Friday, May 27, 2011

Day 4- Court

If you haven't read the first few days, scroll down!

We woke up early and got dressed and ready for court. We were picked up in a van with the other family that had court with us, as well as Eleni and a guy that I believe is the agency’s lawyer. We drove to a tall building and walked up like 6 flights of stairs (we were advised to dress nicely, so I wore a skirt and heels. I regretted the heels all day!) and into a crowded room. Eleni told us that everyone in the room was there for adoption. There were people speaking all different languages, it was pretty cool. We learned that knowing the right people makes a difference, because we were taken in after about only 5 minutes of waiting. The court hearing for our family and the other family happened at the same time. We were led into a room with a couple of women behind desks. The judge asked whose kids were whose and then asked about our other children, if we had met our new children, if we had become educated on Ethiopia, adoption, and possible identity issues that could come from adopting a child of another race and culture.

Then she said that Journey’s documentation was complete, and the other couple’s daughter’s was complete, but that Little Boy's was missing something and would have another hearing May 13th. Then she said “Elshaday (the other girl) and Selam have complete files. They are now yours.” she thanked us and that was it, we were on our way.

**To explain about not passing court for Little Boy, we don’t have to go back for the next court date because we appeared before the judge this time, and the agency's lawyer will act on our behalf.**

After court, we got back in the van, and went to Sabahar, which is a silk factory. And by factory, I mean rooms of people working spinning wheels and looms. We got to see silk worms and the butterflies they turn into, and the silk they spin. It was a really peaceful place, quiet, with lots of pretty flowers. We bought a pretty silk scarf that I think we are going to put in the girls’ room, and also some cotton washcloths.

We got back in the van and drove to a basket shop, which was a little hut on the side of a quiet road that was FULL of stuff. Baskets in all shapes and sizes, sculptures, wood and metal carved crosses, wood furniture-it was hard to move in there without touching something. We got a food serving basket with a lid, a big round basket with a lid that I LOVE even though it is huge and will be an adventure to get home, an open shallow basket, and a mancala set.

From there we stopped at a cd shop because another family with us has an Ethiopian daughter at home who wanted a cd from a specific artist. We got a kids dvd of Christian songs in Amharic. We were dropped back off at Layla and 2 of the families we had gotten close to went out to lunch, then back to Laya to talk to Gail about the embassy process and to sign some papers. This was when we finally saw a copy of Little Boy's birth certificate and learned his birthdate. It is approximate and probably not the day he was actually born but it is something, and he should be home to celebrate his 4th birthday with us. Gail also told us at this time that if we wanted to process their visas separately we could, so that Journey wouldn’t have to wait until Little Boy's documentation was just right. There were a lot of adoptive families at Layla that afternoon, and we had a good time talking to everyone and comparing stories. When adoptive families are the minority in play groups and the local community, it was really nice to have a community of all adoptive parents.

We finally got a ride home to change shoes and let Vivi have a nap (which she decided she didn’t need) and the wife of the guest house owner invited us to the traditional coffee ceremony. She had fresh grass and flowers on the floor with a little stool on top of it. On top of the stool was a tray with tiny tea cups and saucers. Next to that, she had a free standing little burner and she was stirring coffee beans with a stick on a round metal plate, roasting the beans. When she was done, she walked around the house and blew the fragrant smoke from the beans around. Then she took the plate outside and set it on the ground, where she continued stirring and took out beans that were bad. I didn’t notice a difference between the good and bad beans. Then she got out a big wooden mortar and what looked like a railroad tie, and the guard sat down and crushed the beans while the woman went inside to make popcorn. The beans smelled soo good as he was crushing them!

Once they were all crushed, he poured them into a cup and took them inside. She had water boiling and spooned the coffee grounds into the pot, swirling it around, and then put it back on the burner for a few minutes. She served the popcorn (popped in a pot with oil and then topped with sugar) in a big basket on the floor, which Vivi thought was pretty cool. Then she poured little cups of coffee for everyone in the guest house, and we sat and talked while we enjoyed the thick, strong coffee and the sweet, crunchy popcorn. It is such a peaceful, relaxing tradition!

We were supposed to meet everyone for dinner at a nice Ethiopian restaurant, but Vivi decided not to take a nap and was quite cranky so we decided to skip and instead had a relaxing evening at the guest house, and took a walk down to the grocery store to get some yummy snacks.

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