Today's conference call was awesome! I was so nervous dialing the number...my hands were shaking :) It was amazing to hear the voices of all my dear Yahoo Group friends that I had previously only read emails from!
We learned many things from our conference call, and it did actually last the entire two hours! Duni (the Africa program director) is amazing, and she ran through all our questions, then opened the call up for questions from each of the families.
Here are the basics of what we learned:
Wait times are expected to remain in check in terms of what we have most recently been told: 5-7 months for an infant boy. So, we are not quite two months into the wait!! This means we should be expecting our referral sometime between the end of June and the end of August!
"Number in Line"
Families will no longer be assigned a dossier number (though ours is still valid). Instead, the log in date of the dossier (otherwise known as DTE: Dossier to Ethiopia) will be the mark by which families are "in line". From now on, when a referral is given, it will be designated by the families log in date, and this will help us judge how close we are getting. For example, the most recent infant boy referral which came the last week of February 2008 had a log in date of mid-September 2007- which means their referral took a little over 5 months. Duni said that we should use recent referrals to judge our wait time when our time gets closer. I would be very happy with using a 5 month wait time! Our official log in date is January 25, 2008 (this is a little later than what I had originally used, as I had used the date our dossier arrived at AWAA).
New Partnerships with Orphanges
Hopefully beginning the end of March, AWAA will begin partnering with two more orphanages in Ethiopia! This will not decrease wait times, but rather will sustain the current wait times, and keep them from increasing.
The Ethiopian courts will be closed from sometime in August through sometime in October. This could affect us. If our referral were to fall within four to five weeks of the beginning of the court closure, we might be delayed to be scheduled for a court date until the courts reopen in October. For example, if we received a referral the first week of July or later, most likely our court date would be delayed until the courts reopen sometime in October. When the courts reopen, they are usually always very "jammed", so getting a court date could take longer than the usual 3-4 weeks. We can still receive a referral during court closure, if we do not receive one before. Remeber, the order is referral, successful court date, travel!!!
I think that is the most pertinent info that we learned from the conference call. I may post with additional info later!! It was such an awesome experience, and I think Duni is going to try to do a call once a month!