Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Riddles, Revelations, and Referrals!

If you remember I started the countdown 12 weeks ago with a riddle. Here is a bit more of the story. Unraveling the riddle goes something like this.

In August when I wrote the rhyme I already had the referrals for my children, a son 4 and a daughter 6. I was matched with my children on June 4 when I switched agencies. I sent in my revised dossier and it was received in Ethiopia on or about July 10. There were some paperwork issues that needed to be handled and they could not be resolved prior to the court closing. On August 6, I received all the profile and medical work for my son but not my daughter.

I knew that the referral for my daughter was a little tenuous as her papers were impacted by changing requirements on the Ethiopian end. Still, I decided to wait and exhaust every possibility to get the issues resolved by the times the courts opened the first week of October. When were not able to do that I had to make a very tough decision and that is primarily why I've remained quiet about what has been going on. Through the weeks of waiting and uncertainty my agency was in constant communication with updates and eventually I had to make one final decision.

I decided to let go of my baby girl and was referred a new four-year old girl (I think she is six) one week ago Friday. No decision was going to be an easy one and while I don't think that children are interchangeable, I do believe that somehow we are led to the children meant for us. So with that I am thrilled about both of my babies and I'm ready for them to come home.

In August the best hope was that we would file for a court date as soon as the courts opened and that my date would be this week #12 or the first week of November. Well, I do have a COURT DATE! That is the big news.

The case was filed in court last Monday, October 20. and the adoptions will be final on December 8, 2008. I had hoped that they would be home by then but at least I can see the end. Let's have an all blog cheer for the court date! The best hope is that their visas and passports are ready on December 18, 2008 -- that would be the soonest they would come home. That is what I am working towards.

But of course that can't possibly be the end of the story.

As is the world of international adoption there are a few more rings of fire to jump through. My homestudy expires on December 7 or November 27 depending on how you read it, so now I have the added pleasure of getting all of my documents updated, getting fingerprints, letters, medical clearances, and having another homestudy visit on Saturday. Isn't that exciting? In Illinois all homestudies must then go to a central office in Springfield, Illinois for review and approval. Mmmmm....I do have an October 8 court date let's not forget.

Let's all join in a blog exclamation of, "Are you serious?" Yes. I'm afraid I am. Oh and there is one more thing for giggles. On October 15 it seems that Illinois changed some law or process requiring my placement agency to complete some type of registration to place children in Illinois. So, my agency is now having to complete that process as well and be approved before the court date.. You've gotta love it!

In the interim, my father and I are planning to travel and see the kids the last week of November. I have to meet my IR-3 visa requirement of seeing them first.

Well, that's the news and not yet the end of the story. Hope you all have a good day!


Robbin said...

Congratulations!! I had guessed the riddle back in August and I know that it must be difficult to make the change but I know that it is what is best.

Funny your post is called Revelation, and last night in I wrote a Revelation post of my own.

I hope hope hope all is well in court and and that your travel will be right at Christmas.

What a Christmas this will be!


Kerri said...

Congratulations on your court date!

Anonymous said...

I didn't realize that Ethiopia (or an agency) would allow a waiting sibling group to be split up. That's a little disturbing. I've followed your blog for a while, and I am thrilled that you are moving forward with bringing your children home, but as a fellow adoptive parent, I have to express my dismay at an agency that would allow this to happen. It would seem the more appropriate thing to do would be to refer you a new sibling group so that once the little girl's paperwork is in order, she and her bio brother can be adopted together.

Or maybe I'm not the original six year old girl biologically related to the original four year old boy? Sorry, just a little confused.

Anonymous said...

Woops - after re-reading your original post I realize that you never actually said the two were biologically related. Sorry about that.

Anyway, congratulations! So happy that your children are moving that much closer to finally meeting their forever family.

VALARIE said...

No need to be dismayed. They were not siblings and no one split them up.



I will keep you in my prayers for a successful court date.


Bennett said...

No one writes like you do Valerie...You should have seen my eyes while reading your post...they went from excitement, to huffing and puffing w/the eyes rolling, and then I finally ended on the note of Good Times when the father died, and the mother said DAMN!DAMN!DAMN!

I am keeping you and Robbin close in prayer.

Things will work out....Keep pusing through.


PS thank you for sharing I was waiting for the wonderful news and in all of this fog having two beautiful children waiting for you is a blessing and good news

trice said...

As a fellow IL PAP, I completely get your frustration. Who came up with these rules? Best of luck to getting your two little blessings home by Christmas. So exciting that you know for sure you'll be able to visit in November.

Gracie's Mom said...

