Wednesday, March 31, 2010

We do NOT have to travel for court

So, we do NOT have to travel for our court date since the date was issued before or on April 9. This is a relief financially, but I also would have been a little excited to see him on April 24 for court. Let's just hope we pass court quickly.
The process of court is so that we can be granted as his legal parents by an Ethiopian judge. I've seen that it's kind of rare to pass court the first time. Most families with our agency pass by the 3rd time.
Many factors come into play for court to make you not pass. We are told that incomplete or missing paperwork on a child or MOWA not being able to be at your court date are 2 big factors of not passing court. MOWA stands for Ministry of Women's Affairs and they have to write a recommendation for approval for a family to adopt. If that's missing at court time you will not pass. Also, if a child was relinquished, someone from that child's family needs to appear in court and if they can't make it you do not pass. So...this is why there are some issues with not passing the first time. I'm seeing families get quickly rescheduled though if they do not pass, so that gives me some reassurance.
Right now, we are just focusing on April 24 and sending that date good thoughts. If we pass on that date then that should put us traveling late May / early June.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sunshine on a heavy heart

I sit here in an airport waiting for my connecting flight home. Home...I miss it so much. I've not posted for a few weeks. Got caught up in the whirlwind of life. The last 12 hours have been emotional, exhausting, depleting and real. I went to LA to be with my family last week as my grandfather was dying. When we got there he perked up. He bounced back. He laughed, he smiled...he listened to us all make noise in his life. We thought we had more time and we thought he had dodged this once again. So, I booked my flight back yesterday evening. Last night, we lost my grandfather. In just a moment, it was his time. One moment he was talking and enjoying his family and the next he was finished with his journey here. He said he would hang on until we got there and he did. His stubbornness overruled all else, once again. I will always be grateful to him. He gave us all advice and guidance that we could not turn anywhere else for. His last days were filled with such happiness that it gives me a sense of peace to let him go. Not to say it isn't shocking that the time really came or that it's not breaking my heart, but I will see him again. I am so glad to have been there with my family in those last few moments. He was not alone and he was not in pain.
As I was walking thru the airport with a heavy heart and exhausted soul, Josh called me and told me we got a court date. April 24. The ability of life to throw you around, knock you down and then let the sun shine on you always leaves me amazed.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Well, THIS is interesting

So, an interesting development has occurred.. Ethiopia just passed a new law stating that adopting parents must be at the court date in Ethiopian court in addition to traveling for the Embassy date (when we originally will travel to pick up our son). This means adopting from Ethiopia has just changed to two mandatory trips. This changes a lot. Pros and cons here. On one hand, it increases the expenses and it's difficult enough to budget out the entire adoption process with one trip as it is. Plus, it states both parents have to travel for the court date if there are two parents adopting, but only one has to be at the Embassy date, so for families that were not planning on having both spouses travel, this definitely changes their plans. On the other hand, the reasoning behind this is to protect the children and the adoptive parents. Parents will now be able to meet their child before they pass court and will be on site at the court date to see how everything processes. I think this can only involve us more in our adoption process (which I love) and it also gives us the opportunity to see more of our child's birth country. Plus, we would get to see our little guy sooner! Of course, it would be extremely painful to leave him as we can't take him home on the first trip. The courts want to personally meet the parents before they grant legally custody to them. I get it. I do. It's just going to be difficult for a lot of families currently in the process to figure in two trips. I know for us, we have to figure out how we are going to be away for 2 trips with work, but there's not too much we would have to work out. We'll figure it out. Right now we just have a TON of questions. Our agency is in Ethiopia right now so we are just waiting for more info to filter in from them. Another element of this new law is that it goes into effect after April 9. This means if we get a court date assigned to us BEFORE April 9 (even if the actual court date is after April 9) we do not have to travel for our court date. After April 9, 2010 anyone assigned a court date must travel to it. I think we have a chance to get a court date assigned to us before April 9, so maybe we do not have to make 2 trips. We will see. I just wish we had this info now. Everything seems so up in the air. Ahhh...I want to know when we are traveling! And, I want to know things we just won't be able to know for sure, such as how much time will be between traveling for court and traveling for an Embassy date? What if it's only a few weeks difference? Maybe one of us stays there to bond with our baby in between the travel dates?? Oh much to twist up in my little mind. :)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Who? What? Where? Why?

I feel asleep last night thinking of his mama. His first mother, his birth mother. Although, I am not legally his mother yet, I am feeling the beginning stages of what it will be like to be his mother. The questions, the concern, the pain for his loss. I have SO many questions that we may never have answers to. HE may never have answers to settle his little heart. Who is she? Why couldn't she/they keep him? Who is his father? Does he have siblings?
We watched Adopted last night. I'm sorry if you have not seen it yet, but I'm going to give a bit of it away, so my apologies for spoiling it! It's a documentary following 2 families through transracial adoption. We were both glued to the TV and kept hitting pause to ask each other questions or talk about an issue right then. There was a scene that bothered us so much. A family was picking up their daughter in China and she was just kind of thrusted into the mother's arms, but she was so scared and clearly didn't want to go. It just seemed so forced and the little girl was upset. These people were strangers to her. She cried the whole time during the transition of picking her up. much I do not want that to be our situation when picking him up. I don't want to just take him instantly away from his caregivers. I want him to see us, hear our voices, look at our faces before we hold him. We are STRANGERS to him at that point. So much of the day of picking him up is out of our hands, but we will do our best to make it a gentle, slow transition. As much as I will be fighting back to run, hug him and kiss him...we just have to let him take it in. These little things, so many of these little things we could do so wrong. There is just so much to think about. A woman in the film makes a statement that the only reason she is here (with her adopted family) is because she was abandoned. No matter how much she was told they wanted her and how long they waited for her, she always knows this reason. I keep hearing this over and over in my head. As wonderful as our experience is on our end of finding out he exists & of getting prepared to bring him into our lives, the reason behind that is because there is a major loss on the other side. His loss. Their loss. And, he will carry this with him always. His parents & birth family will carry this always. And, Josh and I will carry this always.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Little Sweet Face

A week and half has gone by since our referral. It feels so real now that we have a referral. We're aware anything can happen, but having his little, sweet face to look at everyday fills me with the most overwhelming emotion. I am in truly in love with this little guy.
We've been thinking of names, although we will keep his Ethiopian name as part of his name. We've got one name in mind that I've always been attached to and we both really like it, so that might just be the winner. I'll share that when we pass court. It's hard to name someone that you have not met though.
On Tuesday, we got our first round of travel vaccinations. I did okay on Tuesday with them. Had a very sore arm, but yesterday it felt like I had the flu and my arms were SO sore. My whole body hurt down to my fingertips! They didn't affect Josh as much. It just is a lot of chemicals to put in your body at once and I definitely am not okay with that. However, had to be done. Our next round of shots will be in April and then we'll have a 3rd round in September. By that time, I'm sure we would have traveled by then, but the 3rd round is just good to have to keep anything at bay.
We'll be starting to get our baby room together once we get a court date and then go fully into baby prep once we pass court. No word on a court date yet. I don't expect to find out about that till maybe the end of this month or sometime in April. We've got a lot of home projects and organization to get through now so good thing we have stuff to keep us busy because I do NOT want to be finishing up things a few days before we travel. I'm trying to make this transition as smooth as possible!