Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Drawing To an End

Tuesday, thankfully, was an uneventful day.  We had court, which may give you visions of a court room with a judge in front.  Not so much.

We trekked up four flights of stairs (passed many officers with really, really big guns - Ty said they were AK 47s), met Abdissa (yes, the pastor is also our attorney), waited in a waiting room similar to the DMV without the numbers, and when our turn came, we were escorted with another adoptive family from our agency into the judge's office.

Her office was crowded with piles of paperwork and books.  The judge sat behind a desk.  She asked us if we'd met our daughter, if we told our family about our plans to adopt, if we've learned about the Ethiopian culture and if we plan to teach our daughter about her culture.  She asked if we understand this is an irreversible decision.  When we answered to her satisfaction she said, "Okay.  You are approved.  You are her parents."

We were escorted out and looked at each other, both of us tearing up with joy and relief.

Abdissa asked if there was anywhere else we wanted to go, and I mentioned Kaldi's, Ethiopia's equivalent to Starbucks.  He treated us to coffee and cake.

Relieved to have passed court!

Back at our guest home, we were treated to a traditional coffee ceremony.  This is kinda like happy hour for women in America.  Or book club, maybe.  It's a time, traditionally, for women who do not work to gather with their neighborhood and socialize.  We had a great time learning what, traditionally, women in Ethiopia socialize about, and it's not too different than here.  Men.  Children.  Wishing for good husbands.  Potential job opportunities.  Household duties.  Fashion.  Sounds familiar, right?

Prepping Coffee Ceremony
To sum up the trip home - Awful.  I've never been so miserable for such a long stretch of time.  Ever.  I don't even want to recount the details.  But I do know we'll have to figure something else out for our next trip home because we'll have our daughter with us. A morning flight out?  Stay the night rather at the location of our layover?  I am so thankful we had this horrible experience this trip so we can learn from it.  I'm sure we would, because we'd have no other choice, but I don't know HOW we'd manage to care for our daughter as sick as we were.

American soil never felt so good, but my heart is in Ethiopia with our daughter.

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