Oh Valerie, I have goose bumps. Your post was truely spine tingling. I will be praying that you and your babies are sitting under the Christmas tree come Dec. 25. I can't wait to hear all about your trip at the end of November. Congrats and many, many Blessings to you!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations and what a happy holiday season this will be for you. Hope it all goes well and you are over there bringing them home very soon.


kristine said...

Congratulations!!!! I needed some good news today! Parenthood is all about the ups and downs so I'm focussing on the ups and just accepting the - um...sideways - not downs.

I cannot imagine having to make the decision that you did. I pray for you and all of your children. So much is out of our hands as parents. What can you do? I'm so happy you will be there in November to see them and hug them and your dad too!!

A boy and a girl!!! How wonderful!

OK - I have to stop using exclamation points!!!

I am so very happy that you are getting closer and closer to having them home.

Monica Lidya's Mom said...

Congratulations!!! I hope the remaining part of your process goes smoothly and I hope your kids are home for Christmas.

Melissa said...

CONGRATULATIONS!! I have been following your blog, even before becoming a fellow BFAS family, and have prayed that your family would soon be together. I pray that everything goes well for you at court! ~Melissa T

Tracey said...

I am saying a prayer you have your children with you fro Christmas1 (or if that doesn't work, Ethiopian Christmas ;-)

Debbie said...

Wow! That's a lot of news. I'm sorry to hear about the referral of your first little girl, but I'm so very happy to know that another little girl is going to have you as her mommy and she'll have a little brother as well. How exciting!

I'm in Illinois as well and it seems like we have to jump through a lot of hoops, but I know that in the end it will all be worth it.

Congratulations! I hope the remainder of your journey is smooth and that your visit trip is all you hope it will be and more.

Tami said...

CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!!!!!! This ride is almost over for you! What an awesome feeling.

I know how you feel about the homestudy, going through that now. See you next week.

Angela said...

Congratulations Valerie!

There is light at the end of the tunnel. You're right..God does know what's best for the children and us. It would be wonderful if you're with them for Christmas whether it's in Ethiopia or the States.

No matter how difficult the delivery, it will all with worth it when hold your children in your arms...


Holly said...

What a lot of stuff to endure. I know it is worth it in the end, but still....grrrr.
Congrats on your referrals and court date. I have another friend online who has a Dec. 8th court date for her infant in Ethiopia. That is my hubby's b-day so I will remember to say a prayer for you both. I feel like the door to Ethiopia is closed to us now but perhaps it is just too soon after our daughter leaving for us to ever look that way again.
Anyway, the plans of God are always good and I look forward to checking back to see these sweet faces you have been longing for all this time.

waitingarms said...

Congratulations! Prayers for a smooth ride with the remaining process. Wishing you and your dad wonderful trips to Ethiopia in November and December!

LoveNotes4CocoPrincess said...

...and it is still in the Master's Hands so keep your eyes focused on how great HE is and how, in the midst of it all, HIS grace covers you with HIS peace.

I can't wait to hear that the babies are home!

Maria and Family said...

Wow Valerie..never a dull moment huh? I am so happy to hear about your new referral and your chance to go and visit you children! That is really awesome.

Maria and Family said...

Hi there :) I gave you a BLOGGER award! check out my blog

to see it. Thanks for helping us all to learn on this journey.

Dawn said...

Hoping all goes well as you travel. I know it will be a life changing experience.

haze said...

What an amazing story. It must have been hard to keep all that a secret from us all this time. I certainly understand why you did though - I would have done the same.

I'm sure you will have your lovely children in your arms for Christmas 2008. CONGRATULATIONS!!1

Anna said...

Huge congrats-
Wonderful news!
Can't wait to see pictures :)

Christina said...

Congratulations Valarie! That's wonderful news.

Jenny and Matt said...

Hooray! Congratulations and thanks for sharing more details!
I can't wait to hear about your meet the kids trip!

Rebecca and Andrew said...

Valerie, Thanks for sharing this very private part of your referral process. I am so happy for you! Congratulations. I'm praying for a safe and wonderful trip for you and your father.

Nancy said...

Valarie - I'm a bit behind on reading your posts .... CONGRATULATIONS! I'm so excited your family is almost reunited and home. Wow! They sure like to make us jump through hoops with all the paperwork and legal-schmegal. All is worth it in the end, BELIEVE ME! So nice to have a God in control to help us breath through the roller coaster ride.
Love ya! ~ Nancy

Dana said...

I haven't checked your blog in awhile, so I am so happy to hear that you have your referral! I hope that your children are home with you soon.

Original Court Date: April 18, 2009
Final Court Date: May 18, 2009
[607 total days & 165 days w/IAN]