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
6.travel 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!