Monday, October 14, 2013

Ethiopia 2nd Trip - Day Four/"Embassy Day!"

Thursday, September 5, 2013
Embassy Day

We went to bed early the night before.  We were probably all in bed and asleep before 8:00 pm!  So exhausted!  Well, bless her heart, baby girl kind of had a rough first night.  The first time she woke up it was only 9:30 pm!  And she went on to wake up about every 2 hours throughout the night.  Sometimes, she would only cry out for just a few seconds and then go right back to sleep.  We probably fed her about 3 bottles in the night that first night.

One time she woke up screaming and almost stuck in the corner of her crib, and I got her out but she would not take a bottle!  She screamed and screamed, and I just held her in our bed close to my chest and rocked back and forth with her until she fell back asleep.  At first she tried to push me away, but then she just gradually gave in and let me hold her close.  It broke my heart to see her so upset, and yet again, it warmed my heart that she allowed me to comfort her and put her back to sleep.

This is how our precious, but scared baby girl woke up the next morning.  She just laid in her crib staring at us.  (It is honestly hard to go back and see this picture and remember how scared she was because it was so heartbreaking...and PRAISE GOD, so much has changed since that day, but this is part of our story...and how God alone heals hearts.)

She started crying when we went to get her out of the crib, but she calmed down as we gave her a bottle.  I went to take a shower, and she later fell back asleep in Jody's precious!  We started to realize that sleep was one way that she was coping with her grief.  Even though she had slept in the crib in our room the night before, she did NOT want to nap in it, which was fine with us!  It gave us more bonding/attaching time with her when she slept in our arms!  She later woke up, so then Daddy went to take a shower.

Next it was time to try to get her dressed for the day!  I picked out a little smoked lamb outfit for her to wear that day to Embassy.  Of course, she looked adorable in it!  :)  And she started to seem more comfortable and even gave me a few smiles that morning as we played on the bed!

 Slowly warming up to Mommy!

Sweet little angel!  

 Starting to smile just a little! 

And there it is...big, happy SMILE! :)  We were OVERJOYED!!!  This was the first time she had really smiled being with just us!  PRAISE GOD!!!

Bless her heart, on top of everything in her little world changing, she also had a pretty bad cold.  You can tell from the pictures that she had a really, really runny nose and she also had a little cough.  We were going through tons of tissues!  I know that she didn't feel that great, poor baby!

Then Daddy came back from the shower, and it was baby food time!  She ate a little bit of baby food fruit and seemed to like it okay.  Well, she had a little accident, and her sweet outfit ended up soaked!  So, we put on outfit #2!  She looked really cute in it too! :)  Then we FINALLY left our room and went downstairs to hang out some with Chris, Emma and baby Miles!  It was probably already around 10:30 am by the time we made it downstairs!

Our Embassy appointment was not until 1:00 that day, so we just decided to play and hang out until then.  I walked back over the baby/kids house to take a few pictures, and I took a few pics of the older kids playing outside.  Later, Jody and Chris walked down to New Look restaurant to get a couple of pizzas for all of us for lunch.  Before we knew it, it was time to leave for our US Embassy appointment!  YAY!!!  I got our diaper bag and our passports to take with us.  We knew we couldn't take cameras in the Embassy building, so we decided to snap a few pictures before we left Hannah's Hope.

 Caroline Faith and Mommy in the hallway of the HH guesthouse right beside the front door!  She is wearing her very first headband!!!  So cute!!! :)

Daddy and Mommy with their baby girl on the outside courtyard right in front of the Hannah's Hope guest house.  She is looking a little "unsure", but I still love this picture!  We are about to be on our way to the US Embassy to get our daughter's visa to bring her HOME...such a tangible sign of God's faithfulness in our long adoption journey!

