Before Brandon and I got married we held out our hands to the Lord and told Him that we surrender all to Him!
What an amazing Thanksgiving we had. Our hearts are still skipping a beat as we realize that we are parents! We have loved our son since referral day, but always there was a feeling that something could go wrong. SO EXCITED that the court hoop is now over!
Talking with our agency director on Wednesday was such a great moment of joy! Sharing the news with all of you and being encouraged by your emails, comments, FB messages, etc was such a gift! If you wrote a longer personal email I will try to respond, but each of you, please know that your comments have all been saved and each is so special to us!
We are so in AWE of our Great God!
To answer your questions:
What is his name?
Great question! We are still deciding this... hopefully we will reveal something soon! We are working really hard on this, and I am losing sleep over it!
Did you have to go back to Ethiopia for the second court case?
No, our power of attorney represented us and did a great job! We will return for our embassy date and to bring M home!
When do you get to bring him home?
Well, just because we passed court doesn't mean we can ho on a plane tomorrow to pick up our son. Yes this is torture, knowing he is legally ours and so far away. The agency will be working with the US embassy to get M's papers in order for an embassy date. After the embassy date (which we will be present for in ET) a visa will be issued, and once we get that, we can hop on a plane WITH our son and fly to the US!
What steps need to take place to bring him home?
Step One: Typically, after you pass court, the clerk’s office releases the hard copy of the adoption decree 5 -20 days later.
Step Two:Once our agency has the decree, it is translated and legalized.
Step Three: The agency then will process a new birth certificate listing our family as the adoptive parents.
Step Four: Next, the immigration process is completed for the Ethiopian passport and a letter of support is obtained from MOWA.
Step Five:All of these documents must be submitted to the embassy two weeks in advance of an embassy interview. Remember, the embassy interview is when we travel to Ethiopia.
When are your agency embassy dates?
Each agency is given a day of the week for embassy appointments (ours is Wednesday) about twice a month. I think in general it is every other week, though sometimes holidays play into things.
In December, our agency has embassy interviews on December 1st, 15th, and 29th.
In January, our agency has embassy interviews on January 12th and January 26th.
So, which date is yours?
We passed court on November 24th. Since we need to complete all 5 steps two weeks before the embassy date we know that December 1st and 15th are out. December 29th is most likely 99.99% out as that would be both very quick turnaround time and also with all of the holidays the ET agency director told us (even before our first court date) that very few families would travel then and not to count on it. January 12th is also quite unlikely (less than 10% I would say) due to closure of things around ET Christmas which is in early January. We are hoping for a miracle 12th embassy date, but we are thinking that most likely we will travel for the 26th date. Yes, there is a chance that we won't make the 26th date and have to travel in February. We are hoping that is not the case! Please pray we are able to bring M home in January. *Note, even with the December 29th date we would land in the US in January :)
When do you know your embassy date?
Another great question! We might not find out for a long time. People sometimes don't learn of an embassy date until 2 or even 1 week before travel. We will have some idea in a few weeks as to the general date, but we are guessing we won't get a confirmation until very close to the date. We will not be able to order tickets until we get a confirmation to travel. Hopefully the tickets will be available and there will be room at the place we want to stay!
Can you share some more photos of your son with us?
Of course! I had to save them for the end of the post as a reward for reading the whole thing :)
My facebook profile photo: Just so in love with my sweet son!
This photo was taken in the last hour we spent with our son. We were humming his cough away. Oh those eyes... Oh how I miss his weight on my chest... Oh the empty arms that were once filled... Oh the peace in knowing my loving Father is meeting every one of my son's needs and always will! Oh the joy in knowing we will return to that room and bring our son home!!!