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.
I love having you as a friend. You have such an amazing outlook on life...even in your dark hours. It is ok to have those times of anger....because you really do have such a sweet spirit, Lori. We have (and I mean my whole family...because you know Sophie is already very taken with Neezer)...love you guys. We lift you up in prayer all the time. We are hoping for the quickest possible date for the appeal.
God bless you. Our family is praying for you and your baby every day.
So are we, Lori & Ted, and we second Amy's post above-- you are truly an amazing example for us all. Not only because of the positive side you presented, but because you are also able to show your true feelings. That is a rare combination. We will continue to pray for all 3 of you and the appeal.
Shelia & Arville (Skopje)
Thank you so much for your words. Just knowing how you're dealing with this teaches me so much. There seems to be huge amounts of hope swirling around this little soul. The prayers have softened the one dissenting voice... praise God! I have confidence in this upcoming appeal. Now we have more to pray for...
Your outlook is beautiful...and it's true he'll always know that he was fought for. You are very strong and the way you look at this situation, and deal with it, is inspirational.
Lori: I agree with what everyone else says, your #9 spoke to me directly today as I have been struggling with God related to the fight of it all--you have reminded me that the things we fight for are worth it. Also glad to know you are human and give into it at times, otherwise I could not relate to you at all. : )
Love the kid on the bed, and your lovely heart.
The last sentence got me right here. You are an amazing writer and an amazing woman. We're praying for you guys and hope you are hanging in there.
Lori, #9 made me cry. What a beautiful story to tell Abe, no matter what the future holds.
Praying for all 3 of you...
Lori - Bravo! You are right, there is much happening here that in the long run will be good for the process as it evolves. I know it is hard to stay cheerful when there is so much uncertainty, but you are showing true character! BTW, hope Ted is doing OK as well. We're keeping you guys in our prayers.
Who am I kidding? I have two bottles on hand just to be "safe"...
You really are just amazing. I am so happy to know you:-) Here is to a very quick appeal process!!
Oh and I have to top Danni...I bought a whole box of wine (yes, I have expensive taste) for tomorrow night:-)...wish you were hear to help me drink it!!
Thinking of you... and praying...
That you for sharing this journey with us.
Praying for you, Ted and Abineezer!
okay--i feel terrible about A's picture on our blog--i'm really sorry--i should have asked first.
My heart is full of hope after reading all of this - thank you so much for sharing with us. As always, you're in my heart and my prayers.
I have never read anything you have written,as the glass being half empty.You seem to have everything on the full side.It just amazes me!!
Praying for you guys!
I had a nasty migraine all day yesterday afternoon, vomiting, throbbing head, praying for relief, "oh God, help!" I was unable to eat for almost a day.
I had no idea it was Kombucha day, since I hadn't checked your blog. But my illness coincided with court in Ethiopia
But maybe my involuntary fasting and prayers for relief, God can credit as Time Served on behalf of Lori, Ted, and Baby Abe.
I have heard it said that sometimes God calms the storm but other times he calms his child. Rest in this and know that something this huge and affecting so many people and lives this way is not in vain. We are praying for you daily and have taken your concern to our Sunday School class. (that is full of former award winning Pearl Pirate band geeks) Keep us posted.
You continue to be in my thoughts and prayers. As I was doing my Bible study last night, a verse JUMPED out at me for you as I had checked your blog before heading up to bed to do my study.....
"The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still." Exodus 14:14
You have such a lovely and positive spirit. Keep the faith!
There is nothing that I can say that hasn't already been said. Just wanted to add my support and let you know that we're fighting with you guys, and battling for little Abenezer.
We are praying alongside you for God's peace, strength, guidance and favor for your appeal! The Lord goes before us, and fights for us and is mighty in battle! Thank you for sharing your heart and know your family is being bathed in prayer by so many! Many blessing to you!
I was just introduced to your blog through reading a friend's and I am trying to catch up on your story. I am so sorry to hear this for you. We just lost our 1st referral in November due to a situation in the courts. Unfortunately, ours cannot be appealed. So, I understand your pain and I pray that God will give you the strength to fight for this baby and see his homecoming soon!
Your in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. We came across your blog from another Ethiopia blog. We also live in Portland and recently adopted from Ethiopia. Our prayers go out to you. Kim Pasion
I had tears welling up (again) as I read this post. I won't repeat what others have said better than me, just know that I am thankful for your spirit.
I'm still praying for everyone involved, especially you and Abenezer and the judge. Today the women in my Ladies Bible Study class prayed for your family, too. They are loving, faithful women (several are adoptive mothers themselves), and I know they will continue to pray for your situation. As will I.
A wellspring of hope seems to be bubbling up... Seems there is good reason to be optimistic. Keep taking those cleansing breaths, and let all this cyber love and prayer flow into your hearts.
You are truly an inspiration. I continue to include all three of you in my thoughts and prayers each day. Should I get to lavish love on little Abe while I'm in Ethiopia with Jocelyn, I'll be sure to whisper sweet nothings to him about how hard you are fighting...
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