This morning we left for court at 9:00 am. We arrived at 9:30, and by 10:30 we were done! That's amazing time for Ethiopian court! We entered a small room with the judge who was sitting behind a desk. She asked us a series of questions about our commitment, our knowledge of Ethiopia, etc. We said yes to all questions and she informed us that the Ministry of Women, Children, and Youth Affairs had not given her our letter yet. This was expected, as we had been informed that the ministry was about 20 days behind on Monday. We are praying that they will expedite letters in large numbers for all families because courts close in mid-late August for the rainy season. Please pray with us that we will be approved by the court as soon as possible. Pray that all obstacles would be removed for the employees of the ministry, and that our children would be able to come home quickly.
After court we spent time with Zane for about an hour before heading to lunch. He had a great morning. We learned what a chinese yo-yo is and he was able to operate it pretty well by the end of the hour. We also blew bubbles, and played with the ball he loves so much. Zane loves anything sports we've noticed. He wants to watch the older boys play soccer, and then he'll whine to get down and attempt to run with us holding his hands. It's funny. He wants to play so badly. He also loves to play with anything that makes noises. It's facinating to him.
After lunch, Zane was waking up from a nap. He loves to walk around the grounds when he's first woken up. He does not want to play, cuddle, or anything. He's a little grumpy like his mama. Once he's had time to wake up, he likes to play with something on our blanket, like a book or the ball. Then he gets pretty wound up. He wants to practice walking. Today, Daddy held his hands while he climbed down the stairs, around the banister, and back up the stairs to me. Midway, I would peer over the railing and surprise him with "Boo" and a tickle. He thought it was hilarious!!!! He wanted to do it over and over. Mark tried to change it up a bit ( I think he was getting bored with going in circles) and Zane refused. He wanted to do it the same way each time, and he laughed every time as if it were the first. He was very cute today.
As we were leaving, we took Zane back to the toddler room. It has a big window that opens to the porch. All the little ones gathered at the window as Mark pretended to hit them on the head with the chinese yo-yo through the glass. They were cracking up so much they would fall to the floor. Zane joined them, and he had the biggest smile we had ever seen. Zane and his two best friends, one a girl and another a boy from the same region stood at the glass and said "bye-bye" in English as we left. It was the first words we had ever heard Zane say in English. What a moment. I wish we could capture these impromptu moments on camera, but by the time the camera's out, they are over. We hope to keep up with Zane's friend (the boy) in the states when we return because his family is our friend on facebook! The kids are like family, and they light up when they see each other.
In light of the happy times that Zane has had with these sweet children, the love of his nannies, and the tenderness he receives from all employees of the transition home, Mark and I feel very much at peace with not passing court today. We know that God is Sovereign and Good. He does what is best. We feel that Zane's transition would be difficult, sad, and harmful to him if we had passed court today and took him from the transition home. He would grieve so much the loss of his friends and "family" there. He knows us now, but not well enough for us to take him away yet. He needs time, and we believe God has shown us that in the past few days. We will continue to see him every day as we have been doing the past 5 days. When Mark leaves on July 22nd, I will continue to go to the transition home every day and bond with him. By the time we pass court, we hope that he trusts me enough to come with me without too much heart break. Please pray for him. He is a sensitive, emotional little guy. He needs God's peace, His grace, and His joy as he enters this new life.
We appreciate your prayers so much!