I think I finally grasp the point of the court date. Judah came home as a legal immigrant. He was not automatically considered a citizen. Judah's court date, as I understand it, is what legally changes his name to Judah and what makes him eligible for a US birth certificate. After we get his BC in his new name, then we can apply for a US passport and US citizenship. These are things I thought he was already eligible for, but apparently court is the process that makes it all legal. [someone who knows way more than me can educate me where I'm wrong in this].
Though the emotion of becoming an American occurred when we landed in Detroit and heard "welcome to America" in customs, this is now the legal process of him becoming an American. It also symbolizes, sadly, another loss of his Ethiopian-ness. Sure, he still has those beautiful Ethiopian eyes and his Ethiopian middle name. But, our sweet little Judah is becoming more and more American and less Ethiopian each day.
In other news, in August we were spending time with one of the UIU international students. Sydni is from Angola but lived some of his childhood in Addis. Sydni loved seeing Judah and Judah counted right along with Sydni in Amharic. Yesterday we saw Sydni again. This time Judah hardly even acknowledge the familiar language and didn't count one single number with him. While I'm thankful that my son is fitting in his new environment so well, I would also love to see him maintain some connection to his roots.