We have been waiting over three months for our referral. Our agency gave us an estimated 6 - 9 month average wait. But as I pointed out in an earlier post, since we are requesting a toddler, we should get a referral sooner. They have been averaging a little over 2 months for a toddler referral.
Last week, someone on our adoption forum stated that their specialist told them to expect a referral in September and that there are only about 5 families in front of them waiting for a toddler boy. Since this family has been waiting less than 2 months, I realized that we are one of those 5 families, which means we must be at the top of the list for a toddler boy referral. Again, this was last week.
Then yesterday, the disappointing news came:
Our agency hasn't given out a batch of referrals since the beginning of the summer. In an email from them yesterday, they announced that the referrals have slowed down and they are lengthening the wait times. They also don't expect referrals to pick up again until October 1st.
People on the forum have speculated as to why the referrals are slowing down. This is the explanation I understand so far: 1. More and more agencies are processing adoptions in Ethiopia. 2. The increase in the number of adoptions means more court cases in Ethiopia. 3. There are reports that other agencies have put a hold on the referrals of children with at least one living birth parent. There is a question about when a child has at least one living parent if they are by definition an orphan.
Many children our relinquished by their birth family due to severe poverty, so many children will still have at least one living parent.
I have faith that what ever bottle neck or red tape we find ourselves in, it's all part of our journey to bring our son home for I know that "Everything will work out for the good for those who know Him."