We have preliminary court date set for February 26, 2012. We are so so very happy that we have a date and that gives us something concrete. It's a bit reassuring to have a date and know that the case is still progressing and we haven't been lost or forgotten! In all honesty though, we were hoping we would have had the PH (preliminary hearing) in January so we could travel in February. And in my sinful heart, it was hard at first not to be disappointed even though it was such great news and something to be so thankful for! But my God is a god of grace and the One who provides. He provides that grace just when we need it and calms the aching heart. So, by His grace, I am so at peace with this date because I know that His timing is perfect. Maybe I don't know why it is going to be timed out like this, but regardless-I know it is just the way it is supposed to be. The agency told us to expect to travel for court one month after our PH. So, we are praying for a March court and travel date!!! It would be so lovely to not have to wait until April. (And just a little information....the PH is the one we do not have to be present for. It is the court hearing that basically declares Elliana as an orphan. A representative from our agency and the orphanage will be present. Once she is legally declared an orphan, then she can legally be declared OURS at the second court hearing, which is the one we DO need to be present for.)
On March 11, Elliana will be 5 months old. I realize the sweetness of being postponed a bit later than we would like is that we will see her when she is 5 months old--a time when she will be smiling and possibly laughing. Holding her head up and interacting with us. Now, don't get me wrong...I wish I could go see her and hold her RIGHT NOW--but since we only get ONE trip to see her before we bring her home, it will be nice that she will be a tad older so she is alert and active. I wish we could go over once a month and see her. It's hard to know that for the first 8-9 months of her life we will only have seen her one time. In the years ahead, maybe that will not matter as much. But still, right now it is no fun and stinks pretty bad.
Today is a great day. Some families at our agency have court! (yay! excited for them!) And they were so so kind to take some photos for us of Elliana!!! :) I am a crazy email checker right now because I want to see those pictures!!!!! You have no idea how excited I am. So, if you live close...you will get to see her beautiful face again soon:)
And because blog posts are always better with pictures....here is what we have been up to:
Cleaning out the garage, Brent found a world map puzzle from my teaching supplies. It's made out of foam. Raelynn pulled Africa out right away and started saying "Af-ica" and Declan enjoys teething on it!
I LOVE this new shirt I got!! You can order yours here: arecklassabandon.bigcartel.com
Erica, who is selling these, is actually our travel agent and a really awesome gal who has a big heart for our Lord, adoption, and Ethiopia.