Tuesday, August 31, 2010


God did some MIGHTY miracles. You would be amazed at the long list I could type right now of all the works of God's hands in the last 24 hours! Our dossier is sitting at the Rwandan Embassy! We made the August 31, 2010 deadline! This was the most intense 24 hours of my life... I was pretty settled last week thinking things may not happen for a long time. I felt like God was telling me to just hang loose and not let my mind wonder to any conclusion on what the new deadline news meant. I kept praying and seeking Him and trying not to form a new plan but listen for God's whisper in the storm. Then yesterday, when I got that glimmer of hope that we could make the deadline- it all changed! Hope poured in- I could barely keep my emotions in check today (I had to put my head between my knees and breath deep a few times) as I waited and waited for the GOOD NEWS!

I'm still processing all this and need to go eat! Thank you all for your encouragement and prayers. Every single one of them I treasure and made a difference.

Hold on baby boy- the day is closer than we know!!!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Holding Our Breath with Hope in Our Hearts

At about 10am today (Monday, August 30, 2010) I received a phone call from our adoption agency. Our case worker proposed long-shot way for us to get our dossier into the Rwanda Embassy in D.C. before tomorrow's deadline! The plan is/was for us to try and get our 2 medical forms authenticated in California and the rest of our completed dossier FedEx'ed overnight to a courier in DC. The courier would then take the documents to the State Department to get all of it authenticated at the Federal level. Then the courier would take it over to the Rwandan Embassy to be marked received August 31, 2010 (the deadline!). She said it's a long shot, everything needs to happen as planned along the way and it would cost us a pretty penny. I immediately said let's do it!

Today's long shot activities went like this:
I immediately took a quick shower and called friends to see if I could get someone to watch my son all day (with no notice). A few phone calls later - DONE!  Next, finding directions to the county clerk/recorder office to authenticate the medical papers- amazingly - the local branch right off the freeway can do it, (I know the way) - DONE! Get directions to the state department in Los Angeles, check traffic (amazingly there is no traffic) and print directions - DONE! Look up the couriers on the websites that the agency gave me (the agency's courier couldn't do it). I write down their phone numbers (I'll call on the way.) Pack my son's gear (bike, swimsuit, munchies), get my paperwork in order, stop by the bank to get cash (I have no idea what the cost of authentication and parking is nor the form of payment allowed). Drop my son off, we sing and talk all the way as I "play" happy mom, not freaking-out-pumped-full-of-adrenaline-can't-believe-this-is-happening-mom. - DONE! On the way to the county clerk's office I call (on my new cell phone, I barely know how to work), the courier numbers. No answers, left messages. Call back- someone picks up- YES! I tell him my situation, he says he can't do it (because he is max'ed out doing the same thing tomorrow!) but can give me the contact information for someone he thinks can. This man was awesome, he said if the contact couldn't do it he would help me find someone that would- what a God send! I called the referral- no answer, left a message. Got to the county clerk, short wait, maybe 5 minutes (seriously!) - DONE!. Headed up to Los Angeles. Called the guy again- he answered. Short conversation- he said YES he would give it a try. I told him to email me all the info to send the FedEx stuff to - DONE - got a courier! Got to the the state department- no traffic (never had that happen driving on the 5 North to Los Angeles). Took a number and waited about an hour. Got the forms authenticated at the state level. In the meantime my hubbie had looked up the nearest FedEx. I drove over there, made copies for my records and sent it off - DONE!!

The lady we hired was able to do all the stuff she had to do to send the rest of our entire dossier, money orders for the state department and Rwanda Embassy and for the courier and anything else necessary. I'm sure her story is equally amazing. She is 3 hours later than us so she had to hustle! DONE!

What's Next:
The paperwork is on it's way to DC! Today's battle is won! We are praying and fasting for tomorrow's battle. Please join us in urgent, constant prayer. What I understand needs to happen:
  1. Our courier, Jeff D, to get the paperwork early and take it to the State Department for final, federal authentication. We have 20 documents. This is over the limit so please pray that like other families before us... the department does it anyway- quickly on the same day (in time to take it to the Rwandan Embassy).
  2. He takes it over to the Rwanda Embassy. That they accept it and each document is stamped received August 31, 2010.
If this all happens, we are very hopeful we will join the other families with our dossier in before the deadline and will be approved to adopt. And because we will have made the deadline and thereby "grandfathered" in, our non-hague approval will be ok.

