After venting about my frustrations over our I-171H last week, I took the advice of another adoptive parent and called the National Benefits Center back. I was given the name of the officer in charge of our paperwork and promptly left her a message. After quite a few attempts to try to get a hold of her (some would call me persistent. others might call me stubborn.), she finally answered. She did say she was swamped with paperwork, but she seems to think we can hope to receive our approval by mid-August. Not as bad as I was initially told… but hurry up already!
Also, please be praying for Rwanda. There has been quite a bit of unrest leading up to their August 9th presidential elections. Campaigning officially begins today, so pray that peace descends on the country. In light of the violence that the country has been experiencing in recent weeks, pray particularly for the orphans and other vulnerable children to remain safe. Additionally, pray that the current political climate in Rwanda would not affect adoptions from being approved and completed.
Finally, there have been rumors that the Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion in Rwanda (the office there that handles adoptions) has hired additional help to work through the stacks of dossiers waiting for approval. There have been very few approvals this year which can be disheartening. I know of quite a few people who have been waiting for referral for 9+ months. There’s hope, though, that with this additional help, referrals will start picking up. This is one of those TIA (“this is Africa”) situations. Westerners who travel to African countries often become antsy when church services start an hour late or when government processes are exceedingly slow or when anything doesn’t go “our way”. But that’s when you sit back and laugh that TIA. This is Africa. Now I just need to get my Type A, extremely impatient personality to be in sync with Africa time.