Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Ethiopia Day 4: Court Appointment

I don't think I've ever been so nervous in my entire life!
I was up at 5am - though I use that term "up" loosely because I don't think I slept much at all that night.
Made myself presentable in my "professional attire" 
(a dress), 
spent much time in prayer,
went down stairs to get some juice and a piece of toast to settle my tummy.
It took me about 30 minutes to get a few bites down.
Our ride showed up to take us to court.
We got in and I told Bryan that I was either "sick" or
incredibly nervous - I wasn't sure which one was having the most effect on me.

Our driver dropped us off at a coffee house to meet our lawyer and Yared, our "go-to" guy in Ethiopia.
Coffee? They do have wonderful coffee but I couldn't keep water down at this point!

We soon walked over to the court house.
The room we were escorted too was a large open room with chairs around the walls and open space in the middle.
There were birth parents and adoptive parents seated around the room.
My friend Michelle and I found two empty seats, she gracefully sat down,
and our hubbies went to stand in another corner.
well, in my style -
I sat down and the seat was supposed to be attached to the medal bar beneath it -
well, it wasn't attached!

I was flown backwards,
feet flew up in the air - 
and thankfully I was stopped by the wall!
 (apologies to the people across the room from me!)
Nothing like breaking the tension and giving everyone a little giggle!

As we sat in this room, 
I felt an overwhelming calm rush over me. 
I know it was God's peace and y'all's prayers for this very important day.

We were ready to hear that we didn't 'pass' but we sure did want to hear the opposite.

The room began to over fill with adoptive parents,
all incredibly nervous.
Our group was called in first.
We entered this tiny room.
At one end sat the Judge at her desk, 
to her left were two more court officials at their desks,
all the desks had piles of files for all the birth and adoptive families in the other room.

Around the two other walls there were 10 chairs against the wall.
(yes, these chairs were in good condition, but you know I checked before I sat.)
Bryan and I were in the far corner, away from the Judge.
It was hard to hear because the windows were open behind us and the city sounds of people, cars, and horn were pretty loud.
The Judge confirmed the files for each of us families.

And then began asking yes or no questions.
It took me a few questions to realize what was happening. 
I thought she would ask each family individually but she asked all of us collectively.
Questions like...
"Have you met your children?"
"Are your ready to raise a child in a inter-racial family?"
"Do you want these children?"
She then went back to Donovan and Elijah's file 
and said,
"Pilatos and Wudase
their yours."

Sweet, sweet words!!
I couldn't wait to get out of there so I could burst into tears.

And couldn't wait to get to our boys again and 
celebrate with them!!


Out of our 4 families - 
2 passed there and then,
1 family was waiting for their MOWA letter and the Judge had it within the hour.
1 family was adopting 2 un-related children, their case log was together so the Judge did not see the other child's paperwork - so she asked for a day to review it.
They passed the next day!


Kim K. said...

Fabulous news! I'm just so happy for your family. I'm also glad you weren't hurt when you fell backwards.

Jodi said...

just my pride Kim! :)

connie said...

Goodness, sister, only you could be thrown backward and handle it so well :) CONGRATULATIONS on passing court!!!!! We are so excited for you!

Sandra said...

Jodi - I had chills reading your post. Even though I knew your post, reliving the moment just made me think how we serve an awesome God. Congratulations!

Sandra said...

Oops, meant to say I knew the outcome!

Hicks Family said...

Miss you my dear sweet friend. Glad I was there to "catch" you as you gracefully sat. It was awesome to be able to laugh. I was just as nervous as you!


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