Tuesday: Embassy Day


When we get the call for breakfast I feel like I only just went to sleep.  But I jump out of bed anyways.  I dress Rose, then I send her and Chuck up for breakfast while I take a quick shower.  It's been three days since I've washed my hair, and that's just gross.  But showering presents a bit of a challenge due to 1. no shower curtain 2. fluctuating water temperature and 3. gaping hole in bathroom wall next to shower which I cannot look into because I really don't want to see something looking back at me.

So I take the world's fastest shower and go upstairs for some lukewarm oatmeal.  Apparently Rose wouldn't eat the oatmeal even when it was hot, but she's eaten four pieces of bread and drank a bunch of milk in the meantime.  Our trip to the Embassy is scheduled for 1pm, so we mostly just hang around the family room in the guest house (where all the meals are served and there is a little living room set up) until then.  At noon the cook, Hirut (who is stunningly beautiful and is a great cook) brings us a traditional Ethiopian lunch with doro wat, injera, and a variety of other stews and sauces.  It was awesome!

Then we head off to the care center to pick up some of the babies on the way to the American Embassy.  Rose does not want to get out of the car at the care center.

The American Embassy is an interesting place – i have to check my camera and iPod, others have to check cell phones, etc. – on the way into the building.  Then we go with Marta, our agency representative, who checks us all in and we sit in a waiting room with other people who are adopting, people who are renewing passports, and whatever else you need to do in an embassy waiting room.  While we wait our turn, a man asks Chuck why we are adopting one of 'their' children.  Chuck sort of explains our rationale, and the man seems fine with it after we give a commitment to bring Rose back someday to see her homeland.

Marta has given us a copy of the interview questions to be sure we are prepared with the answers, and when our turn finally comes (we are the last in our group to be called to the counter) we are interviewed by a thirtysomething American woman.  The interview is pretty short and sweet, since Rose hasn't been sick and both of her parents have passed away.  Rose really hams it up, waving and smiling at all of the Embassy employees behind the bulletproof glass. 

We go downstairs to meet up with the rest of the group to find that one baby has been rushed to the hospital for a physical in order for his visa to be processed.  We have to wait for a while, and the babies all get a bit cranky.  Rose eats some cheese and peanut butter crackers and smears them all over her new white coat we gave her  (okay, I know it's crazy to buy a toddler a white coat, but apparently there is a coat embargo in Wisconsin in June and July and we couldn't find one ANYWHERE.  So I shopped online and the most reasonable and warm thing I could find was on clearance on Old Navy's website for like $8.)  Rose loves those crackers, though, apparently nothing tastes as good as artificial orange coloring.   She appears to hate small roundish foods, though, so she won't eat the goldfish crackers, crasins, or kix we brought. 

We give away the goldfish crackers to a four-year-old boy in our group who is bouncing off the walls.  He is being adopted by a family with two other Ethiopian adoptees, and the father brought the oldest (13 years old) along to pick up his new little brother.  The little boy is super-sweet, making up little songs and singing them the whole way here in the car.

After everyone finishes up at the Embassy, we drop the above family at the Hilton (they chose to stay at the same place they stayed when they brought home the 13 year old).   We all went in to the Hilton to change money and confirm our flights home with Ethiopian Air (apparently if you don't, you might lose it).  The Hilton was beautiful and very lavish, but I can't help thinking we are having a better experience in the guest house.  Despite our bed being sloped at a 45% angle and impossibly uncomfortable, and the dog fights in the street in the middle of the night, etc.  We are meeting other families and the people employed by the agency, etc.  We wouldn't have met nearly as many wonderful people if we had stayed anywhere else.  

After the Embassy and errands we came back, ate dinner, and then went to bed.  We had a slight problem putting Rose in her PJs.  She liked the little outfit she had on so much that we had our first fight trying to get it off her.  She was very sad, but cheered up when we let her sleep with her new sandals on and holding onto all of her clothes.  My theory is that she's never really had any clothes of her own before- at the care center everything is shared – and she just didn't want to let go of them.  But once the sandals were on, she felt better and fell asleep.   

2 Responses to “Tuesday: Embassy Day”

  1. […] But while we were there, I thought about when I would want to bring the kids back to Ethiopia, because there was a thirteen-year-old adoptee in the group we traveled with when we adopted Rose.  And in my mind and heart, I have felt like the appropriate time to go would be when Rose was 9 […]

  2. […] about this one? Don’t get me wrong, she’s always been extremely into clothes.  From pretty much the first thing I bought her.  (And here.  And probably a bunch of other places on this blog.)  But she’s never said […]

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