I 600 A, 864A, I 171H, Biometrics, packing, scrambling, crying, praying...these are the things that have been consuming my time over the past week. We were given a tentative Embassy Date [that is the official appointment in Ethiopia where Ayantu would be given her Visa to travel home with us to the United States] of December 31st. It is tentative for several reasons:
1. Because Ayantu is over 2 years old, she has to have a TB test before she can leave Ethiopia. If the test comes back negative we're good to go. If for some reason it's positive, she has to be treated with medication for several months there before she can leave Ethiopia and come here. We'll be optimistic for the negative result.
2. One of our documents needed for the Embassy Appointment is going to expire in January. We were informed by our adoption agency several months ago to go ahead and proceed with getting the document re-certified in the event that we don't have Ayantu home by January. In doing so, we also had to update our Homestudy so that it reflected Ayantu's current age [she is 33 months old--we originally had on our Homestudy that we were open to a child between the ages of 12-24 months]. This document, called an I 171H has yet to be re-certified by our government. Without it, we cannot travel to Ethiopia. Back when I worked on staff at Mars Hill Bible Church, I had the privilege of working alongside Congressman Vern Ehlers assistant, Jenny Haupricht Ungrey, on some advocacy issues for a people group living in Western Algeria. Jenny was an amazing resource and asset to helping our cause. I just ran into her at Costco this past Sunday [I had actually never met her in person before, just email correspondence] and felt as though it was for a bigger reason than "just running into her". Well, little did I know that I would be calling her on Tuesday to help us try to expedite our paperwork. God is so in the details it's really amazing.
So...that's the craziness. We can't book our flights until we know for sure Ayantu is TB negative and we have our I 171H re-certified. In the meantime, flight prices are going up by the minute. We've found flights anywhere from $2,400 to $7,ooo leaving Christmas Day! Yikes! If you're praying on our behalf, we would be so grateful to have you pray about these specific details. We are so humbled to know that God already has this whole thing figured out. When I allow myself the time, it's kind of fun looking back and watching it all unfold.