We Have a Court Date!!!!
Woo-hoo!!!!! We are rejoicin' over here!!! We got news today that June 29th will hopefully be a very happy day for the Oren family! June 29th is our court date in Ethiopia!!!! If we pass court on the 29th we will be the legal parents of Mekonen and will travel approximately 3 weeks later to bring him home! The tricky part you ask? PASSING THE 1st TIME!
Common Court Questions
1. Do you have to travel to Ethiopia for your court date?
We do not need to travel for our court date. We signed a Power of Attorney for our agency's lawyer to act on our behalf in court. That way we don't have to travel twice, especially when there is always a chance you don't pass the first time.
2. Why wouldn't you pass the 1st time?
There are many reasons why some families do not pass court the first time. This is not due to the adopting family at all. We have already been approved by Ethiopia to adopt and all our paperwork is already signed, sealed, approved, and delivered. If there are problems with our case, it is due to factors on the Ethiopia side. The most common thing lately seems to be the missing MOWA approval letter. If the Ministry of Women's Affairs(MOWA) doesn't send your case in with a cover letter, you do not pass court. The cover letter basically says they approve everything about your baby's case. There are lots of different reasons they don't send cover letters. Many times they don't because they are understaffed and run out of time. Other times, MOWA requests more information about the baby or their background before they will write your approval letter. In the past year the director of MOWA has been imprisoned twice while the government checked on some cases, therefore, MOWA has been extra cautious and making sure everything is done ethically and in its entirety.
3. What happens if you don't pass the first time?
If we don't pass the first time, we are scheduled another court date. In the past, if a family doesn't pass the first time, there have been many, many weeks, sometimes 6 or more between their dates. Recently, make-up cases have been much closer together, sometimes the next week, or just a few weeks out at most it seems. But, here is the tricky part for us. The courts close sometime in early August through early October. So, if we don't pass court the first time and don't get a quick make-up date and actually pass that one, we might have to wait until October for a new date when the courts re-open. That could be the difference of Mekonen being around 9 months + when we get him instead of 6 months when we get him.
4. What happens when you pass court?
When we pass court, our agency will notify us of our embassy appointment in Addis Ababa. This is the day we have to appear at the embassy for Mekonen's visa to travel home. Usually, once you pass court, you travel in approximately three weeks! So, if we pass the first time, our little guy will be home this July! Wow, that is insane! We have SO MUCH to do!!!!
Please, please join us in praying for our court date on June 29th. We desperately want to bring our son home where he can be smothered with our love and attention!