Thursday, July 8, 2010

This week has been...

I think that's the word I am looking for.

Things are fine!
Still checking items off of my packing list and my to-do list.

Good day...
took the kids to the pool, hung out with another adoptive mom, 
got some good travel and coming-home tips.

THEN came Tuesday afternoon.

I happened to be reading my email and saw a traveling mom was online. I thought she should have been gone to the airport soon... so I messaged her and asked if she was all ready to hop on a plane!
She replied back that she wasn't going.

I felt my stomach knot up.

She explained that our agency had called the families who were leaving the next day and told them that the U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia had cut all visa interview appointments in half and that they could not travel since they were leaving tomorrow and half the group had already left that day.

That was the dividing line.
If your flight left Tuesday... you were in.
Wednesday... you were out.

BUT WAIT... there's more!
Then, she explained that this also affected MY travel group.
She, along with the other 4 traveling families who were booted, got rescheduled for MY visa date.
That meant... 
We no longer had an appointment in Ethiopia.

Then I got an email from the agency, confirming what I had been told and letting us know we would get a phone call in the morning to talk it over and schedule us for one of the August dates.


I can't go into details here, but the dates in August would not work.
Not at all.

So when Paul got home from work, we went upstairs and sat on the bed where I calmly (no, really... calmly) talked about the email, my thoughts, the schedule for the next month, and what we should do.

We decided that I would stay up late and call the U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia and ask for an individual appointment so that we could still be in Ethiopia over the same travel time frame. I also sent an email detailing our particular situation and asking for an appointment.

I called but didn't get to talk to anyone. It was a waste of time, sleep and money.

I finally went to bed and fell asleep praying that somehow, something would make it all okay.

The next morning, I woke up to an email from the embassy. They were advising us to just work with our agency. Several emails back and forth... waiting... waiting...

At 9:30 the phone rang and it was our program director. She had come into work super early (7:30 pacific) to contact the families dealing with this mess. As we were talking about the problem with our family traveling in August, an email from the embassy popped up on my screen. As I read it... I realized they were offering us an appointment the day after our original appointment! I informed the program director of this new information and she was SO happy for us! We were still on track to leave in 15 days! WHEW!

But then...
I began to realize that the other moms in our travel group were dealing with the same issues and they may not be so lucky as to get an individual appointment. 

So many people are affected by this change and it makes me sad to think of those parents missing their kids and knowing the wait has just been extended. 

Here's my theory after emailing back and forth with the embassy and our senator's office.
I think this is a July thing and will not last more than a month.
The senator's office said that all U.S. nationals are required to return to the states once a year and that they typically do so in summer. 
The embassy mentioned that this was a decrease in appointments for July. They did not mention it being a change, just a temporary, one-month thing.

So, I hope for all those other families involved that they are able to travel VERY soon and that they all find peace.


  1. so happy that you are still traveling!!!! awesome awesome!

  2. So very glad this worked out for you! The squeaky wheel got the oil! Cant wait to read all about your journey, although i have no idea how you will find the time! Blessings

  3. I am praying so hard that the other families can be as lucky as you have. I can't imagine it and it all just makes me want to cry. I hope you are right about it being July, but I'm scared it will be Aug. as well and we won't get there until September. :(

  4. So sorry for all the drama. I sent you an email about converting birr and had no clue that any of this was going on. Sorry if I added to your frustration. I realized it all Wednesday night when I saw your FB updates.

    Praying with you!


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