Our Trip – Tuesday, February 27

Tuesday morning we got up and Hana did K’s hair in little ponytails all over her head – very cute. Then we walked to a nearby pizza restaurant for lunch. We attracted quite a bit of attention as we walked along with three Ethiopian children. K. skipped along holding Russ’ hand and we each carried a boy.

At the restaurant we tried to ask K. what she wanted. When we asked “pasta”? she scowled and shook her head; apparently they eat a lot of pasta at the orphanage so it is low on her list of desirable foods. When we asked if she wanted pizza we got a smile and she raised her eyebrows while simultaneously nodding her head upward – which means “yes”. A lady came out to make the pizza on a counter, so K. and I went over to watch her. The woman seemed intrigued with us and asked K. questions in Amharic, then she said to me that K. was a lucky girl. She made the pizza and put it in the oven, and we headed back to our table. It wasn’t long before K. got up and wandered toward the kitchen. I let her go and then went to see where she was. I found her in the kitchen in the midst of the Ethiopian staff who were gathered around an injera basket eating traditional food. They seemed happy to have her with them.

Soon our lunch was ready; Russ and I both had pasta dishes that E. shared with us. K.’s pizza was quite good and she enjoyed it. We had hoped to take the children next door to have ice cream, but we were short on time and had to get ready for our embassy appointment. On our way out of the restaurant we stopped to let the children ride on some little toys which they loved.

We got back to the guest house in time to lay the kids down and get ready. K. was always excited to run back to the guest house, knock, and then peek under the gate to see if the guard was coming to let us in.

Soon Eyob arrived to take our family and the Smiths to the US embassy. Our case manager from AAI, K.’s agency, was planning to meet us there. A little bit of advance notice would have helped us prepare better. Although we knew that cameras were not allowed in the embassy, we didn’t know that absolutely no electronics were allowed and Russ had brought our paperwork in his briefcase. Because it was his work briefcase he had to unload his thumb drives, all computer cords, and a wide variety of other things. We had an embarrassingly large pile of electronics that had to be locked in a cubicle. The Smiths had brought CD players for their kids and even those had to be left behind.

Finally we were scanned through and we headed into a large waiting area. Unfortunately there was a problem with the Smith’s paperwork (somebody in the US had made a mistake), and they had to leave with Eyob to make some calls to the US. Then Gail, our AAI case manager, rescued us. We waited a brief time and then went to the window where we talked through the glass to our embassy official. The appointment was a breeze. She asked us some questions about our children’s history which we were able to answer and then she approved the boys visas. K. still had some paperwork that needed to be done.

Just as we were leaving the embassy, Eyob was coming back with the Smiths. We were anxious to get our children back to the guest house, so Gail gave us a ride home, which was a great relief.

Next on the agenda was the CWA celebration dinner.

To be continued.


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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.

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