It has been one month since we first saw the pictures of our sweet boys and as I think back to that day, I can't believe it's been a month already, but there have been days that seemed to take for...e...ver. This month Garth and I have started preparing for Jeremiah and S*** by getting some bunk beds off Craig's list, getting another car seat, two car booster seats (we're not sure what type they will need to be in yet), and two kitchen booster seats. I have also been watching some online training classes from Adoption Learning Partners that I have enjoyed.
We don't know yet when our court date will be, but I am tentatively guessing mid to late February. I am secretly (well, not anymore) hoping to be able to be in Ethiopia over Valentine's day so we can love on our boys on the day that love is celebrated.
My mom asked me yesterday how much more money we would need for our adoption, so I figured that if she was curious, there might be others who are curious as well. The price of the airfare is, of course, an estimation, but here is a rough estimate.
International Program Fee $3750 (this is because we are adopting two children at once)
Airfare (2 adults) $2400 to $4000
Airfare (2 children) $500 to $1000
Visas (2 adults) $40*
Visa/Embassy Fee (2 children) $800
In-Country Travel Package (2 adults) $1400 to $2000
Extended In-Country Stay package $3000 to $6500 (for 6-12 weeks in country)*
So at the high end we still have $18,090 to go, but we are praying that we will be at the low end which is $11,890. You will notice that I put stars next to the Visa amount and the in-country extended stay package. I am hoping and praying that we will be able to afford for me to stay in Ethiopia between our court date and Embassy date. Recently, it has been about 5-7 weeks that families have had their Embassy appointment after they pass court. If I can stay, then I will need to get a 2-year visa which I think is $75, so that price would be increased to $95. The extended in-country stay package includes a place to stay in a guest home there in Addis Ababa, some meals, transportation when needed, etc. I also recently found out that Ethiopian Airlines is celebrating the delivery of a B777-200LR and to mark the beginning of a NON-STOP flight from USA to East Africa, they are having a "1-week" special to be sold December 16-25, 2010 where flights to be taken in FEBRUARY are only $777 per person plus tax. So will you pray with me that we will find out before December 16 that our court appearance is in February?
Why do I want to stay in a third-world country for that time period? Well the obvious answer is so I don't have to leave our boys, but mostly I would like to be able to begin the bonding process with them in their environment. If I can stay, then I believe that it will be much easier on them to travel to a whole different country, to a home that they have never seen, and to a place where the people speak a different language. If I am able to stay, then once we pass court, I will have the boys with me. We will also plan on interacting with Garth through Skype hopefully every day, so they will also get to know him through those conversations. It is also important for the boys to learn that Garth and I will be their primary caregivers and learn that we will provide for their every need.
I also wanted to share another piece of Ethiopian culture with you. Our boys are from the Sidama area and this house is a typical house for that area.