Traveled 15 hours to ET. Many of you knew that I wasn't nervous about going to Africa, but that I WAS nervous about making that LONG plane ride. On our family trips to the beach 7 hours in a car about drives my bonkers. We haven't ever taken a vacation over 7 hours in a car because of me. The kids are fine but I drive Phil nuts and I just want to be OUT of the car! ha! Well, I am here to tell you that it really wasn't that bad.... at all! I was worried deep down inside that I would go on this trip and tell Phil that I just couldn't make this journey again (we have been considering adopting from here), but guess what? I am a PRO at traveling 15 hours in a plane! The plane was nice ( Ethiopian Airlines) and they literally feed and hydrate you every 3 hours. We had 3 meals, 2 snacks and naps in between so the time went quick! I watched Date Night (twice), The Bounty Hunter, The Last Song and an Ethiopian Reality Show on the plane so that helped too! Once we arrived and had to pull off ALL that luggage it really hit me that Philip wasn't there! Robby jumped in and took care of the luggage...he is really growing up!
We arrived at 7pm. When we all got outside there was one bus waiting to take all of us (22) and all of our luggage- two 50lb suitcases each PLUS carry on AND backpacks. I am not talking about an American like bus I am talking about a 1/3 the size of a greyhound peeps. Oh yeah, and it was raining. Our luggage went on TOP of the bus, secured with rope. We were laughing so hard. This was the beginning of how things are just sooo differnet here. On the way to the guest home I just kept waiting for a piece of luggage to fall off into the street! Ha! We arrived at our guest home and found our rooms. My floor ( 8 girls) were without electricity... it didn't matter so much - we were so exhausted! We grabbed a bed and got ready for bed with the help of a flashight! It felt just like camp! Robby stayed in a differnt house with the guys and of course he had electrictity and honestly much better accomodations than we did. I must admit I was a bit jealous.... :)
Feel free to use anything that you find useful on this blog. We are all in this together, all trying to advocate for the orphan and raise awareness of the need to ADOPT. I am not trying to attach my name to anything, just trying to bring attention to the fatherless.
We are a family that has truly been blessed! Phil and I were married 9 years ago and we NOW have 3 amazing children! Robby is 15 and Caitlin is age 13, and Mamo age 5. God sent Robby and Caitlin into our lives shortly after we were married and each moment has been a joyous one! In December 2010, we adopted our youngest from Ethiopia, Africa. We are a family who has been created by adoption and have been blessed beyond measure! I have the most amazing husband in the world...Philip you are my ROCK and my BEST friend! :)
July 20 Met Daniel Mamo in Ethiopia on Mission Trip with Ordianry Hero
July 21 Phil says YES and schedules Homestudy AppointmentJuly 24-Robby and I Return Home from Ethiopia
Jul 29 FIRST Homestudy Visit
July 29 Sue with CCI agrees that we may pursue Mamo!
Sept 8 Dossier completed and submitted
Sept 9 I-600a completed and sumbitted
Sept 20 - Daniel receives care package from us and learns he we are coming to him to be his FOREVER family!!
Sept 28 Ethiopian Courts RE-OPEN!!
Sept 28 Payne/Mamo case submitted to the ET courts Oct 12 Received FIRST Court Date of Nov 10th! Travel booked! Woo hoo!
Oct 19th Fingerprinting Appointment for I600-A Nov 4 Begin Journey to Ethiopia Nov 10 Court Date in Ethiopia - WE PASSED!!!!
Nov 12 Come home! Praying to go back SOON to bring him home FOREVER!! Nov 22 Mamo's Birth Certificate issued!
Nov 29th Mamo's Medical Clearance and Passport Issued Dec 8 Receive email that we have been cleared for travel for Embassy appt Dec 16 Dec 13 Begin Journey back to Ethiopia Dec 16 US Embassy Appointment Dec 19 Return HOME as a family of 5 Forever!!!