Friday, August 13, 2010

Ethiopia - Day 4 - Court Date, WE'RE PARENTS, Holy Trinity Church

Last year on August 5th, I wrote a very short post HERE simply saying, "Today is my thirty-fifth birthday. I think this is the year that I'll become a mother." Wow...God's timing is impeccable! On August 4, 2010, we answered some questions* before an Ethiopian judge, who then told us, "They are yours." With tears in my eyes, I thanked her, and she replied, "It is my honor." And in that moment, on my last day as a 35 year old, I became the legal mother of Robel and Biruk! Thank You, God!

Afterward, we celebrated!!! Robel and Biruk, we are SO HAPPY to be your Mom and Dad!!!


After a celebratory lunch, our group went to the Holy Trinity Orthodox Church for a tour. These were all of the Gladney families there for court.




Belay is the head of Gladney Ethiopia, and he gave us a tour of the church. His father was a general and one of Emperor Haile Selassie's right-hand men. There is a photo of his Dad with the emperor in the church. Belay's sister Genet told me that she can remember going to Haile Selassie's palace as a young girl and receiving Christmas presents from him. Shortly after Haile Selassie was overthrown and assassinated, Belay's father was assassinated, as well. His father is buried next to the church.



*Our morning in court was an emotional one. We were briefed by Gladney's attorney before going to court about what to expect in terms of the questions we might be asked by the judge, but nothing could have really prepared me for the emotions I would feel when we arrived. All of the Gladney families arrived together, and we were taken to a sort of holding room next to the small room where the judge was holding court. There were families from many different agencies and countries there waiting to have their cases go before the judge. And there were also several Ethiopian families there making relinquishments. It was sobering, and very hard for me to hold it together. One thing that encouraged me was that there was a Norwegian family there who had adopted two daughters several years ago, and they were there adopting again. Their two Ethiopian daughters were there with them, very happily bonded to their adoptive parents. I could see the joy in an on-looking Ethiopian family's eyes, as it was a picture of the beauty of adoption--sort of a picture that the child/ren they were there to relinquish would be okay.

After about an hour and a half of waiting, we were called in, and the judge asked us the following questions:

-Why are you adopting and why specifically from Ethiopia?
-Have you met the boys?
-Have you done any training to prepare you for adoption?
-Are you prepared to handle the challenges of transracial adoption?
-Does your family know you are adopting and are they supportive?
-Do you understand that this adoption is a contract that can't be undone?
-Are you sure you want to adopt these children? YES!!!

And then she said, "They are yours."

And I went to sleep on the eve of my 36th birthday...a mother.

13 comments:

kcinnova said...

What an emotional day!

Laura said...

Amazing!!

Lindsey said...

Bawling! Congrats.

AprilM said...

Teary mess!!! I'm so happy for you guys!!! God's AWESOME!!!

laura said...

Okay, this statement just sent me over the edge, "And I went to sleep on the eve of my 36th birthday...a mother."

Crying tears of joy for you in Atlanta!

laura

Court said...

Isn't God good?!?!? I know you can't wait to bring your boys home SOON!

Graham and Emily Murray said...

Yay!!!! So excited for you guys!!!!

Laura said...

So happy you are a mother!! Love the picture of you guys celebrating.

Anonymous said...

THE PICTURE OF YOU BOTH JUMPING IS
P-R-I-C-E-L-E-S-S.....

Love it....
God Bless xoxo

Nick and Meredith said...

Oh my word, you don't know me but that post just made me tear up...."And I went to sleep on the eve of..." Oh my. Precious. I found your blog off of the fbi Ethiopian list thing my friend sent me. It is great b/c I can see people doing it right now. We are almost finished with all of the ppw and are trying to adopt boy/girl twins. We will see what we end up getting. We are open to different options. Blessings.

Nick and Meredith said...

No, I have not added myself to that list. How do I do that? Great to meet you! I have totally been looking at blogs for officially 1 hour now...but this is such a great list b/c I can see people who are right ahead of us. It is wonderful!!! Night!

Tam and Kai - NYC said...

i'm loving the shot of you guys celebrating!
i feel so fortunate to have met you both on that trip and am hoping to be in touch for a l-o-n-g time. looking forward to the family photo of four from your next trip :)

Robyn :) said...

That is awesome. I passed an Ethiopian Christian Church today and thought about you and your boys. What a blessing for them to have you as parents and for you to have them as your sons.