Monday, May 13, 2013

Embarking on the Journey...

So Doug and I have spent the last week researching Uganda, the adoption process, making contact with those who have adopted internationally and even a few who have adopted from Uganda.  We have been praying for confirmation that we should pursue adoption from Uganda and we have received it! We went to church and at the prayer meeting the first thing they were praying for was for a mission team in Uganda! Then we went to a water fountain and there was a poster for Uganda! Then immediately after that we walked into our small group class and one of the woman in the class was talking to the teacher about a friend of hers that runs an orphanage in Uganda!

So after receiving confirmation and all of our research we started looking at adoption agencies.  Most of the people we have made contact with who adopted from Uganda have done an independent adoption without an agency, but after speaking to several people who work with orphans in Uganda and hearing from them that Uganda is considering becoming a Hague Adoption country (basically a group of countries that have lots of strict rules about who can adopt from their countries so that they can protect the children from being "bought" or adopted for the wrong reasons) we were told that it will be better for us to go through a Hague accredited adoption agency just in case this change does occur.  We looked into tons of agencies and asked around and we have found one that we feel comfortable with.  It was important for us to find an agency that is ethical and only conducts adoptions for true orphans and not kids whose parents were paid to give up their children (a practice that seems to be wide spread in some countries). 

So this morning Doug and I spoke with the agency and had a 30 minute orientation/pre-application interview.  We are all set to go ahead and fill out our application! Here is what we are looking at:

1. submit application and find out if we have been approved

2. have our home study (could take up to 6 months)

3. apply with immigration (usually takes 3 months)

4.wait for a referral (takes about 18 months)

5.complete our dossier to country and meet our child.-takes about 4 months from the time of your referral  (we both have to make the initial trip and then Doug can come home and return to work while I will have to remain for 4-6 weeks in Uganda)

7.Have the judge award us guardianship. (Hopefully the judge will see we are honest people that truly want to give the child a loving home.  The judges can be very skeptical and have heard stories of children being sold into trafficking or harvested for organs.  The judge will have to make sure the child is truly an orphan and decide if we will be good guardians.  If the judge rules against us then we will have to file an appeal.  This could take a long time. 

8.Then even if that goes well, then we need the US Embassy to give us our visas.  The Embassy can also be a roadblock because they could deny a visa to our child and that would require an appeal.  We will also have to wait for a passport to be issued to the child. 

So the entire process will take approximately 30-36 months and there are a lot of what ifs and things that can go wrong.  We have ALOT of money to raise (approx. $27,000!) but we know that God will provide.  We will keep you posted as we move along in the process.  Thank you everyone for praying for us!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Feeling called to...

So Doug and I have been going back and forth about what the next step for our family is.  Our original plan was to have 4 children and then foster/adopt 2 children through Harris County's foster/adopt program.  Then we started to think that maybe we should have more biological children now, while I am still young and healthy for pregnancy and then adopt later in life.  We were starting to lean toward this decision when a friend lent us a book to read...

 The book is called Kisses from Katie and it is about a 19 year old girl who moves to Uganda and starts a ministry that provides food, medical care, and education for the children there.  While living there she also ended up adopting 14 girls! All throughout the book she describes the extreme poverty in Uganda. She talks about the children dying of starvation and from diseases and how they don't even have anyone there to comfort them and hold them and wipe away their tears.  She wrote that there are 147 million orphans in the world and if you include children in slavery and sex trafficking that the number is actually closer to 168 million.   There are 2.1 billion Christians in the world.  If only 8% of the Christians would take one child than there would be no more orphans in the world. 

Here's the thing...Doug and I feel called to be part of that 8%! And although we know children in the US foster care system need parents and love, they at least have food, clean water, and medical care.  So we are now leaning toward international adoption.

There are plenty of obstacles ahead but where we see obstacles we know that God sees opportunities.

So please join us as we are praying for God's direction in all of this.  We are currently researching possible countries to adopt from and adoption agencies and trying to familiarize ourselves with the adoption process.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Logan is a Monkey

Logan can literally scale walls and hang by his toes.  I call him my monkey.  Check out him hanging from his feet and the flipping over:(click on the link below to see the video)