Saturday, May 10, 2014

Court Day

Thursday, May 8th… the date we go to court to make Jaden Biyagegn our forever child!

We woke up early to leave for our court date.  Our driver picked us up at 7:30 am, and we were off to court for our 9:00 time. The traffic was TERRIBLE trying to get there!  Actually the traffic is always awful, but this day was worse than usual.  We were almost late to court. Ashley did not show it, but inwardly she was stressed out. Clint asked our driver at least 5 times if it was going to be okay. Abey assured him it would be!  We finally made it in the courthouse and sat down in a small room with 5 other families.  We were sitting there about 5 minutes, until we were called in with another family for our court hearing. The Palmer family, from Hattiesburg, Mississippi, went in the same time as we did.  The judge asked us about 5 questions and then pronounced Biyagegn our child officially.  We held back the tears as we left the courtroom. We honestly couldn’t believe that was it!  We took pictures outside to celebrate and headed out.  We think we were there a total of 20 minutes…crazy!
 The Palmer family from Hattiesburg, MS was in with us having their court hearing too. 
We passed court! Praise be to Jesus!

Fasika is the Gladney in-country social worker. She is great with the children!

After court it was time to go see Jaden Biyagegn. All morning Anna Grace had felt really bad. She had been sleeping in the car all the way to the courthouse.  We decided to stop at a grocery store to pick up a couple of new toys for Jaden.  While inside the store, Anna Grace started feeling even worse. We were asking everyone where a bathroom was, but no one could speak English. Finally someone told Clint that the restroom was upstairs. So Ashley and Anna Grace got on the elevator to go to the restroom. From there, the situation got ugly… she threw up in the elevator. We came back down, and rushed quickly out of the store. We felt so bad for her. She threw up all the way out of the store. When she got outside, she continued to vomit, and all eyes were on us. It was quite the scene and Clint apologized profusely.

After we finished at the store, we left to go to the orphanage.  It was just around the corner. We weren’t sure how Jaden would respond, but he seemed happy to see us. He smiled when we came into the room. The caregivers told us to bring some toys with us, so it probably helped that we brought toys. J We brought colors and a coloring book. He loves coloring books. He called one of his little friends over, and they colored. He wanted to try each color out, and after trying each one, he would hand the color to Ashley. He is definitely the boss at the orphanage. He has an opinion, and doesn’t mind telling the other kids what to do. Another strong-willed Smith … why not?!
 Jaden loves to color.
 He loves his "Poppa"!
He loves Mommy!
 Sweet boy!
 He loved taking selfies!
 What a great personality!
 That face just melts our hearts!
Jaden Biyagegn and his Daddy






After coloring for a little while, Jaden got distracted playing with the ball we brought. Another child dumped out all his crayons. You should have seen his face, he was not happy. He put his hands up to his cheeks, and gasped. The caregivers told us that he kept saying, “for the love of Jesus.” He continued to say it over and over. Some of the crayons fell under the toddler beds. He moved each one of the beds to get the crayons.  After moving each one he then put each bed back perfectly.  He is a very resourceful child!  After all of this, we wanted to take some pictures with him. He LOVED taking selfies and would have taken them as long as we let him.  It was fun to see his little personality come out and how well he could work an iPhone! We were amazed that it only took him a minute to learn how to swipe form picture to picture. He would find a picture of himself, and he would say, “Biyagegn!” It was so sweet! The caregivers told him to kiss each of us, and after they said that it continued kissing Ashley and Anna Grace. He is definitely a doll!  One thing that Clint loved was that he could already catch and throw the ball. Clint would throw it to him, and he would catch it. Then he would chunk it back to him hard!
video
His laugh is contagious!
video
Watch him catch and throw. Made his Daddy proud!

After about 45 minutes, he usually reaches his limit. We sadly said goodbye. Every time we see him we are super sad to leave, but we tell ourselves it is only temporary. We cannot wait until we can bring him home with us permanently!

After visiting Jaden, we went to lunch at Kaldi’s Coffee. Abey, our driver, told us that this is the African Starbucks. The logo looked similar, and the ambiance was too. We got smoothies and coffee. It was a fun place to go and see.  Since Anna Grace had been sick we decided to go back to the guesthouse for the day.  We enjoy the guesthouse and we sleep a lot when we are there! 
Anna Grace loved Ethiopian coffee. She and Shelby our are coffee drinkers.


Tomorrow we get to go see Jaden again … we can’t wait!!

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