Wednesday, July 6, 2011

July 1st: Penny is officially a DeMaio!!

We got home from Ethiopia on Thursday afternoon and headed straight to Red Robin with my parents, who flew out from California to stay with our kids while we were away (thanks again sooo much Mom and Dad!)  During our meal on the way home from the airport the kids were very patient to hear all of our stories about the trip and about Penny and we heard all about their time here at home.  It was so good to be back together as a family!  The waitress heard us talking about our trip and we told her that we were there to adopt our 3rd child... It is so encouraging to see the reaction of people that don't even know us who share in our enthusiasm.  She was super sweet and after our meal, she brought out a huge piece of their famous mud pie on the house - how awesome was that?

We hadn't received the infamous "letter" from the Ethiopian Ministry of Women's Affairs that is needed to "pass" court while we were there in Addis.  The adoption agency director there had told us that only about 20% of families pass court the week they are in country so we weren't shocked to hear that the letter had not arrived at court.

We were NOT prepared to get a call on Friday morning, the day after we got back home, from our adoption agency.  The caseworker told us congratulations... we were now officially parents of 3!

What?  We got the letter?... "Yes.  You are cleared in court!" she said.  I was watering plants in the back yard and yelled to Dustin, who was mowing the grass... "Hon!  Hon!  Dustin!  That was the agency!  They said we passed court and Penny is officially a DeMaio!"

We were in shock for the next 24 hours - now to get that munchkin home!...

It looks like we need a second letter now from the ministry of women's affairs that requests a birth certificate in order for us to submit our paperwork to the US embassy for review.  In the past, this 2nd letter has just been procedure and a non-issue but evidently, in the last few weeks it has become a stop-gap in the process and we now need to wait for that letter to come through the system in order to move forward.  So, we pray, yet again, for "the letter" - a different letter than the one we needed for court but from the same branch of Ethiopian government as the first letter.  All this paperwork just makes my head spin!

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