In forty days…after the rainy season, Ethiopian courts will reopen for the hearing of adoption cases.
Nathan and I kind of accidentally [on purpose] stayed a little unplugged during our pre-referral wait. We did our best not to obsess over the process, the timelines, other stories, the scares, the what-to-dos, the what-not-to-dos, um…adoption blogs, the delays, the statistics, the notices, all of that, but we did hear enough from the greater adoption community to know that “court closure” and “the PAIR letter” are game changers. Whenever a dear-sweet-fellow-waiter would mention “court closure” or “the PAIR letter,” everyone seemed all a buzz. The words have power, I tell you.
Well, here we are in the middle of court closure, waiting for our PAIR letter.
Every year, Ethiopian courts close for the rainy season. This year, they closed on August 10th, and at that time, our case was still being reviewed at the US National Benefits Center, leaving us pretty unaffected by the closure. From there, The-Halls-on-Paper traveled to the US Embassy in Ethiopia to be further investigated, with all steps falling under the PAIR (Pre-Adoption Immigration Review) process to determine that Baby S is eligible to immigrate to the US. We need PAIR approval before we can receive a court date, and a court date means we can hold our baby.
As of today…our investigation is complete. Hooray! We should receive that legendary PAIR approval letter within days. This is BIG.
It’s true that both the PAIR process and court closure are notorious because well, they tend to slow families down in that very last stretch before meeting their children. It goes without saying that this is super dee duper lame, but it does happen. We…(thanks be!) went through PAIR pretty smoothly, with no additional requests for documentation – a step that causes major delay for some families. We’re so grateful that our investigation won’t drag indefinitely. No lies, though, we are also a smidgen sad that we can’t get ourselves to Ethiopia in September. The only other form we need will not be issued until courts reopen (in 40 days!), and when they do, you can bet we’ll be ready for that document, a trip, a court date, a meeting with a very important 8-month-old.
With all the court hype, I’m half expecting that upon reopening, a symphony will start to play in the distance, the earth might stop, the clouds could part…something epic. October 6th. Watch for it. 😉
In other news, Luke loves school. Earlier today, he saw a stack of mail and asked if he could write “Mrs. Nash” on one of the envelopes. I just handed him a blank card, and this poetry happened:
We are making the most of the next forty + days, each of us knocking out our own daily adventures, separate to-do lists, and unique commitments (maybe more on that later). But we’re kind of taking a collective breath as well. For me, life is a little weird in this kid limbo, but we know that just around the bend, our lives will change as we switch back to baby mode. Forty days seems like a good amount of time (biblical, even) to focus on that transition and to seriously prepare for it.
I’ve had a frantic moment or two and several bizarro dreams when I suddenly remember that formula, teething, crying, crawling, walking, diapers are on the immediate horizon. It can be very surreal. Indeed, our baby is already born. He’s lived half a year on a different continent. He is the very best kind of baby, doing baby things, every single day. Now is our time to catch up with him. And, if I can disclose, now is pretty opportune for us to invite others along for the ride. I came back to this dusty blog in hopes of introducing our son to our friends and family before he is here, in our arms. We’re not doing anything out of the ordinary, really, (just havin’ a baby) but it’s a bit tricky to introduce a child who’s not here. He’s our delight, and we need to be taking care of business, this side of the ocean. It’s time for us to be “plugged in,” as in I might or might not have checked my email 37 times today. The game could change at any moment. 😉
In summary: a bunch of miracles are happening so the Halls can have another baby.
Thank you to you wonderful people who are cheering us along. We appreciate it more than you know.