We just found out yesterday that our case was submitted to court on March 14th. I’m actually almost glad I hadn’t know about it for the last 9 days. It was a very pleasant surprise!
So what does that mean, you ask? Good question. Upon acceptance of Little Dude’s referral, our agency had to make sure that all of his paperwork was in order. Once they were sure it was, they took all of our information and submitted it to the court system there for review. In a few weeks – maybe 3 or 4 – we will have a court date. That court date will probably be another 4-6 weeks in the future. The court appearance will be handled by our in-country representative with Power of Attorney. It is at this step where we receive the approval from the Ethiopian government’s approval to proceed with Little Dude’s adoption.
If you saw the petition I posted last week, you saw that the caseload was reduced for a particular agency from 30 cases per day to 5 per day. We are at this point. We need to secure a letter from that agency in order to pass court. Many families have had to go to court 2, 3, and even 4 times. That could mean 2, 3, or 4 months just to pass court. With the recent changes, it could be even longer. We just have to play this by ear.
Once we pass court, our case is then submitted for a second court date. It is for that court date that we will travel. It could be 4 months from now, or a year from now. We just have no idea. While we are there, we will get to spend a little less than a day with Little Dude. We then have to come home empty-handed.
Finally, we will be notified of his visa approval. The embassy will then give us an appointment, and we will go back and get him. This would be another 2-3 months after our first visit, so it might be 6 months from now, or 15-18 months from now.
If you are the prayerful type, we ask that you keep our case in your prayers. We are hoping that this entire process goes quickly and smoothly. But beyond us, please keep all adoptive families in your prayers. There are so many families in front of us who have been waiting and waiting to bring their kids home. I can’t imagine being so close to homecoming, and then finding out that rules have changed which cause additional delay. There are so many families in front of us who are entering this process with no clear idea of how long it will take. It’s tough on everyone, regardless of the situation.