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Posts Tagged ‘passports’


Father’s Day is always a bit conflicted for me. And a lot of that has to do with my father. Like every father, mine was a complex combination of good and bad. Days like today remind of this in a painful sort of way. He provided us with many of the basic things a father is supposed to do . But there were also a few things that really hindered me, and that may present a struggle the rest of my life.

So, I am reminded of the power of a father: for good or ill. My own kids will be blessed by my presence. But not always. I bump up against my weaknesses all the time. Parenting is meant to humble and sanctify me. While there are times of great joy and immense fun, there are moments when I am utterly exasperated and brought to the end of myself- seeing myself as full of sin, sick and sore.

At times it is if they plan to drive me crazy. After all, this would be an example of talonic justice as I often tried to drive my mother crazy.

For me, being an adoptive father is just like being any old father. They don’t listen or remember, so I say the same thing countless times even in the same day. The concept of an inside voice is utterly foreign to them. So our home is often loud and chaotic. My respect for my father-in-law who raised 6 kids grows steadily.

But, despite my own failings as a parent they have a great affection for me. Those crazy kids.

To catch up on the sagas ….

We actually received the kids passport cards. We aren’t sure how, since they supposedly didn’t have our paperwork. But it ended well. And for that we are thankful.

Still nothing from the IRS as yet another deadline has passed. The story keeps changing. We keep getting the run around We have contacted the Senator’s office. As as result, the new, improved and extended porch has not been started.

Summer has come in earnest as temps are now regularly above 100 degrees. So the kids are not out as often the requests for a movie are more frequent. I am now subjected to various Beverly Hills Chihuahua movies. Each as ridiculous as the rest.

They are quite ready to head the the Farm to visit with their grandparents and cousins. As well as escape the heat (and maybe even math). Hopefully the allergies that continue to plague Amie and Eli as well.

“What do you say to someone who suggests Belgian colonialism might have been the good times?” Anthony Bourdain.

The other night Amie and I watched Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown episode about the Congo. He’s been wanting to see the Congo since reading Conrad’s Heart of Darkness. It was very interesting as he started in Rwanda and traveled west along the Congo. It is so sad to see what has become of such a great land. Such a tragic waste. One day we’ll have to share the sad history of the Congo. But it made me want to re-read The Heart of Darkness.

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I don’t know where to begin. It all feels like a Kafka novel, where nothing makes sense.

When last I blogged, the latest 30 days for the IRS were nearly up. It got more fun.

I called, the usual hour wait was fallowed by a disconnect (this will matter later, I think). Finally, I got in touch with them again. I was advised by our CPA to say the magic words “Taxpayer Advocate” if they weren’t done. I got a bit of a run around. Apparently they goofed when last we spoke, The original 12 weeks expired a day or 2 after we got our 30 day referral. The system, for lack of a better term, didn’t notice the new referral and it had not been processed. I’m not sure why you need a referral for them to actually process a return they have had for 4 months.

I spoke the magic words, but was told it was too late. They had already entered a new referral, and we had to wait 30 days for them to contact the Taxpayer Advocacy Service. I could contact them on my own, but they were swamped. Indeed they were. I was told that unless we were on the brink of financial disaster they could not help us. Talk about getting the shaft from a government agency.

The next day we went to the Passport Office to apply for Micah and Asher’s passports. The applications included her Green Card, their DRC passports as well as our passports.

Then it all got interesting.

(more…)

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I live in blissful ignorance at times. I feel much like when I used to hike up mountains back in New England. Your eyes would be focused on what you thought was a peak, drawing ever closer. When you got there, finally, you realized it was just a slight plateau and the mountain continued up. I would exclaim, “there’s more?!”Every time I think we are near the end of the journey, I see there is another slope I didn’t realize existed.

It is my fault. I’m sure Amie told me. The positive side is I’m not discouraged by the large number of steps still to be taken. I just take them as they come.

We had two big steps in the last week. We are so much closer, the air is cooling. There are patches of snow on the ground and the wind is picking up. I can almost touch the top.

We were waiting on passports for the kids. Last week we learned they had a batch coming in. Perhaps that batch would include our kids’ passports. Friday couldn’t come quick enough. Thankfully, their passports were in the batch that had arrived.

When we chose this agency, we’d already picked the country. None of the agencies represented themselves as Christian adoption agencies. After the fact we slowly discovered that some of the people were Christians. We started to see Scripture references. Well, the e-mail we got about the passports was filled with “Praise the Lord”s. They were having a “Praise the Lord Party” in the office. In God’s kind providence we chose a Christian adoption agency.

We learned, as you may have noticed last time, that the person setting up the embassy appointments was going to leave in May. The end of April receipt of the passports meant they could request the embassy appointments. But would they be submitted in time to be processed before the position changed hands and there was the inevitable delay due to the learning curve?

Today we learned we have appointments for the kids. Yeah, I thought the appointments were for us. I thought we could plan the trip. Almost, another ridge to climb first. The agency worker will drop off all the paperwork June 22nd and the kids will be interviewed June 25th.

How does that work exactly?

Embassy worker: “So, are you happy to be going to America?”

Micah: some response in French(?) along the lines of what is America?

Asher: “juice?”

The estimated travel dates are mid-July as a result of the appointment dates. It will be quick as visas are applied for, received and all that other stuff. More hills on the way to the top.

“Big ol’ jet airliner…”

But what I suspected happened- it is while we are on vacation. We had just booked our airfare, including a ticket for Micah (Asher is still young enough to fly free, barely). But all we have to cancel is her ticket to NY. Lord willing, they will be on the return flight to AZ with us. Amie and her friend, Wendy, will mostly take their 2nd “Get the Kid” transworld trip together. This time they will be together all the way since Wendy lives in NY. Last time they met, barely, in Detroit on their way to China together. This is better than having to cut a vacation short to prepare for  the trip like last time. You’d think we were always on vacation based on this pattern. The kids will spend a few days getting to know a whole bunch of cousins (it will feel like the orphanage) before we all head home together.

We are tired, but we have a few more hills to climb.

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This post is about a week overdue.

We talked (okay, Amie did) with the agency about the remaining steps in our adoption. They are:

  1. Get the children’s passports.
  2. Receive an invitation to go to the DRC in order to get a visa.
  3. Receive our consulate appointment.
  4. Set up our travel plans.

Sounds simple, right? Easy, right? Do we do anything easy? No way, Jose!

  1. There has been a delay in the passports recently. It has taken a few weeks to get them released. The agency head in the DRC has to handle all that, and she has a billion things to do.
  2. The consulate employee who handles the appointments is leaving in May. If we don’t get that far before they leave there will be the training period for the new employee. This is what we experienced with the judge.

O Fudge!

All is not lost 🙂 . We heard today that there are a bunch of passports expected this week. Hopefully our kids’ will be in the treasure hoard.

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