It's been a wild day. I didn't even want to post this but my husband encouraged me so others can be praying. So if your reading this please start praying! I am also praying for the other families that may be doing the same. Please pray too for Rwanda's Hague transition to be swift, I know there are many families who are not as far along in the process to adopt from Rwanda and are mourning this uncertain time (my heart is with you). Thank you!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Uncertainty Will Certainly Happen

We were still waiting for our I600A approval from the US Citizen and Immigration (CIS) allowing us to bring our child into the US after our Rwanda adoption. It has been 2.5 months (an unusually long wait). I finally got a status update from CIS and they need an official copy of a form they only received a copy of... which typically only needs the copy form but CIS has changed their approval process and so things are changing and what was isn't what necessarily what is.... However, it doesn't really matter at this point because bigger changes are happening...

I wish my big news was just the apparent stack up of dossiers in Rwanda. However, we received "unofficial" news that Rwanda is planning to switch their adoption process from non-Hague to Hague. They may temporarily not be accepting dossiers after August 31, 2010 until this transition is complete. If this happens then all the "new" adoptions would have to be Hague compliant. So what does that mean for us? I don't know!?! We were only steps away from sending off our dossier. It's almost complete and authenticated- accept for the CIS approval we were waiting for. And unfortunately for us, our CIS approval was the 1600A form which is for non-Hague countries. We would need to start our CIS approval with a 1800A for Hague countries. Which means more paperwork, time and money (we would have to pay for the new approval, our fees don't transfer or anything totally cool like that!).

That's it!!! That's all the news there is!!! I have a choice at this point... I can worry and stress and be upset or I can trust God has a plan. Not only a plan for me but a plan for Rwanda. This is bigger than me... as the first line in the book Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren reminds me "It's not about you." If God wanted us to get in before the Aug. 31st deadline He certainly could have arranged that. We have had many, many delays along the way. Honestly, I believe this is part of His plan. I don't know why, it doesn't necessarily feel good and wonderful-lol!- but it is what it is and I have to trust God and His Plan (not the idea of my own plan). He cares and understands more about the global orphan situation than I ever can comprehend. Becoming a Hague country for adoptions is a GOOD thing! The Hague Convention protects the children most of all. And with Rwanda being relatively new to adoption it's a good thing they are implementing this process so early in the game (so to speak). It means their orphans will be less vulnerable to being sold, exploited or trafficked. Is it inconvenient for me- yes, but is it the best thing in the bigger picture- yes.

Sure the news is upsetting. It means we have to wait for more information... we don't know how long we will have to wait for more information... or what that information will mean to us and our adoption. I can let my mind wonder to all the "what ifs" and "then whats" and plan solutions and possible answers in my head but truly it's all in vain because one thing I have learned over and over in this adoption process is that uncertainty will certainly happen- I can count on that! Hopefully, more official news will come out next Tuesday, August 31st, 2010 and I can then begin to figure out what this all means to me personally.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Building Your Child's Library

One of the last monthly conference calls from our adoption agency, Gladney, was about the benefits of using children books to help your child in a variety of ways. I LOVE books so I plan to build a wonderful library for my future child from Rwanda. I a wish list of books I have found on Amazon but haven't invested in anything yet. I am still enjoying building my own adult adoption library. Maybe in the near future I will post a listing of books I have benefited from and why. But until then here is a list of suggestions from Gladney Center - Rwanda Adoption Program. Please let me know if you have read any of them and what your favorites are!

• Online e-book: The Skin of Lions: Rwandan Folk Tales and Fables
Funds go toward an orphan project – to purchase online here.

• Brown Like Me – by Noelle Laperti – book about an African American Girl adopted by a Caucasian family

• Africa is Not a Country – by Margie Burns Knight – a book about the diversity of culture and lives in Africa as a continent and the lives children live

• The Colors of Us – by Karen Katz – on skin diversity

• Why Can’t You Look Like Me – by Ola Zuri – skin diversity

• I Love My Hair – by Natasha Anastasia Tarpley – African American hair

• One Wonderful You – by Francie Portnoy – adoption/uniqueness

• We See the Moon – by Carrie A. Kitze – relates to birthparents and a child’s understanding

• Ashanti to Zulu: African Traditions – by Margaret Musgrove – presents an alphabet of African Tribes; some of their traditions – great introduction to the diversity of Africa and culture

***Check out my BOOKS tab on the top menu bar for a complete list of books for adults and kids***