Wednesday, March 5, 2008

How it went down, finally

We are a couple of spoiled people. For the last few days, Ted and I have been trying to share the use of a lap-top during a very busy time when we both actually really need consistent access to a computer. This is why I haven't posted details of Monday yet. Thanks for being patient.

So this is how it all went down:

Like I said before, I've had a strange amount of peace about everything for the last couple of weeks, excluding the popcorn on the floor meltdown a week ago. Packing up Abe's stuff to come down to L.A. was not an easy task, but it was definitely made easier by two factors: 1. I think God may have been nudging me to do it and 2. A friend came over and watched Magnolia with me while I did most of the packing (in my top ten favorite movies of all time: "I do have love to give, I just don't know where to put it!" is one of the best lines in any film, ever--breaks my heart every time I hear it).

I got down to L.A., with that March Forth breadcrumb and a suitcase packed full of 'Neezer gear'. Then as Ted and I were praying Sunday night about the court date coming up, my prayer was something like this, "God, I know that in heaven all things will be made right, that we'll see full justice there for eternity, but I'm asking in your grace and mercy to give us just a portion of that justice here on this earth for the sake of our family and this baby."

Then we went to bed, and I slept until 10:00. Yes, you heard that right: when I can sleep, I sleep, even if that means into the late morning. Please don't judge me. I'm prepared to have this change with the presence of Abe in our lives, I promise.

When I woke up, I checked my phone and saw that Mary had called twice within five minutes of each other. She's been so great about calling just to ask how we're doing, so I figured that's what this was, that she was checking in the day before our court date. I went to check my email, figuring she would have written when she couldn't reach us, but there was no email from her.

That was the first clue that something was up.

So I went to call her back and when she actually picked up her phone, that was clue number 2 (it usually goes straight to voice-mail). I said, "Hi Mary, this is Lori Rooney." She answered me in a sing-songy sort of way, "Oh hi! Are you sitting down?"

Clue number 3.

She then said, "It's done, Lori! Go get Ted!"

Uh, clue 4.

So I jumped up, ran downstairs to find Ted and saw him standing outside on the deck. I ran across the living room and ended in a long slide in my slippers across the dining room until crashing into the back door and dropping the phone. I opened the door and blurted something out to Ted about "It's Mary! It's over! It's done!" then picked the phone back up and heard Mary laughing.

It turns out that what happened is that Belay and Dr. Tilahun, Gladney's lawyer, decided to go early to court last Thursday to petition for an early court date. They didn't tell anyone they were doing this, otherwise Mary would have told us. They went back Friday. Then they went back Monday (these men have gumption and persistence).

On Monday at the court of appeals, in what wasn't even an official "court date," the right someone looked at all the documents, and asked a few questions, one of which was something about, "Why wasn't this adoption approved two months ago? What's the problem here?" Belay and Dr. Tilahun tried to explain what went down on that awful January 4th court date, which apparently baffled this court official (as it has baffled everyone else involved).

Gladney had gone out of their way (major understatement) to gather together additional proof that this adoption was nothing but 100% ethical, but the court official didn't even ask to see all these additional documents. The official said that there was no reason this adoption should not be granted, whipped out a couple of stamps, did his judicial magic, and finished the thing, a day early and without the big scary "court date."

Crazy, huh? From that point, Abe became officially Abe Rooney. Belay and Dr. Tilahun are officially our heroes. There is no thank you big enough for them.

So for any of you Gladney families out there who are in difficult circumstances of waiting, wondering what's going on, unsure of the next step, please know this: You can not be in better hands. This team of people will do everything possible to bring these children to their families. Do not fear.

We've had our moments of frustration at these lost two months thanks to a very bad decision on January 4th which was based on suspicion and not facts, but I try not to focus on this. Nothing will change it, and we are just so thankful that God brought justice now. That was my prayer, and the God who loves us and Abe very much showed us mercy.

So we spent the rest of Monday calling people and reading all those amazing comments of congratulations from friends, family, and people we've yet to meet (but hope to at the blogging union this summer). Abe is one loved little boy, no doubt about that one.

