So we were told about a week ago that we were *hopefully* being submitted to embassy on Sept. 26th (this past Wednesday). Two of our good friends who went to court with us were also given this same news, and we were all VERY excited because several embassy cases within the past two weeks have moved QUICKLY. A few friends have been submitted and passed within FIVE days. This is practically unheard of. There are basically three possible outcomes at this stage in the game:
#1. Your case is held up indefinitely (waiting to be submitted to embassy) due to missing paperwork.
#2. You get submitted and then the embassy may hold off on your case and not review it indefinitely.
#3. You get submitted and the embassy reviews your case and makes a decision as to whether or not to investigate you further, or to clear (pass) your case.
Of course, we want #3. Two friends have gotten this and the embassy has cleared them in record time. They are leaving this week to go get their kids. JEALOUS!!!!!!!!!!! A third friend also just cleared. Since I can't go over and get MY kids, these lovely ladies have kindly agreed to all take pictures for me, which should ease my heartache a little. I am also sending care packages with two of them (they happened to travel at the same time, so my kids will be overloaded with gifts!). I am sending shoes and a dress and t-shirts with our family picture of us and the kids silk-screened on the front, as well as picture albums with the house and from our court trip, tons of little toys, and snacks. I wish I could be there to watch them open the packages, but I should be there myself SOON, so I will be patient. :)
Anway. Abe left for Texas for a work conference on Sunday and I was trying to distract myself from the possibility of being submitted to embassy. Embassy submissions only happen on Wednesdays, and I didn't want to obsess, even though I was pretty sure we would be submitted. Right before Abe left, we went to a craft store and I bought a ton of flowers and plain head bands and little jewels. Then I spent the afternoon making Z a TON of headbands. I had made her some beautiful ones before, but I sent them all to Ethiopia for her. So I made a bunch for her to have HERE. They turned out great!!! I can't wait to see her wear them. :)
Sunday night I went to my BFF Jamie's house, and she and her daughter and I made welcome home t-shirts and poster signs for our friends who were bringing home their little boy from China on Thursday night. Our t-shirts turned out great. :) We did, "LIVE. LOVE. ADOPT.", stacked on each other in hot pink and then under the "ADOPT" I put, "Ethiopia" in bright yellow (Levi's color) and Jamie and her daughter did "Colombia" in green down the side of their shirts.
Sunday, Monday and Tuesday all day were spent working texting my girls Carrie and Marina, who were also waiting to be submitted. When you are waiting for embassy submission, there are only two days. Wednesdays, and not-Wednesdays. By Tuesday night we were almost losing our minds. Ethiopia is seven hours ahead of American time, so the earliest we could hear about submission would be 2am our time. The window is 2am-9am, and if submitted, you recieve an email. If you don't get submitted, there is no contact.
Marina decided that directly asking each other would be too hard, especially if one person passed but another did not. She came up with some code words to help us tell each other what was happening. If we got submitted, the code word was "Big Bird." (Don't ask why, it's just what we decided haha). If we did not get submitted, the code was "Muffin". I voted in a third one, to signal that we had heard nothing, and that was "Club Soda."
I'm not sure but I think Marina and Carrie were up most of the night. I tried to sleep because I have to wake up at 2:45am anyway for work, but I was pretty much texting back and forth with them ALL night inbetween nightmares. I figure it was because I was so stressed, but I had horrible dreams all night on and off as I cat-napped and in one, all my teeth but one fell out. I'm happy to say that Carrie laughed at me (instead of sympathizing) when I told her that one. Cause we are tight like that haha. :)
2:00am hit. 2:55am. No word. Marina texted out sadly, "Muffin." I was like, "No way, we are CLUB SODA till 9:00am!!!"
FINALLY at 6:21am we got the first "Big Bird" text from Marina. :) HUGE sigh of relief. I started checking my email like every minute. Nothing.
7:07am. Carrie got her "Big Bird".
7:30am. I left my VRS job and headed for my second job. A friend from work texted me, "Ok, club soda text me as soon as your big bird flies away! Fingers crossed, just said a prayer, k?"
8:00am. I knew. Somehow, deep down, I knew. It wasn't happening. I was going muffin.
9:00am. 10:00am. I emailed our agency. Sometimes the embassy doesn't have the correct email address, so you are submitted but not notified. Somehow I knew this wasn't the case, but I asked anyway. 10:22am. We got an email from the travel coordinator. We were not submitted.
I was in class at that point. I had promised myself I wouldn't check my phone (I was interpreting 10-12) but of course I had to. Luckily since I had already felt like it wasn't happening, I didn't break down in class. But it felt like CRAP. Here my kids are waiting, asking for me, and we have been in this process SO long..........I was just hoping SOMETHING would start going right/processing quickly. Think again. I should have expected this to go wrong, like pretty much everything else. I can't express how overwhelmingly grateful I am that we passed court on the first try; THAT would have been devastating if we hadn't. This is just a minor set back. And the travel coordinator said she is hopeful we will be submitted next week. I want to hope, but I will believe it when I see it.
Missing my kids aside, last night was really cool because we got to see little Micah come home. :) Amy left for China a few weeks ago and the family flew in last night. We got to be party of the welcoming party home and it was so amazing. Micah is so precious and adorable and everyone was so happy. Jamie and I were bawling our eyes out of course. :) It was SO good to see it finally happening for SOMEONE. I admit wishing I was the one getting off the plane with MY babies, but seeing Micah was such a cool experience and the next best thing to seeing mine or Jamie's kids come home. Totally in love with my little nephew already. <3 :) We love you Micah!!! :)
Below are some pix from Micah's home-coming!