There are details I remember so, so clearly about the week leading up to that second court date. The Tuesday before Roger and I traveled to his alma mater Westminster College to talk about our adoption process. Really good for us. Just talking about it to strangers renewed my faith that it WAS going to happen. It also made me talk about it in a positive light, rather than moaning and groaning about all the unknowns. That first weekend in November Roger went to a NASCAR race while I traveled up to Iowa to visit my friends and family. I spent Friday night with my cousin Megan in my old dorm building at AIB. It brought back so many memories and was comforting in a weird way to revisit such an important time from my past. Those two and a half years of college were my first years of independence, pursuing the direction in which I wanted my life to go, and true adulthood, not to mention a lot of fun too. That night Megan and I went to a Mercy Me concert, at which point "Here Comes the Sun" by the Beatles was randomly mixed in with one of the songs in the middle of the concert. It was so subtle that most people probably didn't even realize or notice it. If you remember, that was the song I had chosen (in August) for Ari's picture montage (that I put together in September) that I could only post after we had passed court. I know without a doubt it was God speaking directly to me, reassuring me that everything was going to be okay. It hit me like a freight train when I heard those lyrics, and I laughed and cried all at the same time. I still get goosebumps just thinking about that moment. I then visited my great-grandma up in Manson the next morning and came back to Des Moines later that day, going out to eat with some friends at a restaurant my Grandpa Bill used to frequent often. It is really difficult to explain, but God's presence was so palpable that weekend. I felt like it was Him taking me back to revisit all the times and places He was with me and to remind me of how far I'd come; the people, places, and experiences in my life that made me who I am and got me to where I was, and that He was going to prove nothing but faithful in the future and with all He had planned for me. I came back to Springfield feeling very much at peace that weekend. It was exactly what I needed, whether I knew it or not at the time.
We were told that Monday, November 9th, that our case did not get heard. Four days later, Friday the 13th at around noon, we received word we had passed! I will also never forget where I was at that glorious moment, how it was a beautiful day and probably the happiest I'd ever been.
Once we got to Ethiopia in January and obtained Ari's court documents, it was right there in black and white that our court date had, in fact, been November 9th and was indeed the day that we passed.