When we got up in the morning, Marya refused to take off her froggy pajamas. She definitely has her own opinions, and when she makes up her mind, she lets you know. In an effort to "pick our battles," we let her just wear it. We finally convinced her to change it after breakfast.
All the families piled into the van to drive to the Embassy appointment. We all waited eagerly as we knew this was the last step to make the adoption legal and complete, hoping there would be no complications. We were surrounded by many of the local Ethiopians, and were met with some questionable looks.
In Ethiopia, some of the people are very accepting of foreign adoption appreciating that we are taking care of their children and providing them with opportunities that they would never otherwise have. However, there are still many Ethiopians that disapprove of foreign adoptions because they feel that we are taking their future away, and we are robbing their children of their culture and their heritage. Therefore, it is imperative that we do everything possible to be respectful of the differing opinions while in their country.
As with any time we are in a foreign country, we are ambassadors of the United States. The way that we act, dress, talk, and respond to situations are direct reflections of the United States. So, while in Ethiopia, woman are asked to not wear any clothes that reveal above their elbows or above their knees. We are also asked not to take our adoptive children out in public so as not to appear to be flaunting them in front of some of the disapproving locals. We had been working on Marya's attachment with me since she so quickly preferred her father, much to my dismay, and Dustin was extremely supportive and encouraging, offering to run into town to pick things up, providing Marya and I with extra needed alone time. However, when she fussed for him at the embassy appointment, we went ahead and had Dustin carry her in the sling (wish I could have had a camera for that one). We figured it would be better to just avoid making a scene.
When they called our name, Dustin and I went up to the window in the embassy. They asked us a handful of straight forward questions, sign, sign, sign,....stamp, stamp, stamp...All paperwork complete. They handed us Marya's birth certificate and other official paperwork. She is ours, the adoption is complete!
The car ride back was miserable as Marya was very fussy (past her nap time), but the rest of the day went much like our last couple with us playing for only a short while outside, and spending the rest of the time bonding in our room together. We were ready to go home.
We had what we came to Ethiopia for...we had our daughter!
Our agency organized some additional sight seeing events and dinners which was very nice of them, but with Marya's 2 year old outbursts, we decline the invitations.
Dustin contacted our travel agency, and moved our tickets up a day early to have us leave tomorrow night. Our family back in the states has let us know that our other children are really missing us, and we just want to get Marya home!
Tomorrow Dustin will travel to the Addis Care Center, while I stay back with Marya to play together. After Marya's melt down when she saw her nanny again, we didn't think it was a good idea to bring her back to the care center to visit the day before we left. We worried that would make it even harder on her. In our room, Marya was showing us her personality. Here is a little clip of Marya singing at the guest house.
I will have to have Dustin make an entry on the blog of his experience at the care center.