There has been so much going on that honestly I am a little overwhelmed at where to begin. At the end of this you may actually feel like nothing has really changed but in the world of adoption sometimes you go one step forward and three steps back, yet that is at least movement, which is progress!
Shannon and Lee Burris helped us have another yard sale, which went great! Many of our friends and home group peeps chipped in to donate and work and we made over $800! We are so thankful! I also was blessed to be able to have a booth at the She Event at the Civic Center two weekends ago and sold our Ugandan necklaces from 147 Million Orphans. We sold 40 necklaces but have lots more so please contact me if you are interested in purchasing some for Christmas presents. I will post pictures hopefully tomorrow because we also have put some of the necklaces in pretty clear globes and are selling them for $25 as ornaments with bows on them. You can hang them on the tree and/or take the necklace out to wear them. They would work great for an ornament exchange or just a beautiful way to give the necklaces as a gift in a festive fashion. We will also wrap them up for you. I know you need a picture so I'll post those tomorrow:)
We also have been in the process of resubmitting the financial portion of our home study to be reapproved because of Mark's job change. In the midst of submitting that paperwork in a round about way we became aware of some new children that came into care at the orphanage from which we are adopting. A sibling group of three came into care in mid-October. Mark and I separately could not get them off of our minds and through prayer and conversation decided to inquire about them. We weren't sure if we could be approved to adopt three. Fairly quickly we were approved by our home study agency for three and then submitted our home study with the revisions to the financial forms as well as changing our request from approval for two children to approval for three. That paperwork has gone through DSS hands and is now being processed through USCIS which is Immigration. We are finishing up a few more items that need to be submitted so our dossier will be complete. Once we receive our I71-C, which is Immigration approval, then we will send that on to our agency and they will send our completed dossier to Uganda and we will be considered paper ready, or ready for our referral.
So this is where things become complicated:) We received an email a few days ago explaining that because of the heightened awareness of unethical adoptions the Embassy and the judges are being extremely cautious about awarding legal guardianship to adoptive families. Our agency's desire is to make sure that each adoption is ethical and very thorough in attempting to track down Ugandan family members that might be able to and be willing to adopt the children at the Tender Hearts Babies Home.
So we did make it clear to our agency that we would like to be considered for a referral for this sibling group of three. They can make absolutely no promises or guarantees. They cannot discuss the children in any detail until they are ready to make our referral. We understand that. For all the children that are in their care they have to advertise in newspapers and on radio stations about these children in an attempt to track down family members. They need to do this repeatedly over a six month period. It will also take around six months to make sure the children medically are where they need to be to be considered adoptable.
So the discouraging thing is the reality that even if these little ones are one day called to be Chapmans, it will be at least six months before we are even offered their referral. However, at least we have a little more of a rough and tentative timeline. If we do receive their referral and accept it the lawyer then submits our file for a court date. Then once we receive a court date we go to Uganda with the very real possibility of being over there for at least 4-6 weeks. So we settle back into the pray and wait mode. We do still have some footwork to do in finalizing some paperwork, but for the most part we need to sit back and watch Jesus work all this stuff out.
We are so thankful for the way you all encourage us by asking about the process and praying for us! Thank you for understanding when we seem a little discouraged with the wait. And please forgive us if at times we seem unenthusiastic when we talk about it! It just is hard waiting at times! We know the Lord is working even when we don't see it and we also rest in the fact that He has a plan and His ways are not our ways!
We try not to talk at length about these kinds of details with the boys because the waiting is a hard concept for them too. We still may only receive a referral for one child, or two...or it may end up being three. Until we have more concrete details we simply pray for our little ones together daily and ask for eyes of faith. We have such an amazing community of people that we know are praying for us and watching to see what the Lord will do through this process.