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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)

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Changes on the adoption front

Today we participated in a monthly conference call sponsored by our adoption agency for families currently in their Rwanda program. Here's a summary of what we learned:

This month several families have received their approval (actually, non-objection) letters from the ministry in Rwanda, and more are expected soon. The order of letters received isn't matching up with the order that dossiers were submitted, but our coordinator doesn't think this is a cause for concern. FYI, this is the point we're at (i.e., waiting for our approval letter).

"Rwanda is different" (in the words of the program coordinator): The ministry has many responsibilities (in addition to adoption) in Rwanda. Currently there is only 1 person (a lady) in Rwanda who processes all dossiers.

THE BIGGEST CHANGE: After a family receives an approval letter, the referral (matching) process begins. Up to this point that's primarily involved our agency's in-country rep going to an orphanage to work with the director to get a match. However, the ministry has decided it wants to play a much more significant role in this process, so someone from the ministry will now assume this responsibility. This will likely result in our agency having less of a say than it's had in terms of the referral. Also, once the approval letter is received, the ministry will strive to make a match within 2 months and contact the social worker who prepared the home study rather than our adoption agency or the family. At this point, no one's really sure what that will look like or exactly how it will work.

If you're interested, you can go to the Rwandan government's adoption website by going to www.migeprof.gov.rw and entering "International Adoption" in the SEARCH box...fyi, supposedly it's easier to read if you select the PDF version.

We'll bring our kids home on a IR-4 Visa, which means we'll technically have to re-adopt them when we return to the U.S. The level of involvement varies greatly from county to county, so we'll have to jump through those hoops when we get to them.

In addition to going to Rwanda, we'll likely go thru Ethiopia to get the Visas.

Overall general timeline (from where we are in the process):

Dossier received by ministry in Rwanda
4-6 months: Approval (non-objection) letter received by us
2 months: processing time to get referral/match
4 weeks: to get a court date
After we're approved by court (after we "pass" court):
2-3 weeks until we travel
2 weeks: travel time to pick up the kids

Keep in mind all of these times are approximate...that's how international adoption goes!

Well, as we've learned with Josiah, it's not always good news, but it's always good to know...we'll continue to be as patient as we can and pray for our little girls...we hope you'll join us in those prayers.

Getting closer to Josiah's trip to Cincinnati, and we're eager to learn what we can from that trip. In the meantime, school has started at Carpenter Academy (our homeschool is named after Lucy Carpenter, our Memaw), and we're looking forward to fall in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. Take care, and thanks for checking on us!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Cincinnati dates set!

Yesterday we received a packet from Children's Hospital in Cincinnati. Josiah is scheduled for appointments September 28 - October 1. Looks like it will be a busy schedule for the Toaster (Josiah's nickname), Dad, and Mom. Silas will spend the week with Mamoo and Papa B in CO. As God brings it to your mind, please pray (1) Josiah will do his very best during the tests, (2) the doctors will know from the procedures and results what recommendations they should make, and (3) that we parents will successfully discern what direction to take.

Before you ask, no, there's nothing new on the adoption front...we'll be sure to update this blog as soon as we hear something.

Shelly and the boys had a great week in Dolores with Papa B and Mamoo. They even got to see Aunt Chabba and Uncle Al for a day before they flew back to S.C. The boys enjoyed helping with Mamoo's new group of chickens (these will be layers, not broilers).

Silas starts 2nd grade on Monday, and Josiah will be busy with some pre-preschool activities as well. Hard to believe summer is ending, but it's been a great one!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Back in NM from NC

We're back at Glorieta. We had a wonderful time in Western North Carolina and were able to catch up with many friends and see some family as well. Travel was long but went very smoothly both ways. Shelly made it to part of a choir practice and helped lead worship at Biltmore Baptist one Sunday. Art got a lot of work done reviewing bids for the upcoming food contract at Glorieta. Silas had an amazing time at Camp Ridgecrest. Josiah enjoyed the freedom of being off oxygen, even for several of the nights (this has never happened before). All in all, a wonderful trip. Special thanks to the Andrews family for letting us invade their home for such an extended period of time, and to the Pownalls for hosting us the 1st night.

No updates on the adoption front, although we continue to closely watch the progress of several families ahead of us in the process. We've been given a tentative date of the last week in September for Josiah's trip to Cincinnati, but that's not definite yet. It's likely Art and Shelly will accompany him, while Silas hangs out with Mamoo and Papa B in Colorado. Speaking of them, Shelly and the boys leave Tuesday for several days at the Butler ranch and will even get to see Uncle Al and Aunt Chabba for part of the time.

Thanks for checking in on us!