Beginning April 1, the US Embassy in Ethiopia began imposing a new rule for all children over two. Before they can get a US Visa to travel home, they have to pass a TB test (all children receive a chest xray before referral as part of the medical exam which Behailu had and passed back in June). If they fail the 2 day skin test, they get a chest xray. If it is clear, they are good to go. If it isn't clear they send a sputum test off to a lab and it can take up to 8 weeks to get the results back. If that shows active TB, they have to stay in Ethiopia and receive treatment for 6 months before coming home. While I agree with imposing regulations, I disagree with their timing. The children need to be tested in the beginning of the process, not at the very end. That way a child isn't sitting in an orphanage 6 months longer than necessary.
The issue with our travel is Behailu doesn't go for his skin test until Monday. The embassy doesn't allow them to be tested before their birth certificate and passport are obtained which takes a while. He is the first with our agency to go through this new requirement. If he is tested on Monday, we won't know until Wednesday if our travel dates are still April 18-25. If they cannot get it all finished by then, our travel dates will once again be May 2-9. Everything has to go absolutely perfect for it to be finished in time. If they have power outages which are common, it will delay things. If he fails the skin test (which is common because most children have had the TB vaccine which causes a lot of false positive skin tests) and needs a chest xray, it could delay things especially if the xray cannot be done the same day for whatever reason. We are praying only for God's will. We know whatever happens is what God has already written for us. It's very difficult being "on hold" until 2-3 days before we fly out though. We have already bought our domestic flights which we can change if need be, but we are holding off on the international flights. Just one more hoop to jump through on our journey to bring Kolton Behailu home. All totally worth it! Here are some new pictures of him we received from a wonderful Canadian family today.