I’ve lost track at this point, of how many times I’ve said “We’re in the final stretch!” in reference to this adoption, but the embassy is truly the final stretch if there ever was one. Here’s a summary of what’s been going on the past two months:
We passed court on February 25th. The adoption decree from the court is then translated and legalized, and a series of recommendation letters from the Ministry of Womens’ Affairs (MOWA) incites the generation of birth certificates for the children and passports for them. A final letter from MOWA must then accompany all the paperwork to the US Embassy for their review. If they are satisfied with the documents they will then invite us for an in-person appointment at the embassy in Addis Ababa. The children accompany us at that time and we collect all the documents that will allow us to bring them home to the United States.
Well, our case was submitted to the embassy last Wednesday, March 30th, and a week later we were cc’d on three emails from embassy staff. One requested our updated fingerprint paperwork as the last ones had expired. We’ve been waiting on this and knew it would be a request. Fortunately that document came in on Wednesday afternoon and yesterday I overnighted it to USCIS (immigration services).
The other two emails were requests for further investigation, which is not uncommon lately with Ethiopian adoptions. They requested an interview with baby Eliana’s mother, and some more details on the death of the boys’ father. Our agency is responding accordingly, and bringing the mother up next week to meet with embassy staff. They are also seeking information on the death of the boys’ father from their intake orphanage, Bethazata.
We don’t know how long this will take, but we can’t expect an invitation to the embassy next week. We’re hoping it will be soon after.
Thanks for your continued prayers and support! I’m sure the kids are as ready to come home as we are to get them here.