June 18, 2010

Tuesday, April 27 – Forever Family Day – Part 2

I wasn’t sure what to expect at the Embassy Appointment.  I pictured a big stately building with marble floors…comparable to a state capitol building or something.  We arrived in the afternoon and the parking was across the street from the building.  The building wasn’t really what I pictured.  I don’t have any pictures though because there were signs everywhere saying no photos allowed. 

We entered into the first security checkpoint and were told to go sit in a long row of benches that were outside.  I was glad it was a fairly cool day.  I’ve heard that people have had to wait a long time there, but we didn’t wait more than 10 minutes I don’t think.  Noah was being good, just taking it all in.  There was another group of families ahead of us from another agency.  There were also  other Ethiopians. 

When it was finally our turn, we went into the Embassy building.  We passed through a security checkpoint.  They searched our bags and required that we leave one of Noah’s toys at security.  I guess it had some type of electronic in it which wasn’t allowed.  Once everyone was through security, we went into a waiting room.  The other families that were ahead of us were still being called, so we knew we would have to wait a while. 

I was a little nervous about Noah.  He had never had a bottle before and it was getting close to time when he would be getting hungry.  I was hoping he would latch on to the bottle and not throw a big fit.  I was worried that he wouldn’t know what to do with it since he’d only drank from a metal cup before then.  When he started getting fussy, we made up his bottle and tried it out.  He took to it right away and sucked it right down.  He acted like an old pro at it.  I guess some things are just instinctual. 

After waiting more than an hour, our name was finally called.  We walked up a stairway to another large room.  Again, I was expecting something very formal.  Instead, it was a room that resembled the DMV.  A long row of glass windows where you were directed to which booth to go to.  We went up to the booth and there was an American man behind it.  He was very friendly.  He asked us where we were from.  He said he was originally from the St. Louis area.  We had some small talk about me living pretty close to Alton and then he proceeded with the interview. 

There wasn’t much to it.  He asked four or five questions like “Is this the child that you were expecting to get?” or “Have you had contact with the birth family?”  Then he asked if we knew that this adoption was final and there was no going back.  We answered all the questions and signed a few papers, then it was final. 

We went back down to the waiting room where everyone was sitting.  They had said that you aren’t supposed to cheer for others when they come back down, so we all just put are arms up and waved them around and did a whisper cheer. 

So, that was it….it was finally done.  The embassy appointment was the final hurdle in Ethiopia.  From there on out, we could relax for the rest of the trip and just get to know Noah.