Embassy Trip: day 2 Addis Ababa

This morning we arose early and were out the door, headed to our long-awaited Embassy appointment. After going through security we were escorted into a large room, maybe 2-3 times larger than our DMV  waiting room, filled with Ethiopians who were applying for visas or faithfully meeting the Embassy’s request to state why they’re relinquishing their children or grandchildren for adoption. The other few were white families adopting those children. Once again I was struck with the hard reality of some on this earth having been economically blessed with so much, while others are  so economically oppressed. The consequences are painfully vast. We happened to sit down in front of a young couple adopting a baby boy, who just happened to attend church with one of Dennis’s roommates from his Montana days. How wild is that! We talked until they were hailed to one of the 14 windows. About 5 minutes later, they walked away from that window, the momma smiling radiantly. A long long journey comes to an end with strangers in a DMV-like room in a foreign land with the driver who took us there high-fiving and congratulating us. Perhaps this is why we are so looking forward to the airport party…celebrating this journey is a challenge without our community surrounding us.

While we stood at the long-awaited and highly anticipated window, the man on the other side told us that when Meseret and Kamise’s birth father appeared last week,  he shared that he is a day laborer who makes 50 birr/month ($30) and has 3 other children to support. With their birth mother gone, he can’t care for them or provide for them.

It was another holy offering, full of gratitude for another detail of our girls’ history which will help us read them bits of their story one day.

After our 5 minutes in front of the window, Howie, our escort congratulated us. Though we met him about 60 minutes earlier, he is such a warm person I felt like we had a friend with us;-) I’m not sure what I was feeling. Because I’m so very relational and cannot verbally communicate  with our daughters, I’m feeling quite a void. I hunger to know what they’re feeling and thinking each step of the way. Because that cannot yet happen, there’s a tension within me. One of the first requests of Meseret when we picked her up yesterday was asking us if we could go to Kamashi, their village. Everything in me screamed “Yes!!!” I want to meet your father and tell him we’ll give you all the love we can possibly muster. We’ll protect you the best we’re able. We’ll educate you. We’ll celebrate you! We’ll weep with you. And so much more. But….


it’s not possible to get to their village right now. It’s too far away…14 hours by jeep. But hopefully some day we will have the privilege of taking them back there for a visit. I ached to meet her longing for her two vastly separate worlds to collide.


We headed to a market to purchase some souvenirs. Within 10 minutes we had spent the equivalent of their birth father’s salary on some sandals and bags for them to carry their crafts onto the plane with them. No wonder Africans hold the stereotype that Americans are rich.


They crafted and nourished their growing technological addiction all afternoon long. After a few hours, Meseret was walking around plugged into Den’s cell phone singing the theme song to one of the games. That’s one way to learn some english.

Presently, they’re watching a movie with their new friend from Denmark, who was adopted from Ethiopia 8 years ago and here with her parents adopting a baby boy. Maybe they’ll pick up a little Danish while they’re at it.