Okay, I am reading through what I wrote here, and I realize that it could still be confusing to people. So, let me start at the beginning.
The Court Process
After a family accepts their referral, some final papers are gathered. The file is then submitted to court. Once a court date is issued, reps submit the file to MOWA at least 7 days before the court date. Then Gladney informs the family of when a court date has been set.
The Court's role is to finalize the adoption- either by granting it, not approving it (rare), or by requesting more information to allow them to grant the adoption. At the court hearing, the court handles things like relinquishment and establishment of the child as an orphan. They review MOWA's opinion and make a ruling on the adoption. Once they rule in favor of the adoption, the child is legally yours.
MOWA's role is to investigate the child and family, and decide if the adoption should be granted. MOWA takes the file, reviews the paperwork, and issues an opinion (favorable or unfavorable) about granting the adoption, or requests more information. The opinion is usually issued the day before the court date, although due to recent power outages and internal changes in MOWA, there has been some hold up of late.
Out of respect, I have taken down the rest of the information in this post that relates to the present delays in the courts. Gladney has indicated that Ethiopian culture dictates that even the most factual and anonymous data posted on blogs could be viewed as disrespectful of the parties involved, and for this reason, I do not want to post anything further in this public arena.