Friday, September 23, 2011

adoption in ethiopia vs. congo

happy friday! so this post is to educate just a tad. i am certainly no expert on congo adoption (i'm not even an expert at ethiopian adoption, learning as we go!). but today i'm going to try to shed a little light on the two countries, some pros and cons of adopting out of each, and a little about life in each. that way if you're considering adopting out of africa you know a few little tiny tidbits to help you choose your path. so... here we go.

kathleen is our mama of the week and she was in an ethiopia program and made the switch over to congo. here's a little email where she shared some differences:

In my opinion Ethiopia almost feels like it's a "big city" compared to areas in Congo. Our orphanage is in Kinshasa. That's the "capital city" of DRC. In an email our agency sent out earlier in the week, she said, "One of our adoptive families once described the local copy center - a woman on a street corner with a small copier with the power cord going down the street. During my trip, I saw what I lovingly refer to as the Congolese Petsmart - a chicken, a monkey, a goat, and a stray dog - all either in a cage or tied to a tree on the side of the road. So, as you might imagine, nothing in Congo works anything like it does here and definitely NOT in the timeframe we Americans are used to."
I can't wait to see all of this first hand!

As for the program itself. We are with One World Adoptions out of GA. Terri is our caseworker and she has been fantastic. Make no mistake, the program is WAY different then Ethiopia. With Ethiopia being so popular, the agencies had a lot of experience in dealing with the courts, the people, etc. There were monthly conference calls, emails, etc... 
That's something we are having to get used to. The DRC is so new to international adoption that agencies aren't really there yet when it comes to constant contact with adoptive families and keeping them up-to-date on the happenings.
I will say that over the past month or so, our agency has really stepped up the communication with it's families. That's been wonderful to see.
One World (Terri) is so great to get back with you via email/phone when you have any questions or concerns. It really has been a delight to work with them.

so that's kathleen's experience so far. i'd love to hear from any of you guys who have compared the two countries. as i understand it, the wait time is generally shorter in congo since it's still a fairly new program. but it has less experience for the same reason. any of you guys have any input for people who are still looking at countries?

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