Closing the Door

We began our adoption journey looking for a domestic infant, so it only made sense to use a local agency and there is only one in town, which came very highly recommended.  Then, when we made the switch to international, our social worker made an agency recommendation.  While we looked around a little, we trusted her opinion and went with Wide Horizons for Children.  Only later did I find out that we had stumbled upon one of the few widely-respected and ethical agencies.  For that, I am eternally grateful.

As more and more questions have arisen about Ethiopian adoption and the future of the country’s program, Wide Horizons has stepped back.  They have stopped accepting new families on the wait list and are working on more humanitarian programs.  For a while now, we’ve seen signs that once the wait list has decreased, Wide Horizons may not continue adoption work in Ethiopia.  This week, I read that they have closed the “big kid house” where Ayub lived for three months.  They are now housing all the kids at the guest house, where Hawa stayed.  To me, this is a further sign that they don’t expect to have many kids housed in the future.

For some reason, the closing of the big kid house has made me incredibly sad.  I can’t really even tell you what I’m most sad about.  We fully plan on taking our kids back to Ethiopia one day, and knowing that we won’t be able to take Ayub to the place where we played soccer and drove around in the Little Tykes cars makes me sad.  The fact that some of the nannies have probably lost their jobs makes me sad.  I am sad because I see the end of a program that made our family complete.  I’m sad that others won’t follow in our footsteps and have the same experience that we did.  I’m sad that future parents won’t pass through those green gates and see their little one shuffling to get their Crocs on and come running for a hug.  I’m sad that two governments can’t find a way to make it work, when there are so many children in need and so many families who long to care for them.  (Okay, that last one makes me more MAD than sad, but still…)

Here are some of my memories of the big kid house.

I loved seeing the kids crowd around the door to see who was coming through the green gate.

 

The first time all four of my kids were together.

The room where I spent my first night in Ethiopia with 18 kids (none of them mine) and learned that play is play in any language.

 

Bunk beds in the room where Ayub slept.

The kids were always so excited when they got to sit on the ledge.

 

The clean Crocs lined up and waiting for playtime.

 

 

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9 responses

  1. “I’m sad that future parents won’t pass through those green gates and see their little one shuffling to get their Crocs on and come running for a hug.” – One of my favorite memories from our last time in Ethiopia.

  2. I know. It seems like big news to me. We weren’t sure if we were done with adoption. Now, we are re thinking. We have very similar pictures of the crocs all lined up 🙂

  3. We were there in mid-July for court and spent some time at the big kid house while our triplets were napping. It was buzzing with energy. And who can resist the crocs! I have a photo of those little shoes lined up too. It really is sad that it’s closed down.

  4. I’ve been amazed at how quiet everyone is being about everything on the Yahoo board lately. Maybe it’s because there is such little referral/travel activity these days? I am so glad some time on a few occasions on our first trip over at the big kids house – it is definitely a special place. I am curious to see how it is when we go back for our second trip; I will be sure to report back for those who are wondering.

    Oh, and we also lucked into WHFC. Our top two local agencies both suggested them, and after doing a ridiculously small amount of looking into them, we just went with them. We are SO grateful that we are with them now that we know so much more about the various agencies and ethics!

  5. We were there 17 months ago to bring our sweet Belaye home. It is sad. Of course, it wouldn’t be if it was all happening because the need was less, but I believe it’s politics, international and also national within ET. We have similar photos. We also brought our 8 year old bio child and the big kid courtyard is where they met each other for the first time. Lovely memories.

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