• Posted by Ben on 02 Sep 2010

How is it possible to both hate and love the Kenyan court system at the same time?!!

I met our lawyer (Daniel Were — pronounced “Wear-ay”) at the lower courts at 9am this morning. We were seeing a new magistrate because our previous one was transferred to Nakuru back in the spring. The new magistrate’s office was all business and very quiet. There were 3 other lawyers in the room and about 12 clients like myself. There was a very small amount of Swahili spoken back and forth before Were started things off by announcing our case, etc. After some shuffling of papers Were stepped out and beckoned me to follow. (Uh oh, not good!) He tells me we somehow fell off the docket! The problem with that is our official file is off in another building and not in the magistrate’s chambers! 🙁 Some disorganization with the changeover of magistrates must have caused it…so frustrating! Argh!!! Kenyan courts drive me crazy!!

Because I leave on Monday and because I was not able to stay in the courts all day we had to be seen this morning if I was to attend. …and now Were thinks its very important that I be there because “Baby Eden” is not. So Were started to work his magic: He called an assistant to go and fetch the papers and bring them to us at the building ASAP. Only 15 minutes later we go back to the chambers and see everyone waiting outside because the magistrate received an important (and private) phone call. Were chatted with some of the other lawyers there in Swahili but otherwise everyone is perfectly quiet while we wait in the tiny crowded hallway. We’re let back in a few minutes later and I found out that Were was getting himself pushed back to the front of the queue! So he just reads off what the magistrate should say while she hand writes it out for our file. She doesn’t even bat an eye at any of it! Were suggested April, she said mid-April was fine, and we’re done! I love the Kenyan courts!

We slip out and now I’m back at the training I’m giving this week with an hour to spare! I had arranged for several other guys to give all the talks this morning so I had plenty of time to type up this prompt update for you all!

Our unofficial “backup lawyer”, Milkah, was one of the other lawyers in the room because she had other business with the same magistrate this morning. So if Were had not been able to convince the magistrate I am sure Milkah could have! 🙂

  • Posted by Meghan on 13 Nov 2009

YEA!!  Yesterday morning we went to see the magistrate (for the 3rd time this week) and it was a success!  We were granted our travel order and the magistrate decided she needed to sleep on the birth certificate order.  The lawyer went back today and the magistrate said said that we didn’t need a birth certificate to bring Eden home.  She says we just need the travel order and the custody order.  We will go on Monday morning to apply for the passport and then as soon as we get her passport number we will head on to Nairobi for the embassy.  We are very excited that things have gone so well (even though there have been delays it has been nothing compared to what other families have gone through trying to adopt) and we’re also very anxious about our time constraints.  We are scheduled to leave December 1 and it would be best if we could all go at that time.  We appreciate your continued prayers for speedy processing of the paperwork!

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