So, our agency is currently working with Ethiopia and Zambia for adoptions, although they are always looking at new opportunities as well. It's such a difficult decision, because so many factors are important. Zambia is appealing because time from referral to travel is likely going to be shorter than Ethiopia - since we would attend court on our own behalf, we would travel 90 days after referral for the court process and wait in Zambia for the children's permanent resident visas to be issued. In Ethiopia, a representative attends court for us, and we wouldn't travel until court was done AND the visas issued. But that's not the only consideration by far...we really want to feel a connection to our children's country of origin, and with Zambia we know so many people in our city who work with Zambian programs and are familiar with the people and culture. As well, our World Vision sponsor child lives in Zambia, and it would be a wonderful experience to meet him in person! The Ethiopia program has been running smoothly for a long time now, and so the longer wait for a referral may be a trade-off for a more predictable process. There has been news, though, regarding Zambia: since last summer/fall, adoption has been suspended in Zambia while they review adoption practices to ensure that all children are adopted in a completely legal manner. This has meant that so far, no one (even in Zambia) has been able to accept referrals for children. The following link will take you to the news report:
However, the suspension has been lifted, which is very exciting for families who are simply waiting for referrals at this point, and since there are children already living in our agency's transition home in Zambia, we expect to hear about child referrals any day now for those whose files are already waiting in Zambia!