It’s been a whirlwind of paper work, but I’m excited to announce that we’ve finished the home study process! Monday at 1:00 pm I’ll have our state approval letter from the Department of Family Services.
The next step involves filing forms (along with a few other documents) with USCIS for immigration approval. There are two main forms. The first one is the I600A. We wait 30-90 days, during which time we’ll be contacted about a fingerprinting appointment they will arrange for us–likely in Denver. (The children hope this will also involve a trip to the zoo!) After the 1600A, is approved, we file the I600 and wait again. When that’s approved (another 30-90 days after the 1600A) the United States will be ready to welcome our new daughter!
In the Congo the adoption process typically goes more quickly, but less predictably. We initially thought we could have our little one home before Christmas, but that will be delayed, and we are in support of those delays. The pastor of the little orphanage in the Congo is one of those servants of the Lord that gives all he has–and more. He pastors two churches, runs the little orphanage, and is a dear father to his own six children in addition to the orphans. His wife and a few workers help with the children, but he is responsible for all adoption legwork which involves considerable paper chasing and requires he travel to and from the orphanage to the Capitol city (a five hour plane flight over dense jungle). He’s suffering many health problems, but still fights on for those entrusted to his care. The individualized love and care his family gives to the children in this orphanage is amazing, and we are very blessed. We agreed with those in leadership of Compassion for Congo that he should take a break from adoptions for a few months this fall and not do ours until the dawn of 2012. We are now praying to bring our little girl home in January or soon thereafter.
Already this adoption journey has been a time of heart-stretching in more directions that I’d have ever imagined. We’ve experienced joy and sorrow as we’ve walked along side a few other families adopting from this same orphanage, and we’ve seen God grow our faith as we trust God with things beyond our mortal understanding.
The things I thought would be difficult weren’t–and the difficulties have been things I’d have never predicted. The mounds of paperwork were certainly even more arduous than I’d anticipated, and the paper chase has been crazy, but the dreaded home visit was actually rather interesting and laid-back and very encouraging. We had a wonderful case-worker who obviously loves her job and has a heart for placing children into families.
God is growing our faith each day. He has also surrounded us with a wonderful support network in our extended family, Church family, local friends, Compassion for Congo, and friends across the miles and across the internet.