I want to clarify something that may have not been clear in my previous posts. That we are NOT in any way upset that we get to visit the kids. I hope that I have been able to adequately express how deeply we love N and M and how much we have missed them all these months and long to be with them again. If you have read this blog for more than a day, it should be clear! :) It's not that we are throwing a fit because we "have to" go. In fact, we are thrilled that God would allow us to see them and be with them once again before joining our family forever.
The frustration and sadness and even anger have really been more because we feel that our agency has not been honest or faithful to us during this whole ordeal. Last year I researched and found many many reviews that said that this is one of the best agencies for older-child Ethiopian adoptions and of course they were one of the only ones that would even consider working with us. So when we sign contracts and pay many thousands of dollars for services, we expect that we can trust them to do their part and to shoot straight with us. If someone makes a mistake and drops the ball or promises something that cannot actually happen, then just be honest with us and admit it, apologize and move on. For the past year we have had many communication problems with this agency and while it has been frustrating and taken many calls and emails- most of which were never answered, we have eventually found out the information that we needed. But this has been different. This is way beyond someone not returning my call or email. And right now, there is nothing we can do.
The last thing that happened was that I talked to one of the guys in Ethiopia yesterday who was supposed to go to the judge Friday morning with all of our stuff and see what she said. Turns out that the judge wasn't there all day, so he didn't get a chance to see her. Bummer. Well, instead of just saying that we needed to go ahead and come to court, he tells me not to worry because he would talk to her tomorrow. I asked him: tomorrow? Isn't that Saturday? Does she work on weekends? He said No, but I know her and I can contact her. I'm thinking, if you know her so well, couldn't you have contacted her one of these past 5 days?! So the staff in Ethiopia is telling me that we don't need to worry about coming for court because he will just figure it out. Then I hear from Fekadu that he talked to this guy too and he told him that he was going to go meet with the judge about our case next Tuesday! Um, Tuesday is just a little too late for us! This same guy tells me that it's ok if we need to re-schedule. Yeah right buddy- do you know how long we have waited to finally get to this step??? There is no way that we are going to purposely prolong the process because it's not convenient for us to travel right now!
So, we were told (once again) that we would "hopefully" hear news today, which is Saturday. The U.S. staff from our agency recommended that we go ahead and book our flights. So after being back and forth on the phone and through email about all of this yesterday, Randy called our travel agent and asked him to work his magic, which he did! He was able to get us decent flights and a decent price (it still would have been cheaper if we had been able to book them on Monday, but oh well) and he told us that we have until 3PM on Monday to cancel for a full refund minus the travel agent fees. So we are not holding our breath, but there could be still a chance that we don't go. Although at this point we are 95% sure that we are going. Talk about a little stressful!
So, our plans for this weekend have changed just a little. I had 5 portrait sessions scheduled, we were going to get our Christmas tree and maybe do a few Christmas things like baking cookies and watching cheesy movies. Next week was a very busy week full of appointments and activities. Instead I have now canceled all appointments (so sorry again you guys!) we are waiting until we get back to get the tree, and we will be busy getting things together so we can leave Tuesday morning. You can bet that we will be at Target no less than 3 times before then, as it seems we have always forgotten something and I think I hear a Peppermint Mocha calling my name- so I don't think it will be all that bad! :) Randy is still going to put the lights up today, we have a dinner party for his office and the kids will be going to the Christmas parade tonight with my mom, so not all plans have been canceled!
We have officially switched gears and are just thrilled to be able to bond with N and M yet again. I have got to say that there is absolutely NO WAY we could be doing this if it weren't for our awesome, amazing family and friends. Not only have you prayed, but you have stepped up and gave $, offered to help with kids or whatever and 1 sweet friend has even offered to bring dinner Monday night before we leave- you have no idea how much that means! And a huge shout out to my in-laws Tim and Darla who not only have dropped everything to be able to watch our 4 kids while we are gone, but also saved the day by generously giving towards the plane tickets. We are so thankful and blessed beyond measure.
We leave in only 3 days! SO much to do before then. I'll keep you posted of any updates if I can! :)