I want to start this post with the reminder that adoption always comes with loss. It is often the best available option, but the reality is that adoption is a result of our sinful world and always accompanies pain; usually for the child being adopted and always for the birth parents. To me, adoptions in 3rd world countries are the very saddest - they are generally the reality of poverty. We decided to adopt the children that we are adopting because we wanted to be a family for children that did not have any other options. When we accepted Isabella and Selah's referrals, we knew they both had birth mothers, but neither of them are well or able to care for them. We found out today that Bella's mother is in a coma. Although she signed for Isabella to be released for adoption when she checked her into the orphanage over six months ago and again when her packet was referred to us, the judge requires a third signature (and the American Embassy basically a fourth.) Since her mother is unable to sign, a relative was located to sign in the mother's place, but the judge is not willing to accept the power of attorney. So, Bella's case will not be heard until the mother comes out of the coma and is able to sign or she finally passes away. I am praying for the first and the ability to meet her when we travel, but ultimately we want what is best for her.
In the meantime, we are not delaying Selah, so we have a preliminary court hearing next Wednesday, May 23rd, and a final court date on June 4th (as long as May 23rd moves through with no problems). This means that Selah will be moved to the transition house where Bella already is and we will be with our both our little girls in a little over TWO WEEKS.
There is some hope of the judge letting us appear in court for Bella's case before it appears before him and in that case we would not have to travel again for her court case. We are certainly praying that works out, but the answer to every one's question is yes, there may be more than two trips to Ethiopia at this point. Worst case is that there will be four, but we will do what we have to do to get our little girls home; if I could show you their sweet little faces, you wouldn't blame us! JD and I will go on this first most-important trip for court and then we will evaluate the other trips as they come. I am so thankful that this first trip falls before the time that JD isn't able to travel.