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Save the Drama for Your Mama

Drama seems to be the word of the day in our household. We got an email from our agency director saying that our updated I- 171H was not forwarded to the Embassy in Addis Ababa. The short of it is - No paperwork = no visa for Evangeline = no travel! But I don't even want to go there because I am hoping and praying and believing with all my heart that we are going to get this resolved.

Our I-171H was amended on Jan 7, 2010, so we're not exactly sure why it hasn't made it to the Embassy by now. But sorting it out means pulling out the big guns. We had to petition our congressman today and get him involved.

We called the National Visa Center. We were told that only the African Adoption Officer could help us and she was out because of the snowstorm in DC. They told us to call back tomorrow.

We have to call the Embassy in Addis, but because of the time difference, we cannot do so until 11p tonight.

We essentially have two more business days to get this resolved being the government offices are closed on Monday for President's Day. We are supposed to leave on Tuesday.

On top of all of that, I picked Jude up from school today and the moment he got into the car he started sobbing. He said he was having excruciating pain in his ear. He would shake his head and say, "Don't you hear that, Mommy?" (He was hearing the fluid in his ear.)

The doctor was able to see him right away and she said his ear drum was infected, bulging and bright red. Indigo was sick on Monday - running fevers and coughing. They tested for flu and thankfully it was negative, but she now has a super runny nose, so the dr thinks she might be next to come down with an ear infection. Neither of my kids have ever had ear infections before. Indi's never even been on antibiotics. So let's hope that streak continues, especially since we are leaving in 6 days!


Please pray with us that this all gets worked out. I'm not freaking out... yet. But this is just so like International Adoption. Right when it seems like it's smooth sailing, something comes up that just blows you away.


  1. (1) make sure you take a copy of the updated 171-H with you (or the original)
    (2) Email the Addis embassy to check if the new 171-H is there. (Scott Driskoll is the Vice Consulate.)
    (3) call the DC Embassy hourly.
    (4) call your congressman hourly.

    Seriously -- in this case, the squeaky wheel gets the oil.

  2. Oh Rachel, I'm so sorry you have to deal with all this at the very last minute. I will pray that it all works out for you. Ditto what Meg said.
    I hope Jude and Indigo feel better soon so that you can leave them without feeling extra guilt.

    I know it will all work out for you.


  3. Oh, Rachel. Sorry to read this. I guess international adoption is just one wild ride right until the end. I'll say a prayer.

  4. Rachel, hang tight it will work out! AIT misplaced all of Samuel's documents. Said they had no record of him! We called 3 nights in a row at midnight!! they finally found them. They were there just not on the right desk. Now we are on hold because of Chinese New Year. I'm praying!! Kris

  5. Rachel, this EXACT SAME thing happened to us (we started out with Guat and switched, and the new 171-H never made it to Addis). What is it with Texas? We did the exact same thing you are doing, except we were never able to reach the Embassy in Addis before we left. The 171-H was there when we got there, but I still second (third) Meg's advice. We'll be praying for you!!!

  6. I'm impressed that you're not freaking out yet. When I called the National Visa Center to make sure our updated I-171h was available, the woman had absolutely no idea what she was doing (or what I wanted her to do). When I asked her to confirm the age (that's what we had updated), she said that she could guess from the photo. Clueless! I hope that the African Adoption Officer is more helpful.

    And I hope your little ones get better soon! You have enough to worry about while you're gone without sick ones at home.


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