Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Travel Journal: Day 7 (Wednesday)

Since we were had a different appointment day than everyone else in our group, today was our appointment at the Embassy. It’s nice to have a reason to go out and see more of the city!  We got the kids up, dressed and looking cute, then went down for breakfast and played out in the courtyard until our driver arrived to take us to the Embassy.  We played with rocket balloons and a couple of balls until he arrived. We loaded into the van and we were on our way! The kids seemed really nervous in the van and Baby Boy started sweating to the point that his clothes were getting damp. I felt really sad for him. What was he remembering? What was making him so nervous? I know they had he long ride from the first care center to the transition home in Addis... was he remembering that big change? It's so hard not to know what will trigger memories that cause such sadness.

We arrived at the embassy and it started to rain. Several young men were waiting for the van with umbrellas and asking to escort us. Since we didn’t have any single birr notes with us, we declined.  We declined several times to several people, but they still insisted on “helping” us. Our driver said something in Amharic and they finally left. I felt very nervous being "out" with the kids in public. I had Baby Boy attached to me in the sling and Paul carried the girls quickly into the security check-in area at the Embassy.

We went through a metal detector and walked into a large outdoor waiting area where we sat for 20 seconds before being motioned inside.  Inside the building was chaotic. We handed over our passports and went through another metal detector where our bags were searched and scanned before passing through another door and back outside to walk over to the visa processing area. The rain slowed to a drizzle and we waited under a small overhang outside the main visa building to hear our names called. We met several other adoptive families from other agencies who were there for their appointments as well. Many, many people asked us if our children were triplets, or if the girls were twins!

Finally our names were called and we made our way up the stairs to the small interview area. There were 8 or so people behind plexiglass booths like at a racetrack. We made our way over to one of the men who waved at us.  He was a nice man and asked us several pleasant questions about Tennessee and our lives back home. You could tell it was nice for him to speak with some Americans for a few moments. We raised our right hands and swore that there was no fraud in our adoption and he stamped our paperwork and said our visa packets would be ready the following day! We were done and it was painless! We left the embassy that day knowing we were homeward bound for sure!

On the way back to the hotel we stopped by the Hilton and the Sheraton hotels to try to get our flights changed to something leaving Thursday or Friday. We were unsuccessful.  Once we were back at the hotel we ate and played in the room until bedtime.

After the kids are all in bed Paul and I watch the WORST American movies ever made! They only show horrible movies on the channels we get… ones we have never heard of, with Amharic sub titles. It’s really fun for us to watch them and make fun of the acting, the graphics and the plot. It’s even more fun to see the advertisements for the upcoming movies and know we will be home by the time they are on TV!

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