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Tuesday, June 21, 2011

News from Africa

My sis is in Africa with my dad.  They've been there for almost a week, and things are going as expected.

We've had a hard time getting any information from them though.  Ethiopia has the 4th worst internet in the world.  So, not so easy to get online.

Even though The Mr and I experienced it when we were there in March, we are still chomping at the bit for information.  We've had a few bits -

We got this from my sis first:
We made it and have settled in. Katy is still at foster home. Tomorrow we're going to her orphanage in Zewyai. Now we're off to the airport to pick up Sharon. More coming soon... love, steph and dad

Then a few days later...
Hi again! It's Saturday night and we're pretty wiped out. Sharon got in this morning and lasted until about 6:30 when she crashed. Yesterday we went to the foster home for katy and the staff there said we couldn't take her until after the embassy. Then we went to see Mr Alemu the attorney and he said we should be able to take her. argh. We made plans to drive south to see her orphanage tomorrow and were planning on picking her up and bringing her here in the afternoon but now I'm not sure what's going on. Conceiveably we won't have custody of her until Tuesday before the embassy appointment. It's been frustrating to say the least. Maybe I'll be able to get Mr Alemu to talk to the staff tomorrow so he can straighten it out. sigh.
In any case, she's looking good and we had fun playing with all the kids today. A and M are still there as well as baby Shaq and Little M. Mr Aleum said A and M are waiting for paperwork to go through for a courier to bring them home and that Little M's case will be cleared on Monday. Good to see they will be leaving soon. It's a much different place now with so many kids. The little ones didn't seem to come out at all except Katy because we were there. It's time to have her here with me. Hopefully we can clear up her cold when she's not around all the other sick kids. We will all most likely come home with colds after today for sure!
 We'll check in again after our visit to the orphanage. I've gotten a few more pictures than the last trip but it's the same old story as before. Tomorrow should be good for picture taking.

Nice to hear about some of the kids we saw when we were there.  A & M are brother and sister, 6 and 4.  Super smart kids, and heading to New York to be with their forever family.  Their parents were there the day we got there, incredibly tired and disoriented, and they were unbelievably helpful.  I know that A & M will have a great life.

Baby Shaq (so called because he does look a lot like Shaq) was just the sweetest little man.  I hope he heads home soon.  And Little M looks like she will will be headed to her forever home in Hawaii soon - I know her family is happy about that!

Then my Dad sent an update - the one we were really waiting for... Katy is officially with her mama!!
I finally got on to the internet and gmail. There is only dial up here and for a while I couldn't get it to work. I still can't open an emails for some reason but I can at least send out email.

We are now grandparents having picked Katy up yesterday. A bit traumatic but she has settled down today and is now sleeping quietly on the couch in the main room of the guest house. All the nannies cried when she left and Katy was none to happy as well. She also has a pretty bad chest cold and was very tired. She slept well last night and is sleeping now. She was much more content this morning.

On Sunday we took a trip to Ziway, about 100 + miles south of Addis. The orphanage that she came from is in Ziway and we found it to be a very nice, clean place where the children were very well taken care of. The trip itself was very interesting but I'll tell you about that when we get back. The whole trip here can only be described as sensory overload +. You couldn't survive here. I have seen a few wheelchairs but I can't imagine how anybody in a wheelchair can function.

Today at 1:30 PM we go to the embassy and finallize the adoption and on Thursday get Katy's visa. On Friday there is a ceremony at the foster home and then we go to the airport.

 I'm have a great difficulty with this email so I'll just sign off now. I've also had trouble with the phone and will find out at the embassy how to make it work. Then I"ll call you tonight at a time which will be between noon and 3:00 PM. I hope it works.

I'll talk to you later today and will see you soon with your new granddaughter.

I sure wish that The Mr and I could be there right now.  We loved spending time with the kids there, and would have enjoyed spending some more time in Ethiopia.  One day we'll go back, when Katy is old enough to understand.  That will be an amazing trip.

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