Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Day 3 Embassy Day

Ella doesn't seem too concerned about the embassy interview. She slept on the drive to the Embassy.
On our way to the appointment.
One of the sweet friends we met at the guest house. She and her husband and two children were there adopting an older boy.

I wanted to document our days in Ethiopia before I forget all the details. On Day 3, we decided Ella needed to see the doctor so we walked to Wanna. The doctor confirmed that she had an ear infection and gave her a prescription antibiotic. We hung around Wanna house and took pictures of some of the waiting babies.

Suddenly it was time to go to the Embassy interview, where we would be given the visa for Ella to enter the US. We ended up having to rush to catch the van back to the guest house and Joan ran into the guest house to get supplies (diapers, etc) for the trip to the Embassy. The funniest thing , she slipped right as she was going into the guest house and wiped out, but it didn't hurt her and she got up laughing. I know one day when we tell this story to Ella she will appreciate her Aunt Joan sacrificing her body to get her baby stuff for her.

We piled into the van with the other families and together we all went to the US Embassy in Addis Ababa. We had to go thru all the typical security and baggage check to get inside and silly me, I let them keep Ella's diaper bag at check in. We ended up having to go ask for it back when she needed a diaper change.

We all waited in a holding room with people from our agency and other agencies. AAI definitely had the most families there. I think there were 9 families. Our families were some of the first called and the first 2AAI families came back from the interview with sad faces. Due to missing information their children were not granted visas. This made all of us a little nervous.

When our name was called, we walked with Gail upstairs to interview with an embassy employee at a window. As we were walking, I asked Gail what they would be asking us and she said it was too late to ask that now~thanks Gail.

We were interviewed by a nice, young man who only asked three questions. Was this the baby we were expecting? When Gail told him we were an IR3 case, we had to show proof of our pre court visit to Ethiopia where we first met Wubeski. He asked "What happened to the child's parents?" and if we knew anything about how she was found.

The funniest thing that happened during the interview, was that he asked if the man in our photos from our "visit" trip was my husband, and I was all nervous and said "yes, he's the daddy" He was a little confused and thought I was saying Bill was my daddy. We all had a chuckle about that and it really lightened up the otherwise serious moment.

The whole interview only took 3 minutes and we went back to the holding room with big smiles. Ella was granted a visa to enter the US and everything would be ready to pick up on Friday.

All the other families sailed thru the Embassy appointments and we learned later that day that the first two cases were also granted visas when Gail was able to get the needed information. Everyone in the guest house was relieved that evening. All our children were coming home to the US.

We spent the evening visiting with the other families and thoroughly enjoyed being together. Even with her ear infection, baby Ella was just perfect and sweet!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Photos for you!

Our crazy summer!

This is a letter I sent to my Bible Study group updating them on our lives. I hope to finish posting about Ethiopia soon and get back to blogging!

Dear sweet friends,

I just got home from Bible Study at my new church. It really made me miss all of you. We are doing the Ester study again. You are a very special group of women and you all mean so much to me. Thanks so much for all the love and prayers during the adoption of little miss Ella.

Most of you probably know by now that we are not coming back to Doha. Bill told me when we met him in the airport on the way home from picking up Ella Grace that we were moving to Houston. What a surprise! We later found out that the job would eventually move us first to Australia (we were happy) and then to Papau New Guinea. Because there are no schools for our older children in PNG, Bill ended up turning that job down.

The plan was for us to stay in Doha until December and then move on to his new job (where ever that might be). Two weeks before we were to travel back to Doha, Bill called and said he was offered a job in Sabine Pass, Texas. There is a new LNG plant starting up there. The job was actually a blessing because we had not been able to get Ella a US passport and she was denied automatic citizenship upon entering the US because we were living overseas. Up to this point we were unsure how we were going to get her into Doha.

We thought initially that he would be working out of Houston, and we would be returning to live in the Woodlands Texas. A few days later, we found out we needed to live near Sabine Pass, Texas. Sabine Pass is a tiny town that was nearly blown away by Hurricane Ike. Only 5 houses remained livable after this hurricane. It feels like coming home to me, since I grew up in Southeast Texas in the small town of Spurger, which is only about an hour from where we will be living. My mom is thrilled that we will be so close.

I had two weeks to figure out where we would living and what schools our children would be attending. I believe God led me to a nearby small town. It is a rural community outside of Beaumont, Texas. The school district actually serves 4 communities. The schools are highly rated and have alot of school spirit. It is funny, I remarked to my sister while we were in Ethiopia that someday I would like to live in a town like the one portrayed on Friday Night Lights where everyone goes to the football games on Friday nights and that is exactly the kind of place we are living. I have a sister and niece living here. We are living with my sister until we close on a home. It is working out really well. We have a contract on a house, and are waiting now for the appraisal.

The kids have started school and like it. It is a huge change from ASD. There are a lot more rules to follow. Cole, our 8th grader, is playing football for the first time. It has been fun for him to learn a new sport. Abbey is hoping to take horse riding lessons. Will is just happy to tend his farm on Farmville (a facebook game) but I suspect he will play soccer when it rolls around.

We are still waiting on Daddy to come home. He is supposed to arrive mid Sept, right around the time we will close on the house (god willing).

Ella is doing amazingly well. She is a HAPPY, healthy baby girl. She will be one year old tomorrow, but they goofed on her birth certificate and made her birthday Nov. 3. We will wait and celebrate then. She has been a JOY to our family. She is pulling up everywhere and I hope she waits for Bill to get here to take her first steps. When we go out she smiles and waves and says "HI" to everyone. She sleeps good, which is nice for this tired mama. She says "mom", "bye bye" "hi doggie" She really is the sweetest baby girl! I wish you could meet her. If you are in Texas next summer or over Christmas, please contact us and we will get together.

I just wanted to fill all of you in...I pray for God richest blessings on you today!

Much love, Lynn