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Posts Tagged ‘visas’


We didn’t get much sleep this week. That’s what happens when you’re in communication with a place with a 5 hour time difference.

The Embassy in Kinshasa was focusing on our documentation this week after finally having interviewed the birth mother. That is another story that we may share in the future.

5 am Tuesday morning Amie got an e-mail from the Embassy employee that they did not have our 2011 tax return. We submitted all that paperwork prior to filing our tax return. We had forgotten that we should have that in there. Apparently it slipped the mind of the agency as well since they never asked for it. This is one of my frustrations, they are supposed to stay on top of all this stuff. It is what we pay them for.

Getting them that information was not as easy as it would be if we were home. But we are currently 2,000 miles away from our files and our computer. Thankfully we have an accountant. Thankfully he wasn’t on vacation like we are. He was able to send that in when he got into the office, after responding to our early morning e-mails.

5 am Wednesday morning we got another e-mail. Oddly, it was in her spam file and she “just happened” to scan that after getting a message from the person watching our home and hanging with Lulu. We were informed that they had our info, but it revealed that we would be $4,000 below the poverty level if we adopted these kids.

I was pretty certain they were only looking at my salary. As a pastor, my housing allowance is non-taxable income. So it doesn’t show up in my adjusted taxable income. We got through to the Embassy employee on the phone and talked with her about this. She ended up transferring us to the Consul and we talked about it.

What is frustrating is that this always comes up. When we buy a home. The other 5 steps in the adoption process when our income is relevant. It seems like I have to walk people through this when they should know this. Am I the only pastor who ever adopted a child? What was strange was that we have approval from DHS. Shouldn’t they have the same income regulations and standards as the Embassy?

It was a good conversation. I understand, he’s doing his job. I understand he’s not just supposed to rubber stamp it. As he said, the DHS ruling is not binding on him. But he was going to check into it and get back to us.

I was confident that he’s find out the same thing the others had and approve the adoption. Amie was not so certain. Others advised her to be proactive and send supporting info (like a letter about my raise this year which would cover the difference). We did that.

Thursday morning I was awakened around 5 am again (aren’t I supposed to be on vacation?!). This time it was good news. The adoption was approved, and the visas will be issued on Tuesday.

I’ve been saving a special “imported” cigar to celebrate this day. Sadly, it rained all day. And we had plans all day. But now we are working on Amie’s travel plans. We are hoping that she will leave Monday (or possibly Sunday). We want to do this for a few reasons.

  1.  We don’t want her to go home to AZ on Tues and fly right back out a few days later. Her body clock will be messed up enough as it is. And we don’t need to spend the money needlessly.
  2. We want to travel back before Asher turns 2 and needs a ticket instead of a lap ticket. That saves us a big chunk of change.
  3. We don’t want to have to spend $ on orphan care for an additional month.

One agency employee was hesitant about our plans, wanting to check with their DRC staff to see if too many people are already in-country. We basically told them we’ve waited long enough, and it makes no sense for Amie to crisscross the country.  We need plenty of wisdom as we sort all this out. We’ll both need grace as well. Amie as she crosses an ocean and a sea, landing in 2 different continents to pick up 2 kids she has never met. I need grace returning home with 2 kids needing to prepare a sermon, care for the kids and get the house ready for Amie’s return. I’ve never had to get the kids ready for Sunday morning, when I’m preaching, before. Should be interesting.

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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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