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!