we expected to arrive in ethiopia on wednesday, spend thursday and friday with micah, and then go to court to gain legal custody of him on monday. we found out at our meeting with the attorney on friday while we were there that because the ministry of women's affairs (MoWA - an agency similar to DHR here) had unexpectedly closed for the week, we wouldn't have a ruling on monday but that he expected it to be handed down within a day or two of our court date. by the time we touched ground back in the states, micah should be ours, and we would go back in a few short weeks to complete paperwork at the US embassy and bring him home.
so on monday, february 7th we nervously entered the small room where the judge sat behind her desk and a virtual mountain of files. she asked us several questions related to our preparation for international, interracial adoption, and after recording our answers, she pulled out a small notebook, flipped through several pages of it, and pointed to a specific line item recorded in it. she and our attorney spoke several things back and forth in amharic, and then it was over.
the attorney guided us back through the densely packed crowds down several floors of the government building and out to the street. no sooner had the sun hit my face then i excitedly asked, what just happened in there? in the typical gentle and quiet ethiopian way, he explained that since MoWA didn't have their letter of approval in, the judge was bumping our case to a second hearing. and the flipping of many pages in that notebook? that was her finding her first available court date which ended up being almost five weeks later on march 11.
it wasn't great news in and of itself, but when you add it to the seemingly endless pile of our adoption-related "not great news", it was a weight that, at that moment, felt too heavy for me. sometimes it still does.
so many of you have asked if we were brokenhearted over leaving micah back in ethiopia last week. after seeing how lovingly and well cared for he is at acacia village, leaving him wasn't the hardest part. it's leaving him for so long that's weighing heavy on our hearts. what we thought would be a few weeks quickly and unexpectedly grew into a few months. i handled it pretty well at first, but this week has proved to be much harder and it's brought with it fresh tears. i feel like i should say i'm completely at peace with all of this, but if i'm being totally transparent and honest (a scary thing for me sometimes), i have more questions than anything and i'm really wrestling with god on some issues - adoption and beyond.
to answer the question so many of you have lovingly asked, here's how you can pray: pray for peaceful and encouraged hearts, intimacy with the lord, health for micah, and a successful court date. josh and i are also asking god to sovereignly and miraculously move us through court earlier than march 11. but above all else, we want this to be our heart's cry:
though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet i will rejoice in the lord, i will be joyful in god my savior.