Thursday, April 16, 2009

Leaving for Ethiopia!

It's OFFICIAL
(wait, I think I have said that at least once already haha)

WE TRAVEL THIS SATURDAY!!!!!!!!!!!

Behailu passed his TB test! I will leave here at 3am to get to Charlotte airport by 7:30am. My flight leaves at 9:30am arriving at JFK at 11:30am where I meet up with my traveling buddy, Tara! :) We get to hang out with two awesome Guat adoptive moms (Sheri, Curtis' mom & Natalie, Arianna's mom) in NYC all day. Our flight leaves (Emirates) at 11:30 pm. We land in Dubai at 7:30pm on Sunday (Dubai time), stay overnight in the airport hotel there, and leave Dubai at 8:25am landing in Ethiopia at 11:30am on Monday (which will be our 6:30pm EST). CRAZY HUH???? :)

We leave Ethiopia at 7:30pm Friday night the 24th (our 2:30am Sat the 25th), arrive in NYC at 7:30am on Saturday, and I arrive back in Charlotte at 7:30pm.

Blogger is banned in Ethiopia, so I won't be able to blog photos. Their internet is on and off and dial up at best. I am going to try to upload updates to my blog through my yahoo account (which I hear works a little better) and post on facebook if that is possible. If nothing else works, I'll call John and ask him to post for us. :)

I wanted to post a few pictures from Easter though. I have been so consumed with finishing this adoption, I haven't been posting on my other cuties as much.



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Friday, April 10, 2009

Always red tape in adoption

Wednesday night our coordinator called to say they had a bad experience with the embassy that day with another family and wanted to hold our travel off until May. My friend, Tara, cannot go with me in May and there are SO many things going on that week here that would make it difficult to travel. Not to mention John has rearranged his work schedule twice already and in this job market, it isn't very good to leave a bad taste in employer's mouths.



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.







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Tuesday, April 07, 2009

TRAVEL DATES

Ok....REAL travel dates are
APRIL 18 - 25!!!
I cannot believe I leave in 11 days!!! My wonderful friend, Tara, is going with me. She is such a great person to go with me. Her husband is also pretty amazing to take off work a week to stay home with their kids so she can go!
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Friday, April 03, 2009

HAPPY BIRTHDAY KARSON

TODAY IS KARSON'S 6th BIRTHDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY SWEET BOY!!!!!!!!


Adoption News - Apparently they still may get our date set for April 22 (travel April 18-25). We won't know until Monday or Tuesday for sure which will give us 10-11 days until travel if it's April 22. Ahhhh I am still having a hard time deciding where to stay. Here are my choices:

The Dimitri Hotel - This place is great that I hear it's very clean, friendly, and the food is great, but it has no outside place for Behailu to play. It's a bit more expensive than the other places but it's a hotel instead of a guest house.

Yeka Guest House - Great yard, but I don't know a lot more about it.

Addis Guest House - No yard, but seems very nice otherwise. We don't know anyone personally who has stayed here.



Please be praying for us as so much is still uncertain. I still may have to travel alone as everyone who is willing to go with me is having passport issues that cannot be worked out quickly. A good friend who recently moved away reminded me that perhaps God wants me to travel alone so He can be the one beside me. :) That is such a fantastic thought. Then I realize I get lost in my own town...often. HA HA

On a FANTASTIC NOTE, the 7th grade middle school band which Kollin plays percussion in got a PERFECT SCORE today in competition! They will be traveling to state competitions. We were very proud of them today. They sounded amazing!


Kollin is furthest to the left





Kollin is 2nd from the left.




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