On the afternoon of Tuesday, November 15, two days before our flight to Addis, we found out that there was a problem. All the cases from Burji were being indefinitely delayed.
Without much information to go on, we had to decide if we should fly to Ethiopia as planned or postpone our trip. If we decided to go, the worst-case scenario was that we would spend a few days in Ethiopia and then fly home without having gone to court. But if we postponed our trip, the worst-case scenario was that the court appointment would proceed and we would miss it. We decided to go with our original flight.
So we're in Addis. The agency staff here told us a little more about why the Burji cases are being delayed. Basically we are part of the first group of international adoption the Burji district has seen, and there are some bumps that need to be smoothed out. The good thing about the delay is that all the Burji cases have been scrutinized one more time by a different set of eyes - good for transparency. We got some news yesterday that makes us hopeful that the boys may come to Addis before too long. We may extend our stay here to wait for a new court date. We have to just wait and see what happens. But I'm glad we're in Ethiopia waiting, and not back home. I'd be going nuts if I was still at home with so many unknowns. At least here we are getting to see our future children’s country.
We have been here five days now. Mostly we’ve been in the capital. Addis is a sprawling, organic mish-mash of corrugated tin, high-rises and construction dust. We've visited three museums and a cathedral (excellent guides in all), walked all around the city center, more or less mastered the mini-buses, had dinner at the home of our Amharic tutor's brother, amused lots of people with our attempts at Amharic, eaten lots of yummy Ethiopian food, and attended a cultural performance where T got pulled on stage to show off his best shoulder-popping moves. We visited our agency's care center to deliver donations and packages and play with the kids. The toy trains we brought were a huge hit (Babur! Babur! Babur! Train! Train! Train!). Our hotel, which was recommended by another adoptive parent, is just one block away from the care center. The staff is friendly and helpful and there’s an intermittent wireless connection. There’s lots of little shops nearby to buy things like bananas, detergent and plug adaptors. In the more tourist-oriented parts of town foreigners attract some attention, but around here people are just going about their daily business. Today we also took a couple of local buses to get to Debre Zeit, a nearby town surrounded by crater lakes. As expected, people along the way showed us the right way to go. Debre Zeit is a smaller town with tree-lined streets, lots of birds and great views and was a nice change from the city. Our health is fine except for insomnia due to the loud music next to the hotel, and our spirits are good except for my one little midnight break-down, which in retrospect was due mostly to insomnia.
So things haven’t gone according to plan, but we're OK. I am very thankful for the constant stream of supportive messages being sent from back home, and more than anything, I am thankful that T's alter-ego is Captain Reasonable, whose super power is the ability to keep everything in perspective at all times.