Since some of you have asked, I thought I would write a post to clarify the next steps in our process.
I'll start with our court date. We received a court date of December 28th, but court dates do sometimes change. In Ethiopian adoption, it is not uncommon to hear of families' court dates being rescheduled. Please pray that ours will not be re-scheduled.
Likewise, families do not always pass court the first time. The reasons for this vary. Sometimes a piece of paperwork is missing or something is misspelled. Another reason can be that the birth mother is unable to attend the court date. If the case is a relinquishment situation (ours is not) the birth mother is required to attend. [At least that is what I have been told. Someone please correct me if I am wrong.] We ask that you join us in praying that we pass the first time.
After passing court, most families must wait another 6 weeks or so before bringing their children home. While Evangeline is officially our daughter after passing court, it takes several weeks to obtain her Visa and be granted an Embassy date. So, after passing court, we could travel to Ethiopia to be with Evangeline, we could even travel throughout Ethiopia with her, but we could not leave the country and bring her to the US until we had her Visa in hand. And that takes several weeks.