Basically the US Embassy in Kenya is just about impossible to work with. I feel so bad for anyone who has to come here to get their visa done. For those of you adopting and coming here you will soon find that they want you to stay a couple of weeks before you can go home. Here is what we have been doing here.
We flew in on Sunday. Monday we went to the US Embassy to make sure that everything was ok. They even took our folder from Rwanda. After that we went to the doctors to get Zoe's tb shot to make sure she is ok. Tuesday we didn't have to do anything so we had a little fun and went to the Daphne Sheldrik baby elephant orphanage. This was a really fun visit. If anyone is planning on visiting just a quick note- it is only open from 11:00 to 12:00. They bring out the baby elephants and let them play around. They have balls and they kick them around. Below are some pictures.
Here is Zoe and I enjoying watching the elephants.
Aren't the elephants so cute. It was fun to kick the ball back to them to play.
Zoe wants to walk everywhere on her own. I of course let her, because she spent a lot of time in her crib and hasn't seen much of the world. She enjoys playing around, however if anyone comes up to her, she is quick to run to her momma.
So to finish our days in Africa. On Wednesday we went back to the clinic to get Zoe's results. She was negative on tb and then they did a physical and gave her the rest of her immunizations.
Thursday is when everything hit the fan. So we went to the embassy early in the morning. We got there around 7:00am when they open. There was actually already a huge line. We were really lucky because we had a baby with us, they sent us the front of every line. We then gave them all of our information and waited about 2 hours for them to call us to a window. The man behind the window told me that we had to wait at least a week before getting our visa as we had to wait for the Adam Walsh check. I told him that we did the check right before we left and handed it to him. He checked on some things and came back to tell us that wasn't right. He said that he would start the process today. I then asked him why they didn't start it on Monday when I dropped off the papers. He said he didn't know why, but we didn't get the paperwork from Rwanda until Wednesday. Now when I left the US Embassy in Rwanda I told them they had to get the papers to Nairobi right away, but they didn't. Any of you adopting- tell the Rwanda Embassy they must get it there the next day!!
So, now here we are in the hotel. I have spent hours on email and phone calls to every department trying to find someone to help us. Here is the problem. When I call the non-hague adoption services they say that the Adam Walsh is not required. When I call the hague adoption services they say they can't help me because Rwanda isn't a hague adoption country. It is a huge mess. Kenya is a hague country and Rwanda isn't. By the way anyone reading this that is not adopting, will not understand what I am talking about- just know that it all means one big mess. ha ha!!
Our flight is tomorrow night. I am going to send Josh home as I think that our boys at home have been without us long enough. So that leaves me by myself to bring Zoe home. I hope it will be ok, as on our last flight she didn't like the airplane (although she fell asleep luckily right before we took off and woke up right when we landed). And she doesn't like to sit very long. So we'll see what happens.
Please keep our family in your prayers. We have many people sending emails to Nairobi to see if we can get our visa and hopefully something will work and their hearts will be softened. I really want to go home. We have already been here for 18 days. That is a long time to be away from your children and I would hate to stay another 7 more days.
My advice to anyone adopting is first go to the US Embassy in Nairobi and state that they need to start the Adam Walsh clearance immediately. That way they can begin it while you are getting medical work done. I don't know why they didn't start ours as we dropped off our paperwork. Next make sure that Rwanda sends your paperwork to Nairobi right away. And if at all possible avoid Nairobi. They think they understand the laws, but they don't. They are very messed up right now.
I guess it is all in the Lord's hands now. If he feels that I need to learn patience and to persevere I will be here. I'll write tomorrow and let you know what the results are. However, I'll tell you right now that the man working at the Embassy said that I have a zero chance of getting out of here tomorrow.
I guess I'll just keep praying!!