Well, we're back home finally. We spent another restful day in Beijing with our friends Justin & Lauren, which involved me sleeping for nearly 11 hours straight, lunch at my favorite restaurant, and the best Mexican food I've had in two years (slim pickings for Mexican food in China!). We took the train home on Friday and returned to our puppy, our friends, and our life here.
So what's next? How do I meet my sons, be granted guardianship, leave them in Africa, and then expect to resume normal life? And why in the world, as my friend Vanessa so blatantly inquired, are they still in Africa anyway?
Here's the deal: we are their parents in the eyes of the Ethiopian government. But now the US embassy wants to look over our case before granting the boys permission to immigrate. This process will take at least 8 weeks, possibly longer. We have to wait for the Ethiopian court to issue a formal decree of our guardianship. Then new birth certificates and passports have to be issued and authenticated. Once all of that paperwork is gathered, it will be submitted to the US embassy in Ethiopia for their review. Recently, the embassy had been extremely thorough in looking over these cases to make sure that no corruption is leaking into the adoption system. I'm thankful for their commitment to prevent child trafficking and the like, but when it's my sons I just want to say, "Can't you just make an exception and send them home now?" But I doubt that would really help.
So let the waiting game begin...again.