God has blessed us with more than we could ever need. He has not blessed us so we can have the latest iPad, game console or a new car. We have been blessed to be a blessing.

Keep up with our adoption journey and get a peek into the Hollingsworth household.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Ethics Update

We got a call from our adoption coordinator. It went WAY better than I expected. There is a good chance we will continue with our Ethiopian adoption and here's why:

Ethiopia is now requiring a lot more paperwork on each child that is put up for adoption. They are now requiring death certificates and sometimes DNA tests. If there is any conflicting information (especially in abadonment cases), yet another investigation will be conducted.

Our adoption coordinator also told us that the orphanage they work with has way more children there than the number of adoptions that are complete. There are children there who ARE NEVER put up for adoption because they know the parents want them back. Also, if the Ethiopian facilitator is not happy with a child's paperwork, he will not allow the child to be referred.

Keep us in your prayers as we take a few more days to allow our brains and hearts to process all of this information.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Adoption 180

Maybe I should call it Adoption 540 or even Adoption 1620, because I feel like I have been spun around quite a few times and I am now going in the opposite direction. 

Just prior to our decision to adopt from Ethiopia, the country began slowing down adoptions to allegations of agencies coercing mothers into giving up their babies. The Ministry of Women’s Affairs (MOWA), is an Ethiopian Government Agency that  reviews each adoption case and decides whether or not the child is truly adoptable. MOWA went from reviewing 90 cases a day to only reviewing 10. I suppose each case was reviewed more carefully and extensively. I am not really sure.

In addition to MOWA attempting to crack down on fraudulent adoptions, the U.S. Embassy started conducting investigations on each child being adopted. If a child had been relinquished, the birth mother would be interviewed to make sure she had not been coerced.

Everything seemed to be on the up and up. We trusted our agency and we signed up.

Fast forward to August 7 (just the other day) when someone commented on this post. Even though I could tell she is a blog stalker whose motives are not pure, I decided to research her allegations.

I found out about cases where corruption and unethical practices had come from the Ethiopian side, not just the agency side. I had the privilege of actually speaking with one woman on the phone. 


There are many more stories of corrupt Ethiopian adoptions. There are a few found here. As I stated before, some of the corruption is happening on the Ethiopian side. So just because we think we have a great agency that can be trusted and has no record of corruption, does not mean our adoption will be fraud free. Know that international adoption is a business. Like it or not. The people involved make money, as they should for their services. But anytime money is involved, corruption can creep in. 

Orphanages survive on money. Money is generated through adoptions. We have created a demand for healthy infants (I know I'm not speaking to all). When no one wants to adopt an older child and there are no healthy infants, often the orphanages want to fill the demand. And they will. I am not saying all orphanages do this. But I have no way of knowing which orphanages can be trusted and which ones cannot. And I cannot live the rest of my life not knowing if the child I adopted truly needed a home and a family. These babies that were taken wrongfully had a home and a family. It may not have been the greatest home based on U.S. standards. But it was THEIR home and THEIR family.

So what is next for us? We haven’t totally closed the door on Ethiopia. I will be speaking with our agency’s Ethiopian coordinator next week. However, I doubt there is anything she can say that will give me 100% peace to continue with our Ethiopian adoption.We are seriously considering and praying about adopting domestically. That's why I called this post "Adoption 180." When we began this journey back in 2010, we were dead set against any type of domestic adoption. There are too many "what-ifs." But we have learned (and are still dealing with the fact) that if we are truly going to do what God is calling us to do, we will have to lay down our lives (selfishness) and trust Him. 

I know that if we seek first His kingdom, abide with Him, delight ourselves in Him, he will guide us in the right direction. He will change our desires to align with His will. 

Monday, August 6, 2012

Just Another Update

I know it's been a long time since my latest post. We've simply gone through a couple of months of getting our new wait list number. Our official end-of-July number is 15! Our unofficial number-after-3-new-referrals-already-in-August is 12! As you can see, things are picking up. But they could always slow down again. In my last post I wrote about how less referrals all over Ethiopia is good because it meant there were less orphans. Well, I was wrong. The slow-down is was not caused by less children needing homes. It was caused by the more diligent paperwork it takes at getting the kids "referral ready."