We really thought today would be the day.
I called the social worker this morning and she said, "Yes, your letter is ready...come and pick it up this afternoon."
Hooray! We got out the infant seat, got Josiah's coming-home-clothes ready, and put the camera in the car. Grace ran in circles yelling, "Messiah's coming! Messiah's coming!" (She hasn't quite got the "Jo" yet).
At 1:00 we went to social welfare. I left Gil and Grace in the car, and ran up to the office, expecting to pick up the final letter so that then we could drive over to the orphanage and get our little boy.
I found the regional social worker. She told me, "Oh, the letter to pick up the baby isn't ready....we had to send another letter back to the district social worker because she failed to write in her letter where the baby is currently living. And we need that information for the final letter."
I said, "But...you gave us permission to choose a baby from only the Mburahati orphanage. Wouldn't it be assumed that's where the baby is living?"
She said, "Oh no, we must have the information officially."
I have no idea why two days ago, she told me the final letter was just awaiting a signature. I have no idea why she told me this morning that the letter was ready. And why in heaven's name she couldn't just pick up a phone and ask the district social worker for confirmation on the baby's orphanage, I don't know.
What does this mean? We're back to where we were a month ago. Her letter must reach the district office (which is only 2 miles away, but it takes forever for letters to arrive). Then the district office must re-write the letter they sent two weeks ago, this time mentioning the baby's orphanage. But the district social worker is now a different person than she was two weeks ago, so who knows if this new person will even know what to do. And then that letter gets sent to the regional office, where we then (once again) wait for the final letter. All because they failed to mention, in the letter, at which orphanage the baby is living (even though everyone involved already knows).
And of course, in the meantime, social workers will get sick, or transferred, or sent on conferences for weeks at a time.
Am I sounding bitter? Well...I am. Honestly, I wanted to scream and shout and cry, "Do you have to make this as difficult as you possibly can? Don't you people care about this baby? There are two million orphans in Tanzania and only about 50 get adopted each year! Don't you even care that this baby gets a family?"
But I didn't. In African culture, public display of anger is a worse sin than adultery. Literally. So I held it in and walked away.
We will be fine. Even with all this, Josiah's adoption is still going much better than Grace's. I know we will eventually bring him home, and God's timing and sovereignty are perfect. I am trusting in that. Mostly, I'm just intensely frustrated.
I'm going to stop giving updates because it intensifies the disappointment when it doesn't work out. However, I promise that the very day we bring him home, I will post pictures!
Thanks for your excitement and prayers for us.