We have been told many times to "expect the unexpected" in dealing with international adoption, and have recently discovered how true that is! We found out in March that the Ethiopian courts wanted to require adoptive families to travel twice to Ethiopia. The first trip was for the adoptive families to meet their child and to appear in person in court stating their desire to adopt that child. The second trip would be 8-12 weeks later to bring their child home. Apparently the Ethiopian government was unable to enforce the law at that time, so the decision was put on hold, and we went back to planning for just one trip.
Last week, however, we were informed that the Ethiopian government was now ready to enforce the two-trip policy beginning with all cases going to court after May 9. (That's us!) So, we're preparing now to travel twice to Ethiopia to bring home our son.
Although financially and logistically this will be more difficult for our family, it ultimately means that we will get to meet our son sooner and spend more time getting to know the beautiful culture of Ethiopia, both of which I couldn't be more excited about! On the other hand, we'll be leaving the girls twice now with family and friends, which isn't easy. We'll also be paying double the travel expenses we had planned for. And the toughest part of it all will be leaving my son behind after that first trip. I imagine my heart will be crushed after spending a week falling in love with him, bonding with him, and then leaving him at the Transition Home for another 2-3 months while the Embassy completes the paperwork necessary to issue his Visa and Passport. I can't begin to imagine how difficult that will be and the strength I'll need to get through it. I suppose I could go on and on about the pros and cons of two trips, but the bottom line is: I would make the trip 10 times if I had to. There is nothing I wouldn't do or any place I wouldn't go to bring him home.