He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the alien, giving him food and clothing. Deuteronomy 10:18
This is the God we serve: defender of the defenseless. I am holding on to this truth today, in the midst of news from Ethiopia that breaks my heart.
The courts in Ethiopia have made a shocking change in their adoption policy: they are now requiring families to be present for all court cases. Signing power of attorney is no longer acceptable - families must travel to Ethiopia to be present in court. Parents must also be present at the Embassy appointment, which can happen anywhere from 6-10 weeks after passing court. Families who already had court dates have now been told to assume their date is postponed. Those of us earlier on in the process have no idea what this will mean. Our desperate prayer is that in-country representatives for adoption agencies will lobby successfully for a reversal of this policy.
We received an email with the above information an hour ago, about the same time that our agency director posted this update on her work in Ethiopia. [I highly recommend reading it. Yes, right now. I'll wait.] Reading about the incredible kingdom work that Joy is participating in while she is there makes my heart break even more over this additional road-block between children and their adoptive families. It is so frustrating... I have much more to say about my opinions on international adoption law, as well as how it may or may not be affected by media coverage of international adoption... but I'll save that for another post.
For now will you please pray with us:
1. For in-country adoption representatives to find favor with Ethiopian officials and convince them to reverse their policy change, to the benefit of waiting children and families.
2. For the families who already had court dates and now have no idea what is happening or when their children will come home.
3. For our process - that this change would not have a negative impact on our adoption journey, and that God will make a way for our child to come home in his perfect timing.
4. For the fulfillment of God's promise in Deuteronomy 10:18 -- that He would move powerfully in Ethiopia to defend the cause of the defenseless.