Life for us the past couple of years has involved a lot of waiting for phone calls. There was the "your dossier is submitted to Ethiopia" phone call, then the "you got your referral" phone call, then the "hooray, you got a court date" phone call. This week, we got two of my favorite two phone calls - first, the "the Embassy has approved you to travel" phone call (on Tuesday), and then the "hey guess what, you have an Embassy appointment!" which came the following day. Our appointment is on Wednesday, March 16, and we'll get Evelyn's passport and visa two days later.
This is it! The end! As Zachary puts it, "When you come home, we won't be adopting anymore!" That is such a powerful statement... It means much more than the end of a process, it means that our family is finally complete, after many years of many various struggles. When we decided to adopt, we said that someday there will be a baby at the end of this journey. And oh what a baby she is!
We will be driving to Washington, D.C. on Saturday night and leaving on Sunday direct to Addis Ababa. Danielle and Matt Bilen, who were with us on our first trip, are on our flight! We'll arrive in Addis on Monday morning. Then we'll reunite with Heidi and Ben Hartter, also from our first trip - and of course we orchestrated that we're all staying at the same place, Ethiopian Guest Home. It is an amazing, relatively new guest home created by an American adoptive family. EGH works closely with (and our stay there supports) many local organizations that help the people of Ethiopia. I'll share more about EGH's work when we get there!
We're not sure when we get custody of Evelyn, but it'll be Monday or Tuesday. Embassy is on Wednesday. CHI has an itinerary of destinations for us to see - museums, the merkato (market), a few other places - and we'll be going to Numan Orphanage, where all three of our children were relinquished. It will be wonderful to see Ethiopia outside of smoggy Addis Ababa! We also plan on going to the Kechene community, the congregation of Jews living in Addis. Hopefully we'll be able to be with them to bring in Shabbat on Friday evening and/or on Sunday to celebrate Purim!
We will leave - with Evelyn! - on Sunday night, arrive in D.C. on Monday morning, and drive back to Suffern to greet Zachary, Baba Marilyn and Zayda Chaim (and of course, Munchkin and Dodo) with open arms and our beautiful baby girl!
Stay tuned to this blog during our trip, as we actually have WiFi access!
See you on Monday, Evelyn Sisay Zimbalist! We love you!