Friday, November 22, 2013

Difficult Week

It's been a roller coaster of a week for us in the adoption world.

As most of you know, our Preliminary Hearing was held on October 22nd.  We were expecting to receive word of our court date in 7-14 days but that did not happen.  As the days ticked by, it became more and more difficult to wait with confident hope (darn sin nature).  There were 6 other families whose PH's were held on the same day and four of those had received their calls.  In fact, as of today, all four of them have already been to Ethiopia and three of the four are back home.

I never knew how exhausting it is to live each day in anticipation, only to end each one in disappointment.  But now I know.

Once we didn't get our call right away, I was hoping and praying that our court date was going to fall during the week of Thanksgiving.  Both of our boys are out of school for the entire week and having a court date fall that way would allow the four of us to travel together to become a family of FIVE.  But it wasn't meant to be.

(Just as a reminder, what we are waiting on is a letter from the Ministry of Women, Children & Youth Affairs.  This final letter makes us eligible for a court date).  On Tuesday of this week, we learned that our agency's in-country rep went to the MOWCYA offices to check on the status of this letter.  What he learned was that that agency had pulled all of its staff and sent them to a region outside of the capital city to conduct an investigation.  (It is not uncommon, by the way, for MOWCYA to be doing investigations; it's part of what they do.  It is, however, unusual for them to send their entire staff).  He was told that the investigation (which began on Thursday of last week) would take up to 30 days to complete and, during that time, no new MOWCYA letters would be issued.

Though it wasn't the news that we ever wanted to hear (more delays, blech!), I have to admit that it has been nice to let go of the daily anticipation and just rest and live and prepare for the holidays.

And then Wednesday happened.

I received a call from a fellow adoptive Mom who has become a friend.  We have met on a couple of occasions and texted and talked quite often.  This family's PH was the same date as ours and they got a call that Friday and left quickly for Ethiopia on Monday.  While in Ethiopia, they appeared in court and were given custody of the sibling pair (brother, 8 and sister, 6) that they were adopting.  The judge declared that they were theirs.  They spent several days in country and then returned to the states to await the kids' travel clearance.  Exactly the way that it's supposed to happen.


On Wednesday, this family learned that custody of the children had been given back to the birthmom.  It is so hard to understand how in the world this happened.  And to know how to feel about it.  It is almost always in the best interest for children to be with their birthparents; I fully believe this.  But there is a family hurting right now who could use our prayers.  Please remember Thom, Lori, David and Katie.  And also "Y" and "G" and their birthmom.

Dear Little Sister,

I wanted to share with you the letter that our Jordan wrote to his little sister; he's quite the writer.  Enjoy!

Halle Yenenesh Williams,
As I type this, I’m sitting at my desk at school. It’s Saturday, November 16, 2013 and it’s a rainy Tennessee afternoon. You, on the other hand, are in Ethiopia, several hundred miles away from my side. You don’t know me, yet, other than the several pictures that we’ve sent you. And, I don’t really know you yet, either. I don’t know what your laugh sounds like, I don’t know whether you’re ticklish or not (although I REALLY hope you are), and I don’t know what it feels like to hug you. I don’t know what your voice sounds like when you say my name, and I don’t know what your favorite foods are. But there are several things that I do know.
For one, I love you. More than I’ve ever loved anything else in my life. Also, whether you like it or not, you’ve inherited a big brother who’s a bit of a hugger (just ask any of my friends). I also know that you are the most beautiful little girl I’ve ever laid eyes on. From the moment I saw the very first picture of you that me, your brother Braeden, and Mom and Dad ever received, I knew that you were special, created by God. I also know that He created you for us. You’re a Williams if I’ve ever seen one. I also know that I’m thankful that God has allowed me the ability to be a big brother again. This time, hopefully, the one you tell your potential suitors about, saying the words “You better watch out. I’ve got a big brother, and he has a beard.”
I also know that I can’t wait to hear your first words, whatever language they may be in. I know that the moment I first hold you, I’m going to ugly cry. So whenever you read this, I’m truly sorry for that embarrassment. I know that I want to see you ride a bike, play soccer, and guilt me into playing with you and whatever various dolls you may have. And just to dispel any doubts, no matter what I say, I will always love playing dolls with you. I know I can’t wait to hear you sing, even if it’s the alphabet, or “Jesus Loves Me”, or if I get my way, it’ll be something by Coldplay.
I know that I can’t wait to come to sibling days at school. I know that when you’re in High School, I can’t wait to take off work so I can come home to put the fear of God into some 16-year-old boy. I can’t wait to see you smile, as you take pride in the things that make you happy, those things you’re passionate about. I can’t wait to see you grow up not only physically and emotionally, but I can’t wait to see you praise and sing to the Father that brought us together. 
Halle, I don’t know when you will read this. Maybe you will read it at your wedding. Better yet, maybe I’ll read it at your wedding and ugly cry again (again, very sorry for that). But what I do know is this:
I love you. And you are my sister. There are many people in my life that I love with all that I am. But you, you are the only one that has ever stolen my heart and held it in your hands without ever uttering a word to me. I look forward to the years of laughing, the years of crying, and the years of tickling that lie ahead of both of us. So as I sit here and try to finish this letter through my tears of joy, know this.
I love you, and will always love you. Come home soon,
Your incredibly proud big brother,
Jordan Williams