Alright, so I’ve been asked by many of you what exactly is going on in our adoption at this point. Good question… for, if I’m being honest, I’m just now getting a good grasp on the nitty gritties of Congolese adoptions. But here’s what I do know:
Last week, we sent our first installment of fees to our Congolese lawyer. This is the lawyer our organization has used time and time again, and they have found him to be very trustworthy and capable. Again, I cannot tell you how grateful I am to be working with people who know their stuff… and their people… because, well you know, you can’t trust just anyone. So, the lawyer has our dossier and our moolah and we’re hoping he has already started working on our case and that we “pass” Tribunal (i.e. an open court hearing where Elizabeth is from) soon. Once we pass Tribunal and investigations are completed and all requirements (paperwork, etc) have been met, the judge will hopefully issue a judgment of adoption.
After the judge has issued and signed his judgment of adoption, our lawyer will then take it to the commune (or their equivalent to a local town hall) where it will be registered and publicized to give everyone a final chance to appeal the adoption decree made by the courts. There is a 30 day period for people to speak up, and if no one speaks up in these 30 days, we will be issued a “certificate of non-appeal”, and our adoption decree will essentially be final.
Next up, we file for some more paperwork through the US government (the I-600) which is their way of checking over all of our documentation to ensure that our child meets the definition of a “true orphan”. And then we apply for Elizabeth’s passport, visa, etc… and travel!! To bring our baby girl home!!
And when might this travel occur, you ask? Now, if that isn’t the question of the moment, I don’t know what is. We’ve been told that October very well might be our month. This is just three months away!! Again, we’re trying so hard not to hold too tightly to this time frame… but I’m not gonna lie, I totally have myself convinced that we’ll have Elizabeth home by Thanksgiving at the very latest. And what a Thanksgiving that will be!
We’ll continue to keep you up to date, but we would love your prayers during these next big steps. Pray for our case to progress smoothly and quickly through the legal system… for Elizabeth to stay safe and healthy in the orphanage… and for our patience as we wait to bring her home. This wait has become exponentially more brutal now that we have a name and face and story and child for whom we are waiting, but we rest in knowing that God provides the grace we need for each day and for every step.