Baby T’s caregivers would bring him outside to us twice a day. This is one of the times he was brought to us.
So many of you have asked for updates on our adoption with Baby T and I do have “news”. If you recall, last month we passed court while in Ethiopia with Baby T. When you pass court, Ethiopia is basically telling you that you are the legal guardian of your child. However, we can’t bring our child back to the states until we clear embassy. We will clear embassy once the US embassy reviews and approves our case and Baby T’s paperwork.
I tell you what, this is such a messy and such a long process. We knew going into adopting in Ethiopia that we would go to Ethiopia, meet our child, pass court and then have to leave our child until we clear embassy. However, when you actually go through this process and have to leave your child in the orphanage… the process is heartbreaking.
Holding Baby T our last day at the orphanage before leaving for the states. We were all sick.
While Baby T is in a “nice orphanage” by Ethiopia’s standards, by American standards, it is not a place you would want to spend the night in let alone grow up in. Just a couple of months ago, a 7 year old died of typhoid in our child’s orphanage. And while we were there, it seemed like every child and baby that we saw had bad colds. (Our five month old baby boy died of an upper respiratory infection in this very orphanage last fall.) While in Ethiopia, Baby T gave his cold to me and it took me two weeks to kick the cold and a total of 4 weeks to kick the cough and I’m a healthy adult who has access to medications, vitamins and clean water. So if you asked me if I am worried about Baby T’s health (as well as the health of all of the other children), I would say most definitely.
We are not sure where we are in the embassy process and I can say that being in the dark is maddening. There are three steps that need to be completed by our agency before we are submitted to the US Embassy. We do know that these three steps have not been completed however we are hoping to be submitted soon. Once we are submitted to embassy, it may take just a few weeks for the US to approve/clear us, or it may take a few months.
The view of Addis Ababa from the top of the guest house where we stayed. Every night, all night long, we would hear wild dogs, people talking and sometimes yelling, car horns, beggars begging and then at 5:30 am every single morning, we would hear a man chanting and singing into a microphone at a mosque near where we were staying. During my next trip, I will be bringing earplugs because all of these noises did not allow for a good night’s sleep. 😉
As I’ve been back in the states the past few weeks, I’ve been feeling more and more led to return to Ethiopia before we clear embassy. I can’t quite explain it, but each day Baby T is in the orphanage, I feel like we lose yet another day of bonding and attachment. Each day is another day when he learns to take care of himself, feed himself, go to sleep by himself and play by himself. His brain is literally growing and being wired to think that it is normal to have no parents, have countless caregivers and that to fall asleep by himself is normal. Since being back, I’ve had a harder and harder time coming to grips with that.
All this to say, I’ve booked a flight and I am heading out to Ethiopia on Tuesday, July 30th. After 20+ hours of travel, I will arrive in Ethiopia Wednesday night. Thursday, I will spend time with Baby T at the orphanage. And then Friday, as long as Baby T is doing okay with me, I will take him out of the orphanage and bring him to live with me. Once I take him out, I can’t bring him back (nor would I). So Friday, should be the last day he is an orphan.
The view outside our bedroom window. These people were outside rain or shine selling everything from shoes, to onions to garlic to roasted corn.
I’m excited. And yet nervous. I’m not a big traveler. And to be honest, I don’t love the idea of staying in Ethiopia for months on end without my hubby. When I was there in June, it was rough. We stayed in a nice guest house. But “nice” is just different in a third world country. We went many days with electricity that would come and go. It was cold at night – very cold. Simple things like brushing your teeth are a challenge – you have to remember not to put your toothbrush under the faucet for fear of catching parasites on your toothbrush and thus getting sick. Dealing with stomach issues are basically a given with the poor water quality. So while I know deep down in my gut that I am supposed to take Baby T out of the orphanage, I am also scared that instead of being in Ethiopia for just a few weeks, I will end up being there for a few months.
I’m also nervous about parenting. While I have loads of babysitting experience and while all of my friends have kids, this will be my first time parenting full-time. And the chances are high that when I take Baby T out of the orphanage, he will be sick. And he may be scared of me. And he may be frightened of living in a new space (even if the living arrangements with me are better than his orphanage). And he may not sleep well. And he may not like the food I prepare him. The list goes on and on. I am sure my nerves are not much different from any first time (or second, third, fourth time) parent.
While I am gone, Addicted to Saving will carry on as normal. My awesome hubby will be staying home and parenting our two dogs and maintaining Addicted to Saving. We also have some gals who will help him and give him some time off at night.
I have high hopes for blogging while I’m gone. Not necessarily blogging about deals, coupons and freebies, but instead blogging about my time there. I can’t make any promises as I have seen that the electricity let alone internet is not reliable. However, I will do my best to keep you all updated on my life.
Our agency submits files to the US Embassy on Mondays. So please pray we are submitted this Monday. Once we are submitted, we have only one more hurdle left and my hope is that it will go quickly so that I don’t have to stay in Ethiopia too long with Baby T!