Aidan Birhanu Miller Robinson

Friday, January 7, 2011

New Update from Holt

Well, we received some news this week. To tell the truth, I haven't really had a great deal of time to digest everything, so I'm not sure if it's good news or bad. Any change is difficult, and we've been through A LOT of change with the Ethiopian Adoption Program. By far, the biggest change was going from one trip to two, then we dealt with court closings during the rainy months of August and September. Though our referral for Little A came within the estimated time frame, we had a delay with the courts assigning us a court date. This whole process is new for us (and since there is now a requirement to travel twice, all of the adoptive families), so anything that rocks the boat, throws all of us into momentary panic.

I never know how much information is too much to share or what Holt would prefer that we not post on our blogs, so I'm going to just summarize a few of the changes.

Since the two-trip requirement became required, children have traveled from whatever rural area they are from (most are from Durame-the southern region, like Aidan) to the capital city of Addis Ababa before their parents make the first trip for court. From what we have been told, this will no longer be the case. Children will remain in the initial care center while their parent attends court. We will travel 6 hours to Durame (the southern region of Ethiopia) to see Aidan (not sure yet whether this will be before or after our court session on March 8th, though I suspect before). We've been told that we will have about two hours to spend with Aidan on this trip.

Okay, so what are my feelings? Honestly, I'm not concerned that we'll have to travel further to see our child. In fact, for Aidan it will probably be better. He's been at one orphanage thus far and has no doubt bonded to most of the caregivers there. He's had enough transition and upheaval in his short life. Yes, he will still be transferred from Durame to Addis Ababa, but not until right before we go over to pick him up on our second trip. I feel more at ease knowing that he'll be in the same care center for the majority of the time now...the same faces, smells, sounds, sights, etc. that he's become used to. Liam and I also LOVE to travel. We would have seen Durame on our second trip, but now we'll not only see it then, but on our first trip too. Best of all, we'll see the region that Aidan is from and get to take pictures of him there.

Now, only seeing him for two hours on that first trip will be hard. However, from what I've read of other's that have already traveled and met their children in Addis, this is common. Yes, they got to see their children twice, but the second visit was usually for only 30-40 minutes, just to say good-bye. So, all and all, I'm okay with this change.

There has also been a change in some of the testing that Aidan will receive before our court date. Because he'll remain in the rural area of Durame longer, and the medical care is far less sophisticated, he will not receive some of the more advanced testing for infectious diseases until after our court date. This, I don't feel as comfortable talking about in such a public forum. Thus far we have been so blessed. Aidan is healthy and has tested negative for everything, that's all that matters. In the only photos that we have of him (taken when he was about 6 weeks old), he is alert, with a healthy glow and looks very strong! We trust that God will provide us with the information that He wants us to have, when He wants us to have it. We have faith in our adoption agency that they are looking into a solution to this issue. As one of our new blog friends wrote, "He is ours and we are his and that is that. Test or no test, he is our son."

In other news, we've mailed off our travel release forms to Holt. We're looking into plane tickets to Ethiopia now. More than likely, with the new changes, our trip will be a bit longer than we previously planned for. How long, we're not quite sure yet.

Our next steps are:
1. Secure airline tickets
2. Apply for a VISA to enter Ethiopia
3. Get all of our immunizations- OUCH! (and expensive)

Hope this fills everyone in on where we are at currently. Still so thrilled to be seeing our little boy in exactly 2 months! Please, oh please, let the time fly between now and then.

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