Thursday, October 25, 2007

The wind settled...Then rose up again!

We had gotten the wind knocked out of our sails. It seemed that after courts opened things were going at a good clip. We were hearing of groups being set. I was furiously checking my mail...and then I started hearing that some of the groups' court dates were being rescheduled...out to November 13th. Well, that would mean ours would not be until, at the very least, the end of November or December. So, I could just relax. I spent my time pouring over the hundreds and hundreds of pictures taken by families who have been to Layla in the past few months. The faces of the girls began to be etched into my heart. I went into every online photo book from mid-July to present. I began to see their faces peeking here and there. You see, I had done this once before, but found only a few of Genet. I was freaking out because I couldn't place them. It's not that the kids at Layla look that much alike, but I had to have the intake photos, set them by the computer and look for features, like scars, or the shape of a nose, or how the ears hang, how high their foreheards are, or how their hair is styled. I found several of Bizayehu. In one she is smiling so big...just like she should be!

Last night I started hearing online that people had passed court! The person whose date had been postponed to November 13th, passed court on Tuesday. NOT ONLY THAT, but she is traveling November 10th!!!!!!!

She was in the T group. We have still not been assigned a group, so I have no idea what this means for us. It could mean nothing. But maybe, just maybe I could start getting my shots?

Also, as many of you have seen, we got a wonderul picture of the girls getting their T-town welcome bags....Oh they look excited. I hope they are...I am worried about that. They must be still so confused. I am an emotional mess right now. I am happy for our girls, I am so anxious for all the children who haven't been placed, especially the older kids. They have so much more to worry about, hope for, wish for, be sad about than our kids here in the US. I don't know how to reconcile this.

Anyway...I am back to clicking "check mail" whenever I am at the computer!

Friday, October 12, 2007

The Courts have opened!

The Ethiopian courts opened about a week ago. Families are being assigned groups. A group is about 10 families that will have their cases brought to the Ethiopian court and then the courts will grant them their children. Sometimes your case can go to court and not pass. This isn't typical, but does happen. It doesn't have anything to do with the family, but with the paperwork. There can be a missing piece, or an outdated piece. The agency will then help the family get the proper and necessary paperwork to another court date.

Families are given a letter group. I have heard that families for group T-U-V have been assigned. There will not be a group W (who knows why!). The next will be X and we have been updated that we might be in group Y or Z. There are groups that are going to court today! I should hear soon whether they have passed and when they will be travelling.

The other very cool thing that has happened is that we got the go ahead to send out our Welcome Bags. You are allowed to send a photo book, with no more than 15 labeled photos, 2 toys equalling 10.00, a disposable camera, a letter, and a T-shirt...We, of course, chose to "represent" and sent them T-Town shirts. This will likely be the first time that the children find out that they are being adopted. They will get their packages and KNOW....right at that moment...that we are coming to get them.
I sent the packages to Merrily the head of AAI, and she will be going to Ethiopia on the 20th. So our girls will probably know about the 22nd I think? Would you pray that the girls will not be afraid? I would be afraid, and very very sad to leave. I don't even know if the girls secretly are hoping their father will come back.

We also got our OK from homeland security to adopt. This is also a big deal. Paperwork wise...this is a hang up place.

So....perhaps our case will go to court this month...I am hoping.....If that is the case, we can expect to get a Embassy date...and that will be when I will travel. That date is usually 6-8 weeks from the court date. We could possibly have our girls home at the very end of December. However, what is the real chance at that? Things always happen. I am hoping for them home by the end of January.

By the way...when I talk of a court date, that is where we adopt the children by proxy.

I am still checking my email a million times a day, and will let you know when we get the date!