Today we officially accepted our referral during our phone meeting with Tammy, the director of Dove Adoptions! We are so excited to have finally moved out of the waiting phase of our adoption and into the next phase which is waiting to be assigned a court date in Ethiopia. Since our referral came just before the rainy season begins (August to October), it appears that we will be required to appear before a judge sometime in October, November, or God-forbidding, December! God-willing we pass court the first time, we will return to the United States WITHOUT our babies for a period of 6 to 8 weeks while we wait to be assigned an American Embassy date in which we will be issued full physical custody of the girls as well as their visas! After we appear for our embassy appointment, we can go home to become a happy family of 5.
I have been asked to post pictures of our beautiful new daughters, but I am in the unfortunate position in which I can't! The Ethiopian government has mandated that adoptive parents who have been issued referrals cannot post pictures, names, or ANY identifying information over the Internet! This is because they highly value the privacy of their children, which is highly ethical in my opinion. One family who did not know about the mandate posted pictures of their referred child on the web and when the Ethiopian government found out about this, they subsequently revoked the family's referral, shredded their dossier documents, and barred them from ever adopting within Ethiopia! WOW!!!!! Is that hardcore or what?!? Needless to say, with those severe consequences, we will not be posting pictures or any identifying information. What I can say is that they are so very beautiful. They have the most amazing brown eyes that are full of life and energy. They are very healthy and are eating and sleeping well. Developmentally speaking, they are right on target. They like to giggle and smile at the orphanage nannies as well as sit up and push up on their hands and wrists. They are happy, lively, and thriving. I couldn't ask for more! We will be receiving more pictures at the end of the month, and Tony and I are so excited to see how our babies have grown and changed. As we progress through this new phase on our journey of international adoption, I will keep everyone posted.