We are trudging ahead on our dossier and completed our police clearance & passport sized photos today. The photos were taken at the U in the study abroad office. My actual passport photo was two hair colors ago and in my au natural days. M. joked that up until he got his renewed recently he had hair & a goatee. I will not lie, getting our photos taken was actually was kind of exciting because as we waited to be frozen in film, we flipped through the Lonely Planet guide to Ethiopia & Eritrea and it hit us that we are not only getting a child out of this, but a trip.
Since the dollar is fast tanking, we have had to leave our international travel plans by the wayside. This summer we went to B.C. for an extended destination wedding. Although it was international, it lacked the luster of romance languages and exotic cuisine. The wedding, company, & scenery were beautiful, but it seemed just like the US. (sorry Canadian friends, but in my defense we are in MN and it is basically the same thing, ay?)
As part of our stay in Ethiopia, we have the option to travel to the southern region to possibly visit with our child’s birth family. This would require us to arrive in Addis a few days earlier that we are already planning to do, but we could not pass up the opportunity – both to see the countryside and thank our child’s birth parents. One of the reasons we chose the Ethiopia program was the strong documentation of our child’s life before we are part of it. In addition to the opportunity to meet with any family members, we are given a life book with photos, stories, and film. Our child will naturally have many questions about their life before they could commit it to memory and we are the ones responsible to pass the story on to them. The trip south and the tools our agency provides us will help them answer questions they inevitably will ask.
So this “trip” we are planning will not only have great scenery, exotic food, new languages, but most importantly the start of many new memories. This is the first trip that I will be packing items not for me (baby stuff) and reading both travel and parenting books to prepare for it.