The day we had anticipated had finally arrived. It was the day that would determine if two orphans would be in our family. Many people had been praying for this day and we were very hopeful. We were told to be ready by 9 so Tony took the boys to breakfast and I got ready. I then met them at breakfast and the driver arrived. We were not prepared! We had 5 minutes to fix all the bottles for the day, Tony to get ready, and to get all of our paperwork in order (very important paperwork). So we rushed down to the room with the boys, I made the bottles, Tony got changed and we ran out the door. I didn't even get a chance to say bye to Abram and later found out that I had on two different earings the whole day, even infront of the judge.
As we went outside we were happy to see some friends that we made on the plane. We then drove to pick up two other families who were going to be going to court with us. It only took a few minutes to get to the courthouse and we all got to know each other and talked about the children we were going to adopt. This man took us to a room and as we entered it was quiet and full of people. We didn't know where to go due to most chairs being full. When we found a seat I started looking around the room because we knew that the birthmother was in there. I spotted her right away. I could tell by her mouth. One thing the boys have in common is their big lips and their mouth is always open, this is also the one thing they have in common with their birthmother. She was a tiny lady and was the only one with teary eyes in the court room. We had heard before we went that the fathers were different and they were unknown but didn't find out later until why.
As we sat there they called groups of people in and out. We didn't know why the people were appearing before the judge and just awited our turn. After the group called organization (the birth parents) went in and out they waved all of us in. It was a relief to go in as a group. We had been rehearsing what we were going to say when the judge asked us Why we wanted to adopt from Ethiopia and what not. Turns out we were nervous for no reason. Right away she put us at ease. She was a beautiful and genuine woman. She was very calm and spoke to us very well. She simply asked us questions as a group. Two of the families there had already adopted from Ethiopia and she mostly wanted to know how their children were doing. She asked us as a group if we had received training, yes. Do we know adoption is permanent, yes. We're we prepared to help with their identity crisis as adopted children, yes. Would we teach them about Ethiopia, yes. And that was it. Then she started pulling out the files. She read the first family and said approved. It was a joyful occasion and my heart started to pound. She read the second family and said approved. There were tears in the room. The third family was us and she said the letter had not been received but was coming today. This was good news. It went by so fast that we weren't exactly sure what was happening. But I asked her today and she smiled at me and said I hope so in the most sincere way. The fourth family's letter had not been approved and they didn't receive the same news as us. Hopefully their letter will also come soon.
After we left everyone was explaining to us what she said and telling us to be hopeful. And we were. God had brought us this far and there was no need to worry now. Then the unexpected happened. They brought us outside and standing there were all the birth parents. They started pairing us up and naming the children. They said Bruike and Sitotawe and I was right. She came forward and we came forward. At first I didn't know what to do so I patted her on the back. She was a tiny lady who ends up being the same age as me. By her size I thought she may have been much younger. She smiled and we just stood beside each other not being able to yet communicate. Tony and I were not prepared and had no idea what to do so we just watched everyone else and followed their lead. The other families started showing their birthmother pictures. They even had photo albums to give them. So Tony pulled some pictures out of his wallet and we gave them to her.
Then the really unexpected happened. We all got in a van together and they told us that they were coming with us to see our children. What! Atleast that's what we thought at first. Afterwards I understand and was happy that she got to see them for the last time. She told us she was happy that we were taking them.
We first went to the other guest house and our children were not there but we got to talk to her. We asked her about her family, we asked her about the boys and their birthdates. By what she said it seems we have a 4 month old and a boy who will be 3 in May. These ages seem more than accurate. We then asked her why the fathers were unknown and were shocked by her answer and that she actually told us. It is due to her occupation. This broke my heart and I wish we could take her with us as well. We then asked her what she wanted us to tell them and she just said she wanted them to be educated, she wanted them to be men, and she said that she loved them.
She was a very intelligent woman. She knew some English and spoke two different languages and was able to interpret for the other families. I wish we knew more about her. But we took pictures and hugged and she said she was happy. She then came with us over to see the boys. She smiled really big and got them right away. Neither of the boys seemed to recognize her but they sat with her for a picture. She was only with them about 5 minutes but I hope it was a peaceful thing for her. I hope she knows we will love them and take care of them as our own and we told her they will always be thankful for their birthmother.
The rest of the day was just an ordinary day here. We played with the boys, took naps after lunch, had dinner, etc. Abram didn't seem to be affected by the activities of the day. It was a good day but we were still lingering. We called our representative later in the day and he said the letter should be there in the morning. Today we went out to the transition home and had a wonderful day in the city that I'll try to write about soon. While we were out our representative called our driver for the day and told us the good news. Tony could hardly hear what he was saying but said, "I think he just told us we were approved." We were able to celebrate with some friends we have made at the guesthouse at a nice cafe. Abram ran around and played with other boys while we sat in airconditioning and had some pop. It was a wonderful day! Now we are moving to pray for other things. We pray that the Visa applications were correct and that they will be processed soon in order for us to get an Embassy appointment to come back and get the boys!