They don't call adoption an emotional roller-coaster for nothing. We'd had about a 5% hope of the decision just being overturned, but it seems this is a legal impossibility. I'd been riding high the last couple of days on that slim hope--had a bit of a crash this morning where I just laid in bed in a funk.
So I'm pulling myself out of the funk and looking at the bright side:
1. Everyone involved in this case is getting first-hand experience in the as-yet unexplored, murky territory of the Ethiopian court of appeal. This could be useful information for the future, no?
2. With the influx of new agencies being licensed in Ethiopia in the last year or two, judges seem to be growing more skeptical about all this activity, as they should be. Imagine if the citizens of wealthy, foreign countries started trying to adopt American kids--don't you think our judges would be pretty strict, even erring on the side of caution? I would hope so, and thinking about it in this way helps me have patience with the "powers that be" in Addis Ababa.
3. As for our particular case, we were told that the judge will now be writing her official report today or tomorrow, which we're hoping will now be "softened" thanks to the truth presented in Wednesday's meeting.
4. Once the judge hands the report off to the lawyers, we were told that our court date for the appeal should happen within two weeks. If we had been assigned just another court date (not an appeal), we might have to wait longer.
5. Everyone involved in Abenezer's case, including the Ministry of Womens' Affairs, is advocating for this adoption to happen. It is good that apparently there is only one dissenting voice, and that one may have been softened, thanks to the truth presented in this most recent meeting.
6. Abenezer is still being given the best care available in the Gladney foster home. We're told he's happy as a clam, smiles constantly, and lets out little squeaky "gasps" when he's excited.
7. I'm indulging my "half-empty" side less and less. Ok, I did for a few hours this morning, laying in bed with an angrily racing heart, having fitful dreams, but at least I finally got out of bed. And I'm learning that I don't have to feel guilty about laughing at things that are funny, things like this and this. In fact, it's even therapeutic to find things to laugh at.
8. A dear friend and her 3-year-old light a candle in their church every week for Abenezer, and she's teaching him what it means "to pray for something really big." I'd say that building faith in the heart of a 3-year-old is pretty important and wonderful.
9. As all this drags on, I sometimes find it unbearable to think about this chunk of Abenezer's life we're missing out on, how we're missing the squeaky laughs from those fat cheeks. But here's my one consolation: all kids want to know that they were wanted, but if all this ends with Abenezer getting to come home to us, he'll get to grow up knowing that he was fought for.