Updated Adoption FAQs

A few more adoption FAQs...

What is the baby's name?
We haven't decided "officially" yet...although this is driving my husband crazy. He has it narrowed down to one and I have a list of 3-4, so there has been some "discussion." There is a lot to consider when naming a child - and even more so in this case...a child from Africa who will be living in a biracial family - we feel that we owe it to him to put significant consideration into his name. His middle name will be some portion of his birth name.

Are you excited?
This is a tough one. We are excited to have our baby home and our family safe and together. YES! However, as we process all that is involved...traveling so far away to an unfamiliar country, leaving little ones at home and missing them terribly, experiencing poverty and orphans, meeting the needs of a baby we already love, but know nothing about...it is a lot to process and I don't know if "excited" is most accurate description of our current emotions. :)

What do you have to pack for travel? The packing list is quite long. Obviously, we have to take all of our personal items...clothing, toiletries, etc. Women are expected to dress conservatively, so shorts or shorter skirts are not an option for me - pants and long skirts only. We also have to pack everything that the baby will need. He will leave with only the clothes he is wearing (and they even encourage families to bring an outfit to leave at the orphanage to replace the one he takes with him). So...that means formula, wipes, diapers, clothing, toys, blankets, bottles and all other things baby. At this point, I don't even know what size he is or what is eating schedule is like...we are hoping to have this information before we travel in two weeks. We'll also be taking snacks. The guest house will feed us breakfast and dinner, but we are on our own for any other food. We will be buying bottled water once we get there. We will also have mounds of paperwork...items for our embassy appointments to ensure that the baby has all the documents he will need to return to the U.S. with us. We'll have all of our electronics - cameras, computer, voltage adapters - in the desperate hope to document our trip and stay connected while we are there (this could be a challenge, as we've heard Internet service it difficult to find). We will pack books, card games and various means of entertainment to keep us busy during long waits and time spent hanging out at the guest house. We are also taking two bags of donations for the foster home. They are always in need of items and families are encouraged to bring things as they are able.

How long is the trip?
The trip is about 24 hours, depending in layovers and how you break it up. We will go from Atlanta to New York to Amsterdam to Addis Ababa...but there are a number of ways to do it. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to get there and the trip is extremely long regardless of how you break it up.

Where do you stay?
We will be staying in a "Guest House"...I suppose you could compare it to a Bed and Breakfast...an Ethiopian bed and breakfast. :)

What will you do while you are there...why does it take so long?
There is a series of steps we must follow in order to obtain the necessary paperwork for our son to leave the country.
Saturday - We will arrive in Addis Ababa.
Sunday - Day to acclimate, if getting the baby is not an option, we will spend some time in the city shopping
Monday - We will pick up our son by Monday morning.
Tuesday - We have our appointment at the Embassy to finalize the adoption paperwork.
Wednesday - We will be visiting Acacia Village. This is a complex being built by our adoption agency's foundation. It will meet the needs of some of the mothers and orphans in the area.
Thursday - We will be going to the American Embassy and Dutch Embassy to obtain travel visas for the baby.
Friday - We were hoping to leave to head home on Friday, but we were unable to find a suitable flight (we couldn't leave too early because there is the possibility that we will not have some of the necessary documents until late Friday).
Saturday - Heading home
Sunday (Valentine's Day) - Arrive in Atlanta

Once you bring him home, is the paperwork finally over?
No. Upon returning, we will begin the process of re-adopting him in the United States...this will allow him to have a U.S. birth certificate. There will also be yearly post-placement follow-ups with our home study agency.

I know there are more questions we are frequently asked...I will continue to post additional FAQs periodically.

1 comment:

McEvoy-Party of Five said...

Tiffany, congratulations on your Embassy date. It's fast approaching. I love reading your blog and your feelings and thoughts are right on! I thought I was the only one who felt like that! I'll be thinking of you and praying for you and your family during these coming days. Best of luck! You're going to be an awesome mother of four!