Tuesday, August 31, 2010

When one door closes . . . another opens?

In my last post, I mentioned that there was a possibility that Rwanda was going to put a hold on all adoption dossiers (applications).  Well, it’s now official.  As of today, Rwanda has put a temporary hold on all dossier submissions while they work toward becoming Hague compliant and to set up a stable foundation for their adoption program. The government in Rwanda has not disclosed a timeframe for this temporary suspension, but has stated they will not accept new dossiers until Hague measures are put into place.

Needless to say, we’re feeling a bit disheartened and feeling this door may be closed for us (at least temporarily). Since there is no specific timeframe for this suspension, many families in the same position as us are deciding from one of the following: 1) wait indefinitely for Rwanda to re-open it’s doors for international adoptions, 2) transfer to another international adoption program, 3) adopt domestically, or 4) end the adoption process. We plan to talk to our adoption agency in the next few days to review all of our options and seek their advice as well.

As we stand at these crossroads, we truly have no idea what God’s plan is for us. We feel as though there is a baby boy, somewhere out there, just waiting to become a part of our family (and we thought/felt he was in Rwanda). However, we need to make a decision as to how to proceed forward.

Please keep us in your prayers over the next few days as we try to make some decisions on this and as we seek God’s guidance in whatever direction He leads us.

My heart is overwhelmed with emotion/tears/fears as we cross this next hurdle in our adoption plan. As always, we’ll keep you posted . . . more to come!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Uncertainty in International Adoption

So, we continue our paper chase, but received some uncertain news from our adoption agency yesterday. We know there are lots of ups'n'downs in int'l adoption, but so far we've only had "ups" and the note we got may be a "down." The note said, "The Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion in Rwanda has implied that they would like to put a hold on accepting new dossiers at this time for the purpose of focusing on becoming part of the Hague Convention and to focus on the dossiers currently in their possession." This is still being confirmed and the actual dates for the "hold" have not been announced. 

We have not yet submitted our dossier, but had planned to get it to Rwanda before the end of the year. The dossier is basically the entire binder of paperwork about our family along with certifications from our gov't to their gov't that we are eligible for adopting from Rwanda. So, if this news is confirmed from Rwanda, the "downside" for us is that they may not accept our dossier when we're ready to submit it. The "upside" is that they may be integrating the Hague Convention safeguards which ensure that their adoptions take place in the best interest of the child with respect to his/her rights as recognized in international law.

With this news, although disappointing because it could slow down our process a bit, we are still optimistic and continue our "paper pregnancy." We'll keep you all posted and ask that you continue to pray for Rwandan adoptions since there are so many children just waiting to be taken to their new homes!

"But they they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint." Isaiah 40:31 (KJV)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

"Loving Family" dolls

Our 5 year old daughter has been collecting "Loving Family" dolls over this past year. For her birthday two weeks ago, Grandma gave her the doll house to go with her toys.  Needless to say she was thrilled. This morning while playing with her dolls here are some family portraits she wanted to take with our camera and how she described them:

Our family now:

Our family when Xan gets here:

Our family & friends:

So cute!  I love how she's putting everything together & embracing what our family will soon look like. 

My only question is: does this mean I have to buy a  mini van? 

Talk to you soon! -- Stephanie

Next steps to "Xan"

Finally an update from us!!! Truth be told: Spring and summer flew by and our adoption paperwork sat on my desk. But now fall has arrived (AKA school has started), and we're running as quickly as we can with our adoption process.

So here's the latest . . . we had our first meeting with our social worker on Friday night to begin our home study. It was so nice to finally meet her face-to-face and she really put us at ease about the whole process. We met for 3 hours and had our orientation to the whole home study process. We reviewed the ins/out, ups/downs, tears & joys that come with this journey. After this meeting the ball's back in our court. We still have two more meetings with her before our home study can be complete, but basically need to complete about 99% of our paperwork before meeting with her again. It was such a positive experience to open our meeting with Bible verses and prayers! We love that we're working with a Christian adoption agency and ultimately know that God will see us through this and keep our baby safe in the meantime.

The good news is that I have 3 full days a week now that I can concentrate whole-heartedly on the paperwork/process. Our 5 year old daughter started kindergarten this week/3 full days a week which frees up much of my time. She is thrilled to be in Kindergarten and I've realized that my "little baby" is now a school girl!! Which really makes me even more motivated to bring another sweet baby into our lives, and she keeps asking "Mommy, when is my brother Xan getting here?" Thus, more pressure from her too -- I'm happy to report that she's simply thrilled with the idea of adopting. When we initially started our adoption process last November, we felt she was a bit too young to discuss it at that point. But now, she totally gets it and says "Mommy, we need to hurry because Xan needs a new family and clean water too." So sweet! BTW, the story on "Xan". We've already named our baby-to-be Alexander AKA Xan. This has made life a lot easier when we refer to our baby-to-be with a name rather than the little baby from Rwanda who'll soon join our family. We're not sure if this name will "stick" once we meet him, but for now that's what we call him. :)

This week, Jim & I are writing our autobiographies for our home study. Step-by-step, and little-by-little, we're one day closer to our little baby boy. We love you Xan & pray for you every day!!!