister, Parliament, or the Ethiopian Federal Government would support a shutdown.
Instead of becoming frustrated by increasing wait times and the uncertain road ahead, we will pray for what we can’t control. Truth is we want to see an end to child trafficking even more than we want our adoption process to be completed speedily. We support the Ethiopian government in their efforts to improve human rights and end any corruption that may exist in the inter country adoption process.
We would never want to hound our agency for a faster referral only to feed demand in a very very dark market for children, however large or small it may be. Instead we will bathe our wait in prayer and patiently anticipate the child God is preparing for our family – the one who truly needs a mom and a dad…and Jesus. Maybe you’d like to join us.
Fasting can seem like a weird and intimidating concept. Especially weird for a husband and wife whose happy moods are completely dependent on how much food is in our bellies. But there are many ways to fast, and only one of them is completely abandoning food. This time, our specific brand of fasting is to eat only fruits and veggies. That’s the kind of fasting that prevents our “hangry-ness,” which really wouldn’t be spiritual at all. The point of it all is simply that your hunger or your desire for different foods drive you to pray for the urgent issue at hand. You can pick a brand of fasting that works for you, or else simply join us in the praying part.
We will soon learn the recommendations of this governmental committee and the implications for our family. While they are working, here’s what we’ll be praying for:
- for Ethiopian government officials to be convicted of the need children have to grow up in a family and for international adoptions to remain open
- for an end to any corruption, deceit, inappropriate work regarding Ethiopia’s inter-country adoption
- for any changes implemented as a result of this action plan to be for the true benefit of the fatherless
He “who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine (Eph. 3:20)” reigns in this corrupt world, and He hears our fervent prayers to intervene in it. May he intervene on behalf of our family and the fatherless around the world.
“And this is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.” – 1 John 5:14-15