I sort of assumed that everyone out there knew exactly what we are waiting for between our court trip and our embassy trip.  Until we were explaining it to our island friend Hillary and she said, "Wow.  You should blog about that."  And I thought... everyone does.  And then I thought, Oh!  Not everyone is reading the number of adoption blogs I'm reading.  There are still normal people out there whose lives don't revolve around the Ethiopian court system.

So... for the normal people of the world, I will break down what exactly it is we are waiting on.  

On April 19th we had our court date in the Ethiopian court and we passed.  So on that day she officially became our daughter.  However, she can't leave Ethiopia until she clears with the US Embassy and that is why we refer to a "court trip" and an "embassy trip."  

Since we passed court AWAA is working to collect five things.  
  1. A court decree saying that we passed court.
  2. A letter from MOWCYA saying that they approve of the adoption (MOWCYA is the Ministry of Women, Children and Youth Affairs in Ethiopia).
  3. A birth certificate (her name on her birth certificate will be Temar Logan Wade, we'll add Willow later).
  4. Passport
  5. Medical Exam- there are very few Embassy-approved clinics in Addis, and this is one reason some cases get held up.

Once AWAA has those five things, they can submit our case to the US Embassy in Addis Ababa, but only on a Wednesday.  So if it doesn't happen this Wednesday, it won't happen until next Wednesday and so on... 

Once we are submitted to the Embassy they have ten days to review our case.  And they can either A) Clear us to come and pick her up!  or B) Send our case to the US Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya.  

If we are sent to Nairobi, the file will have to be couriered there and that takes about a week.  Then they will take a week or two to review our case and then clear us to come and pick her up!

Absolute worse case scenario, and it is unlikely, they would issue an RFE (request for evidence) and hold our case in Nairobi until whatever evidence they were needing could be found.  

So you can see why we don't know exactly when we'll be picking her up.  There are many variables.  But the most recent families with cases similar to ours, have been back to pick up their kids in around 8 weeks.  And so we hope that we will be there in mid-June.  But it could be sooner!  Or it could be later.  We just have to wait and see.  

The first step is to have our case submitted to the Embassy and we'll definitely let you know when that happens! 

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