Archive for January, 2012

Just a little paperwork

It has been a busy week or so around here. In anticipation of the impending adoption we are re-arranging the house to make room for them. When you double up in rooms, you have to put clothes and stuff somewhere. So …

We painted the loft and bought some storage shelves from Ikea (it was a painful trip to Ikea, I always get turned around and lost). We also checked out a new dining room table since we need a bigger one. We found a great one, but need to wait to buy it. I then spent the next few days building the storage units (hard on the hands).

But that is not all. We finished our I-600 paperwork. It is currently in the mail to our adoption agency. That not so small stack is courtesy of the Paperwork Reduction Act. I hate to think what it would be like if this Act hadn’t of been passed. The government’s ability to create paperwork knows little to no bounds.

We were not done with paperwork. We discovered another foundation and applied for another grant. Here’s hoping (and praying)!



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October Baby

Last night CavWife and I went to the screening of a new movie called October Baby. It was made by some old friends of hers, the Erwin brothers (not to be confused with the Coen brothers). Andy made our wedding video for us. They have done contract work for ESPN and have made a number of Dove Award winning music videos. This is their first full length movie.

This is a pretty good movie. The subject matter is pretty serious, but they have enough comic relief to not overwhelm you. When the movie gets the most serious, the comic relief is nowhere to be found so you aren’t too distracted. At times it moves a little slow. But what do you want for the first time out?

The movie begins something like Sweet Home Alabama, 2 childhood friends running toward the water hand in hand. The boy and girl are close friends. It fast forwards to their college years. Someone has come between them creating a discomfort. This is her big night as the lead actress in a play. After she collapses we learn that life has not been easy for her. She’s had a number of physical ailments, and some emotional ones too.


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Now that the court judgment is over 30 days old (I’m not sure why that is significant), here is a picture of Micah and Asher.

They are both quite cute, and it is good to see her hair growing back.

The current estimate for the processing time of the I-600 is 75 days. But we know of someone who is currently in the Congo who received their court judgment only 2 months ago. They are using our agency as well and we’ve seen some pictures they have taken at the orphanage. We are trying to pick out Micah and Asher. It hard to pick them out since all the girls have short hair and we aren’t sure how tall she is. There are a couple of similar looking boys at the same age.

The orphanage looks very clean and the kids are eating heaping bowls of food. The children have been using some basic English like “Thank you”, “My name is….”.

It is starting to sink in that these kids are essentially ours. We want to be able to bring them home right now. But the house isn’t ready. There is much for us to do to prepare: building beds, creating storage space. Etc.

Please pray for their adjustment and ours.

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Judgment Day!

No, not what you might think.

We got our copy of the Judgment from the court in the DRC. We had to go over it and make sure there were not mistakes in our personal information. If it was a translation problem, no problem. If it was incorrect on the actual judgment, it has to go back to the DRC to be corrected. That may take a month or so. Costly mistakes if that is that case.

The only errors I found in our information was the name of the city in which we were married. Hopefully that was just a mistake by the translator. They even spelled Cavallaro right!

In reading the document I saw that their mother attended the hearing and testified that she was unable to care for them. More evidence that things are on the up and up.

We estimate that at the most this should take 20 weeks. So we could expect everything to go down in April or May. Sooner would be better since we’d rather not pay the orphanage to care for our children.  Moving forward, moving forward!

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We are learning the importance of the orphanage where your prospective child is being cared for.  Months ago we heard some false accusations about our agency and the orphanage. Our agency has since put up a website for the orphanage. They own it, and run it. They aren’t adopting kids from numerous independent orphanages.

I know of someone who adopted older children from an orphanage in the former USSR. They learned after the fact that many of the older children there were having sex with one another. They basically functioned as a gang with a pecking order. When those 2 children came to the states, they discovered the truth. I believe that this orphanage was run by the state, and obviously not well supervised.

We recently read of accusations about an independent orphanage in the DRC. We do not know if these accusations are true. The accusations are that it is a money mill and a haven for sexual abusers.  The orphanage, so it is claimed, receives lots of money for the support of the children but they show signs of malnutrition.  It is like the family who takes in foster kids for the money, while neglecting them. Not all orphanages are safe environments.

When you are evaluating your adoption agency, ask about their work in the specific country you want to adopt a child from. Does that country use state-run orphanages? Some, like China, do and from all I hear they are safe. Are the orphanages independent or agency owned? What safe guards are in place? These are wise questions to ask.

Stuff happens, even here in America. There are no guarantees. I know people from good families that experienced sexual abuse at the hands of extended family or strangers. But know that a country with a history of problems has increased risk. That can be taken two ways. Some may be scared off, not wanting the baggage that may come with the child. Others will see this as yet another reason to adopt the child, so they can be safe and given opportunities to heal. Know yourself, and what you are comfortable dealing with. Be wise. Be curious.

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Yesterday we were traveling all day, heading from a family vacation in the Adirondacks to our home in Arizona (I nearly typed Florida we lived there so long). That is a long day when traveling with two relatively young children who refuse to nap on the plan. Our time in Vegas was less than pleasant.

But… just before we got to the airport in Albany, we got an e-mail that we’ve been waiting for. The judge in the DRC finally handled our paperwork. Our case in court is now complete (yes!) though it took longer than expected for a variety of reasons. We also have our Certificate of Non-Appeal which means the mother has not contested the adoption.

The agency is still waiting the Judgment, Adoption Act and Birth Certificates. After this we make some serious headway. But things are happening. The wheels are in motion. Unlike Jerry we aren’t blowing smoke.

Since this has taken longer than anticipated we will have to update our homestudy and immigration information. Foolish us, we should have added an extra year. So we have 2 new hurdles that we can do now instead of having to wait. It is coming together.

There is still time to support the adoption financially via Razoo. I think until the end of the month. See, I underestimated that too…

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