Friday, August 19, 2011

They're not ours

I have found myself in the last few days explaining many times that the boys are not actually "our boys." I am trying to be very clear about that in my own head, and I think it's important that other people are clear on that, too.
The boys are living in an orphanage. The local kebele accepted their placement, our agency sent a social worker out to check the facts of their case, and it was decided that they could be placed for adoption. But. The Ethiopian court system still needs to review the case. The Ministry of Women, Children's and Youth Affairs (MOWCYA) still needs to review the case. Circumstances could change for the boys' surviving family members, and they might be able to reclaim them (and yes, that would be very sad for us, but how awesome would that be for the little guys?!). So until we appear in court in Addis Abeba and are legally declared their parents, they are not our kids. And I think it's very important that we are all very clear on that.


  1. I think you are right. Someone on the WHFC group once wrote that you can't consider the adoption a done deal until you are on the plane with your kids heading back to the US, because anything could happen before's not a part of the adoption journey that most of us like to think about, but it is the reality.

  2. Ohhhh I remember trying to remind myself of that. I know WHFC discourages any posting of photos prior to their arrival in the U.S. At least that is what they told me. I additionally feared they could change at any moment their policy on single women adopting.

  3. I have to keep my distance. I don't want to get to the point where I think that the boys returning to their family instead of coming to me is a *bad* thing.

  4. This was great to find this blog tonight. I hope you don't mind if I barge in. While our situations are somewhat different, we're hoping to adopt domestically I think we have some overlap.

    I find it tiring to keep explaining the position that the child we hope to adopt is not ours,which we have to do frequently right now as we wait for the expectant mother we're talking to, to give birth.
    I think being agnostic or an atheist, as we are, brings another aspect to adoption. (We'd actually describe ourselves as humanists.)

    1. I don't think some supernatural being has deemed that we should have this child for us and that his expectant parents should not. His expectant parents are making this incredibly hard decision based on their experiences of their world and what they dearly want for their child.

    2. He is his own person, or will be very soon, and sometimes I rile a little at comments that sound like - the child is ours. Basically, I don't think children 'belong' to anyone. I'm not explaining this well. Although, I guess I say it about my daughter, see possessive pronoun. I guess I think those possessive pronouns take on an added meaning when you're involved in adoption. Does that make sense?

    Good luck on your path. I'll be following along.