My wife and I were down to our last two days in Bucharest. All that was left were two appointments at The United States Embassy to have our embassy interview and complete the process for our daughter’s visa. At this time we had been in Romania for nine days and were praying to God that there would be no problems at the embassy. We had heard horror stories about long waits and paperwork problems. We would not stop trusting the Lord now.
On the first day, we needed to turn in our paperwork in the morning. With our Foundation Representative and Adoption Agency Translator/Facilitator, we entered the embassy grounds through a wrought iron side gate that was guarded by Romanian soldiers. The soldiers were dressed in battle fatigues, special service berets, black shiny combat boots, and carried the standard AK-47 assault rifles. We all presented our papers and were passed into the compound. The soldiers were all smiles, which surprised me, and they made a fuss over our new daughter. The soldiers were also so young. Our translator told us that by the berets they were wearing, these soldiers were just out of basic training and actually belonged to the Air Force.
As we walked across the short compound to the building, we could not help but notice how beautiful and full of character the embassy building was. The real treat came inside when we saw the beautiful ornate woodwork that was on every wall, window, and doorpost. By now we had grown accustomed to viewing woodwork of superior quality. There is a solid wood staircase inside that is massive and made from one of dark colored woods. Of course, the floors were covered with the amazing oriental rugs that are also so commonplace but far from ordinary.
Once inside, there was another security check. At the security check, I had to surrender the camcorder I had and my wife had her purse and baby bag checked. To prevent the filming of the embassy interior, only the camera bag had to be left at the security station. From the security station we went up a short flight of stairs to a large waiting room with enclosed windows lining one wall. There are at least six windows with the counters being four feet high from the floor. I looked around the room and it was filled with adoptive families going through the same process.
It was hot in the room and children were crying. Our little daughter just sat in her seat and played with a toy we had brought along. The Foundation Rep and myself went to one of the windows and handed our paperwork in. The lady behind the glass informed him that a document could not be accepted because it was a copy. Our Foundation Rep was not alarmed. He just smiled and asked if he could mail it. To my great surprise she agreed that it would be acceptable to receive the copy now and have the original come in the mail later. The Rep and I were then directed to another window for the payment of the visa. Once the visa was paid for, we were given a time to come back tomorrow. With that we proceeded back out through the interior security check and outside gate. I asked about the families still waiting inside the embassy and why we had only been in there less than an hour.
We were told that our paperwork was in order and fully accepted upon receipt. At that time the advantage of working with an adoption agency and foundation really hit home as it was explained to me that those families were most likely going to spend the whole day in the waiting room of the embassy. We, however, embarked on a wonderful afternoon of sightseeing and shopping in downtown Bucharest. No one expected to have this much time, and the day produced many wonderful memories, which will be greatly cherished.
The second day arrived and we proceeded from the hotel to the embassy. Again, we proceeded through both sets of security and took our places in the chairs of the waiting room. The Foundation Rep went to one of the windows, gave our names, and we waited to be called for our interview. Not more than five minutes went by and we were called.
Read More Success Stories