My day began at about 3:00 am…could.not.sleep!! I laid in bed trying to will myself back to sleep, but to no avail. I finally just gave up and got up at 5:30. A bottle of Coke Light and 5 Advil later, my headache finally went away! Craig nearly knocked himself out after slipping when getting in the shower. The tub is like an ice rink and the little rubber mat was not firmly attached. We left our hotel at 8:30 am for our Court appointment and were all still in one piece. Thankfully Tesfa, our agency representative, went with us. She is an absolute sweetheart! She is so tiny Craig was convinced she could have fit in his back pocket! The court is nothing like I expected. The building looks like all the other buildings with nothing setting it apart to look “official”. Because of the bottle of Coke I mentioned earlier, I was dying for a restroom…let’s just say the restroom there should only be used in serious desperation and with a watchdog at the door (which is actually just the end of the hallway). Jordan served as my watchdog, and I was grateful for the roll of TP in my bag! We sat in a large room with both adoptive families and birth families. It was quite humbling to think we were there for such joy for our family, while the birth families hearts were aching. The sign on the wall requesting “Silence” didn’t seem to matter to the families from Europe. It made us very uncomfortable with their lack of respect. After waiting about one hour, we were called in to the judge’s office with another family from our agency. The entire proceeding took less than 5 minutes. The judge is a beautiful, soft-spoken woman. She asked us a few basic questions and we answered together with the other family. She asked us if we realized this is permanent and final and cannot be reversed; had we been trained in adopting internationally with regard to bonding and attachment; have we met other families who have also adopted from Ethiopia so our children will know other Ethiopian children; and have we discussed this with our ‘own’ children and are they accepting of the adoption. She also emphasized the importance of helping our children maintain knowledge of their culture and heritage. All of the questions required only answering “yes”. At the end, she simply stated, “All of paperwork is here, so it is final.” AND…that was it! We were done! They were officially ours, or we were officially theirs!!
We spent a few hours at the Care Center playing with Neni (Nen is the correct way to pronounce it!) and Achole (Uh-cho-lay)! We were there through lunchtime so we were able to watch all of the little ones gobble down their injera and lentils. They were a mess when they finished, so each one headed to the water spigot to rinse off their faces and hands! We were able to share our family photo books with them. I really think Neni is starting to grasp the idea that we are his family! He was so excited to hang his picture poster above his bed! We also hung Achole’s poster above her crib. Sister (the head nanny) has decided she would fall out of a regular bed….
We celebrated our court clearance with an amazing evening with our new friend, Fekadu. He took us to dinner at ‘Yod Abyssinia’ for a delicious Ethiopian meal and show. The show included singing and dancing from many of the different regions throughout Ethiopia. Craig and Braxton tried some honey wine, Jordan and I declined! We made it back to our hotel just in time to say goodbye to the other family we attended court with. I so wish we lived closer to them!!