In 60 hours we will be on a plane to meet our new son. I FINALLY spoke to a human
at the US Visa Center who after looking us up in the system and saying that our visa did not exist checked a third time and there it was! Turns out it had been there afterall and it was sent to Kenya. Since they cannot forward onto Ethiopia without USCIS instruction I contacted the USCIS officer directly who I met with last week. He called the National Visa Center and confirmed to me that he had sent our second visa packet to the NVC electronically and in the mail. He also emailed me a new copy of our I-171H form that says it is going to Ethiopia! This really felt like a monumental accomplishment so I have faith that it is on its way to where it needs to be. I also emailed the US Consulate in Nairobi, Kenya and asked if they could forward the visa to Ethiopia. So one way or another it will get there, I am faithful. Our agency apparently had a change of heart as well because they are going to allow us to travel as long as we agree that we are responsible if we get stuck in Ethiopia. I completely agree and would not actually mind spending some extra time in Ethiopia since we will be off work at that point anyways.
So now onto the full-throttle travel plans! We are bringing both our children so that they can share in this amazing (and very educational) experience. My son is pumped that he will actually be touching ground in 5 different countries (I did explain that for 3 of them we will not leave the airport). I am functioning on very little sleep to get ready in time.
Got vaccinations and meds today for our daughter- Check!
Finished shopping for all the odds and ends that we need for the trip - Check!
Found a great buy on really cute 2 and 3T boys short sleeve tops and shorts- Check!
Made a reservation to kennel the dogs-Check!
Have a volunteer to drive our car back from the airport from a new AMAZING friend-Check!
Received more donations to bring from our church and 4-more organization - Check!
Packed all the donations into 4 suitcases-Check!
Packed children's and husband's clothes - Check!
Printed and copied paperwork to bring to Rwanda and Ethiopia - Check!
Wrapped the Christmas gifts - Check!
Paid the bills - Check!
And I got a great surprise today from my fellow special education staff where I work. They brought food for lunch and a cake and gave us a giftcard. I was so surprised as I have not worked at this specific school very long. They are a awesome group of VERY smart women and I really appreciated their acknowledging the importance of our adoption. Tomorrow will be my last day of work before my leave so that I have a full day on Thursday to finish packing my own clothes, running errands, and getting all those odds and ends packed away.