Saturday, April 7, 2012

Ethiopia {day 4, part 1}

Ethiopia {day 4}

This morning we woke up with nervous anticipation.  Having been told that the judge didn't have our MOWA letter really put a damper on the day, but we knew it was a possibility that our letter could have arrived within the previous 24 hours.  In addition, Muslim prayer and chanting over an insanely loud speaker had kept both of us awake the majority of the night.  Our dinner from last night gave both of us a healthy dose of heartburn and me a bit of an upset stomach.  Needless to say, we had a rough start. We ate breakfast and waited, and waited, and waited to be picked up for court.  Traffic was crazy today, so that made our driver quite late picking us all up for court.

Once we got there, the guards in the front of the building checked our bags and patted us down and then we walked into this very narrow building where Hermella led us up several flights of stairs (4 maybe?) into the "court room", which was a room about 10 by 15 feet.  We all 7 sat down in the room with Hermella, the judge, and two other women (employed by the court, but I have no idea who they were).  One of the unknown women took our passports to the judge and we got started.   The judge asked which family was there for each child, we raised our hand when it was our child's name, and then she asked if we had other children, how old, if they knew about the adoption and if they were ok with it.  She then asked us all yes or no questions collectively...things like "did you educate yourself about international adoption?" and "is this the child that was referred to you?". All were yes or no questions that we, of course, all answered yes to.   Then, the judge said the name of the first two families, the Dorrs and the Turners, and declaired their babies were theirs.  She then looked at our paperwork, said something about how our file was incomplete and that there was no proof from the region that he was adoptable and that we should not even be there.  Ugh!  She then went on to declare Kristine Shrauger's daughter hers.

We were reeling.  Tears started to fall and I had no control over them.  We knew that the MOWA letter might not be there, but to say that we were missing something from the region?  It was just so frustrating and confusing.  The best way sweet Hermella could explain it was that the MOWA had received our regional letter, but that they had not gone through our file to write us the letter of endorsement.  She was also confused about the judge saying we shouldn't be there because the judge is the one who gave us our court date.

Have I mentioned at any point in the last couple of years how frustrating this process is?!

So, now we wait {again}...

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