Originally, Radu told us that the wait for a referral would be 3-4 months. Now it looks like there is a chance that it could be as long as 5 months. Radu hopes this is not the case, but it is a possibility. This is international adoption after all -- Timing can quickly change! But this means that, according to Radu's "worst case scenario" we should have a referral by Nov 1. WOO HOO!
This may bring up another question -- if there are so many orphans in ETH, why the 5 month wait for a referral? The reason that timelines have slowed in ETH is because the court processes have been taking longer. The ETH government is standardizing their processes which means that every family will need to wait approx 6-7 weeks from the time they pass court to the time they can travel to bring their children home. Families lately have been waiting 8-12 weeks from referral to their court dates, so with the additional 6-7 weeks post-court, this means many families are waiting 4-5 months after referral to travel. When we first signed on with Adoption Avenues, families were only waiting 1-3 months post-referral before they would travel to bring their child/ren home. Are you following? The bottom line is that as timelines slow down, children are staying in the orphanage longer. Toukoul (our orphanage) is operating at full capacity and cannot accept more children until the children they are currently caring for go home with their forever families. So this means that families are waiting longer for referrals.
Of course we were disappointed to hear that wait times are extending, especially post-referral waits, as we know we will want our daughter in our arms ASAP post-referral. But let's be honest here, folks. There are many, many families who are waiting much longer than we will be (Here's a shout out to those of you logged in in China!!!) So we really cannot complain about a 5 month referral wait and a 4-5 month post-referral wait.
Radu said that there is a chance that the courts could speed up and move things along more quickly like they were doing before. This would be awesome! Please pray with us that the Ethiopian courts work as quickly, efficiently, and ethically as possible This would be in everyone's best interest.
We are all so excited. Indigo talks every day about her "new baby sister." In the meantime, while we wait we plan to get our household organized and just enjoy our current family. The kids are really in a great stage! We have lots of freedom. We are finally getting (mostly) great sleep for the first time since I was pregnant with Indigo. As much as we look to the future with great anticipation, we have learned the importance of living in and enjoying the present moment.