Posted by: Kristin W | December 18, 2011

Day 5 – Monday

(Note: to read about our trip from the beginning, start HERE.)

It’s official.  We are now the proud parents of four children.

Today was our court appointment and all went smoothly.  It’s a very different process than what you might expect, so for those of you unfamiliar with it, let me briefly describe.  You arrive and sit in a waiting room with uncomfortable chairs where you can’t make any noise.  Then our group was called in together.  There were four families from our agency, and we all went in together.  When I say “went in,” you may imagine us walking into some sort of grand courtroom, but actually, we all just walked into the judge’s office and sat in chairs around the wall.  She called the names of the children like she was calling roll, and once we were all present, she proceeded to ask the entire group some yes and no questions.  After she was convinced that we had started to learn about Ethiopian culture and that we had seen the children in question, she explained that this adoption is irreversible and asked if we wanted to adopt these children.  After we all said yes, she told us that the adoptions were final and that all our paperwork was there (including our MOWA letter, which is the cause for most recent delays).  I got a little lump in my throat and then it was all over and we walked out.  The whole thing took about 2.5 minutes.

The hardest part of the whole thing was watching the scene in the waiting room.  There was a family who was relinquishing their child(ren) and a family who was there to adopt them, along with a couple of social workers.  They were each called into the judge’s office separately, there were tears, awkward handshakes, and then it was over.  But it was a poignant and touching reminder of the entire adoption process and the fact that A and H’s family had to make a terrible decision in order for us to build our family.  It was one of those moments that you wish you’d never witnessed, but know that you needed to see.

After lunch we went to do some shopping and got to barter with the vendor.  Andrew got a great deal (well, at least we think so…) on some soccer jerseys and we picked up some things for the kids.  We went to a coffee shop, a grocery store and a book store to get more souvenirs.

When we returned to Horizon House the doctor was there for his weekly visit.  From what we can figure out, the nurse comes earlier in the day and sees all the kids, then the doctor comes in the afternoon to see those who are sick or new.  Since A and H had just arrived the day before, they both saw the doctor.  H has a double ear infection and an inflamed airway, so they put her on antibiotics, but A got a clean bill of health.  I felt like I should be billing Blue Cross for this, since today is the day they legally became our children, but let’s not get off track with my rant about health insurance for these kids.  Anyway, it makes me feel better knowing that the kids are getting regular medical care and that they can get medication when needed.

After the doctor visit, Andrew stayed with H while I took A back to the big kid house for a while.  One of the kids threw a toy car out the window where we were, so I picked it up and started playing with it and A came over and sat down.  We rolled that car back and forth between us for about 20 minutes.  I am confident that this kid does not have ADD – he can do the same thing for hours.  He doesn’t get overly excited about anything, but you can tell by his face that he’s into it.

Tonight we went out for a traditional Ethiopian dinner, complete with entertainment and dancing.  I’ll let the pictures speak for that one.

Parents of Four!


Mary can dance!


Gotta love eating with your hands.



  1. Congratulations, Kristin!!!

  2. You might be amazed how their personalities change. On the first visit, I couldn’t peel Big A off of me.. He would hang on me, sit on my lap, etc. nonstop. I couldn’t get him to say a word.

    Second visit, he was literally all over the place. He wasn’t the only one. Some said that kid needed a huge field to run in…. Of course all the parents there for court asked if I saw a difference between the two visits. OMG l80 degree turn around. I am guessing Big A was just scared the first visit.. and tired. He was entirely out of his sheel visit two. Seriously though he has the most amazing personality.

  3. Congratulations, mom of four! I appreciate your detailed description of the court visit. While I have read many, I hadn’t heard before of the group appearance, so I appreciate hearing your version. (And anything to help me to be prepared for what will happen.) Also, it’s so nice to know of the medical care they receive. The one thing I have heard consistently over and over and over again from other WHFC APs is how well the children are cared for at HH. That must be very reassuring during that time between trips when you just want them to be home already.

  4. Congrats! So very happy for you!

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