Thursday, April 24, 2008

We're HOME! (Sorry for the delay in posting!)

Ok, first a quick apology to everyone that's been anxiously waiting for news. I can't begin to tell you how sorry I am at my lack of posting! Let me just say that after my last post last week things got VERY crazy!

On Tuesday our attorney took the kids to the embassy for their blood draw, and then supposedly talked to someone there on our behalf to "plead" our case. Therefore, he told Joe they wouldn't be going in together to talk to them that afternoon, and instead we spent the day visiting the kids and trying to recover. Food was something that just didn't seem to be welcome to my stomach, so eating was difficult, and all I could stomach were familiar foods like pizza (and in tiny small quantities).

Wednesday morning Joe and I decided we needed to step up and take some action as it was becoming clear that our attorney was misleading us. There are so many details as to why everything that was happening was happening, but to make a long story short, it didn't make sense that at this point the embassy STILL didn't have everything they needed and it was less than a week before the April 21 embassy date we were assured would work. We'd been told they normally have to have your entire file at least one week prior to the embassy date, so since they still didn't have it, we were beginning to wonder if the April 21 date would still even work or not. Our attorney assured us that first thing in the morning on Wednesday he would be getting the medicals to the embassy and that was all that was needed to complete our file at that point. So, we were shocked and frustrated that at 10:30 on Wednesday when we spoke to someone at the embassy, we learned the medicals were still not there. They told us that we could most definitely have our embassy interview THAT afternoon at 1:00 if our attorney got the medicals to them in the next hour or so.

We rushed out of the embassy and quickly called the attorney. As usual he danced around the answer as to why the medicals weren't there yet and said he'd take them over sometime that day. Joe bluntly stated to him that he needed to take them in immediately and that we would be at the embassy for a 1:00 interview. After we got off the phone with him, we ran to Bambi's to grab formula and then to Toukoul to check the kids out for good.

At Toukoul we got the kids schedule finally (or at least their feeding schedule, there was nothing about when they normally napped), and were handed the kids and their files. Ezra and Olivia were carried out to us and we were given a bottle so they could eat prior to the embassy appointment. As soon as the bottles were finished we hopped in the car and zoomed back to the embassy. It was a hot drive and part way there we had to meet the attorney and after talking to us as we sat in the hot car and waited to get moving he climbed in and rode over with us.

We arrive at the embassy about 12:30 and were allowed to wait just inside the doors while the embassy personnel were at lunch. We didn't have to wait too long before getting to pay for the visas and then get called to the window for our interview. The appointment itself didn't last too long and soon we were being told they'd have the visas ready for us by 2:00 pm the next day. This would be soon enough to still allow us to depart on Thursday evening, as scheduled, so we were THRILLED!

That evening let's just say the twins weren't up for giving us a break. Although we were both exhausted from being sick and puny from not eating, they wanted to party all night long. We couldn't set them down without an ear load of tears and screaming, so it was a long first night together. The following day was much the same... a difficult environment to entertain in, and a real challenge to pack to head home with two fussing, cranky babies. Somehow we managed, and after a long day we made it to the airport at 7:00 pm (I'll skip the details on getting our visas from the attorney... let's just say the man is scum and we're thrilled to be done with him...). At the airport Joe was feeling really sickly, so I was no longer alone in my misery. I was terrified about the trek home, and often wondered if we'd really make it.

Thankfully, our 17 hour journey on Ethiopian Air was relatively roomy as the flight wasn't very full. We got TWO bassinets for the return, and E&O occasionally even let us lay them in the bassinets for some much needed resting of the arms. By the time we hit Dulles, I was ready to collapse and still had barely gotten any food down. I didn't get sleep on the flight and was reveling in what our bodies do as we push them to the limits. Surprisingly (or maybe NOT so surprisingly), there were many occasions in which someone could have lent a hand and helped us get our backpacks on our backs or something like that and all anyone did was stare. I realize we were a sight to behold... but you'd think at some point on the journey SOMEONE would have at least offered to help me as I kneeled on the ground with a baby strapped to my chest and struggled to lift a really heavy backpack onto my back. What are we coming to these days?

Anyway, after a LONG journey home we met up with my parents at the Orange County airport. We immediately handed off the babies and I collapsed to the floor of baggage claim. I have no idea what we would have done if my parents weren't here. They had dinner waiting for us (that I couldn't eat), and took the first night shift so we could get some much needed sleep. The babies were comatose the first couple of hours home, as they'd finally passed out on our flight from Chicago to Orange County.

The last week is a bit of a blur. We've had good days and not so good days. The last two days the afternoon nap seems to be the enemy of Miss Olivia and there is much crying no matter what... crying from not sleeping or crying from us making her have quiet time in her crib. We visited a pediatrician on Monday and they were both given some antibiotics for their sinus infections, and are hoping to see some improvement from that in the next day or two. We've been going for walks in the stroller every day, and they seem to be starting to really enjoy seeing the trees and sights. The pediatrician also was happy to have us start on solids, so we began rice cereal on Monday evening. Olivia is getting the hang of it a bit faster than Ezra, and she's much more interested in the whole affair. She's getting a decent amount down, but her much bigger brother isn't too interested.

So, that's a wrap for now. I need to go see what I can do to get these babies back to sleep and try and allow my brain to vegetate. I think it's become rather like mush...

Thanks for sticking with us while anxiously awaiting the updates! We ARE home safe and sound and appreciate all the support!


megan said...

I am glad you made it home!!! I can't wait to see pictures of the babies!!!

Kenly said...

congrats. i'm very interested in any additional insight you may have gained. we're planning a trip sometime soon (hopefully) and hearing the difficult time you had with the appointed attorney (being that since we're using the same placement agency) makes me a bit nervous.

please share any pearls of wisdom so we can be a bit more self-reliant and help expedite the process in case the attorney we have happens to be the same one you had!!


Selah said...

Oh Jesi: I am so happy to know you are ok... I do agree with you about the attorney and just did not want to say too much before you left hoping we just had a "mishap"--ugh!!! I know you are exhausted and I am proud of you for making it home with both babes in tow. I am looking forward to hearing more about your trip. I wish I could have been there to help carry your bags... hang in there and I really hope you find some rest soon. Take care and welcome home--Kimberly

Julie said...

Glad you guys are home safely! What an adventure. And just so you know... my first time as a parent of ONE child, I cried every day for the first two weeks. Hang in there... it WILL get better, I promise!

Kristy -Mom to 4 and soon to be more! said...

Welcome home! I have been following your journey and I am so glad to see that you lived to tell about it! :-)
Hang in there...sleep when you can, and get better!

Holly said...

Oh Jesi, so glad you're back. It must have been a crazy trip. We have so many questions for you guys. Hopefully you're starting to recover.

Good news on our end!

Talk to you soon. :)