I should be writing to tell you that we are officially parents after yesterday, and that I can now share photos of our beautiful children with you publicly. Unfortunately that is not the case. The call from our adoption agency, AAI, which I was anxiously awaiting, came just before noon yesterday. Our case had to be rescheduled.
In Ethiopia there is a governmental department called The Ministry of Women’s Affairs which is responsible for reviewing every adoption case and submitting an approval letter to court. Without a MOWA letter you will not get far with an Ethiopian adoption. Well, the MOWA office closed unexpectedly for a while last week and as a result, none of the MOWA letters for Monday’s hearings were submitted to court. We are one of eight families through our own agency who had to be rescheduled yesterday because of this issue. There are probably many other families with other agencies who also got disappointing news. So [heavy sigh] our new court date is February 22nd.
I choose to seek the silver lining on this additional delay following a very LOOOOONG wait: it’s two more weeks for us to complete our house repairs before it’s time to go to Ethiopia and bring our children home. People keep asking me if the kids’ bedrooms are done. They are not even close! Since our house flooded at the end of November we have been working with our insurance company on the repairs. It was a pretty significant flood requiring the floors to be refinished both upstairs and down, and some wall and ceiling repairs. We’ve been living in temporary housing since the beginning of December, because every stitch of furniture had to be moved out and it’s been a major construction zone.
The kitchen, bathroom and laundry floors on the main level were to be replaced, which prompted us to kick off a long-delayed kitchen remodel. We couldn’t bear the thought of a nice new floor added to our existing kitchenus horibilus. Our kitchen was just about as bad is it gets. I felt inexpressible joy the day Habitat for Humanity came to dismantle and remove our cabinets and appliances!
Yes, you are seeing several layers of wallpaper, a tile backsplash with gold, brown and blue flowers, gold formica countertops, some kind of medieval-looking cabinet pulls. They go with this light (I’ve asked my dad and my husband a dozen times each to take down this awful light, so it was a triumph to see it go!)
All of this paired with a dropped ceiling with fluorescent lighting. I’m quite proud to say I’ve endured cooking for MANY in this kitchen over the past two years and even got over my dread of entertaining here. Good dose of humility that’s been. Which doesn’t at all lessen my joy over finally getting to clean the place up and give it a facelift!
It is so fun to do a house project like this….I love it! It’s so amazing to see the transformation take place. Here’s what the kitchen looked like once we got all that nasty stuff out of there, gutted the walls to update the electrical, and started to put it back together:
And here’s what it looked like when the drywallers started doing their magic:
Although it’s been a tremendous time sink, the project has been going well and on an extremely tight deadline. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been through so many remodel projects before or because my perspective on our home’s function for a family of five rather than two creates added purpose. Regardless, I’m grateful to all the wonderful subcontractors who are working together on a furious schedule to get it pulled back together quickly.
Today the paint is going up and tomorrow the kitchen floors get installed. It’s going to be wonderful! With every decision I make, I imagine my kids eating breakfast at the bar or playing with the tupperware in a lower drawer or brushing their teeth at the bathroom sink. I’m grateful that we put off this update of this section of the house because had we done it two years ago it wouldn’t have been so tailored to a family with children. As usual, God’s timing is perfect.
I’ll keep you posted on the progress. In the meantime, please don’t stop praying for Alex, Melkam and Eliana and that we’ll get to bring them home very soon!