by Joy Casey in Ethiopia
I wish every one of you could visit the orphanage in Shashemene called Mana Gammachuu. It is a sweet place for eight babies ranging from 4-months-old to 15 months, all but one found abandoned.
If you have been reading this blog or Facebook over the past year, you will know that our goal is to pass the adoption torch on to Christian Ethiopian families for them to adopt these gems. Several of you have donated funds to make this happen, and we THANK YOU from the bottom of our heart!
In February the orphanage held a two day training for couples from the surrounding churches who might be interested in adopting an orphan from their community. We were ecstatic when, after the training, six families came to the orphanage and picked out a child to love forever!
Tuesday, Jeff and I had the satisfaction of witnessing the court procedure, legally giving three of the babies a forever family. Afterwards, we all squeezed into our van and headed to the orphanage to unite Saron, Hawii, and Sena with their new parents.
It mostly went very well, except for little Sena who was overwhelmed with all the new faces and only wanted his favorite nanny. Because of this, his adoptive mother will come and live at the orphanage for several days and become his primary caretaker until he relaxes with her and she can take him home peacefully.
One little boy, Tamarit, was abandoned by his birthmother a year ago, but his maternal aunt’s family came forward and offered to raise him. Kabene and her husband Bekele and their four children are a sweet family, albeit very poor. In order for them to have the means to raise little Tamarit, Adoption Ministry 1:27 has added them as a sponsored family. I can’t think of any other family more deserving of help. Tamarit will be cherished by his aunt’s family and our case manager will be following his progress monthly.
I have learned a lot walking through the process of domestic adoption in Ethiopia. The lead woman in the Ministry of Woman’s Affairs is a lovely, kind woman who has a heart for women and children; her position is not just a job to her.
She is advocating with her superiors for adoption, and sees the necessity of continuing with international adoption, too. The president of the court is also very pleased with children being adopted domestically, and without his influence and support this new thing in the Shashemene area could be much more cumbersome.
Three other babies are waiting for their chosen families to finalize their adoption paperwork, and that will happen very soon. That leaves one little one to be adopted… and seven empty cribs that will again be filled. Then the process will begin again to find families for these new children God has assigned to our care.
There are costs involved with a domestic adoption in Ethiopia. Sometimes the adopting family can easily cover the fees for their homestudy, police investigation and medical examinations, but the orphanage (that is us!) is required to provide the training (about $2,000 a session), pay for the court proceedings, make triplicate copies of all documents, and provide a contribution to the African Children’s Fund. We will, of course, also help a family financially if they are unable to cover their costs.
We have set the average cost of a domestic adoption at $300 per adoption. If you would like to join us in passing the adoption torch to Ethiopian families, you can ‘purchase’ an adoption through our Gift Catalog… we would be most grateful!