This morning started with us going nice and early to the US embassy...under the impression that I was quickly submitting photos, paying, signing and taking off. Everyone stayed in the car as I took about an hour in the Embassy. I submitted everything, paid ($400 USD each child)...and then was told to wait. And wait...I did. Finally I was called into the interview room. Once there I was told the visas were approved and asked again if I was committing all was true in the documents. Then I signed. She then told me "ok we will hope things get done in time, but there are no guarantees that you will have these before your flight...therefore delaying your travel plans". :)
I seriously walked out of there with ZERO concerns. I felt complete peace that if this was the flight for us...then we would have those visas in time.
We went on with our day. Had lunch, kids played in the playground...I found a few gift items for a few good friends, and then had my hair done. I just had it washed, dried and straightened. I kept coaching her on how to do it...I'm sure my hair differs quite a bit from Zambian hair :) Anyway, in the end, after 26 days of disgusting hair, it felt good to just have it down and look decent.
Tanis had to do a few stops so it took us a while to get home, but we were here in time for a very nice dinner. There's only been a few things I have seen Zunduka and Chazano not like eating. One was lentils ... the other night at the doctor's house. I had to force feed. :) The other was tonight...our vegetable was pumpkin. Literally...pumpkin cooked like squash. It was very good but the boys...not really having it. They did eat it all but it was not enjoyed.
Ever since dinner I've been packing. Bathed the boys one final time here...got their bags packed. They have this tiny suitcase...half full :) Half of their clothes I gave back to Tanis to give to needy children in the village. Some of it is very nice, much of which I purchased for them in WA last time...but its too small. A lot of their shirts hit an inch or two above their wrist. So we are passing them on. So they are going home with even less :) I'm sure we will soon have to go shopping for summer clothes for them once home.
The most difficult thing to pack...is our elephant. Last time Tanis bought us a giraffe end table...which was quite the ordeal packing...but we made it. Only to have every person in security laugh at me carrying it in Seattle. It did look quite rediculous. Well.. this time I asked the same seller at the market to make me an elephant one...for the other side of the living room. It cost $350,000 which is about $70. Its quite gorgeous and all hand carved. The problem: its a different kind of wood than he made the giraffe with and its very heavy. Tanis said it was definitely within weight limits..I disagreed. It appears, unfortunately, that I was correct. I have no idea how much they are going to charge me since it is over 50lbs. I called Dean and asked if it was worth it...it may be $100 surcharge! (rediculous since its like 5 lbs overweight). We are going to go for it provided it is around $100. So several boxes and towels and lots of duck tape later...the elephant is ready :)
Ahh. I'm so ready. Its going to be quite the trip.
Our flight leaves Lusaka at 1:40pm to Johannesburg, South Africa. Its a 2 hour flight and we have a 2 hour layover. Then we leave Joburg around 5:45pm or so and its like 17 hours to Washington DC. oh...don't stop praying for me yet :) We do touch down in Daqar (google it to see where in the world it is :)...in the middle of the night for refuel and I hear to let some passengers off. We are not allowed to exit the plane though. Then we continue on through the night. We land in WA D.C at 6am local time. We have a 6hour 4o minute layover there...which I'm told will be well used. We have to do all the customs there which means retrieving 6 checked in suitcases including mister overweight elephant...oh doesn't that sound exciting? :) Nevermind...I will be THRILLED beyond words to be on U.S soil!!! We arrive in Seattle 3:34pm PST on Thursday. The boys have definitely never been on an airplane before and they cannot wait!! Little do they know all that lies ahead.
Tanis suggested wearing a diaper on Zunduka the entire time and it seems like we need to. He basically is telling us he needs to go the bathroom...AS he is going. Then he starts to cry (Tanis says b/c he knows thats not ok)...and we are left trying to deal with the disaster. AHHH. Yes this is for all forms of going to the bathroom. I don't want to go the diaper route...but neither do I wish to deal with what could happen. I know you may be thinking he's been through a lot but really...he's been living a dream for MONTHS being taken from the poverty of the village and into Tanis' home...and it seems were are backtracking a bit. I'll be interested to see what we find out medically.
This morning at the Embassy the Consular opened the medical documents as she wanted me aware of any issues....she said the doctor said Zunduka is severely malnourished and needs medical attention within a month. I think you get used to tiny children here in Zambia because I definitely see the severe malnutrion but Tanis thinks he has a high metabolism. It'll be interesting to see what we find out.
Their new backpacks are packed, coloring books, crayons, cars, toothbrushes :) I have a full extra set of clothes for them so in DC I'll get them dressed a little nicer as tomorrow they'll be wearing sweat suits so they can sleep all night comfortably.
Oh...want some good news?
We got an email tonight...from the Consular. Here is what it says: :)
Dear Janice - your sons' packets and visas are ready for collection.
The number you had provided was unfortunately missing a digit so we were
unable to phone you. You may come to the Embassy today before 16:30 or
tomorrow morning between 8:00 and 10:00 to collect them. Kate
There you go! So we are all set! We'll pick them up in the morning, run to one more store very quickly and then be on our way home to pack the car and head to the airport for 12ish.
Please pray our entire trip home. For a safe trip...for health. About 10-12 days ago I got bitten by misquitos about 6 or 7 bites...and Tanis says Maralia symptoms show up about 10 days after bites. Praying I am exempt.
Tirzah, Zion, Azlan and Azahria Peace....2 more days and we see you. Tomorrow we leave on the big airplane and we are on our way!!
Dean--Two more days. Distance has not made my heart grow fonder. It was 'fond' before I left. It feels so wrong for me to be away from you all so long....yet I know...it is was God wanted. It's what He planned. So it was the right thing. I love you.
Ahhh...so I won't be able to blog (I don't think...) until I'm on U.S soil at least. Will be 29 days gone when I get home Thursday. I am so ready.
One last night from Lusaka!