Friday, February 24, 2012

T-Shirt SALE!!!

We need to sale the rest of our adoption t-shirts so they are on sale for $10 which includes shipping! All proceeds go towards our adoption fund! We have sizes M-XXL. Just let me know if you want one!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

A little more about our Court Day

After reading my last post, I realized that I wrote it really quickly as a "catch-up" and didn't do our court day justice. February 2, 2012, the day an orphan became a son, was a perfect day. As I mentioned before, we woke up very early, put on our dressy clothes for court, and ran to get our boy. I remember holding him that morning and being so nervous, I literally had butterflies in my stomach. We had been praying and hoping for this day, the day we would officially add our first son to our family.
The ride to court seemed like forever. Jonathan was holding my hand and I kept giving him the looks that says..."I'm pretty freaked out right now." I had heard horror stories of families who were not approved at court for one reason or another. The court room was nothing like I imagined. It was basically a big square room with chairs lining the walls. The majority of the people in the room were Ethiopian and there was a lot of staring going on. A security guard kept coming in and telling us to be quiet. We waited and waited. The judge hadn't shown up. It is her prerogative. If she doesn't think she is of sound mind on a certain day, she just doesn't have to come to work. We were looking at Woudneh with panic in our eyes. He wasn't very reassuring. Court was closing for three weeks so if we didn't get this done today or Friday, we would be coming back in three weeks. Finally, they let us know that an assistant judge would be filling in. In the words of Woudneh, "it's okay but it would be better if it were the normal judge." Again, not encouraged.
When they call you back, you literally walk into a small office to meet with the judge, then you walk back into the big waiting room for everyone to stare and try to guess what just happened in there. The first adoptive family goes back, gone for 4 minutes, comes out crying. Tears of joy? Tears of sadness? We don't know but I was freaked out. They call us next. I was super nervous, Jonathan was cool as always.
We walk into this very small office with the judge sitting behind a very average looking desk. She can't be more than 20. She is thumbing thumbing thumbing through our paperwork. We had been instructed to ONLY say the word yes....yes...yes.
She begins, "do you have any children?"
"Hold old is she?"
"UMMMMM (this is not a yes or no question) 18 months"
Then we had a series of miscommunication about if she was adopted or biological.
"Have you seen your son?"
"How was he?"
Again not a yes or no question. We are both thinking, short and sweet. I say "Beautiful" Jonathan says "Great." I giggle.
Then she says a bunch of things of which I remember,
"You realize this is a binding agreement and it cannot be reversed."
Then the single most precious word I have heard in a long long time...
I immediately start crying. Now I'm realizing why the last family came out crying. All of this waiting and hoping and praying and then you go into an office for 4 minutes and with one word, we have added a son to our family. Wow...very very emotional.
I walk out to all eyes on me, trying to guess what just happened. Jonathan gives our friends the thumbs up so everyone now knows they are tears of joy.
We had a big celebration lunch and then got to go play with our son for the rest of the afternoon. It really was the perfect day.
Each milestone of this adoption process has been a sweet one. It was so sweet when we submitted our paperwork. It was so sweet when we got our referral. It was so sweet when we got our court date. It was so sweet when we met our son for the first time. It was so sweet to be approved at court and legally be the parents of this precious boy. The sweetest of all will be when we get to bring him to his forever home. I can't wait for that day!!!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

A Little About our Trip

I have been having some serious jet lag from this trip. I don't know if it's because I'm getting older or if it is the 48 hours it took us to get home, but I just want to sleep any spare minute I can. All of that to say, sorry it has taken me so long to post about our trip.
As you know, our trip was quite the surprise and we already had plans on going to Louisville to visit friends so we went ahead with that plan and just booked our tickets out of Louisville. We left on the 29th, had an overnight layover in DC and then boarded Ethiopian Air on Monday morning putting us in Ethiopia at 8am Tuesday morning. It was midnight our body time so you can imagine how tired we were.
Woudneh, the precious man who works with West Sands, picked us up and took us to the guest house where we would be staying and where our little man lives as of a week prior. We arrived, nervous and super excited to meet him, and they sat us down for breakfast. No one really felt like eating but we didn't want to be rude. Out of nowhere, we see our baby coming through the door. It was the BEST moment. We had been waiting for that for months!
When they put Stella in my arms, it was the best feeling ever! I was overcome with love and excitement and thanks to the Lord. The feeling was the exact same. I was so overwhelmed with all the things a mom feels. It was the perfect moment.
During our week there, we were able to spend a lot of time with our little man. I would wake up at 5 because my sleep was so messed up, so I would lay in bed until 7 and then run down to see him. We also had the opportunity to see a lot of the city and surrounding areas and really experience the culture.
Court was on Thursday and we passed! It was a very nerve racking experience for us and very emotional. As soon as she said the word "approved" I couldn't help but cry. It had been such an emotional journey.
So now we are officially a family of four. We had to leave our little man there and it was completely heartbreaking. Several people have said to us, "I'm sure it's hard but it's not as hard as it would be to leave Stella." Actually, it is the exact same. He is a part of this family just like the rest of us. He is our son and we miss him so much.
We are praying for a very speedy Embassy process so we can bring him home! We definitely appreciate your prayers, keep them coming!

Monday, February 6, 2012