Friday, September 28, 2012
Since we've had quite a few people asking, I'll give everyone the "skinny" on where we now stand:
All of our documents are now with the government in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine. The state adoption center has to review all of our dossier and forms before issuing us an invitation to come over. From talking with others, this can take anywhere from 5 weeks to longer. So we wait and pray and trust that all is according to God's timing.
Once we get the invitation, we have 2 weeks to get ready and go over so that we are there at least 2 days before our scheduled meeting. Then we meet with officials from the national adoption center and they show us albums of children's photos and information within the age range we are approved to adopt. We select a child from the album and they tell us which orphanage the child is in. After that, we go to whichever town, village, or city the orphanage is in. This can be anywhere from a 9 hour drive to a 12 hour train ride.
At the orphanage, we get to meet with the child in the afternoons, after school. We spend time with the child and see if it's a good match. We also review the child's medical record, as well as have a private medical doctor examine the child in the presence of a member of the orphanage's staff.
Once we have chosen the child, the files for the case are submitted to a judge in the district where the orphanage is located. A hearing is held in which both Danelle and I have to be present. The judge will then review all the documents and make a decision, usually on the day of the hearing. After the hearing, one of us can return home. After we receive the adoption decree, the remaining parent gets the child a Ukrainian passport, apply for an immigration visa to the U.S. and then brings the child home. 30 days after arrival, we have to register the child with the Ukrainian consulate and submit periodic reports every year for the first three years and then once every three years until the child turns 18 years old.
When we've told people about this process, we tend to get asked, "And if you don't find a match, then what?"
Our answer is a simple one, "We have been praying from the outset of this process that God has the right child picked out for us and that we will know which one we are supposed to adopt." All of this journey has been one of faith and this is just another part of that stepping out of our comfort zones; trusting that God has called us to undertake this adoption. There are those who think we are crazy, but, to tell you the truth, I'm used to being thought of as crazy by now.
While we wait for the invitation to come, we have been applying for grants and continue to do so to help raise money for this adoption because it's costly. We've also been raising money on the global funding site Indiegogo and have less than 25 days left on there. Here's the link:
Our yard sale was a success and helped raise money for the adoption and we thank those who came out to support us.
We've also been grateful and humbled by those of you who've donated through this blog. It's also been amazing to see how God is using this blog to reach people around the world. As of today, it has had over 10,000 hits from 82 countries. And don't think we take that for granted because each country that has visited our blog has been one we have been praying for.
Throughout this process we have viewed all of it as not only our stepping out in faith but also one step closer to bring home our child. We know that somewhere in Ukraine is our son or daughter. God already knows this child and has this child picked out especially for us. When we go over there, we go with the expectation that our God is a faithful God. As Psalm 33:4 says, "For the word of the Lord is right and true; He is faithful in all He does."
Thank each one of you for your continued love, support and prayers.