Introducing our newest family member - Nardos. Brad and I just recently returned from a trip to Ethiopia. We sat before a judge and told her that we have met her, we know about all the pain in her past, and yes, we know that this is permanent. Anti-climatically, she scribbled notes on a stack of papers, looked up and told us with a straight face, "the court declares her as your daughter." That's it? No balloons, or bells and whistles? I know I was probably out of place, but I couldn't help it, I squeaked out a "Woohoo!"
Just 8 months prior we sat before this same judge and answered the same questions about Micah and Cassidy. We were not worried, just curious about a foreign process - but when we heard the news from the judge that they needed an approved MOWYCA letter (local adoption approval) before they would become part of our family, our hearts sank. How could we come so far and get "No" as answer? Of course, we soon realized that the answer was not, "No," it was "Not yet."
So, back to August 6, 2013 and this same judge plainly tells us, "We approve your application to bring this child into your family." So, no celebrating in this cold room, just encouragement to quickly move out so the next set of families could hear their ruling. Fortunately we were able to celebrate with the most important person - Nardos.
I look at pictures and am amazed at what God is doing in our lives. There are times when I hear things like, "these kids are so blessed and lucky to have you." I know it is a well meaning comment and stems from thoughts that I have experienced too. But Brad and I would be the first ones to tell you, "We are not good enough for these kids. We don't deserve them." God has taught us so much about love and being vulnerable, through parenting.