Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Monday, December 21, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
What does it look like from here? Joel comes, the kids are taken out of school, we spend 1-2 weeks in Trujillo (at the orphanage) bonding and taking pictures to prove it, we shed tears as we say goodbye and head to Lima. Then, Joel returns home and I stay with the kids another 2-3 weeks in Lima as they issue new birth certificates, documents and visas for the children with their new last name. Next step - FLY HOME - just in time for Christmas!!
The past several months have been very difficult as we have been tested in our faith and patience. Thank you for all of the emails, phone calls and especially your prayers. We have felt very supported and are so grateful to all of you!! The journey is just beginning as we work on bonding as a family and overcoming the obstacles set before us - but what an exciting journey!!
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Yamelit ready to perform a traditional dance from the jungle
Segundo and Edwin (right) representing the jungle of Peru
Myself, Liz (director) and Sam (on-site Volunteer Coordinator)
Monday, November 2, 2009
There has been a lot of activity on the orphanage side of life. I suppose I should muster up some energy to blog about the events. However, on the adoption side of things - we are in the forever waiting mode. We are waiting for the US Embassy to issue an Article 5, where they assure they will be able to give our children visas to enter the country. We have been waiting for almost 2 months while they do an investigation. It's beyond frustrating as the clock is ticking on the amount of time we have left to complete the adoption - and we continue to pray for all of this to come to pass.
I will post when I have news that means something. Thanks for your prayers, encouragement and times when you scream with us and for us.
Sunday, September 6, 2009
If you or your family or church group would like to come serve at Hogar de Esperanza, please contact me! I would love to have you come and get to know this special place.
I've been pretty busy while I've been in Peru - working with the administration on some upcoming changes for the ministry, working with our Volunteer Coordinator on creating manuals for some of our programs, visiting friends, and trying to not be depressed or disillusioned. I will try to post some updates on some of the activities happening here, at the orphanage and in Peru.
Please continue to pray for us, the kids, Joel and the whole entire process.
Monday, July 27, 2009
Now the question is: how much longer before you can go home?
I don't know the answer. I keep guessing and, basically, doing a poor job of it. We had a big delay and then a small miracle. As I explain it - people get confused and still don't understand where we are in the process. To tell you the truth, I barely understand myself. Our delay was a second request for more information. Our small miracle was the intial approval (from Peru) to adopt 5 siblings between the ages of 3 and 11. The next delay was that they didn't just go ahead and name the specific 5 on the approval. So, we have to wait for the official assignment and this week (Mon-Wed) all government offices are closed to celebrate Dia de Patriats, which celebrates their independence from Spain. Hopefully by the end of the week, we'll get our official assignment - and we can file our last document with the US Immigration office, which asks for the immigration of these specific children.
I hope and pray that Joel is able to travel to Peru at least by the last week of August - and then we'll be home 5 weeks later. Yet, again, another guess.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Sunday, July 19, 2009
Saturday, July 11, 2009
There's been another back up with the adoption process. Peru's official government office that handles adoptions has a new director and new staff. They have asked for, yet, another document. Our social worker and agency is working hard to get the document prepared and send it through the tedious legalization process. This just means another 2 week delay... and more waiting. Even though I am here, the waiting is still hard. Now we want Joel here and we want the process to go quickly so the children can start school on time. Every step is one step closer, but somehow it still feels a million steps away.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
More updates will be coming... so keep checking back!
What next? Well, that seems to be the only 'clarification' that will be needed. Next, they will officially assign us the children. We will file a I800 form to our government to request the immigration of these specific children. Upon approval of this form - the adoption will officially begin and Joel will get the 'okay' to go to Peru. We have no idea how long this will take - but we are a HUGE step forward.
Friday, June 12, 2009
Check out the story here!
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
I do not have control. This is a struggle for me. When I talk to the kids, I feel their disappointment, their lack of ability to understand why it's taking so long and my frustration that I can't do anything about it.
Even though I've never been pregnant, I'm sure there are similarities to a mother in her final month of pregnancy... exhausted, consumed and wondering when. When the children are finally home, I'm sure I'll forget all the pain of waiting.
But for now, I feel like I'm living with ghosts. The children's rooms are filled with their beds, toys and clothes - but the house is empty and quiet. My mind can tolerate no other thought than being with them again.
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
Two weeks later than hoped, we get our documents back from the Secretary of State and Peru Consulate in Denver - only to find that 3 documents were unable to be legalized by the Peru Consulate in Denver. Instead, I have to send these papers to the Peru Consulate in Chicago - which delays us, yet another, week.
