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.