"But these things I plan won't happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled.
If it seems slow, be patient! For it will surely take place. It will not be late by a single day." Habakkuk 2:3

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Ethiopia - Trip Two - Day Two - Embassy Appointment

It is Monday morning and it definitely waits for no one. Seble is up and ready to go at 5 AM. This is the event we were scheduled for a week ago on December 27th but was cancelled because the US Embassy needed more documentation before confirming our appointment. One week later, here we are. Our Embassy appointment is scheduled for 9 AM today.

It is only 5 AM so we have time to lay around the bed, play, and do some skyping. Back in the US, it is only 6 PM. Here we are skyping Sarah-aka "auntie Sarah" before we decide to get out of bed. The skyping was fun to stay in contact back home. We had some minor technical difficulties between sound, picture, and connection but for the most part, it was great to use it. It's amazing that we are 1/2 way around the world but we still got to see and talk to family and friends.

Seble was just waiting for her turn in the tub. This was her first time in the tub. She didn't know what to think. She got a bit scared and seemed not to like it as she screamed bloody murder. A future tip for other adopting families, don't be running the water while your child is in the tub. I think the extra noise scared her some too. Over all it was a quick bath and she did okay.

Grandma Karen (Amber's mom) and Seble

A family photo in front of the hotel lobby Christmas tree. January 7th, this Friday, is Ethiopians Christmas. We will be flying out Thursday, January 6th at 11:30pm so we will just miss Christmas in Ethiopian. (We actually got to spend Christmas in Ethiopia! More on this during our last post of the trip)

Wass and Almaz show up in the bus to take all the families to the US Embassy across town for our 9:00 appointment. We all get into the bus and head through town. This is Seble's second time in the bus since we got her and after the first trip to the hotel and how scared she was, we weren't sure how she was going to do on this trip. Although she was doing just fine prior.

Here are some more city pictures as we traveled through town to the other side of Addis to get to the US Embassy.

These are some out buildings that anyone can use. They are shower units. Just across the street there is a hot spring that comes up out of the ground. The government has turned it into some sort of hot water plant. They pipe it across the street to these buildings so anyone can have a nice hot shower anytime as almost everyone in the country doesn't have showers or running water in their homes. You do have to pay like $1.00 to $2.00 to take one though. (Can't remember if it was in Birr or US).

The entrance to Addis University

At this point, we were just down the street from the US Embassy. Here you can not take anymore pictures so the camera's had to be put away. We didn't want to get in trouble or get Wass and Almaz in trouble. You couldn't even take a picture of the outside of the Embassy. Bummer. All we can do is describe it.

As we drove up, there were some guards wearing blue camo uniforms on the outside of the building with automatic weapons. Wass pulled onto a side street across from the entrance and we all got out leaving our camera's on board. Wass stayed with the bus so we were good.

We crossed the busy street and got up to the entrance were we had to wait to be cleared to go inside. We all started getting our passports out which at this point, Amber just about freaked out. She TOTALLY forgot about her passport and thought she left it back in the hotel room which was a 45 minute trip back. This was the ONE thing Almaz told all of us NOT to forget. Lucky for her, I had grabbed her passport and put it in with my passport. That would have really stunk!

The first little building was only the entrance building. We walked in, had to go through the security check point and then exited the building into the courtyard of the US Embassy. After all the families made it into the courtyard, we headed toward the next main building, the US Embassy.

We walk in and through another x-ray machine into a long rectangle room. Reminded us so much of the waiting room in a DMV office. Geb and Almaz took number tickets for each family and told us we can go sit down. The room was pretty full for only being 9:00 in the morning. We head across the room to the other side where there were enough chairs we could all try and sit together. All the chairs lined up facing the front of the room. In the front of the room were multiple transaction windows with a counter separated by dividers between each window. Looked like the first few windows were more for the representatives as that is where Almaz and Geb spent the first 20 or so minutes before coming back to join us in the chairs. At this point, we were just waiting for them to start calling our names to view our files.

A guy appeared in the side corner window and started calling our names. We were the third family to go up. We walked up to the window to where we had to give him our passports. He checked them over and then started to ask us a few questions about how the adoption process was and how long it took us and about her story. He presented us with all the extra paperwork that the Embassy requested from Hannah's Hope which included all the progression photos Hannah's Hope took of Seble through the months which was nice to get. We also got Seble's original Ethiopian Birth Certificate which was really neat to be actually holding it in our hands. We were done in a matter of minutes, probably five minutes total standing at the window.

