Let me see if I can explain how the process works in Ethiopia. Once a family has completed their dossier, it is translated, authenticated and submitted to the adoption agency staff in Ethiopia. This seemingly huge amount of paperwork, which the family has spent a great deal of time and effort to compile, is reviewed and a referral is assigned – formally matching a child or children with their new family. Now the family can accept the referral and receives medical reports and developmental information about the child.
Next, the referral and dossier must be approved by the Ethiopian courts and then a court date is assigned. The courts in Ethiopia close for 1-2 months during August/September and no cases are assigned or heard during this closure. When the Ministry of Women’s Affairs (MOWA) and the Ethiopian court legally approve the adoption, we like to say a child ‘passes court.’
Now the staff in Ethiopia can obtain the child’s birth certificate and passport and set an appointment for a final medical check-up and a U.S. Embassy date. At this point, families are notified to make travel plans to come to Ethiopia to meet their child or children.
We have a family traveling to get their two boys in September. We have four children who passed court this week. And we have referrals for several more!
After a long season of contending in prayer, we’re seeing a breakthrough! When King Jehoshaphat faced a seemingly impossible situation, he boldly proclaimed the sovereignty of his God over all men and every circumstance. I love how he prayed:
“O Lord, God of our ancestors, You alone are the God who is in heaven. You are ruler of all the kingdoms of the earth. You are powerful and mighty; no one can stand against You! …Whenever we are faced with any calamity, we can come to stand in Your presence… We can cry out to You to save us, and You will hear us and rescue us.”
Like that ancient king did after God brought victory, we are giving thanks for God’s amazing work on behalf of the children.
“Give thanks to the Lord; His faithful love endures forever!” 2 Chron. 20:21