Hi everyone – We have been home for two weeks now, and coming back to the Christmas season has proven to be quite chaotic. The combination of getting back to a very full family schedule with being completely distracted by having our daughter so far away from us has caused us to retreat inward somewhat as we try to find our footing on this unknown terrain. I caught myself a couple of days ago, going to show someone Lulu’s picture on my phone and catching my breath when I saw her face. The reality of the distance between us fell on me, and all I can say to describe how we are feeling these days is that it is as if we are living under water.
So, where are we in the process, and WHEN will we bring our daughter home? Those are the questions you may be asking, and the latter for sure is the one weighing most heavily on our hearts. Following our court date in Ethiopia, in which the judge approved and finalized our adoption (still blows me away to think about it), we then have a handful of steps to wait out before we can bring Lulu home. Once the adoption was finalized by the court, they then issue an adoption decree. This decree is then translated into English, and we are sent a copy. This is the document we will use to add her to our insurance, etc. Once the decree is translated, then her birth certificate and her passport are applied for. She will also be taken to have a VISA medical exam. These three things have to happen, and then our case is submitted to the US Embassy for them to review and ultimately clear us to travel for our interview with them in Addis. Once submitted to the Embassy we are told we could hear news within ten days, or it could be a couple more months. Our obvious hope and prayer is for us to hear within days of being submitted that we have been cleared to travel back to Addis. Okay, so that is what has to happen. Where are we as of today? We received word on Thursday our decree had been received and was now at the office of translation. We are eagerly awaiting a phone call or email with that English decree attached. That document is the key to making the rest of these steps happen – without it we are in a holding pattern.
Got all that? 🙂 Good! Because we would really love to take this opportunity to share a few of our favorite photos of our meeting and time with our youngest, our third child, our second daughter, our baby sister, our Lulu.
Thank you so much for all of your love and prayers and general support through this final leg. You are all so appreciated!