I know you want to know whether we passed court. Whether we're legally parents? Well, I don't mean to leave you in suspense or anything so let's get right to the recap...
Today was our earliest day yet. We climbed into the van at about 8:30 and headed off to court. We were told the rules for court were no shorts and no short skirts. Basically, knees? No! Which is fine with me. I have a no shorts policy and only brought maxi skirts and dresses for the trip anyway.
We arrived to the courthouse, climbed the stairs and the two families (our family and the amazing G family, who have been our leaders, gurus, and friends through this whole experience) sat in this room with rows of chairs. There was one other family sitting there. We met our lawyer, who I have heard so much (all good!) about and our guide sat with us too. We arrived around 9:00 and I was expecting to wait but by 9:15 we were called in and went to the judge. The judge was in another small room and both of our families went at the same time. They ran through a list of questions with each of us, asking about our family, our intentions to adopt, and the kind of training we've had. It wasn't 10 minutes later we were officially declared IC's parents. So fast after such a slow process. I teared up. E just kept giggling. He was beyond ecstatic.
Our next stop was not, oddly enough, to visit our little guy and tell him the good news. Here's the thing: he didn't need a judge to tell him we were his parents. I'm not even sure he understood the whole proceeding anyway. What he knew is we told him we were his parents months ago, we showed up and proved it, and it's real in all our minds. Court? We don't even have the language to explain why court is important.
Our next stop was to a coffee bean production facility and roaster. As you can imagine, we were in HEAVEN. We pulled up and the smell of coffee was immediately intoxicating. They were roasting on-site and you could smell it just walking out of the van. We were waiting for a few minutes for another family and so I decided to pop in to the restroom.
And that's when I saw an Ethiopian man going to the restroom.
Apparently, locks are optional in Ethiopian coffee shops. Glad I know now.
So I apologized profusely and did my thing. I have zero idea if the guy understood my apology.
Yeah, back to the tour. I don't know if the pictures will really give you any idea what happens here. But basically they sort, wash, sort, and bag the "green" (read: not roasted) beans for roasters. And then they also do a small amount of roasting.
Never have I seen so many coffee beans in all my life.
The actual owner had to run out to do business so our guide showed us around. E had tons of questions that our guide couldn't answer so we are going to try to set up a meeting with him for embassy. Because my guy LOVES coffee. And it shows in the way he talks about it. He threw his hands in the air and grinned a giddy, schoolboy grin when he saw all the beans stacked high.
The smell of the roaster was so intense that the two kids with us had to leave the room. But I felt like it was intoxicatingly delicious.
And now? Well now our whole room smells like that because we may have bought a couple of bags to come home. You know, for fun.
As we left the roasting part, we heard a ZAP sound and all the power was gone! Hey, Ethiopian electricity. You're back to your old tricky self again.
They took us to the front shop for macchiattos after the tour and it was one of the best I'd ever had. Coffee, y'all. God is so funny to line up the details that one of our favorite things in the states was created in the birthplace of our son. I couldn't love it more if I tried.
On to lunch...I think E and I were hoping lunch would be quick. It was fairly quick by Ethiopian standards. At this point, all we wanted to do was get to our son, as soon as we could, for as long as we could. But we went to Lucy instead. Nicknamed for the early skeleton found in ET, it was a delicious restaurant next to the museum. It looked a lot like my favorite restaurant from my days in Mexico. I had shiro and injera. Because I am in Ethiopia. Why have lasagne? It was very tasty.
As we move to the part about meeting our son today, I have to tell you I am going to be very quick about it. We were so happy to see him. We took "first family day" photos but they are on someone else's camera. We played some fun games. And then things got hard. I told you all from the beginning that there are certain details, stories, moments, that are our family's to share and no one else's. Today was one of those days.
We are so thankful for our son. He is just more than we could imagine. But we know his story comes with loss. And today we started to see how painful that loss is in a real way and our hearts were broken for the road to healing our son is on. I had some teary moments and I know they won't be the last.
I will not share more but we are so thankful to have him in our life. We want him home as soon as possible. And now that we have passed court, the clock is ticking. They can begin to gather the documents needed for us to bring him home. Please join with us in praying the documents needed to come back and bring IC to the states will come quickly and without complication.
|My little guy playing memory today with my big guy. IC won. Big time:).|
The other family had to leave today so we were both pretty sad when we jumped in the van. We decided the best way to handle it was to share one last meal together before they had to get on the plane.
A candlelight dinner.
OK the reality is the power was out at the restaurant when we got there so we only had these candles. They could still cook but there was no way to light the restaurant. Second power outage today. I think it just makes the whole trip feel authentic.
We said goodbye to our friends after dinner. We are now the only ones visiting our little dude at the transition home each day. Only two days left. This is going so, so fast.
Thanks, again, for being excited to welcome IC into our family. We couldn't do it without you.