Last year I stumbled across a blog about an American family’s road to adoption. I can’t for the life of me remember their blog details but I took down some notes at the time to compare their journey to my own.
On their site they had a timeline that spanned just over a year (!). In June 2010 they felt they would like to pursue adoption, so they made a phone call and begun their assessment. By November 2011 they had their court date in Addis Ababa where the adoption of two Ethiopian children was finalised.
We also have a timeline for an Ethiopian adoption. It goes like this:
After struggling with infertility for almost two years, Mr. Lady Breaks and I thought it was time to start pursuing adoption. The requirements at the time were that you had to have been married for over two years (check!) and over 25 years old. Well, we were only 22 and 23 years old but we knew the adoption process would take a few years and we would definitely be over 25 by the time the adoption was finalised.
Wrong! When I made the phone call to book in for the session I was aggressively told that I wasn’t allowed to attend. She said that I “should not even be considering adoption at my age” and to wait until I am “at least 30” to attend a session.
22nd June 2009
We attended our first information session and expressed our interest in pursuing an Ethiopian adoption. I chose not to reveal that I was only 24.
At the time Ethiopia was the only African country that Australians could adopt from so despite our experience and knowledge of Kenyan culture, Ethiopia was the only real option for us.
It feels so stupid to look back on now, but at the time my best friend was pregnant with her first. I remember dreaming with her about how her unborn child should be around 4 by the time we adopted, and our child would be likely to be a toddler as well. We couldn’t wait!
Needless to say, her baby turned 4 a few months ago.
5th August 2009
Placed at number 254 on the ‘Confirmation of Expression of Interest’ form. This is not the waiting list – it is the waiting list to get on the waiting list.
19th October 2009
At number 224 on the ‘Confirmation of Expression of Interest’ list.
17th January 2010
Down to number 222.
1st March 2010
10th March 2010
Around this time a form was sent out saying that realistically only special needs children and older children would be able to be adopted. We had to fill out a form detailing all the various disabilities, deformities and diseases we would adopt. After this the list decreased dramatically.
9th July 2010
3rd December 2010
7th January 2011
10th November 2011
Number 28. Once we reach the top we will be able to start the Education sessions and actually get on The Waiting List.
28th June 2012
Ethiopia program closes.
So, after five years we weren’t at the place the American family was when they first enquired. This is why National Adoption Awareness Week is so important.