Everyone slept really well from about 7pm to 6am. (Yes, that includes Zach and me, we’ve been so exhausted!) I took the large bed with the kids and Zach took the twin bed by himself. It felt really good to cuddle up to the boys last night and this morning.
When we woke up we knew we had about 6 hours to entertain them. We are not allowed to take the boys out and about in Ethiopia. Some Ethiopians are not fond of seeing their babies leave with Americans all the time (which you can understand) and walking them around town could be seen as “parading” them. When we were here 2 years ago this was not a problem but over time Americans have not been respecting the culture (they cover babies completely, etc) and it just looks/is disrespectful. We understand this rule but are severely limited in ways we can entertain the boys.
After breakfast we went up to the room in hopes of letting the boys watch a cartoon while we both showered and got ready for the day but the power went up as we were climbing our many flights of stairs. Hmmmm. We did as best as we could but within a few hours Tomas was literally so bored he was cleaning our room. Yes, cleaning our room. Straightening out the shoes, making our beds, etc. So Zach and I bit the bullet and wrestled for the next few hours.
At noon it was time to make up the car and head to the embassy. As we were telling Tomas it was time to get in the car he said, “Car, America?” “No, not yet Tomas”. We wonder what he thinks America will be like? Streets of chocolate? Seats of cheese? :-) We got to the embassy no problem and sat in the waiting area for our names to be called. We were the first group there but after about 30 minutes more groups came. 2 years ago we were the only group the whole time, I think this is a testament to how many more agencies are working in Ethiopia now.
When we got to the Visa window the woman (American) was really great. We had to sign off saying we knew these boys and wanted them with everything we had which was absolutely no problem. :-) She then asked us if we thought there was any fraud in this case. Knowing the details of the boys’ story has made it that much easier to say we have no doubts there was no fraud. We feel very blessed that we can say that with our conscience clean.
Stamp, stamp. “Ok you’re done” she says. And that’s that. They’re Klipschs! We got their original birth certificates and saw their passports, their Visas will be done and able to be picked up in the Holt office Thursday morning.
After that we headed to the Hilton to confirm our flights. We were there for only about 20 minutes but when we were walking out Tomas says something to our driver Tsegaw (Seg-au). Tsegaw starts laughing. “You have a very smart boy here. Tomas says, ‘They took me to America and brought me back to Ethiopia?’” The Hilton is very nice but if that’s his only expectation of America I think we’ll be just fine. :-)
During the day we had a knock on the door and an Ethiopian was there asking for Tomas. He said that Tomas needed to go next door to the care center to the administration. We were a little worried and confused so I sent Zach (having just gotten out of the shower). When Bini and I joined them a few minutes later Zach explained that he walked in to 4 nannies and the head nurse almost in tears missing Tomas. The head guy hadn’t seen Tomas yesterday and missed him, he needed to see Tomas. :-) So Tomas was given sunglasses and lots of hugs and kisses and sent on his way. I can’t tell you how good it feels to know for the last year and a half they have been so loved, so well cared for. God is good for sure, especially in this case.
After the Hilton is was just home for dinner. We gave them their first showers, which they loved. I personally loved lotioning them down, it’s a fun way to bond with them somehow. We decided after that to head to our other travel mates who are bringing home 2 little girls to watch a cartoon before bed. It felt like the longest day ever but when we were about to say it’s bedtime it was only 6:30. Ok, 1 more cartoon. :-)
Zach was in the big bed with the boys this time and me in the smaller. We are just loving these boys, I can’t even tell you. They are so smart, so funny, so beautiful.
So, so thankful tonight as we get ready to give goodnight kisses to the newest Klipschs.
Love to you,
(No pictures today, the embassy won’t allow it so we didn’t even bring our camera anywhere!)