Sunday, November 6, 2011

Court Date...Ethiopia in 32 days!

This last week has been a whirlwind! On Tuesday, we received news of our upcoming court date in Ethiopia – December 16! This is trip #1 where we will meet K and appear at the Ethiopian Courts to testify that we wish to officially become his parents. Our agency informed us that we needed to arrive in Addis Ababa no later than December 14. This set off a panic as airline tickets are very expensive around the holidays. In addition, Steve has some pending deadlines with a couple of grant projects and two papers. Plus, with it being the end of the semester then, it is generally crazy trying to wrap things up before the break.

We had always planned on taking Lily and Semira with us on the first trip to Ethiopia because of the two required trips, the dates for trip #1 were less likely to change and we have a month notice (which is not much, but way more than we will get for trip #2). After a 24 hour marathon with the travel agent, we managed to find some fairly reasonable tickets (if you can call buying four plane tickets to Africa reasonable). The catch is we are leaving on December 8 and coming back on Christmas day. As a result, the kids will miss the last two weeks of school leading up to the winter break. I am optimistic though that the kids’ teachers will work with us so that we can take much of their school work with us. Otherwise, returning in January after not attending for a month would be ugly. 

There is still a lot of planning to do in the next few weeks. We will spend the first nine days in Addis Ababa. Steve has many friends and colleagues in Addis who want to meet us so I think we will be entertained a lot. We also have some business of our own to do (e.g. Steve has some work to follow up on and I am interested in checking out a school for when we are on sabbatical). After we complete the adoption related business, we will travel for a week. Our plan is to fly to Bahir Dar, take a minibus to Gondar, then fly back to Addis from Gondar. Aside from the coming up with a plan, we still need to buy the local plane tickets and find decent places to stay.

We are all very excited to meet K! We wonder what he will be like. We also received an update on K this week with five new pictures. He seems to be doing really well except for a recent bought with tonsillitis. He has adjusted to his new care center in Addis Ababa and really loves his nannies. I have no idea whether he knows that he will have a new family soon. Since we have done this once before, I know that asking any questions now will result in little accurate or meaningful information. So I am saving all my questions for when we get there!

Wow, it is hard to believe that we are leaving for Ethiopia in 32 days!

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