We ended the day by opening up the most expensive bottle of champagne we've ever had, given to us for our wedding by our L.A. neighbors Grant and Katherine (hey guys!). In fact, I think it may have been my first time drinking actual champagne: we usually go for the $10 bottles of "sparkling wine."

Yes, the photo is cheese-bally, but don't we deserve to be cheeseballs?

So now we're making our travel plans. Keep sending in those SD cards for anyone who wants pics of their kids. And thank you again for all the support and prayers. We are happy, even when we have to share the laptop.


graceling said...

Oh. Lori. See? Can't even really type.

Gladney rocks. I am so happy for you!

Jocelyn said...

I love the vision of you sliding in your slippers:-) You'll need to do a little skit of this when we are all there in August:-) I also love the cheeseball picture...and yes, you deserve to be cheeseballs!!!
love ya,
joc and pacey

mama becca said...

Oh I'm really crying now. Thank you for your encouragement for us waiting families too... "Do not fear." I need to repeat that over and over. card on it's way... UPS- gets there friday.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lori and Ted,

I'm a friend of Stephanie Brown's, and have been hearing your story from her, and now from your blog. I just wanted to tell you how thrilled my family and I are for you, and for the beautiful boy who is so loved by you already. Congratulations and I look forward to seeing and hearing more.

Jen H.

Carol said...

Lori - I don't think the pix is cheese-bally, in fact, it is very sweet and really says everything. Congratulations to the wonderful new family of 3! Good times ahead!

Dani Schmidt said...

What a beautiful post.
Congratulations to you both.
What a beautiful family you will be.
Magnolia is also one of my favorite movies!

Susan Isaacs said...

And I got to be here when the call came in! YEA! Go get that baby!

Angie said...

I love cheeseballs! What an awesome story...loved every word!
Do you think we could bring you an SD card just 'in case' we get the call while you're over there and we can send you a smoke signal telling you which little cutie is ours? :)

Tara said...

Ok. I am bawling my eyeballs out again. Thanks alot. :) We are just elated and excited and thrilled for sweet little Abe to be home with you guys SOON!!! Great story!

Anonymous said...

Man, has that boy got a smile or what, you know it reminds me of your smile Lori, which I have always thought is quite beautiful. Glory!


veggiemom said...

Cheeseballs rock!
Kerri and Ruby

Amy said...

Aaaaamazing story! Oh the stories you will have for baby Abe one day.... =)

Anonymous said...

Can't wait hold that lovely little boy with the dazzling face. Congratulations you two- and what a journey it's been... May your trip to the African continent be a peaceful one.

Niece Rachel

Jillienne said...

Wow! What an amazing outcome to a very scary situation! I am so happy for you guys, and thank you so much for posting your story.
By the way, we have accepted a new referral of a beautiful baby ..........GIRL!! Shocking!
Still hoping to bring Jaxson home too.
Maybe we can all get our happy endings....

ian & amanda said...

oh lori, huge tears of...congratulations? is that possible? tears of joy, happiness, elation, nostalgia somehow, ...must be that Joy that c.s. lewis talks about... anyhow, they WERE rolling down my face when i started this comment, but now my over-analysis of my tears, combined with having to soothe ben back into his nap, dried them up.

anyhoohoohoo... baby abe became so very real to me today as i was setting aside the hand-me-downs out of ben's clothing, and picturing that sweet, smiling, dimpled boy in them, thinking how beautiful the colors will look next to abe's gorgeous skin.

so i finally got online to check the blog, was so glad to get to read this posting about the details, which had me nearly in tears (you know the kind where you're suddenly AWARE that you have tears, and your eyeballs seem to be floating in more moisture than usual, but even if you blinked real hard you still couldn't make an actual drop squeeze out?)---God bless those PERSISTENT (that's an actual honest-to-goodness BREADCRUMB for me & ian; remind me to tell you about it) Gladney men. their story is so sweet! and how THOUGHTFUL of God, and so so SO like Him to be doing stuff behind the scenes like that, unbeknownst to you, so that you were able to sleep blissfully in, and OF COURSE it all happened while you were sleeping and before you were even able to start having to fight off the march fourth anxiety. YIIIIPPPPPPEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!! oh lori, it's just so fun.

and when i read all the way down and finally got to the actual announcement posting, and saw that you named it "OUR OWN ROONEY," which i have typed so many times as i look up your blog.... THAT'S when the big ol' crocodile tears showed up. it was just too perfect.

thank you for sharing your life and your joy. what a story!!!! praise Him, praise Him. let's do a happy hymnsing this weekend before you leave, up at the park, whoever wants to come, to send you off to Ethiopia full of praise & power. does Sunday work for you?


p.s. is this too long for a comment? should i have sent this as an email? or can i do whatever i want because we're in the no-man's-land of etiquetteless cyberspace? ;)

emily said...

