Ethiopia’s imposed a state of emergency for 6 months, enforcing a curfew, allowing for the elimination of due process, and seeing a rise in violence against foreigners. No travel, no adoptions, and a whole lot of heartache for the little ones in orphanages waiting for their families to be matched with them.
Two months ago we were told it’d be 2-4 more years because of the changes in MOWA. Our paperwork had arrived in Addis just as the demonstrations were reaching their first fever pitch. It has been complete silence since then. Our agency has actually communicated nothing whatsoever to us, but in accessing a Facebook group of the agency’s (we had to create a login just to find out what was going on, as we don’t use FB), we learned that the orphanages have armed guards to protect the children and there are a LOT of opinions as to what is really going on compared to what the Ethiopian government claims. A government our agency gently referred to as a “dictatorial democracy”.
What’s horrifying to me is how many adoptive parents are trying to still travel there and asking “what’s in it for me?” type of questions to the agency on the FB page (along with the usual condescending evangelistic bullshit running commentary), rather than try to see that the Ethiopian people are fighting for their way of life that has been slowly eroding as the government tries to steamroll over human rights and industrialize and commercialize land that is owned by their people.
My heart goes out to all of the people of Ethiopia, and I support their efforts in preserving their human rights, ecosystems, and diverse cultures. I am particularly proud to see that Germany’s Angela Merkel is supporting the protesters and trying to use her influence to get the government to change course. She’s pretty damn awesome. Can’t wait to see Angela and Hillary as peers in 2017…
With all this, if this all means our wait is postponed, so be it. While I can’t see how this program is going to stay afloat with this all, there’s really nothing we can do as we’re $12K+ into it and can’t transfer programs without paying a massive fee and starting the wait all over. It is what it is, as the overused phrase goes.
And with that, it’s important to remember that Thoughts and Prayers don’t fix shit, they are lazy non-responses. With this, I want to focus on educating readers on what is going on there, as our news media in America (along with many other countries) is incredibly under-representative of telling the many stories happening on our planet. The news of this violence and the government’s role was in the Washington Post, the BBC, the New York Times and Al-Jazeera. Was it on the national TV news this week? Nope. Instead 15 of 30 minutes were spent on the Carolina floods and the insane election season (both important but could have been shortened – if I see one more weatherperson in waders I’m gonna scream).
International news is not important to report on the national news unless it relates to the American economy or military. Yet I see the parallels in what we risk, with the Hitler-esque candidate in Trump who uses the terms “law and order” and encourages the use of the constitutionally illegal “stop and frisk” that violate human rights. The United Nations has issued warnings to the Ethiopian government for their violent crackdowns on peaceful protests and their misuse of terrorism legislation to punish those who disagree with the government (source). There is an ignorance in our country that it can’t happen here, rooted in white privilege, particularly white male privilege…and it’s so far from the truth of our history as a country, as part of the global community.
This week I still could see my someday daughter’s face, her big brown eyes lit up as she totters towards me, laughing and calling me mommy and looking up at her daddy with adoration. I thought about her this morning and that’s what inspired me to check the group’s page. It is a strange thing – two days before we found out we were pregnant we got the last set of news from our agency. Two days before our HPT we find this out.
Wouldn’t that be a coincidence if we were pregnant again after this news?
Tis an unusual thing, the way the world works. Let us be educated, let us spread the truth, let us give real support to the people who need it.