It was sort-of a wait but once they started calling our groups names, we were all done in about 15 minutes. We started heading out the door, through the courtyard, and out the security building back to Wass who has been waiting in the bus the whole time. What a trooper.

Here is a picture of Seble's original Ethiopian Birth Certificate. Her name will be Seble Adam Stutzman until we get her US Birth certificate-because in their culture they take the father's first name as their middle name.

We got back onto the bus and Seble was wiped out. It's been an emotional morning with all the anticipation built up from since we got her referral until this point. It's finally over. On Wednesday, Almaz will obtain the passports and hand them to us on our last trip to Hannah's Hope.

Here are some more city pictures as we head back to the hotel.

This was interesting. These blocks of concrete, they cast right there and then would line them up and mortar them together to create the median curb. They don't have curb machines like we have in the US. It looked like a good system for what they had available. Each one was just the right size to still be able to handle. Very neat.

This building was called "Adam's Pavilion" :-)

The backside of Adam's Pavilion. Very unique building design.

There were some couches on the side of the road and on one of the couches, someone decided to take a nap.

A church celebrating it's 50th year.

The "trophy" on the right says "Jesus is Lord" and the "trophy" on the left says the same thing but in Amharic.

Down the whole fence line they have the whole name in lights. Would have been neat to see it lit up. The church is called "Holy Savior Hill Top Prayer House"

This happened to be a truck that passed our bus on our way back to the hotel. The passenger was all smiles and giving us a thumbs up as he saw us all with Ethiopian babies. We figured he knew what we were doing and he approved. It was a nice gesture.

Hannah's Hope is just in the middle of all the buidings in the middle of the picture.

This particular construction site was very interesting. On our first trip, they were excavating this project and looked to be starting the foundation. One month later and on our second trip, they already have the floor in, columns up and working on the second story perimeter columns. I was very impressed at the speed they were going on this particular project. They did have lots of people working on it. It will be interesting to see if future traveling families will take pictures of this project. I would be interested in seeing what this huge project is going to turn out to be.

You can see the back side of our hotel, next to the red building.

Not sure what they need all these buckets for but here is a FULL truck load of nothing but buckets.

This guy was set-up between some buildings on the off ramp. He had a sewing machine and a table, sewing.

She was pretty low to the ground carrying this HUGE bag on her back.

We finally arrived back to the hotel. Seble did GREAT on the trip. Here is Seble and Almaz, Hannah's Hope's director.

We celebrated our Embassy appointment by having lunch in the hotel restaurant. We were doing great, until.............

until daddy turned his head and Seble was a little closer to his plate of food. She grabbed a handful of the food and wanted to eat. We started to clean her hands and she threw a fit!

It was time to head up stairs. It was time for some more photo shots in our room.

This had better be the ONLY time she wears this bow or is the bow wearing a head???

Holy Cow, what a bow!

Seble showing off her "My First Christmas" santa hat from Great Grandma

In Oregon, you are either an University of Oregon (UofO) Duck (green & yellow) or an Oregon State University (OSU) Beaver (black & orange). Do we need to tell you who Seble is rooting for?

Later this evening, Amber stayed at the hotel while Karen and I and a few others went with Wass to the Cultural Ethiopian Restaurant to listen to the music and watch the live dancing. Last trip, we didn't bring our video so this time I was well prepared and videoed the whole thing. The dancing was AMAZING. All with multiple outfit changes too.

Here is the traditional Ethiopian plate of food. The closest straight flat peices of "bread" is dried banana peel. Very interesting. Some piles of food were spicey, some sweet, and some just down right different. Over all, it is a taste you aquire over time but was fun to actually participate in.

I always thought the receipts were the funnest part of the meals. Just looking at it seemed weird because the first thing you do is think American, but nope. The price is in Birr. This meal (2 plates) with pop, Ethiopian coffee ceremony, Honey wine, tip and live entertainment only cost our whole group of 7 people $47ish US. A very cheap dinner.

This night turned into a long evening. We got back to the hotel around 10:00 PM. Amber was already in bed with Seble. Ended this good day, quietly getting ready for bed and looking forward to another day in Ethiopia.

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