One tattoo: adopting again from Ethiopia!

That’s right folks! We are excited to announce that we are now focusing exclusively on adopting again from Ethiopia!

Most of you know that we have been waiting for over two years to be matched with the child from Lesotho. Well, when the two Canadian agencies licensed in Ethiopia started taking new clients again in the late fall last year, we started making inquiries. Both countries have been in the hopper. After much deliberation and heart searching, we decided to pull our dossier from Lesotho a month and a half ago. So now we are focusing 100% on a new Ethiopian adoption!

This is absolutely the right decision for our family. We know the risks… Lesotho is absolutely great program. If I was to build an adoption program from scratch, it would look like the Lesotho’s. Ethiopia, on the other hand, has had an evolution of regulations, and isn’t without its ups and downs. The public opinion of adoption in Ethiopia has changed significantly since we got our girls. I remember four years ago walking down the street and being stopped several times, with the comment “God bless you. God bless you.” Such is not the case now, and I do think that Ethiopian adoption will continue to slow down. Luckily, many of the new regulations have tightened up some of the shenanigans as well. We have open eyes… and it is the right choice for us.

We have already invested so much Ethiopia. Never mind that I run a charity there and visit once a year. We know how to cook Ethiopian food, we have Ethiopian friends, Ethiopian culture is part of our routine lives. As my dear friend M said when we were hmming and hawing: “You already have the tattoo.”

And heaven knows, I really don’t want to get another tattoo.

Of course the tattoo is a metaphor for the rest of it. (My tattoo says “family” in Amharic, BTW.) But the point is that our lives are significantly more simple if we adopt again from Ethiopia. We know it, and we like it. Ethiopia is already part of our family.

One huge consideration was that we will be traveling back to just one country. If we have children from different countries, that means half the trips to Ethiopia for our girls. Vice versa, another adoption will coincide with our first trip back with the girls. At the moment, we are planning to take them for the first trip (the court date) to meet the new little one and see their own family. That way we can concentrate on them, and pick the new dude up the second trip.

So we are very excited to be walking this road again.

Who knows when we will get matched… As with Lesotho, we are open to a variety of special needs. So the timing not be as long as for others.

Then again, we could never be matched and this could be a waste of time and energy. But it’s worth the effort! And our kids, our family, and our adoption agency are when hundred percent behind our decisions.

Wish us luck!
Arnica, Jason, “Sugar” and “Spice”

24 thoughts on “One tattoo: adopting again from Ethiopia!

  1. Exciting! We too have just switched to the Ethiopia program and hope for a shorter process to be matched with older siblings (but again, who knows). I have watched the changes to the program as well and think they have done a lot of “cleaning up” that was needed. Best wishes for you and your family as you wait for your little guy. Allison

  2. Wow! I was actually just thinking of emailing you this week to hear what was going on with Lesotho and your adoption. This is very exciting to hear. I’m sure your girls are so excited to be able to visit Ethiopia more as well. That will be so good for them. Sounds like a great decision for your family : )

    • I think it is… And hopefully that court trip will coincide with a return trip for the girls. Here’s hoping, anyway!

  3. Congrats on your decision. Lesotho has be thwarted with problems since it’s inception 6 years ago. Hope that your process is quick and pain free.

    • It has had a bunch of challenges… (Election changes, hague accreditation…) But I still think its a well-thought out program. Hopefully they will be able to be more fluid with referrals for families. I think they will get there, actually….

  4. I saw a quote today “If it’s still in your mind it’s still in your heart.” It will not be a waste of time Arnica. I believe it for you all. There are reasons. We know that. I look forward to hearing about yours very soon.

  5. Awesome news, Arnica!! I’m so happy for you all. I can’t wait for your referral and then to meet you little guy. Bereket will be happy there one more boy from Ethiopia!

    • It’s so funny, because there are actually way more boys available for adoption than girls in Ethiopia. Why there are more girls in BC than boys beats the heck out of me 🙂 But yes, we will be adding to the gender balance!

