Posts Tagged ‘DRC’

I’ve been working on a SS series on Revelation lately. Too much.

We’ve been working on getting the house ready, as many of you know.  This weekend we painted the room the girls will be in. Our friend and renter is now on the other side of the world.  The room has been cleared out, the closet organizer will be installed tomorrow. So we painted. The walls here just seem to soak up paint. Crazy, I say.

We bought 2 adapters for the bed frames since the head boards Amie found on Craigs List had the old fashioned slots. So, I put both frames and head boards together and moved Jadon’s bed into the room. We still need a mattress for Micah, but we purchased a Living Social deal to cover that.

We’ll be moving a small chest of drawers we have between the beds to act as a night stand with additional storage. But you can get an idea of how things will look in there. We may start over with wall decorations. Tough question- do we put up baby pictures of Jadon? Would that bother Micah? Eli was much younger when we adopted him so it doesn’t seem to have been an issue for him. And they didn’t share a room. Something for us to think about.

On a slightly different note, Eli had his eval at the Shriners’ Hospital in LA. He will be having another surgery soon. This is one of the things you can’t always anticipate with adopted kids (and biological ones too). We knew he was a “special needs” child and anticipated medical care. We have heard from other adoptive parents whose kids have needed lots of care, especially dental care, upon coming home. The kids were not “special needs”. So we need to be prepared for the possibility of high medical expenses in the next year.

Tomorrow we head in for our fingerprints for DHS. Yes, they can’t just run them again because I might have changed into someone else. That’s me, a shape shifter.



Read Full Post »

All around the world, traffic jams stink!

There is a section of highway near Tampa called Malfunction Junction.  It is the junction of I-4 West and I-275.  The 3 lanes of I-4 bottleneck into one lane as the road ends and seeks to merge onto I-275. This is complicated by the fact that there is an off ramp about 1/4-1/2 mile after the merger.  So you have people trying to get on and off the highway in the same short section of road.

The traffic backs up for miles during rush hour. Inevitably some car malfunctions due to the long wait. Or some driver loses his cool and there is an accident at a key point. An already bad situation becomes far worse.

This intersection is a BIG reason why many people east of Tampa don’t go to Tampa Bay Rays’ games in St. Pete. To avoid this intersection you must either go way out of your way north or south, or venture onto the city streets. Travel time to the Trop is unpredictable and maddening.  This is why I’ve advocated moving the team to the east of this intersection. They’d get far more fans from the Orlando area. But they went for the quick fix.  But this is about adoption, not baseball.

Our wait for the DRC court to approve our request for referral has exceeded earlier estimate. We are stuck in gridlock. The word from the agency is that there is a new judge handling all the adoption requests.  This judge is the only judge handling them, and this is not all the judge handles. So the judge is on the learning curve. The volume of requests has increased dramatically. Our agency sent 30 requests with us.


Read Full Post »

The time for the long-anticipated decision has come.  We, through our agents, contacted both TLC and Discovery about a show to “unveil” the decision with proceeds to go toward the program fees for the adoption.  We had some great ideas to fill a 30 minute show, building tension and anticipation.  We showed them power point presentations and how great we all were at acting.

But… they turned us down.  So all we have is this blog post to announce to the zillions of people following our journey toward adopting again.  Do you want me to go on like this for about 30 minutes so you can pretend it is on cable tv?  I thought so.

Watching out for her little brother

We have decided to adopt the children currently know as Marina and Mervie.  Marina is a 4 year-old girl, and Mervie is her 1 year-old (half?) brother.  I’m still trying to figure out how the names work there.  Her legal name is Micheline, but somehow that has morphed into Marina.

We are not sure which of their names we’ll keep, or what we will name them.  The naming efforts, after a hiatus, have resumed.  And we are making about as much headway as Republicans and Democrats these days.

Amie has mentioned the possibility of having a fund raiser to choose who goes to the DRC to pick up our new children.  Something like each vote is $5.  Perhaps it would provide 10% of the airfare necessary to travel there and back.  Then again…

Jadon is quite excited to have another brother and another sister.  She really wants a sister, somehow thinking that a sister will be more compliant than a brother to her wishes.  She’s old enough for the 2 of them to share a room.

Marina’s had a hard life, I’m sure.  So pray for her and her adjustment.  They have lived with their mother and grandmother.  It sounds like there has been no stability as far as men have been concerned.  But things reached the point that she is unable to care for her children properly. We are excited about what God can begin to do in them through His people.

The process isn’t done.  Now we wait again.  As noted above, one of us will travel around the new year to take care of the legal stuff on that end and bring the children home.  Like any pregnant couple, we have time to prepare rooms, have the bunk beds we bought off Craig’s List refinished etc.

On the other end, they should have enough food, love and care.  She will receive some lessons in elementary English to help ease her transition.  We’ll send a picture so she can learn who we are.  Pray for the stability of the region so everything happens in a timely fashion- no small order these days.

Read Full Post »

We are reveling in the cooler temps of the Adirondack Mountains.  It is more humid than life in the desert, and there is no A/C up here, but we are soaking up the joy.

The adoption agency is giving referrals as the documents are translated.  We are currently 3rd in line, keeping in mind the preferences laid out in the homestudy and given to the U.S. Government.  Though, we all the fighting going on in the nation’s capitol, we might be able to sneak in 6 kids.  Not that we could afford to do that.  I wonder how we’ll afford the child or 2 we expect to adopt.  Our tax refund is caught up in tons of red tape.  So we’ll have to look into adoption loans.  Not the end of the universe.

