and by "child welfare" I mean Ministry of Women, Youth, and Children's Affairs, henceforth referred to in this post as MOWYCA.
So it has been 6 weeks since our roadblock moved and this is what has happened since then.
We got a new court order for MOWYCA to review our case again after we submitted the new evidence of the Regional clearance. The court order gave MOWYCA a deadline of 3/3... and by "deadline" it doesn't mean the same thing culturally. What the deadline did do, was put us in order in the stack of stuff that they were weeks behind on. As of 3/3 they were working on the court orders from 2/23. It was weeks of constant phone touching waiting on the email. Although it should have been enough to clear our case, that doesn't necessarily mean that what would happened. MOWYCA is famous for saying something isn't in the file and being proven that it is indeed in the file, but that is not enough to clear your case. You get to wait out the entire process AGAIN. This is what happened to us.
On 3/18 I finally got the email that we were written negative comments to the court yet again, but their reasons were weak and easy to fix. They said my post placement agreement wasn't attached (it was, and when my agency called them on it, they agreed that they made a mistake) and they wanted a different format of Power of Attorney. Luckily my agency had that at the ready and could give it to them same day... but of course that doesn't mean they would clear us because the committee has to meet again to look at it again.
Back to court my agency went to get ANOTHER court order giving us our new review "deadline" of 4/6 which is next Monday.
A few days after all of that happened, we lovingly said goodbye to Little man "D" and baby "I". They returned home to their mother on 3/21. I won't say there were no tears, because there were a few, but not because I was afraid for their health and safety as has been a concern in past cases. Their mother does a good job. Food will go into mouths and diapers will be changed. If she has a need, she has the ability and sense to reach out to resources so that her kiddos are okay.
So now my nest feels empty and I have time on my hands and I'm waiting on MOWYCA.
Sammy and I left a few days later for a short trip to San Antonio/Austin TX for a family reunion mixed with visiting my sisters there. It was a great time for Sammy and I to just be together and fill up his attention love tank.
It was 4 days of beautiful weather and sunshine and adult human beings. Having only one kid when you are accustomed to 5 is like having no kids at all. Sammy and I had a blast. I ate all of the food and said all of the words for the past 4 months where I have been in child exile in the winter.
Other than our little trip to San Antonio, here are a few other things that have been going on:
I ran a few more races.
Lucas started a session of Tae Kwon Do
We went to the dentist and no one lost a finger.
The weather turned and spirits were lifted a bit!!
So if we are being rational and well rested people, things are really really good around here. The kids are making strides in development and we are enjoying each other. Ted and I got to go on an awesome date last night. Therapies are going well and school is on target. Having the weather turn everything here green and beautiful for spring certainly doesn't hurt. We are counting these blessings constantly, because when MOWYCA does officially sign off and the last piece of the process is scheduled (us appearing for Ethiopian court)things will move very quickly, and our family will change forever again. Things will be uncertain and hard for awhile. Maybe months, maybe years, and maybe forever depending on how Trent adjusts. A day is coming soon where I will miss what I have going right now even though I will be so happy for Trent to start his life outside of an Ethiopian orphanage.
It has been over a year since our referral. It has been 3 years since he was abandoned and he has been in an orphanage since that day. It's time for this to be over and I can feel in my spirit that it will be over soon. We pray that all due process will be done by MOWYCA and that they will release him next week to move forward towards a family. We pray that his seizure medication will be given correctly and that the side effects will be minimal. We pray that I won't get stuck in Ethiopia and unable to come home as 10 families currently are (drama that I "shouldn't" have based on his specific case, but who knows right?). Emotions are on the higher side over here today and my passion for justice is flared a bit more than usual. Due process has been done. The file has been reviewed (and reviewed, and updated, and reviewed, and reviewed).
It's time for this kids life to start, and it might as well start here.