We're getting lots of repeat questions. I'll try to address some of them here.
Do the children know English? No, but the woman who runs the Transition Center is from the U.S., so I'm not sure if they will pick any up from her.
Do the children attend school? The 9 year old has had 2 years of school and can read and write in Amharic. The 6 year old has had very little school. The TC (Transition Center) has just started having a teacher come to the children staying there.
What is the status of the children's biological parents? We are keeping this information within the immediate family to protect our children's privacy. It will be up to them to share this information later, if they wish.
Why is this taking so long? Ha ha. Yes. To us this is actually not a long time. Our paperwork landed in Ethiopia in December, and here we are with a referral in April. But, yes, overall, it has taken us 6 years to get this far. (We 1st applied to Ukraine, and as our paperwork was complete, the country closed their program. We took a year off to rethink things, then it took about a year to complete the Ethiopian paperwork. ) If you are considering adoption, do not be daunted by OUR time-line. Your time-line will be most likely be different.
What are the next steps? We are waiting for our I-171 to be updated to reflect the change in our children's ages (between what we said we wanted: ages 3-7, and their actual ages: 6, 9). After that, we'll get a court date in Ethiopia, where the lawyer with our power of attorney will go to court for us. Once we get official approval to adopt the children from the court, we'll start making travel arrangements, and should travel within 2-3 weeks after the court date.
How long do we have to stay in Ethiopia? One week. We'll have a court date there with the children. Then we will re-adopt them once we are in the U.S. (I'm not sure why, except maybe so they can get Social Security #s? We are pretty much just going to do as we're told!)
If you all have more questions, please write them in the comments section, and I will answer as I can.