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Jesus said, "I have come so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of." (John 10:10)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Heading to N.C.

We're looking forward to our trip to N.C. this week. We will have an opportunity to spend time with some family, and we're hoping to see many friends as well. We should arrive on Wednesday in time for Shelly to attend choir practice at Biltmore Baptist. On Sunday after church, we'll drop Silas off at Camp Ridgecrest for a week. He's excited, as evidenced by his having packed (at least, what HE thinks he needs) for camp a couple of weeks ago.

We also hope to hear from Children's Hospital in Cincinnati by Tuesday with news of when they'll schedule Josiah's visit. We are eager to go and learn what the experts there can tell us.

Tonight we went to the summer staff Western Night. A huge storm hit partway through, but then the rain stopped and a huge, bright double rainbow lit up the sky...occasionally strikes of faraway lightning would flash around the rainbows. Certainly there are some things we miss about the southeast, but the skies out here are the most amazing we've ever seen!

Tomorrow night we'll meet Mamoo and Papa B for dinner in Santa Fe. He's speaking at a conference in Los Alamos this week, and we're thankful for the opportunity to spend some time with them.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Rwanda Conference Call Notes

This morning we participated in a conference call sponsored by our agency for families currently adopting from Rwanda. Two reps read and responded to questions sent in by the families, including a couple that we submitted. At the end, several families offered additional questions. It was very informative and we appreciate this opportunity provided by our agency. We're hoping there will be more conference calls in the future.

Here's a summary of what was discussed:

Since adoption in Rwanda is still relatively new, there continue to be unknowns, changes, etc. In many ways families currently adopting are developing a track record which will hopefully benefit families who adopt in the future.

Once a dossier is arrives at the Ministry in Rwanda, the shortest time for approval is less than 1 month, while the longest time is 5 months. It seems to be getting longer as of late, so we were told to expect a wait time closer to 5 months.

There is no official policy regarding a minimum age for adopted kids. Once we receive an approval letter from the Ministry, it will list the orphanage that will make the referral. The director of the orphanage will be the individual who makes the referral. So far, one particular orphanage in the Kigali area is being used. It's run by Mother Teresa's Nuns and is called Home of Hope Orphanage. Their website is http://hoh.wagnerleadership.ca/. If you have time and are interested, check it out to see pictures, videos, learn more about the ministry, etc.

Currently, travel to finalize the adoption includes 1 week in Rwanda and 1 week in Ethiopia (or possibly Kenya). If the consullate in Kigali starts issuing the visas needed before we adopt, we'll probably only be in Rwanda.

The current estimated timeline between receiving our approval letter from the Ministry and receiving a referral from the orphanage is 4-6 weeks. However, AWA has received word that the referral process will be changing in the future. They don't yet have many details about what that will look like, and they don't anticipate it will dramatically change the wait time.

I'm sure we'll learn much more along the way, and that some things will continue to change. We know God has all the details in His able hands, and we hope we'll REMEMBER that as we proceed.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Dossier in Rwanda (officially)

Our dossier was officially delivered to the Ministry in Kigali today. Now we'll wait to receive approval from the Ministry. We've been advised this could take 3-6 months.
Tomorrow we're participating in a conference call held by our adoption agency for families who are adopting from Rwanda. Families were asked to submit questions for discussion, and we're looking forward to learning more about what we're going through.
This week, Silas is in daycamp and Josiah is in preschool at Glorieta. They had a blast tonight...Josiah's favorite was duck-duck-goose, while Silas is looking forward to art class led by Shaggy tomorrow night (Silas loves to draw).

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Dossier in Rwanda (technically)

We've been tracking our dossier and it's in Kigali, Rwanda. However, although it was scheduled to be delivered to the Ministry yesterday, there's a "delivery exception" showing a request that the delivery be delayed (not sure what that's about), so now it's showing it should be delivered on Monday.
One of the reasons we started a blog was how much we've learned from reading the blogs of other families who are adopting or have adopted from Rwanda. One such family is the Higgins family (check them out at www.room4more.blogspot.com), who've been of particular interest to us as they are ahead of us in the process and are hoping to adopt 2 children. GREAT NEWS: They received their referral for 2 little boys this week. The boys aren't biologically related (initially siblings were thought to be a requirement for multiple adoptions from Rwanda, but we've now learned that's not the case...again, adoption from Rwanda is still so relatively new there's a lot of learning in the process), and they are 33 months and 17 months old. We're very excited for the Higgins, and we're excited because this is the 1st case of a multi-child adoption from Rwanda that we've heard of, which gives us some hope as we move forward.
In other family news, all four of us will be travelling to Asheville, NC at the end of July. The primary purposes for our trip are to take Silas to starter camp, followup on a recommendation from one of Josiah's doctors that we take him to lower altitude and see how he functions, and to see friends and family. After struggling to find affordable tickets, we were able to utilize our miles so that we're all 4 flying for $400. Still no word on an appointment in Cincinnati...hopefully we'll hear from them soon.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Our dossier is on the way to Rwanda!

Today we received an email from our family coordinator that our dossier is on its way to Rwanda. She also attached a copy of a certified letter from the Rwanda embassy in Washington, D.C., to the Minister of Gender and Family Promotion in Kigali, Rwanda, which states that "the documents required in child adoption process in Rwanda have been verified and authenticated by the Embassy of the Republic of Rwanda in Washington, DC." It is exciting to know that our dossier was mailed to Rwanda today, although we anticipate several additional months of waiting ahead. Our family coordinator's email says "The expected timeline for your family to receive an approval from the ministry is 3-6 months." After that, we'll still have to receive a referral, court date, etc., so it's very likely we still have a long way to go. We appreciate the support and prayers of our family and friends. Thank you!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Family Update

Special thanks to Robert for helping us figure out some blog template and design basics. As for our family, we're doing very well. Silas will head to starter camp at Ridgecrest the 1st week of August. Shelly and Josiah will travel with him to spend time with friends in Asheville, NC, and to see how Josiah's oxygen needs adjust at a lower altitude. We have not yet received specific dates for Josiah's trip to Children's Hospital in Cincinnati, OH, but Shelly was told last week they're currently scheduling for September/October. We're hoping to get in before then, but God's timing will be the best (and it has allowed Silas to attend starter camp). On the adoption front, during the past few weeks we've re-done some of our documents to make it more clear that we want to adopt two children from Rwanda. Since adoption from Rwanda is still a relatively new process, we (and our agency) continue to learn things as we proceed. At this point, our completed dossier should be sent to Rwanda in the next week or so. After that, we're probably looking at several months of waiting...and waiting...not really looking forward to that, but we know it's likely and necessary. THANKS FOR CHECKING IN ON US!