We got HUGE news this morning (Thursday) –

The first of 2 court dates were set to finalize our adoption!!!! HALLELUJAH!! Eric will go to court (the guardianship hearing) on Tuesday, February 18th!!! That’s next week people!!!

So what does this mean?

It’s a bit complicated… as usual. Contrary to what we thought was going to happen, Jacob and I do NOT have to be there for court – go figure. Our lawyer in Belize represents us at the court proceedings. The process to finalize our adoption in Belize requires 2 court dates. At this first one (Feb. 18th), guardianship of Eric will be given to a DHS worker… most likely his caseworker. Once the paperwork from that is completed, the date of adoption hearing can be set! It’s usually a couple of weeks from the first court dates. At the adoption court, guardianship/power of attorney is officially given over to us and we are legally Eric’s parents!!! PRAISE THE LORD!!!!

So… do we know when we will travel to get him?

No… not really. After the 2nd court (adoption court), paperwork has to be compiled and completed on their side. Families typically travel 2 weeks after the 2nd court date (which hasn’t been set yet). When we finally do travel, we will go to Belize City to pick Eric up (I.CANNOT.WAIT.TO.GET.HIM.IN.MY.ARMS), pick up the decree of the adoption finalization (woop woop), go to US Embassy in Belmopan, Belize for Eric to go to the doctor and to have a final interview, pick up his visa, and head home!!!! We will be in Belize for 1-2 weeks to get everything done.

We are hoping, praying, and claiming that we will be able to go and get him in March (no later than April…. please oh please)… but, as you know, only God is sure of the timing! Please pray with us that Eric is home SOON SOON SOON!

I promise as soon as we get court date #2 we will let you know… then HOPEFULLY we will have a timeline for travel dates!!!! YAY!

Does Eric know?

YES!!! We wanted to tell him before we told you guys! Duh! Y’all… we told him tonight and I just wanted to boo-hoo listening to his excitement!  We told him that we finally got the first court date and that he would be going on Tuesday to finish this thing out. He started saying “Yes! Oh, Yes!… haha!… I just want to celebrate!… This is so good.” You could hear his huge smile even in his voice! Can you imagine? He has been waiting for this final step for so long… longer than we have even known he was going to be our son! He said he could finally breath… and that he was so excited.  We assured him that we would DEFINITELY celebrate… and we will!

What’s the best news?!?!?!

ERIC TOLD US HE LOVES US!!!  What a Happy Valentine’s Day… having the love of your son. That’s good stuff! On Wednesday night (the night before we got the court date), it happened. Since the first day we were able to call him, we have told him we loved him each night when we got off the phone. We didn’t expect or want him to say it back until he was ready… because how would he be able to and why would he trust us yet? There was no way. So after 4 months of talking on the phone, building our family, and trying to gain his trust… Eric said it back! He told us he loves us and I know he meant it! My heart just jumped through my chest! What mom doesn’t want to hear that from their child… but especially a teenage boy you are adopting into your family?!?! Oh, victory! He also asked us to tell his Grann Happy Birthday for him and he told Jacob that he hopes his trip to Costa Rica was great! Love that boy…

Tonight after we told him that the first court date was set, he said it loud and proud. We told him that we loved him very much and couldn’t wait for him to be home with us, and he said “I love you guys, too!” Oh… there’s no better feeling!

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