Friday, December 15, 2006

Answered Prayers on the Adoption Journey

God answered the prayers of so many today. We went to court where we sweated the wait out with hundreds of Africans, some trying to settle land disputes, some securing birth certificates for older adults who never had one issued 60 years ago when they were born, and probably a number of others quarreling over the innocence of an accused thief. I’m pretty sure we were the only ones there pursuing adoption!

After arriving just after 8a with Ega, we waited over 2 hours before finally we were ushered into this small 10”x10” room with no open windows. Finally after about 30 minutes, a man came with a stack of file folders, presumably all the mornings’ cases. He then turned on the standup fan in the corner, which then blew off all the papers on to the floor! (It was a humorous slapstick moment for us, not for him!) The judge’s assistant finally solved his breezy dilemma with a handful of small rocks. Later this came in handy as we were all startled to standing attention when he banged one of those rocks !LOUD! on the rickety wooden table when the judge walked in the room! What a gavel!!

We waited our turn as several other cases were called. Then the judge, dressed in a traditional judge’s black robe, called our name and we rose to approach the “bench” (we stood next to our attorney in front of this waist-tall wall as he read our case out loud). Our attorney thankfully had arrived earlier in the morning and had already talked our case out with the head judge, so this judge simply read the notes and then pronounced the court’s agreement that we could indeed proceed with our adoption journey! We never even were asked one question, nor even asked to present our case…almost anti-climatic, but a still a strong hallelujah rose in our hearts! This judgment today simply accords us the exception clause needed to continue our adoption pursuit (exception to the law prohibiting a couple adoption privileges if they already have other children).

We are to return on the 29th to pick up the written authorization. Most likely the first week of the new year, our attorney will attach this authorization to the next request to the court (which will allow us full legal guardianship of Lael). We will not appear before the judge for round 2, but the attorney will negotiate that directly with the judge. Then we proceed to presumably the final hearing (#3) where we will go with our whole family, Ega too, and our attorney will argue the case for full adoption privileges. We are being told to expect this court date to be in late January or more likely early February.

Your prayers are coveted through this process…the timing is the Lord’s! Our longer term plans of returning to the U.S. next year really essentially hinge on the timing of the adoption finalization…once it is final in Benin, we finalize all the immigration paperwork with the U.S...then we are free to move home!

Thank you for praying for us…thanks for all the encouraging emails that came yesterday, too!

-Randy & Kelly


Donny said...

Praise the Lord!! What else can you say but that!! Thanks for the update!!

The Vaughn's said...

That is awesome! Laura's adoption day was January 22nd. Wouldn't it be awesome if Lael's would be final that day as well?!? Whenever, we will celebrate with great joy!

Love you guys!

Ron and Marilyn said...

Such wonderful news, Kelly and Randy! We sing praises to His great and glorious name!! And say AMEN!!

love you both,

Marilyn and Ron

Cheryl said...

Praise God! So thankful this day went so positively! Will be praying for more positive days to follow!

Anonymous said...

We're so thankful for answered prayers this day!