Both boys slept all night and did really well in the morning. We ate breakfast, and then Wass picked us up at 8:00 to take us to our appointment at the U.S. Embassy.
Wass and Shana were good buddies on our first trip, and she kept giving him dum-dum suckers, which he loved. Today, I handed him a monster-size bag of dum-dums (over 300!) and told him that they were from Shana. He laughed and laughed, and said he would remember Shana for a year at least - every time he ate a sucker he would think of her. He wondered how she's doing, and if she's taking classes. He said she was so much fun on our first trip.
Wass told us that Uchan always talks about going to America (or "Amedica," as he calls it). Every time he goes anywhere, even if it is just to get a medical check-up, he says he's going to "Amedica". We stopped on the street to pick up Tsige, and she and Wass filled us in on more information about the boys. Opiyew and Uchan still speak to each other in Agnewak, their first language, and they're doing very well with Amharic as well. English will be their 3rd language. They said that every time the boys see a dark blue van, they say, "Gambela!" Gambela is the region of Ethiopia that the boys are from, and they rode in a dark blue van from Gambela to Addis Ababa when they came to Hannah's Hope. If Wass shows them a dark blue van and says, "That van is going to America," they say, "No Amedica. That's a Gambela van!" It will be interesting to see what they say about our dark blue van at home.....
On the way to the Embassy, we were reminded how crazy the driving is in Addis! There are no traffic rules,
no lanes, and no stoplights, which can get pretty interesting in a city of 5-6 million people! Plus, there are people and animals in the streets everywhere! There are horns honking constantly to let the people and animals know that they better get out of the way! At one point, we came upon two cars that were side-by-side, and Wass headed the van right between them. Chris asked how we were going to fit, and Wass said that in order to drive here, you have to have a license to break the rules. We made it through, but we felt rather like a sandwich!
When we arrived at the Embassy, we went through security and then continued on to another building. Opiyew really cried when Wass drove away, and Tsige did her best to comfort him and let him know that Wass would be right back. It took awhile to settle him down. We entered a room filled with people waiting, and thankfully, there was a play area with a playhouse and slide that kept the boys occupied. While the boys played, Tsige told us a little more about their background. She said that the people from Gambela are very tall, and that our boys are extremely fast. She said that the boys' birth mother told her that the boys love to climb trees, and did so when they were 2 years old! After about 45 minutes, they called our name, so we walked to a window and filled out some paperwork. The woman behind the glass asked us a few questions and told us more information about the boys' birth mother. She gave us paperwork which included the court decree, the MOWA letter, and the boys' birth certificates, and then declared that our adoption was full and final. She said that we would be receiving citizenship papers in the mail in a few weeks, and then congratulated us. That was it!
We walked back outside, found Wass sitting in the van, and climbed in. Back at the hotel, we met the "L" family in the lobby. They had just arrived on their 2nd trip as well. We talked with them for awhile, and then played with the boys in our room and in the courtyard. We fed them food that we had brought with us, and then it was nap-time. We all slept for about 2 hours, which felt so good since we were still completely jet-lagged. When we woke up, we played some more, gave the boys baths, and had dinner in the hotel restaurant. Tonight Uchan ate more than the rest of us put together, I think!
When we got back to the room, we got the boys ready for bed, brushed their teeth, and said their prayers with them. Both boys went to bed great; Uchan fell asleep quickly, and Opiyew sang to himself until he fell asleep. He sang some little chant about Gambela over and over and over. "Ta-ta Gambela. Ooti-looti Gambela........."