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.