Woo hoo!!! In the most anti-climactic court visit ever, we officially adopted our son DANIEL!!
We got up early this morning and got our first Ethiopian massage, bouncing around on back roads trying to avoid traffic. We still got stuck in a massive traffic jam and a 20 minute drive took an hour and a half. Luckily our guide is amazing and planned for this so we got to court right on time.
At court we waited maybe 15-20 minutes for the judge to invite us in. Daniel was not at court with us, just me, Brittany, our lawyer from Bethany, and our guide, Menge. When the judge called us in, he asked us 6 or 7 seven questions like, Do you have children? Have you learned about Ethiopian culture? Have you received training in international adoption? Have you met your child? Do you love him? Then the judge signed a couple papers, said ok it’s official, and we left.
Bonkers!! 3 years to get to this point of legally adopting Daniel and it’s done in 5 minutes! It was a neat experience and we’re so grateful to have a step of this journey go smoothly and according to plan.
So we’re officially parents!! Our son is is 58” tall, 84 pounds and is 15 years old!! He’s got big beautiful brown eyes and and incredible smile.
This ends the known part of journey to Ethiopia and now we dive back into the unknown we have lived in the past three years. But we are so hopeful!! Here’s where things stand. Now that we have passed court, we will get a court decree. Hopefully today, maybe tomorrow, definitely by Thursday. With that court decree two process will start simultaneously. 1st Daniel and our attorney go to one government office, called the Kabela (not sure if that’s spelled right). We need that office, to have electricity, internet, no meetings, and at least one person that feels like doing his job that day. If all those stars align then we will get an adoption certificate, which serves as Daniel’s new birth certificate. Our Bethany team will also take the court decree to federal MOWCA to have our “To Whom” letter signed. This is the agency that has been suspended and we’ve heard hopeful news, but until we have that letter in our hands, we don’t know if/when we’ll get it. With the To Whom letter and adoption certificate we can get Daniel’s Ethiopian passport, then his US Visa, and we’re ready to come home!!
So we wait. The above is a very specific prayer request. You can also be praying for Daniel as he’s about to have a huge transition in his life. He’s so quiet and tends to internalize his feelings, so we’re praying that as he develops comfort with us we can encourage him to express more of what he’s thinking and feeling about this massive transition. The kids create their own expectations of what life in America may be like, and as we know, reality rarely meets our expectations. So as one leg of this journey is finally coming to an end, the real work begins of loving this boy, letting him know how precious he is, and teaching him how to receive that love, teaching him that now it’s our job to take care of him, helping him let his guard down that he’s used to survive the past 15 years, and helping him adjust to having a family.
We just want to reiterate that on the great days like today, and on all of the hard days we’ve had along this journey, God is good. God is the same, and His love for us has been so evident. We are so humbled and grateful for this journey that God has put us on, and eager to continue where he leads us. We have developed an even greater awareness of the need of families for children, locally and globally and are already thinking about what might be our next steps in changing the world for one child, and encouraging others to change the world for just one child.
Thank you for your prayers, thank you to those of you who have written letters to the Ethiopian Ambassador, and thank you for following along on our story. We’ll keep you updated as things progress.
God Bless, Meek and Brittany