Big news! Today, we accepted a referral from our adoption agency, Gladney, to adopt a two-year-old Ethiopian boy. Unfortunately, we cannot share his name or photo on the internet until the adoption is finalized, but suffice it to say, he is an adorable little boy. His caregivers describe him as a sweetheart, happy, jolly, playful, active, talkative, well-adjusted, and with a sense of humor that makes everyone laugh!
Our son-to-be had a very difficult life prior to being brought to Gladney in late December 2008. His father (a farmer) died when his mother was eight months pregnant with him, and his mother died when he was only seven months old. Both deaths are thought to be from malaria, but as the resources are so sparse where he was born, this information comes second-hand from the uncle who brought him to the orphanage. Regardless, as we've pored over wikipedia and google maps the past two days, we've learned a lot about Ethiopia and the region from where he hails. It's a tough place to live, and it seems as though that's all a lot of people there are focused on: getting by. It has been very sobering and humbling, to say the least.
Needless to say, however, we are ecstatic and light-hearted about having taken this most crucial step in the adoption process, and hopeful that the remaining part of the adoption will go smoothly. We are amazed at how quickly everything has progressed to date. After 4-5 months of work (mostly by Kate) to get all our information in order and to the right authorities, we got onto Gladney's waiting list on June 3. Just 6-7 weeks later, we got this referral. Amazing.
Next steps. Our case will now be put in line for a court date in Addis Ababa. With the rainy season only a month away (the courts close on August 21 for a month or longer for the rainy season), we are hoping to get an assignment made soon. If so, we could have a court date as early as October and be traveling over to pick him up 2-5 weeks thereafter assuming everything were to go through on the first try. But it's also equally as possible -- maybe more likely -- that we won't even get a date set until October or November which could push us into 2010 for travel.
Regardless, we are giddy with anticipation and filling our free time researching anything we can about our son-to-be's culture and environs. Both McRae and Roxie seem excited about the prospect of having a "brudder," though clearly they don't completely understand, and it doesn't seem real to them. It will soon enough! We can't wait to see what tomorrow brings.