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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Day 3: Court

Hi again, was court...we did not officially pass. It was a long morning, with many tears and lots of frustration. We arrived at court at 9 and there were tons of other families waiting too. We stood around waiting for them to call us. I've heard you can wait up to 3 hours but we were called back fairly quickly. The judge speaks to the birth family first and then us. She asked us a few questions and I thought she was going to say, ok he's your's. But...she didn't. She said, well that's what I want to hear and then mumbled something else and we were escorted out of the room by our agency rep. It turns out our MOWA letter wasn't there yet.
 So, we waited for 2 more hours. Then our rep told us that MOWA was very busy and they couldn't do our letter today. Our rep doesn't speak english very well so it was very confusing. We took our driver with us to help translate and it was still confusing. So, after all that, we haven't officially passed court and we now have a second court date. Its not until February 9. :( I am disappointed and frustrated but its not really anyone's fault, I don't guess. The MOWA letter seems to be the biggest issues for families not passing court. ( MOWA (Ministry of Women and Children's Affairs of Ethiopia) must submit a letter to court saying that everything is in order for your adoption. They have had a difficult time getting the letters to court on time, as was the case with is not a reflection of our particular case and we will get our letter's just not ready yet.) It was hard though because while we waited we watched many other families walk out of the judge's office happy because they had passed. The other major hard thing about today was meeting Levi's birth mom. We got some information about her the other day, but it was incredibly emotional meeting her. I found myself staring at her, wanting to remember as much about her as I could. I could tell she was uncomfortable though. She does not speak amharic, which is the main language in ET. She had a translator with her, but I didn't realize all of this until we were back in our car. I thought the woman with her was her mother. So, it was a little like playing telephone. I would ask Danny to tell her something, he would tell her translator, who would then tell her. Who knows what she was actually hearing. We did take a picture with her and I hugged her. More like held her. I was almost to the point of sobbing and she began crying too. I heard that Ethiopians don't like to show emotion, especially in public, so I'm sure this was hard for her too. All in all, it was emotional and painful. But, I'm grateful for the chance to have met her and hopefully she knows how much Jason and I already love her precious baby boy.

After court, we went to lunch. Our driver has gone home everyday for lunch, but today he let us to take him out. We were on our way back to Hope to hang out with Levi and I was craving Starbucks. :) We passed a Kaldi's, so Danny pulled in. Kaldi's is very similar to Starbucks...they even wear the green aprons. The coffee is amazing in Ethiopia.  After that we went back to the orphanage to see Levi. He was sleeping when we got there so we hung out for a while and played with some of the older kids. It's so nice to love on them too.

Levi woke up a happy little guy. He really is the calmest baby I've ever seen. He is so pleasant and easy going. (I know I keep saying that, but its true!) We had a really great visit with him. We were able to talk with the nurse about him and get some more information. She was really nice and showed me what they feed them. She also answered a few medical questions I had. The staff prepared a coffee ceremony for us. This consists of coffee and popcorn, both are amazing.  We also got to feed Levi a "snack." This time it was green...but smelled like mashed up bananas. We were sitting outside and all of the older kids were hanging around. We brought a little photo album for Levi and the older kids loved looking at our picture and then pointing at us. Shortly after we finished the coffee, Levi had a blowout diaper on Jason! As always, its hard to say bye to him and I cry thinking about how tomorrow is our last day with him.

I think overall, Jason and I are diappointed that we go home tomorrow night not knowing for sure that we will pass court. But, we know its in God's hands and that He is bigger than this problem. We will just have to wait a little bit longer...
There is someone waiting for the computer...she keeps coming in asking if I'm almost done, so I better wrap this up. It takes almost 20 minutes to type this email because the keyboard is broken. :)

I don't know if we'll get to email tomorrow. Our flight leaves late tomorrow night, but we have to check out of the guest house at noon. We'll spend most of our day with Levi. Pray for us as we tell him bye. The next time you hear from us, we should be back in El Paso. Thanks for your prayers and thank you all for your love and support.

Lindsay and Jason

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