Tuesday, 5 April 2011

And...VISA!!!

We've had a big day. We now have Mtoto's US visa and all the supporting paperwork. Tomorrow our paperwork goes back to Mtoto's government so that they can grant us final permission to leave the country. That process usually take 10 to 14 business days.

So, the visa surprise- in my last update I posted that a number of families here got a message from the embassy that they should pick up their visas on Tuesday (today). I didn't get a message, and I was unable to get through to the embassy before they closed for the weekend. Then, on Monday morning I spent a very long time attempting to get through the embassy switchboard. Around 3:30 I was finally able to speak to the woman who handles parents of adopted kids. I asked her if they had any news about the progress of Mtoto's visa, and she shuffled some papers rather loudly and said, "yes, come pick it up Tuesday at 3." You could have knocked me over with a feather.

I admit I was a bit skeptical. The last family that went in to pick up a visa on a Monday had to sit in the embassy for four days, and eventually got it at the end of the day on Thursday. Thus, while I really hoped that my visa was actually ready, I had to reason to doubt that it would be printed and ready to go.

This morning we went to Mtoto's orphanage to drop off some food and say hello, then went to the embassy store and ate lunch/killed time until our appointment, then arrived at the embassy a few minutes early. The guard there will scold you if you are late, so we always try to get in early. Now the problem with getting to the embassy early is that even though they want you to be prompt, they rarely return the favor. At 4:30 I was called in…and they let me know they would be starting my letter, so it would just be a bit longer. I think we ended up leaving at 4:55, which means we waited almost two hours. I am thankful that the embassy has nice air-conditioning, and the coldest water in the entire city. Also, the water tastes just like cooler water should- that added mineral taste that lets you know you are drinking bottled water…mmmmmm. I am sorry to report that the United States apparently does not feel this embassy's restroom should have toilet paper. This is super gross and unacceptable in my book. I understand from the news that the US government might be shutting down soon, but seriously, can't they spring for a roll of toilet paper?

In other bathroom related news, Mtoto peed on me in the embassy cubicle. For those of you who have not been in an embassy, they have one large waiting room, and then a series of doors that are numbered. When you enter into one of these doors they are a small room with a counter and a huge sheet of glass. The person working with you stands behind the counter/glass and you stand in the little room. So, I'm in the little cubicle holding Mtoto on my hip and the woman who is helping me is trying to figure out if she should put my name or Jeff's name on the letter she is writing (because I am turning the letter in, but Jeff is picking it up and taking Mtoto home), and all of a sudden I feel something really warm on my back. It was a very odd sensation, and I thought, did Mtoto just pee on me? On my back? I finished answering her questions and rushed him to the changing table. It turned out that he somehow managed to pee on my back, but, amazingly did not wet himself at all. His onesie and overalls were completely dry. He somehow peed sideways out of his diaper (which was wet) and onto me. On the plus side, I really like his outfit and was glad it didn't get wet…but I carry extra outfits for him. Not so much for me. Happily, it dried out pretty quickly. I am considering talking to Jeff about changing Mtoto's name to "John the Baptist." He pees on me that much (although usually he gets me when I'm changing him-today was a special event).

I am so thrilled and thankful that we have Mtoto's visa. It has been hard to celebrate because one of the other families we are here with didn't get their visa today, and have no idea when theirs will be done. We are all in this together, and it doesn't feel right to be so excited when they are still in limbo.

Jeff bought his ticket to come as soon as I had the visa. I'll post later on why we decided to split the trip instead of me doing the whole thing/continuing to pray that the letter would be done for me to make my flight for Tommy's birthday, but the short version is that we believe that God has a purpose in bringing Jeff here, and that Jeff needs to experience Mtoto's country. It will also be nice for me to have some time to mend fences with Tommy…who might not be so fond of my absence. Pray for Tommy, he has had a cold and also has been struggling a little.

This blog will probably be posted late, because our internet has been awful the last few days…same with the power, but we are back on "city" now, which means AC for me tonight because I moved rooms again and am back in the lap of luxury! Woohoo!

13 comments:

Jess said...

Yeah! I am so happy for you- now lets pray that the exit letter comes quicker than normal!

SisterHaiti said...

YAY!!!!!

Drew and Kim Cox said...

Thank God for answered prayer! We will keep praying that God unites your whole family safe and sound!!

Angie said...

I've been praying for you daily. Thanks for reminding us of God's faithfulness.

Jesse said...

Praise be to God!! So happy for all of you...we continue to pray that the rest of the paperwork gets completed!! :)WOOHOO!!!

Jesse said...

That's my comment Amy just before this one..I didn't realize I am on my son's account LOL!
Jeanine

Sweet Apron said...

Wonderful news, little momma!!

Audrey @ The Brown Brigade said...

Wonderful news!!!

Laura Gifford said...

Hooray!!!!

Colleen said...

So happy for you.

Dad

Colleen said...

Looks like Colleen was on our computer and didn't sign off. However, she is very happy for you too, and we are praying for a quick response so you all can come home soon.

Dad

ZRebeka said...

Wonderful news! Congrats!

Heather said...

Wonderful news!