Wonderful story of God's provision and using man as His instruments of grace and mercy! I love the prayer you prayed about justice-

Just all-around a great read!!

Carpenter Family said...

oh sweet jesus, this is the one of the most wonderful things ever!!! its the end of a long shift momwise (hubby out of town past threeish days) and right now all i want to do is pick up my kids, snot and all and hug em... tears in my eyes, joy in my heart!!! and i know that pales to your joy and sweet abe... traveling mercies!

Anonymous said...

You have that GLOW of a NEW MOM!!! And, I think it rubbed off on Ted a little!! I'm crying 'cause I can't be there!!! That little angel in the back of your mind is about to be a squirmy, dimpled little bundle of love in your arms!! YIPPEE!! Thanks for the details.

Jesus is SO FUN!!! The question now is, "Would you have had it any other way?" You indeed walked a road less traveled, and didn't even choose it. But weren't there some wonderful discoveries as you traveled along? Especially those bread crumbs!! I imagine it could be akin to trudging through a long dim tunnel then suddenly stepping into the warm sun, greeted by a friend with your favorite flavored shave ice, topped with custard, just for YOU! (((HUGS)))
LY! Cindy

Danni and Tommy said...

I loved reading this! Thank you for sharing. It was so great to meet you today. Judah loves you. Can't wait to meet that darling little man of yours! YAY! He is ALL yours.

Kristy -Mom To 9 Blessings said...

I was working on my Beth Moore Bible study today. She talked about the challenge when things seem to come easy for everyone else but not to you. Supernatural intervention is needed to accomplish the seemingly "easy" tasks. Those who are able to do things the "easy" way will never experience the supernatural power of the glory of God that is needed to accomplish the task. During this whole process waiting for sweet Abe, I'm so glad that you were chosen by Him to not go the "easy" route so that His provision and His glory would be shown.
Oh, I think that this celebration deserves a little more funk dancing from Ted!

Nicholas said...

Tearing up over this - God is great and your family will be complete soon! Congrats. again!
Lori - NH

Jenn said...

I am chocked up. I am so happy for you guys! What a happy ending... or happy begining, really!

Stacie said...

Beautiful story! I love that you splurged on the wine - and that picture is actually very sweet. So happy for you! Making travel plans! Yay!!!

Natalie Fournet said...

Amazing! amazing...amazing!!! I am just so happy for you all.

"Yes, the Lord has done amazing things for us!What joy!" Ps 126:3

Thanks for allowing us all to share in this love story....

Melissa said...

What an incredible story. How perfect that you went running sliding in your slippers trying to reach Ted. I can imagine the look on your faces as the scene played out. I just can't stop thanking God. Hang in the Abe Babe, your parents are coming to take you home!!

DrewCareyShow said...

Sweet Lori... as always, no one writes a better story. And isn't non-fiction the best kind? What a wonderful picture you've painted! I was talking with my mom again about how exciting this is and the added gift of not having to go to bed on Monday night with that icky anxious feeling over Tuesday's court date. What a grand finale to this portion of the waiting... and now the best wait of all -- to have baby neezer in your arms. He is precious beyond words, and we can't wait to meet him!

Jana said...

Oh, how wonderful.

Unknown said...

Wow. Oh first I should say hi - clicked to your link a while back from owlhaven. I've been enjoying your blog - tenderness, humour, frustration, faith and, of course, wacky photos. ha.
I'm teary-eyed happy for you and your family of THREE. Enjoy enjoy enjoy.

LISA said...

Thank you for sharing the "how it went down" story. I had been wondering.