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.