This is the question I get constantly, and I know y'all are wondering too. Even my dad said yesterday, "Melissa, you need to blog about when that baby's coming home. People are wantin' to know."
Short answer: I think around Valentines.
Long answer: There are five pieces of paper that need to be submitted to the American Embassy after you pass court. As I understand it, they are 1. her new birth certificate (check) 2. her new passport (check) 3. a MOWA approval letter (MOWA is like the CPS of Ethiopia) (check) 4. the translation of the court documents from Amharic to English and 5. she has to get a physical at the Embassy itself. Still waiting on those last two, but they may be ready and I'm just not aware of it.
Our other main issue is that our stupid fingerprints expired again (to the tune of $180.) This is the third time that we've had to be fingerprinted by the feds and the whole drive clear across Austin, Walker and I asked why? Why do we keep having to do this? So I asked the lady fingerprint lady - it's because they clear their computer cache every year. Ahhhhhh. So once the government again certifies again that we are not terrorists again, they send us what is called a 171 form.
Those of you who have been around a while might recall that it took THIRTEEN WEEKS and several tearful phone calls to get that dumb piece of paper the first time, which probably delayed our adoption by a full year. This time it took three weeks. Whatever, I cannot even let my mind linger on these facts or I would go insane.
Our agency submits to Embassy on Thursdays so assuming we get all the other paperwork together, we could be submitted on January 17 (Carrie and Ben, a couple we traveled with, were submitted last Thursday.) Then it is currently taking the Embassy about two weeks to complete their review of the case, then email the families and say, "Hey, when do y'all want to come over?" (Yes, of course, that's exactly what they say. They're very casual at the American Embassy in Addis.) Once you get that email, you get to choose three dates in order of preference, but I've been told you always get your first choice. You could theoretically choose the next day, but of course, there's this issue of actually getting to Ethiopia. Most families travel the next week.
This puts us during the first part of February, which is perfect timing, because I have Smockaholics in Houston February 6-9 and I was stressed out about how I was going to pull it off with Bethie already here. Majorly stressed. If we travel the next week, then I can tidy up Smockaholics, get all the checks in the mail, and be done with it and able to focus 100% on her.
You know what that means? For the first time in this three year process, God seems to be working on my timetable. And I ain't gonna lie, y'all, I like it.
Until then, I am a happy little nester. I've gone through the bins and bins and bins of clothes I have pulling out Bethie-wear, I've done some shopping, I had an baby shower (pix to come!), I've found out her shoe size (6.5). I'm sorting through more donations to take over to Jimmy and Rachel at No Ordinary Love.
I'm trying to spend time with the kids, including a trip to Great Wolf Lodge last weekend.
And I'm reading. And praying. And reading. And praying.