We got news this morning, but it wasn't what we would have liked to have heard.
After a crazy night tossing and turning, full of nerves and insane dreams, we found an email just a few moments ago from our case manager that our court date had been rescheduled to February 2nd.
Needless to say, this was not fun to read - we are still trying to "snap out of it" and not be frustrated. There are lots of good things at work here, so for the sake of my sanity, let's focus on a few of these right now.
1) At this time last year, reschedules were two or three months away. This is only a few weeks.
2) The only reason for the reschedule was that a certain necessary piece of paperwork had not been submitted on time by someone on the Ethiopian side of things, which is apparently normal and not cause for alarm.
3) Our fingerprints are about to expire - we are in the process of renewing them but it might take a week or two more than expected. This delay allows for that renewal to happen smoothly.
4) We are still not 100% decided on a name. We have a lot of options, and of course will be incorporating her given name, but hadn't come to a final decision. I would really like to "introduce" her to our family and friends with a photo AND a name. This gives us breathing room to settle on something without feeling rushed.
5) And just for good measure, it's another chance to learn to trust God's timing. We are getting better at it, but it's not easy. And this morning felt like a "setback" honestly. But I welcome another chance to align myself with the bigger plan and not get so selfish with the details.
Anyway. Does it sound like I have convinced myself yet? Maybe if I read this a few more times it might actually work!
Well, we have a court date. The email came on December 30th (a date I had been repeatedly praying for without knowing why... I remember feeling frustrated when I realized we weren't going to be scheduled for a court date on this date. Then the email came.)
On January 15th, 2010, while we sleep soundly in our beds, halfway around the world our little girl's case will be heard in an Ethiopian court. By noon, we'll have received a phone call either way. Yes, she's ours. Or no, the case was rescheduled due to a paperwork issue, a legality, or any other ill-prepared detail that might rear it's head. We have a 50% chance of "yes".
For those that don't know, the actual court case has almost nothing to do with our family. Instead, the judge, the orphanage director, the police officer who found her, and I believe a representative from the Ministry of Women's Affairs will meet to determine if she is in fact an orphan, and if so, has her status been appropriated documented on the local and national levels. Is adoption truly the best option for her? And if it is, we just happen to be the family ready to take her in. In that case, we will be given legal custody... she will become our daughter, in Ethiopia's eyes.
For the most part, I am trying not to think about it. My stomach drops out every time someone asks questions or tells me they will be praying. The amount of butterflies is out of control - I am intensely nervous. And excited.
One way or the other, in about 36 hours, my phone will ring.
Dear Baby Sister,
Your Big Brother is ready for you to be home.
His best friend, Ava, has a little sister named Emma about your age. When we ask Daniel, "What is your baby sisters name?" sometimes he says "Emma". And when we say, "No Daniel, that is Ava's sister. What is YOUR sister's name?" he looks around the room slowly, then holds out his hands and says, "Where IS my baby sister?"
He is helping us pick out some names that might go well with your beautiful Ethiopian name. But so far, his favorite is still "blue". Sometimes he tells us "I have a blue baby sister". Blue is his favorite color, so this must be a good thing.
When he is playing with his play food, he picks out favorites for the whole family. He has given you "ice-cream" as your favorite food, and purple as your favorite color. (He gave the rest of us assignments too: Daddy has "crunchy pickles" and the color green, Mommy has "apples" and the color red, and Daniel has "muffins" and the color blue.)
When we tell stories at night about families of dinosaurs or clouds, the family always has a purple baby sister dinosaur, or a tiny baby sister cloud. He never lets us forget that part.
And every single time he prays, Daniel thanks Jesus for his baby sister. We don't ever have to remind him... you are already a part of his life and his family. Even now, we are a family of four.
Baby Sister, come quickly.