If there's one thing that I've theoretically learned in the past 19 months of our adoption, it's that nothing is "for sure" in the timing. Multiple times we've been surprised by the delays in our process. Since we've received our referral, we've been delighted at some unexpected changes in the time line. Thus is currently the case when it comes to our court dates!
Past Tense ::
Prior to our referral and up until this past week, we were expecting 2 separate Ethiopian court dates and a U.S. Embassy date.
- 1st court date :: We do not travel for the 1st court date; it is for any biological family members or Ethiopian officials. This court date is to affirm that our kiddos are legally approved for adoption. The time between 1st and 2nd court date is typically 4 weeks!
- 2nd court date :: We travel for the 2nd court date, which is when the adoption becomes legal in Ethiopia's eyes. Between the 2nd court date and Embassy is the transfer of documents to the U.S. Embassy and legalizing the adoption in the U.S' eyes.
- Embassy date :: The embassy date usually takes place 4-8 weeks after the successful completion of the 2nd court date. We also travel for the embassy date, and this is when our kiddos get to come home with us!
Present Tense ::
We got word on Thursday that the Ethiopian judge who hears cases for the 1st court date has decided to combine the 1st and 2nd court dates into the same day - NOT WEEKS APART! They will do the 2 court dates in the same day!!!!!!!
- Morning :: judge will see any bio family or Ethiopian official
- Afternoon :: judge will see us and approve the adoption and Lil' A and Baby T could become legally ours that day. The only way this would not happen is if the bio family/Ethiopian official doesn't appear in court that day. However, our part of the process would be completed. We'd just need to wait for the approval from the bio family/official.
This streamlining in the process is HUGE! This could allow us to bring our kiddos home a month or so earlier than planned. For the families that have already received 2 court dates, they are also combining them! So a couple families I know are traveling with a week's notice to that court date. They are elated and overwhelmed. This also seems to me that more court dates are open sooner than later, which leads to some prayer requests...
PRAYER REQUEST :: God would give us our court dates this week, and we could have our 2 successful dates by the end of '10. We've been asking that specific request for over a month now, and it seems like God's creating a new path so this could be possible. With the old way, that request was quickly evaporating between our fingers. Who knows!?!?!?
One of my favorite passages is Isaiah 43:18-19. It's a reminder that God is all about restoring newness from the dry and broken and worn out....
it is nothing compared to what I am going to do.
For I am about to do something new.
See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?
I will make a pathway through the wilderness.
I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.
Confession. Theoretically, I know that God's in control of our adoption and bringing our babies home. In real life, I'm a slow learner and dumb sheep in believing that God can do whatever he wants. Continually I find myself mentally resorting to Plan B, doubting that God will pull it off. This recent news has been yet another lesson that God knows what he's doing. He can be trusted. And he wants our kiddos home more than we do. Oh ye of little faith...Forgive me Father. I know. I trust you. You're right. Help me be faithful.