It's Thankgiving Weekend 2010, and I would have never thought that we'd still be sitting here in New York as a family of three. But Nicky, our adoption case worker, called on Wednesday with some great news - our long-awaited first court date, January 25th! It is not as soon as we had hoped or expected, but as has been the case for our entire adoption - and of course as with everything in life - there's not really anything we can do about that.
Why is it taking so long? I guess it's for a "good" reason. There is only one judge in Ethiopia who handles the adoptions. As more people go to Ethiopia for their children, his docket is increasingly busy. At least now his docket says "Zimbalist" on it...
I could very easily be negative about this. After all, we expected to travel for our first trip in December and bring Evelyn home in January, and now we won't be bringing her home till March. And the wait for our referral was longer. And we've had to update our home study and now have to get re-fingerprinted by Homeland Security because our old ones have expired. And on and on and on...
But, instead, there is much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving, and looking back on this whole process.
We didn't get to this point without many years of heartache, stress, anger, self-pity, and every other difficult emotion. Much to my surprise, the adoption process has been a healing one for us. There is a baby at the end of this long road, and a beautiful, bubbly, happy, healthy, wonderful one at that. Our baby, our cute little Evie!
I have been especially thankful the past few weeks for the new glimpses of Evie that we have seen in three batches of pictures and videos sent to us by some wonderful CHI families who have gone over to meet their children for the first time. They took time out of their trips to bring a little bit of our daughter home to us, and for that we are so grateful.
And I am so thankful for what we are seeing in those pictures! Evelyn is gaining weight and has huge chubby cheeks, with little dimples on both sides of her mouth. She is almost always smiling or laughing, a big open-mouthed smile with her little tongue curling up. Her eyes sparkle and truly speak to us that she is doing fine and is happy and loved. The nannies holding her in some of the pictures are always smiling back, always with so much love for her. And we are also seeing a lot of "clean" - clean baby, clean sheets, clean clothing, clean floors.
I am also so thankful for a wonderful, loving husband whom I adore; an adorable, hilarious, snuggly son; supportive family and friends; and happiness, health, financial soundness (though winning the lotto would be useful), employment, a sweet dog, and so much more.
So in the next few weeks - the weeks when we thought we'd be meeting our daughter - we'll try to push aside the disappointment of having to wait even longer, and we'll be thankful for what we have and what is to come. Even while we are getting our travel shots.