Thursday, December 15, 2011

Officially a family of four!!!

Ethiopia day 4 ~

Today was the big day. The day we have been waiting for and the main reason for this first trip to Ethiopia! Today was our court appointment to make the boys legally ours. The Ethiopian court system is very random and does not make full sense even to the Ethiopian staff at HH. We were picked up by one of the HH drivers at 8:30am and drove about an hour to the court house. It was a small room located in a pretty big building. We waited in silence for about 2 ½ hours for our agencies name to be called. We then went into another room along with a staff member from HH and the other adoptive family that has been here with us at the same time. It seemed like such a simple process once we were before the judge. She simply asked yes or no questions such as “have you met your children?” and “have you learned about the Ethiopian culture?” among others. She told us that once we passed court today that there was no undoing this adoption. The other family was told that they passed right there in the courtroom but for us and our boys she said that there was a typo in the spelling of our last name and she could not pass us at that time. My heart was racing. “What does this mean” I thought. I asked “H” (the HH staff member who was with us) what this meant and if it would delay any paperwork being submitted to the embassy. He told us that he had gone to MOWA (Ministry of Women Affairs) earlier this morning and submitted the correction. It would then be submitted to the judge by the end of the day for her approval. We were so happy and felt do very relieved as “H” assured us that everything was fine. Later that afternoon when we went back to HH to be with the kids we were met by “A” who told us that we passed court this afternoon! “so the boys are ours now?” we asked. “Yes” she said, “the boys are yours” Those were the words we have been waiting to hear and it was so great to hear them. Our boys are now OURS!

Today was a long day. In between the courthouse and going back to HH. “D” took us to a market where we were able to get some Ethiopian paraphernalia. We wanted to get some things for the boys to help them remember their Ethiopian culture. We found some really cute traditional Ethiopian outfits for them as well as some animal pictures made from banana leaves to hang in their room at home.

Another huge highlight of our day was being able to go through the boy’s photo albums with them. This was such a milestone especially for Noah. We put together an album for each of our sons so that they can look at it often and remember us when we are away from them. It has mostly pictures of Andrew and I with captions that say “Daddy” and “Mama” in both English and Amharic (Thanks to one of the special fathers). It also has pictures of our house, the boy’s new room and even our dog “Kimber”. Noah’s face lit up as soon as he saw his photo book. He studied every photo for a long time and pointed to Andrew and I and then back at the photo of us. It was so great to watch him identify us as daddy and mama. It was so precious to see how proud Noah was of his book. He wanted all his little friends to see it and he wanted to sit on our laps and flip through the pages over and over again. The whole scene just totally melted my heart! Colton really is too young to know what a photo book is but he sure did like to chew on the pages with his 4 small teeth that are starting to erupt. We bought him a baby photo book that is made of fabric and has lots of fun colors and things to touch.

Thank you for all your prayers everyone! We are amazed by the power of prayer and have felt so supported through our journey to our boys!

These are pictures of us showing Noah and Colton their photo albums for the first time.

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