Wednesday, July 3, 2013

What's Next? More Than We Thought ...

We're back from Ethiopia {for several weeks now} and almost back to normal.  I do plan to post about our trip and share some of the fantastic pictures that we took.  But until I can get to that, I thought I'd share what happens next.  

While in Ethiopia, we went to court, sat with a judge, and pledged to love Helina and Bereket as our own.  All of *our* papers were there.  All of *their* papers were there.  Everything went perfectly, and we passed court!!  Woohoo!!  

This picture totally cracks me up!!

 Now we enter the "Embassy Phase."  Even though we've legally adopted the girls, we still have to go thru the steps required for them to immigrate to the United States.  

The process usually takes about 6 - 8 weeks.  Here's what has to happen:
  • Lots of government forms for us to fill out  {done}
  • Ethiopian court issues adoption approval decree  {done -- but there was a mistake with the date, so it has to be re-done}
  • Birth certificates are issued for the girls with our last name  {done}
  • Girls' passports are issued  {done -- but Bereket's had a couple of mistakes, so it will have to be re-done}
  • Girls will have a medical check-up and go to multiple different clinics for tests, immunizations, etc  {in process}
  • Case submitted to the US Embassy so they can start their review  {I'm not sure what exactly they have to do, but I know it involves verifying lots and lots and lots of papers and doing their own investigation into the girls' background.}
Once the US Embassy is satisfied, our interview appointment will be issued, and we will travel back to Ethiopia to bring them HOME!!

Like I said earlier, this process usually takes 6 - 8 weeks, which would have meant we'd be home by August!!  But Provences are hardly a usual people.  We are, indeed, quite extraordinary.  Our process is going to take much, much longer, which means we'll be home by ???  ::sigh:: 

About a week after we got home, our agency called to tell us that the independent investigator that we hired to double-check the girls' paperwork found "an inconsistency."  {That's all I have to say about that.}  

To resolve "The Inconsistency," we will hire the independent investigator to do a second, much more detailed investigation.  Our agency will then re-submit the girls' paperwork to the judge for approval.

Aside from sending me to the brink of insanity, "The Inconsistency" will cause a delay of undetermined length and an increase in fees of undetermined amount.  Time is money, after all.

Ultimately, this is a good thing.  Truth is good!!  We have so very little of the girls' history to tell them as they grow up.  It's imperative that the very little we do have is as accurate as possible.

So we wait.  The girls wait.  Waiting is hard.  
But we will trust.  
God is good!!  He sees!!  He knows!!  
And that is what keeps us going. 

Please continue to pray for our family:
- that the girls will know they are loved and be at peace while they wait
- that papers and investigations will go quickly and be accurate
- that extra expenses will be provided for
- that we will wait well :)
- that our case will be heard before the courts close for the rainy season
- that we will be able to travel before our papers expire and have to be renewed.

Thanks for riding this crazy roller coaster with us!!  The waiting is hard, but we think they're worth it :)


Stephanie Sabbe said...

so exciting! they are precious!!

Kelly said...

PRAYING!!! Love you all!

Kathy Jackson said...

Praying, sweet friends! Yes...they are so worth the wait! Trust will hold them nightly in the nearer than it feels like future, and you will savor their preciousness, and you will tangibly feel that worth!!! Love y'all and love these girls already!!!

Paula Jolly said...

Praying for you & your family! :)

Brent and Melanie said...

Praying! They are so sweet!