HOWEVER - our adoption agency said we could go ahead and Fed-Ex the majority of the dossier to Peru - yes, indeed, there is a bit of good news! Since all the documents have to be translated first, our person in Peru can go ahead and get started on what we have. Then, when we send the last 3 documents down, she will be ready to finish up. Finally, some good news - the only reason I'm not in a rage or breaking down into tears. The picture above is our dossier - every paper and copy is notarized or certified, then legalized by our Sec of State and then by the Peru Consulate.
The process from here?
- Dossier gets translated - finishing when the last 3 docs arrive. Could take 1-2 weeks.
- Dossier gets submitted to SNA - the officials in Peru - and 3 of their departments have to read through all of our paperwork and approve us.
- SNA officially assigns our children to us and sends us an acceptance letter
- We sign and return the acceptance letter
- We file a request for approval of the specific children from USCIS
- A little more paperwork
- Peru gives us a travel date and we're GONE - for 4-6 weeks!
Please pray for things to go quickly - for the kids who are waiting and for our sanity
Wednesday, May 6, 2009
Well, those documents were rejected by the Secretary of State. Apparently the notary signed the document like a doctor and her signature on file didn't match. This was a huge disappointment - as I had hoped our documents would be going to Peru today. Instead, I'm waiting on this document and we're set back another week, which is an eternity in our world of wait.
All words that our in our daily vocabulary - maybe our hourly vocabulary. As we collect more documents for our official 'dossier' (which means the final packet of documents that will be used in Peru for the official assignment of kids and adoption) we have to have a notary for each one. Copies of our passports need a notary to say they are exact, true copies of original documents. Our medical exams and tests had to have a notary. The psychological evaluation (which we suprisingly passed) had to have a notary. The deed to our house, marraige certificates, and birth certificates all had to be certified with the fancy raised seal.
Then, here's what we do with all the notarized, raised seal documents:
FedEx all documents to the Secretary of State in which they were notarized. This office will, now, certify all the documents with their fancy seal. ($2 per page - 25 pages)
After each government office puts their seal of approval on each piece of paper, we finally can FedEx the documents to Peru - yes, the actual country. In Peru, the documents will be translated and given to MIMDES - the division that approves adoptions. Hopefully within a few weeks of receiving our paperwork, they will officially assign the children to us and we can jump on a plane!
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
However... we also see it as a good sign. At least now we know that USCIS has actually looked at our paperwork, that they've taken it out of the stack of hundreds and given us some attention. At least we know we are one step closer to receiving their approval, which will lead us to some of the final steps in the US - finishing our dossier and sending it to Peru. Basically the dossier is more copies of documents - the LAST copies - and then we can head to Peru to embrace our children once again.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Thank you for your understanding. More news to come!
Monday, February 9, 2009
Friday, January 30, 2009
To start, I'd like to explain how the adoption process works and clear up some misconceptions that are out there. Individuals can not adopt directly from the orphanage, but must go through agencies and the government within their own country. The cost of international adoption can be pretty hefty, but all of this money goes to the payment of filing fees, lawyers, agencies, documents, exams, investigations and traveling. The orphanage does not receive money. We are not paying for the children, but rather for the process. And, oh the process! We are lucky to have 2 agencies to help us through it all. Littlest Angels International , here in Colorado, handles our homestudy and Villa Hope , in Alabama, will handle the international side of the adoption.
Joel and I gathered all of our initial documents; clearances from every state we've lived in since we were 18 years old, medical exams, birth certificates, our marriage certificates, proof of parenting classes, CPR and first aid cards, FBI fingerprint clearances and more. We asked for references, filled out thorough paperwork on our personal relationships and family history and sat through lengthy interviews about who we are and what kind of parents we hope to be. Although we had only been living in our house for a few weeks - we prepared the children's rooms and, with the help of friends, we were able to get the house in order for our homestudy to be completed by the end of December. And this is just the beginning.
Thursday, January 29, 2009
At the end of the week, Joel and I felt overwhelmed. We weren't overwhelmed by the work we had left or by the events of moving in. We were overwhelmed with a feeling of true thankfulness. I couldn't stop crying as I struggled with feeling blessed and then feeling guilty for all we had. A year in Peru proved that our lives can be rich and full without a big house and without all the 'stuff.' A dear friend reminded us of God's generosity and that our new home was a way to provide for the 5 children we plan to provide a home for. To others, it may not appear that we are living extravagantly, but Joel and I disagree. We feel we have been given more than we could have hoped for - more than just a beautiful home, jobs and all the stuff. God has blessed us with a full life, His grace in our failures and the opportunity to have a family of our own.