Last Saturday, on June 14th, we received in the mail the Holy Grail of all adoption paperwork. The thing we paid the Department of Homeland Security for. The thing we were fingerprinted in San Antonio for. The I-171H. This paper means our government has said we can adopt from Ethiopia. It says we have been picked over, checked out, and scoured for anything that might make us ill-equipped as parents. Or worse. I have friend who put hers into a lock box. I read about another woman who was at home alone (who had been checking the mail hopefully everyday like I had been) and when she discovered it was there, ran and jumped onto her unsuspecting neighbor who happened to be watering the lawn. It is hard to explain the monumental meaning of a piece of paper to people unfamiliar with international adoption. But it is THE paper. And I'm thrilled to have my sticky, happy, shaking fingers on it.