Q: So now what?
A: Now we wait.
Q: Wait? Didn't we just wait almost 6 months?
A: Yes, but now we are waiting for a court date.
Q: What do you mean?
A: Well, now that I have offically accepted Sparrow's referral, my dossier and her paperwork will be submitted to the Ethiopian court. They will notify my agency of the date that they will review my case. In the mean time, the court will request that the Ministry of Women's Affairs review my documents and Sparrows documents and they will issue an opinion about the adoption (or request more information.) At the court date, the judge will review my documents, Sparrow's documents, and MOWA's opinion. Sparrow's birth mom will also be able to legally relinquish on that day.
If everything comes together, the adoption can be granted on that day. However, as you can see, there are a lot of people involved. There can be delays in this process due to missing paperwork, papers that are filled out wrong, individuals being unavailable or any other number of reasons. The judge or MOWA may also request more information to provide clarity about a part of the case or paperwork. But, once everything is all put together, the judge can grant the adoption.
Once the judge grant the adoption, I will be notified by my agency that I "passed court." Then, in about 2-3 weeks, I will be traveling to Ethiopia to meet Sparrow, collect her visa and passport, and bring her home!
Q: Well, that doesn't sound too bad. How long will it take?
A: That's hard to say. The courts in Ethiopia close for the rainy season from August 8- September 29. They cannot process court cases during that time. If my case is processed before courts close, then I may be traveling in August or September. Otherwise, I will have to wait for a court date when courts re-open. Then, once I pass court, I would travel- perhaps in October or November. Of course, there could be delays in the court process, so there is no way of knowing for sure what will happen.
Q: So how are you hanging in there with more waiting and such uncertainty of when you will get your girl?
A: Having just started the wait over, my patience has been refreshed. I hope and pray for good news. I know that updates from Gladney and pictures from traveling families will make this part of the wait both easier and more difficult. But for now, I'm doing well, and resting in the arms of my Father.