      BTW, I was speaking to an NGO about why more boys were on the street and in care than girls. They said, it’s because girls help around the house in Ethiopia, whereas boys don’t. So guardians are more likely to keep girls in the home when times get tough. Very interesting insight…

  6. Your blog was the first to really inspire me to believe we could make an adoption happen, many years ago. My husband and I began this process when you were waiting for your first referral, and well, we’re still waiting. That said, I’m like a lot like Margaret – it won’t leave our minds so we haven’t given up yet. This process means more to me than timelines and my own desires to someday be a parent. So I’m having faith but more importantly, keeping my eyes open too.

    I’m glad to hear that you’ve made a decision to go back to the Ethiopian program. You’ve always been a wealth of information and wisdom, and knowing you have some faith in the new changes helps confirm my current thoughts on the state of the program. Those thoughts change regularly and I still have my doubts about many aspects, but I’m plodding along, trying to be aware.

    Your insights into culture and your perspectives on parenting in general are something I aspire to. I look forward to following along as your journey continues, and who knows? Maybe we’ll end up meeting in Ethiopia someday!

    Hanging in there, and wishing you all the best as you add to your beautiful family. Cheers, J

    • Thanks for that, J. I sometimes wonder who is still following along, after all this time. 🙂

      I totally feel for you… I have two good friends who waited literally years to received referrals, but just did in the last two months. Another friend, registered pre-Imagine bankruptcy, is still waiting!

      The truth is that these things go in waves, and sometimes the politics, organizations, money, people, etc all line up… And sometimes they don’t. Of course, there are adoption requests and children available all in that mix too. I wish we as adoptive parents could have ESP and know when it will and when it won’t line up before we get our hearts set!! But that’s to the journey we are on, is it?

      I am feeling warmly optimistic about Ethiopia… Here’s me crossing my fingers for you too.

  7. Re-reading my first message, I realize it sounds very serious and “woe is me”, which wasn’t my intent at all! I’m very positive for our situation and for yours as well! My original intent was to let you know that you’ve been an inspiration and to offer you a very big, heartfelt “Congratulations!” 🙂

  8. Wow…big news Arnica. Congrats! It must feel a little like coming home, I imagine…Ethiopia is so familiar.

    I hope the timelines aren’t too horrific…will look forward to hearing about your little dude!



  9. Fingers crossed. Love how you described Ethiopia as part of who you are and what your family is. If it feels this right to me (for you) from having read your words, I can believe how right it feels for you. A

  10. Hi Rowan family, wishing you lots of luck for this exciting new step on the road towards your son!!!!!!!! Hope that the wait will not be long.
    I’m staying with the Lesotho program, it will be worth the (extremely long) wait. Still waiting to be matched though!

  11. Arnica,
    Congratulations on your big decision. I know it must have been a hard decision and one that you put a lot of thought into. I have so enjoyed hearing about your journey here and as a prospective Lesotho adopter I was looking forward to learning as you shared your perspective, especially given your role as a truly experienced mom in this area. We need moms like you! That said, your decision makes a lot of sense and I know it will be wonderful to have the shared connection between your family, particularly with a country that has so clearly captured your heart.
    We’ve just been advised that our dossier will be at the Lesotho matching meeting in June for the first time. Although I am tempted to excitement, your journey has taught me that it may be a long road yet.
    I look forward to continuing to hear about your growing family (rest assured there are lots of us still listening!) and pray it happens sooner than you think.
    Congratulations on an exciting development.

    • Meghan, I’m so excited for you that your time may be around the corner!!

      I’m crossing my fingers for you… Cross your fingers for me 🙂

  12. I’m so far behind! I don’t know how I missed this post! So very excited for you guys. We are seriously considering getting back on the list as well. We had such a wonderful experience in Ethiopia. Keep us posted!

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