SCOTT and Bronwyn McNamara feel like they have had the past eight years of their lives ripped away.
The Bokarina couple has jumped through constant administrative and red-tape hoops over that time, in a desperate desire to adopt children from Ethiopia to start a family.
But their dreams were shattered recently with news the Australian Government had closed the door on adoptions from Ethiopia.
"We're just so distressed and distraught over it," Mrs McNamara said yesterday.
"It's just a huge emotional drain."
The couple has endured years of repeat assessments, including prying into every aspect of their lives from finances through to their psychological health, and had reached the final step of their dream.
The Ethiopian Government only holds 10 adoption files from Australia at any one time, awaiting suitable children to become available, and the McNamaras' file was among them.
They literally were waiting for a phone call at any moment to advise they were parents, when they learned that they had been bluntly cut off.
"It seems like we've been put through the wringer for eight years, been assessed three times, and we wouldn't mind if we came out with a family at the end of it, which is what we set out to do," an emotional Mr McNamara said.
"I wake up with this every day of my life.
"There's such good people in this program and we've just been left devastated."
Mr McNamara, 47, and his wife, 43, have been unable to start a family naturally and pursued adoption as their next best option.
After expressing interest in the State Government's overseas adoption program, which is overseen by the Federal Government, they were asked to select a country.
They made their choice after attending international adoption open days in Brisbane, where they grew to love Ethiopian people and culture.
But after all the effort, they have been left with nothing.
They have no intention of giving up on their dream.