a few days after we passed court, we got news that a letter the judge had requested for ruthie hadn't been obtained yet. as you can imagine, this was super anti-climactic, as we had gone from having a lot of momentum from passing court to waiting indefinitely again. the letter was apparently " just for the records" -- a new requirement in the south that the judge was honoring. she obviously didn't need it to pass our case, but it had to be gotten nonetheless. so we waited. then we heard about other cases where birthparents were having a difficult time getting this kind of letter. local judges were telling them to come back when the courts had more time to help them. then we heard that ruthie's first orphanage had the letter but couldn't send it because of trouble with the internet connection. then we heard the power was out in all of soddo (the city where the orphanage is), and that a driver was going to take it to addis.
we got the news about the driver on a wednesday. that same day, we heard the courts were going to close in addis for 3 weeks the following monday for staff training. so we knew that if the letter didn't make it to addis by the end of the week, there was no way our case would move forward (the court would not release our court decrees without the letter). on thursday, we heard no news. on friday, we heard that our letter had made it to addis "at the eleventh hour." our agency's staff took the letter to court, it was approved, and they released our decrees. the same day, a friend told me that the power outage in soddo had been caused by a devastating fire that had cut-off power and water to the city indefinitely.
i haven't particularly enjoyed God's timing for our adoption. passing court seemed to be the one thing that happened exactly like we hoped it would, and yet even that was marred by coming back and hearing that we couldn't move forward without the letter. and yet we stand in awe of our God who works miracles on our behalf when we do not deserve them. in the midst of a fire and a pending court closure, God used a driver from a poor town 6 hours away from addis to carry this very important letter that our entire adoption rested upon. and he got him there on time. and he caused the court to immediately approve the letter and release our decrees. miracles.
so now we are waiting for birth certificates, then passports, then physicals, and then...finally...submission to the embassy. we have been told to prepare to submit in early march, but we are praying for another miracle and hoping to be submitted the last tuesday of february. our prayer is to have our kids home by the end of next month.