Wass drove the big bus to the Embassy and Johannes went with us too.  Miles and Caroline Faith both did really well on the bus ride.  Caroline Faith was very, very quiet, and she just sat in Jody's lap just staring and "taking it all in".  She started to look very sleepy and was just about to fall asleep as we pulled up the Embassy.  At this point, the rain clouds had rolled in, and it started raining!  Of course, we had not packed umbrellas or rain jackets, so we had to make a run for it!  We didn't get too wet, and thankfully, they let us right in the building!  There was a pretty big crowd of Ethiopians waiting outside the front of the building to get in.  I guess they are there applying for US passports.  We went through security in the front office, and then we had to walk back outside for a bit to get to the main building.

We ran through the chilly rain, and went into the waiting room.  It was just one large room with rows of chairs and individual booths up at the front of the room.  You just sit down and wait for them to call your name.  It really did remind me of the DMV or something like that.  There was also a small little plastic set of playground equipment for the little kids to play on in the room.  There were lots of Ethiopians inside waiting, and there was only one other American couple there besides us and Chris and Emma.  The other American couple was sitting right in front of us with their two precious little boys they had adopted.  They were really sweet.  We all talked quietly and discovered that they were also going to be on our flight home the next night!

We didn't have to wait too long until they called our family's name.  We went up to the booth, and a young, American girl was behind the glass.  She was really sweet, and Caroline Faith did really well as we answered her questions.  She just asked us a few questions about attending court on our first trip, if we had other kids at home, and how long we had been in the adoption process.  She was so kind and congratulated us and kept commenting on how precious Caroline Faith is!

Then Jody signed a form, and she told us that Caroline Faith's visa paperwork would be ready to pick up the next day!  She instructed us to always have the packet of paperwork with us and do NOT open it ourselves.  She said it needed to be sealed when we gave it to the customs officials after we land in Washington DC.  The whole Embassy appointment was a very positive experience for us!  It felt SO AMAZING to walk out of those doors knowing that we were finally CLEARED to bring our daughter home!!!

After that we all loaded back up in the van to head back to Hannah's Hope!  This trip we did not get out very much besides this Embassy trip because our agency had strongly advised us to just stay put at Hannah's Hope with her.  They did not want us to be out and about in public with her except for this Embassy trip.  So, we went back "home" for some more play time at the guest house!

 Picture time with Daddy back at HH!

 Smiling!!!  Back in the downstairs living room of the guest house!

Mommy is a little worn out, but so happy that our daughter will be going home with us SOON!!!  

We really just hung out in the living room of the guest house for the rest of the afternoon and evening.  We got on FB and finally got to post pictures of our baby girl!!!  We updated our status that we had passed Embassy and posted a picture of Caroline Faith from the day before and a picture of all three of us before Embassy.  This was our status update late that afternoon...

"We are so blessed beyond words to introduce ya'll to our beautiful, precious, beloved, adorable, sweet daughter, Caroline Faith Letehiwot!!! The first picture is her adorable smile, and the second picture is right before our US Embassy appointment this afternoon where we were finally APPROVED to bring her home! We'll be heading home to the USA tomorrow night! Please pray for us on the long trip home! And thanks for your prayers so far! She is doing SO MUCH better with us, and we had a great night! She woke up some, but always went right back to sleep after comforting her or giving her a bottle. We have totally felt the Holy Spirit pouring out His peace, and we know that the Lord is already healing her precious heart! Can't wait to introduce her to her big brother and sisters!!!" 

Later that night, Chris made us all some dinner and then we got ready for an early bed time again!  We decided to give her her very first bath at the guest house.  We thought that she would love it, since she always loved bath time at the baby house.  Well, she was pretty scared.  She pretty much fussed through the entire bath and just wanted OUT!  We tried to bathe her as quickly as possible, so we could get her calmed down and ready for bed.  

We were hoping and praying that she would sleep a little bit better this night...and she did!!!  She only woke up TWICE the entire night!  And both times she took a bottle and went right back to sleep!  We were so happy that she was already doing so much better with us!  

The next day would be our very last day in Ethiopia with her before we left that night to take her home to was sure to be an emotional day!

1 comment:

sydney said...

Loving reading your story! You should write a book someday!