OK, I have his corrected name spelling and pronunciation: Manalimo, which is pronounced MAH-nah-leemo. Patrick can already say it perfectly; Jason and I are still working on it a bit. I find myself saying it throughout the day and picturing his perfect little face. He's got such long eyelashes and big, beautiful eyes. I just want to be able to tell him that we already love him, even though he doesn't know us yet.
We're planning on having the boys share a room and will be getting them bunk beds. Patrick has been wanting a loft bed forever, so we'll probably get that early next year and get him used to it before Manalimo comes home.
The next steps are these: we have to officially accept the referral, and we're waiting on the medical evaluation from the University of Minnesota International Adoption Clinic before we do that. Once that's been done, they'll get a court date for us, probably 4-6 weeks after we accept the referral. We won't be there for that day, but that's when they examine our dossier and approve us as Manalimo's guardians. If we get through court the first time (sometimes there's a delay), they'll work on getting his visa so that we can make travel plans. Travel is usually 4-6 weeks after court. So at the earliest, we probably wouldn't travel before the beginning of February, more likely mid-February. Instead, because I need to keep my job, we'll have to delay travel until spring break. I'm just praying everything comes through in time for that or we'll be faced with making the choice of waiting to bring him home until May or of traveling earlier but not having a job for the next academic year.
I don't know for sure that they wouldn't hire me back. They can't deny the travel because I'm covered under FMLA, but they don't have to give me a new contract for next year. The related issue is that I'm applying for a tenure-track position here and I definitely wouldn't get hired for that if I take off a couple of weeks mid-semester. Anyway, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.
For those of you who were asking, this is some information about our agency and the care of the children in Ethiopia: http://www.chsfsethiopia.org/. We are so thrilled that Manalimo is being cared for so carefully and that we will have so much information for him. I appreciate that you've all been so respectful about not asking for more information than we're comfortable sharing!
Thank you so much for the excitement and happiness of your responses. We feel truly lucky to be welcoming Manalimo to our family.