One thing that has happened is that we found a sale on Southwestern air fare for a trip around Christmas.  I’m thinking this greatly increases the odds that one of us travels to the DRC right around Christmas.

This morning I was poking around the website for our denomination’s magazine.  I’m not sure if I’ve read this article before, but living in central Florida I had heard of the culture of adoption developed by Ray Cortese and Seven Rivers Presbyterian Church in Lecanto.  Here is the story if you are interested.

Read Full Post »

The Congo River

One of the things that drew us to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Amie, who thinks she can’t write, is supposed to put the rest of the non-self-serving ideas up here) was the availability of baby couriers.  When you have 2 kids at home, the prospect of long trips far, far away are not exciting.  Some countries have you make 2 trips.  That airfare, accommodations, food and possibly lost wages (since it isn’t a business trip) start to add up.

The DRC initially mentioned months ago that their policy of permitting baby couriers may be coming to an end.  Actually, they ended it and got such a backlash that they spent more time considering it.  We got word yesterday that they made up their minds.

No more baby couriers.  They want at least 1 parent to present themselves to the local court and tell their story.  Thankfully, they only require 1 trip, and it is not the 5 weeks that some countries require.

Mountain Plains

Our agency has accommodations for us in the DRC, and will provide support while we are there.  Perhaps whichever one of us goes will be able to enjoy some of the beauty of the country.

When we were in the process of adopting our son from China, I was experiencing back problems.  The prospect of a long flight to collect a crying child for a really long flight was not exciting.  Amie and her friend Wendy, a former missionary to the Far East, went.  It worked great.

In the past year, my back problems seem to have been resolved sufficiently.  I’m sure my ADD will flare like nobody’s business on the flight.  I have concerns for safety should they go again.  Does Amie expect me to watch 2 kids alone the whole time she’s gone?  I might run away  :-).

So, we have one more decision to make.

Read Full Post »

Amie was able to contact our adoption officer with USCIS last week.  She was able to coordinate faxing our friend’s fingerprints to the office in Phoenix. This means the officer has all of the information that is necessary to look at our file.  The officer anticipates handling our file Monday the 21st.  So be praying!

If we are approved, we will be ready to submit our dossier!  This is great news, as it would be a major step forward.  Another major step.  We will have to pay $2,300 at that time.  So, there is something else to pray about.

We also have a resource to recommend, the Reclaim Adoption Study Guide.  It is currently a free download!  See, we care for you (maybe the estimated value would make a great gift to to their ministry, or an adoption fund you know about (wink, wink)).  The study helps people to understand and grow in their experience of our adoption by God in Christ.  It also talks about the practice of adoption, which reflects the doctrine of adoption.  It should be both encouraging and challenging!

Lastly, this report on rape in the Democratic Republic of the Congo is one of the reasons we decided to adopt from the DRC.  There is a great need to protect the children, who are most vulnerable (and sometimes the product of such violent assault).

HT: WiseCounsel

Read Full Post »

When we were adopting for the first time we lived in central Florida.  The Department of Homeland Security office in Tampa handled all of central Florida- including 2 major metropolitan areas.  The first time we went, we misread the map and discovered this most of the way to the wrong office.  This office was in downtown Tampa.  Sadly, the office we were supposed to go to was far closer to home.  Sigh.

The office was huge with nearly a dozen biometic scanners for fingerprinting.  I always seemed to get the grumpy employees.  Yes, we had to go back since our fingerprints ‘expired’ right before Amie’s trip to China.  It was pretty much a nightmare.

So we did not know what to expect when we got our appointments last month.  We did discover that they only sent appointment slips for the 2 of us.  The  church member who lives with us also needed to be fingerprinted.  Amie called the customer service # to see what we should do.  She got a real live person in less than an hour!  Apparently, though they took our money for 3 sets of fingerprints, they didn’t actually “open” the file.  The customer service rep said that he could just go with us and there shouldn’t be a problem.

As it turned out, we had one of those weeks.  Utterly insane quite frankly.  We are trying to find affordable insurance that includes Eli who had previously been excluded due to his cleft palate.  The Saturday before our appointment we discovered that a pipe at the church froze and burst.  The kitchen was destroyed and the sanctuary was flooded.  I was working with other church officers on setting up plans for the continuation of ministry as well as repairing the building.  The last thing I needed to do was spend an afternoon hanging around a DHS Support Center.

The Support Center was on the far side of town.  Thankfully not too far from the highway.  It was actually quite underwhelming.  It was significantly smaller than the office in Tampa since it was an auxiliary office.  The main office was in Phoenix.  There were precisely 2 machines, and one person who was scanning prints.

However, the manager needed a number, and without an appointment she wasn’t sure what to do with our friend.  Unlike Amie, she was not able to get a real, live person on the line.  She wasn’t sure what to do.  But she was flexible, focused on customer service (what a relief after some of our discussions with local government officials who forgot they are public SERVANTS).  She figured that the worst that could happen is that he’d have to come back.

In and out, with the administrative hassles in less than an hour.  Yes!  This was great because I’d not slept the previous 2 nights and I was utterly brain dead.  I suspect that if I hadn’t brought a book, we might still be there.

So we return to the waiting game.  Once/if USCIS approves our application, we will then send in our dossier to the DRC, and wait.

Read Full Post »