it's better late than never to say that we're leaving for ethiopia on january 3rd! our court date is on the 10th, but we're getting there a little earlier than is typical because of ethiopian christmas. the holiday will affect visitation hours at the transition home, so we're getting there in time to spend time with our children on the 5th and 6th. we are obviously thrilled to finally meet our children after years of being in this process (we began announcing our plan to adopt from ethiopia in march 2009, dossier was in ethiopia in february 2010), but it's also exciting that we'll be there for ethiopian christmas. if anyone is reading this who isn't familiar with the ethiopian adoption process, we won't be bringing our children home on this trip. even if we pass court, we still have to wait for the US embassy to review the cases and give its final approval (and it may take several times to pass court if documents aren't correct or if there are other issues). we would ask that people pray we pass court the first time. we obviously want both our kids to be receiving the love, care, and structure that only a family can provide ASAP, but our little boy is also very underweight and has some kind of GI infection.
this time last year, we had just been told by our case manager that we were next to receive a referral for unrelated children. our hearts were anxious to receive a call by christmas. little did we know that it would be another 9 months before our referrals came, months that were filled with frustration and anger and sadness. i like to think back on this time last year because the me of last year could not have imagined how it all would play out. while our baby boy was admitted to the orphanage in january 2011, our little girl wasn't admitted until june 2011. had we gotten the next referral as we'd been told, we would have missed out on these children who we know now beyond a doubt are supposed to be ours.
so i'm thankful for what happened last year even though it was a very hard place in our adoption. it gives me a point of reference to look back on and see how God has faithfully and sovereignly orchestrated all of this.