Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Emily: Almost Official!

Many of you know that we have been foster-parents for Emily Elisabeth for about five years now. According to Uganda family law, an adoption can be finalized only after a period of three years of foster care has been fulfilled. So for the past two years we have been working on paperwork and trying to get a court date for the adoption petition to be heard and ruled on. Last week our lawyer called to say that we had a place on the court docket Tuesday, 11 November -- today! Copied below are the two prayer updates that I sent around to family and friends yesterday and again today.

(yesterday, 10 November)

Dear friends who pray,

Great news! Mr. Wegoye, the attorney handling Emily's adoption petition, has told us that we have a court date for the magistrate to rule on our petition -- tomorrow (Tuesday), 9:00 a.m. local time. We are meeting with Mr. Wegoye to go through the paperwork with him again this afternoon and take care of any last-minute details. We'll plan to take the whole family to the high court in the morning for the ruling. So pray with us that all will proceed as we hope and that Emily will "officially" be part of our family before lunch time tomorrow. It's been a long wait since she joined us five years ago.

(today, 11 November)

Thank you all for praying for Emily's hearing in the high court today! The presentation of the petition went well, I believe, with no objections raised as all the supporting documentation was heard. We did spend a couple of hours in the courtroom "on pins and needles" because the district social welfare officer (whose responsibility is to make the primary recommendation for approval of the petition to adopt) did not show up at first. She had been served notice to attend the hearing, but had a conflict with some high-level district meeting that also required her presence. After several phone conversations with her over those two hours or so, it looked unlikely that she would be able to come. Finally she called back and said she had been released from her meeting temporarily and could join us. Our lawyer was already part of the way through presenting the petition when she walked in,and was able to deliver personally her recommendation that the magistrate rule in favor of our petition.

The magistrate announced after hearing the petition that he would give his ruling tomorrow morning (Wednesday). So it's back to the court house tomorrow morning at 9:00, and we have every reason to believe that he will grant the adoption order. Still, as we give thanks for the obvious ways that the Lord helped us today, let's continue to put this in the hands of God, who is uniquely able to influence the heart of the magistrate to decide for Emily's and our family's good.


I hope that tomorrow I'll be able to report that all of this has been concluded successfully. Stay tuned!

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