So...a lot has happened since I updated the last time! We received our adoption decree on Jan. 10th (exactly 3 weeks after passing court). It was so exciting to see our names listed as their adoptive parents. Such an unnerving feeling to know we are legally their parents, but we are not allowed to bring them home yet.
We received Nen and Achole's birth certificates just a little over a week later on Jan. 19th! The birth certificates came with a small wrinkle. The spelling of Nen's name went from Neni to Nen. From what we could tell when we were in Ethiopia, this is what he prefers to be called anyway, so it was a positive change. The court also reverted back to his original paperwork and (on paper) he is 5.5 years old. Our adoption agency has always told us he was 8.5 based on a medical exam he received just before we accepted our referral. After meeting him, he is definitely not 5.5!! We will be visiting the doctor at the International Clinic at Children's Mercy to help us sort this out. He can estimate a child's age within 6-12 months accuracy with an x-ray of the wrist. All of Achole's information remained the same! She will turn 3 in March just after we bring her home (hopefully!!).
Next on the list of required documents for embassy submission is Ethiopian passports. These were done last Tuesday (Jan. 24th). Once the passports were completed, the kiddos (will be or have been) taken for a medical exam specifically for the US Embassy. We assume this has taken place, but aren't sure yet. Our coordinator is anticipating we can be submitted to the embassy this Wed, Feb. 1st!!!! We won't know for sure until that day...can you guess what we are praying for?? Our agency is only allowed to submit on Wednesdays, so if we miss this week, we'll have to wait another entire week. The waiting process is emotionally draining for all of us!
As I mentioned in my last post -- The embassy will then either approve our case immediately, request an additional birth family interview prior to approval, or request additional documentation. While we believe our case is fairly straightforward and should clear easily, a birth family interview is highly possible. Requesting birth family interviews seems to have become standard procedure for the embassy in the past several months. Families receive clearance rather quickly following the interview as long as there are no inconsistencies between the court interview and the embassy interview. We are still very hopeful we will be able bring our kiddos home by the end of February!!