We had our first court date on September 3. Court is one of the last huge steps to check off before we can travel to India, because court makes our daughter legally ours. We knew court could be a long process. Our agency prepared us for anywhere from 2-12 months, even warning that 2 months wasn’t very typical.
We had court date after court date, and each time, prayed that each court date would be our last. According to the eCourt app, we had 8 hearings. The last one that we knew of was on October 25 (so really, Sunday night of October 24 while we slept). The next day I checked the app, and it wasn’t working. Our agency emailed to say that our advocate did confirm we had a hearing, and that we had moved from “evidence” to “arguments”. At that point, he didn’t know when our next date would be, though. We were excited about this movement, and kept checking the app for an update as to when our next hearing would be.
Finally, I checked the app on Friday morning, October 29, and it had updated! It said our next date was on October 29, which meant we had actually had a court hearing during the night Thursday that we didn’t even know about. The other thing that got me excited was our status said “Judgement”. I didn’t know what this meant, but it sounded like a positive sign. About 30 minutes later, though, I checked the app again, and “Judgment” had changed to “Arguments”. This disappointed me, honestly, and I mentally prepared for most likely having more court dates.
As Jack and I were about to go run errands, though, the phone rang. It was our agency! They called to tell us the good news – WE HAD PASSED COURT!! We had verbal court orders, meaning Faith is legally our daughter. We just couldn’t believe it. We’ve waited so, so long for this moment. The rest of the day we just kept saying, “We can’t believe it!” to one another while we were in the middle of Costco and lunch together. We excitedly told the rest of our family and friends the rest of the day, and of course, went out for ice cream.
So, what’s next? Court is a HUGE step, but we can’t quite hop on a plane just yet! We have verbal court orders, but next we need the written orders. The caveat of our situation is the judge who passed our case literally just retired. We praise God he passed us before his retirement! But a new judge has to come in, and the courts will also shut down November 4-14 for Diwali. Receiving written court orders usually takes 30-45 days, but with all this, our agency prepared us for some delay. However, our agency did confirm that the new judge would only be working on writing our written orders. I’ll be honest, I’ll feel better once all of this is in writing! After that, we’ll need Article 23, which typically takes a few days. Then, we have to wait for Faith’s birth certificate and passport to be issued, which takes about 2-4 weeks. Once all that’s in order, we can travel!! Hopefully in 3-4 months, we’ll be on our way to India!
Here are some specific prayer requests:
- We do pray all of this happens quickly, but we trust God’s timing. Specifically, we pray the written court orders are done quickly.
- There are several things we always pray for Faith. First, we always pray for her salvation. Next, we pray for our bonding and attachment. We’ve known about Faith for a long time, but we’ll be brand new people to her. She’ll be leaving behind everything she knows, so it’ll probably be a tough transition for her. Please pray for our bond and attachment as a family of 5. Pray Faith learns to trust us as mommy and daddy. Pray Jack and I will have wisdom to parent her (and really, all our kids.. ha!) well.
- Finally…. It’s time for us to get ready to have 3 kids!! We’ve talked about this for so long- moving the boys into the same room, getting her room ready, etc., but now it’s actually time! Pray for the boys in that transition and for us as we prepare our hearts and home to welcome Faith into our family.
- WE PASSED COURT! I just can’t get over it. I mean, all the ways God has worked through our process, and especially court, is incredible. Most of our process has been very slow, but we passed court in less than 2 months.
- We recently got updated pictures of Faith. She’s so precious, and it looks like she’s growing!
- All of you wonderful people who have been journeying right alongside us for so, so long.
We’re excited about all of this if you can’t tell! It’s time for my Pinterest little girl room ideas to come to life. We praise God for his faithfulness throughout our journey!