We went before the judge at court today here in Addis Ababa to learn that… we’ll have to wait at least another day for news to report.
The lobby outside the judge’s office was crowded and Suzanne and I, the first of the four AWAA families, were called in earlier than our 11:00 AM appointment. The primary procedural reason for our visit to Ethiopia–this meeting with the adoption judge–lasted less than two minutes. We answered a few questions about our adoption training, our current children’s feelings about the adoption, and our understanding of the irrevocability of the adoption. That was it. We and the other families were told that a critical piece of documentation from the Ethiopian ministry of women’s affairs (MOWA) that should have reached the court today had not yet arrived by the time of our appointment. Because the judge needed that information to completely assess our cases, she was unable to say definitively whether we’d passed.
The AWAA staff was told this afternoon that we’d have to wait until Monday for a final answer. We learned later that one of the AWAA staff members would visit the court tomorrow to see if she could get our status before the weekend.
At this point, then, we have no news. Suzanne and I are extremely grateful for those of you who were up early to pray for us. Please continue praying for us and the other adoptive families here. We’ll share news as soon as we’re able.
Besides our court appointment today, we also packed in a tour of a coffee factory, some time at the transition home, and a visit with the birth parents after court. During this visit, we were able to ask some questions of the children’s birth mother and learn a few more details about them and her story. In our case, we had to have two translators at the table since she spoke neither English nor Amharic and our translator didn’t speak her language (there are over 80 languages spoken in Ethiopia). I’m not sure what may have been added or lost in the translation from English to Amharic to her language and vice versa. She expressed that she wanted the children to go to a good school and to have a chance for a good future. We assured her that we would provide them with those things and that they would be raised in the church and loved in our home. See seemed very shy and somewhat detached while we spoke but brightened up when we gave her a small photo album containing photos of her children, our kids, as well as some photos of Suzanne and me with Aidan and Eva. Before she left we made a photo of the three of us together which I quickly printed with a portable printer and added to her album. We believe she left today feeling that, in the midst of very difficult circumstances, she made a good choice for her children.
Lord God, help our family to faithfully steward the children whom this mother has entrusted to us and bless her also.