Cleared by the Embassy

Received the most amazing email last night. It was formal, but it felt like a love letter to me. In simple terms it said that our adoption has been cleared by the US Embassy in Addis. Next step, make an appointment to travel. I’m having a really hard time finding an adjective to describe the joy in my heart.

Circumstances here on the ground, though, are a kin to balls in a lottery box.

One ball; Chinese visas. New regulations for foreigners have extended the process and we can not travel until we get our passports stamped with the new visas.

Another ball; October holiday. October 1-10 is a big Chinese holiday not only in China but at Chinese Embassies around the world. While in Ethiopia, we need to get a Chinese visa for Hanissa. Because of responsibilities back home (children, work, etc), we don’t want to travel when the Chinese Embassy is closed.

A third ball; our Embassy. The American Embassy in Addis asked us to send them three dates that are good for us to travel. They will then choose one that is open on their schedule and set the appointment.

Ball number four; Gina’s Place. Our last trip to Addis, Rachel covered most of David’s responsibilities at the restaurant. This time around, she has a job teaching English and a Chinese class. Fortunately for us, we have two other girls who are able to step up and help out.

Last ball; tickets. Booking our airline tickets without a known date is challenging. Waiting until we have a date means prices may jump. Getting to Ethiopia is actually easier than getting home. We can’t return to China until we have her American and Chinese visa stamped in Hanissa’s passport. The American visa takes 48 hours and must be completed first. The Chinese Embassy said they “should” be able to do her visa in 24 hours. (That “should” makes me nervous.)

These balls are thrown in together, bouncing around, and we aren’t sure what our trip will look like at this point. If we have our passports back, it makes sense to travel during the October holiday since Gina’s will be closed for a few days. But, that might mean a longer time on the ground in Addis if we are waiting for the Chinese Embassy to open. So many thoughts and possibilities, my head is spinning.

So glad my Father doesn’t use the lottery or chance. He holds each of these “balls” in His hand and He will lovingly work out each detail to make all things work together for good. I am beyond excited!

I can’t wait to see how the plan unfolds. I can’t wait to be back in Africa, this time bringing our girl home!

~ Regina

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