We do plan on traveling to Addis Ababa to receive our son or daughter. Five days to a week of our stay is rather structured, but we may travel a few days earlier to recover from jet lag & see some sites in the city. If we travel early, we will most likely spend a few days at the Sheraton and will not be able to see our child until the official meeting date set by our agency. Once we enter into the structured segment of our visit we stay at a guest house near the care center. You can learn more about it and even see pictures on the CHSFS Ethiopia website.
Part of the reason we chose the Ethiopia program was the short country stay and the requirement of only one visit. Our child will have processed through the court system before we arrive and will already be legally ours. We will have one interview at the Embassy while in Addis, but most of the legal and formal process work is managed before we arrive. Families who have travelled previously remark about the cleanliness of the facility, professionalism of the staff, and the affection of the caregivers.
Part of our visit includes an optional visit to the southern region to possibly meet with any of our child’s birth family. I am looking forward to this with great anticipation. I am eager to see the countryside, but very anxious about meeting family members. I would not pass up this opportunity, but even thinking about it brings tears to my eyes at this point. Imagine the emotional bearing of having a child waiting for you in Addis, a child you may not have met physically yet but have grown to love, and then having to meet the family that had to make arguably their most difficult life decision so we could fulfill our dream of having a family.