What does a court date mean?

We have a court date!

On November 28 we will go before an Ethiopian judge in one of the many steps to bring our children into our family.

Let me just give you a brief overview of the adoption timeline, at least for Ethiopia. 
Step 1: Gather A LOT of paperwork (this can be drawn out over several months but is also possible to complete within two months)
Step 2:  Submit Dossier
WAIT
Step 3: Receive and accept referral (depending on the agency this can take anywhere from one month to several years)
WAIT
Step 4:  Court submission (for our agency they estimate after referral for this to take 2-4 months)
WAIT
Step 5: Receive court date (a court date is typically issued within a week or two of court submission)  
WAIT  WE ARE HERE!
Step 6: Go to court (in Ethiopia)
WAIT
Step 7: Receive court decree (approximately 2-3 weeks after court)
WAIT
Step 8:  Children’s birth certificates issued (2-4 weeks)
WAIT
Step 9: Children’s passports issued (2 weeks)
WAIT
Step 10: Children’s medical exam (at least one month)
WAIT
Step 11: Embassy submission (Steps 7-10 must be complete for this to happen so no less than 2 months)
WAIT
Step 12: Be notified of pick up date (at least one month)
WAIT
Step 13: Bring our babies home!!!
There are several more detailed steps in addition to these but these are the big mile markers.  Also, we have learned first-hand the time amounts for each step are estimates and each case is different.  Sometimes the time is shorter but often times it can be longer. 
As you can see, this court date is a huge step for the adoption journey but we still have a long road ahead.  We are taking it one step at a time and praying that God will allow us to eventually bring our children home. 
Just to answer a few questions that we’ve been asked, we will get to see our children while we are in Ethiopia.  They will actually get to stay with us for the time we are there.  We will be there for about a week and a half and then have to come back to the U.S.A.  to wait until notification to pick them up.  

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