This is the place where we are have documented the road we have walked in order to adopt our four children from Brazil and the road we are now on as a family. We are keenly aware that adopting is not just a process we've chosen to go through, but part of God's plan for us and for our children. May He be glorified through the process and through our family!

Thursday, July 23, 2009


We're getting to the end of July, 2009 and still don't know when we are going to go meet our precious children. The latest estimate is sometime in September. That's because even after the judge decides to grant our petition, there is still a tangle of red tape to sort out.
  • Judge decides
  • Submits decision to CEJA
  • If it's a "yes" CEJA creates a document called a "Letter of Invitation" (LOI)
  • A copy of that letter comes to us so we can get visas, a quick 2-day process
  • The letter itself goes to the US consulate in Rio
  • The consulate apparently has to send it up to the US to... USCIS
  • USCIS approves our I-800 which ensures visas for each of the children
  • Meanwhile, Lino makes our court appointments and we make our travel arrangements
That whole thing will probably take 2-3 weeks, but no one really knows because no one has ever done it before. The I-800 process is a new one and we were going to be the first Brazil family to go through it. However, we're told that another AWAA family is beating us to the finish line and will adopt their children soon. They are currently in the pre-travel document-push right now. Hopefully they will pave the way for us. And if things go well, we may overlap some time in Brazil with them.

The thing is that before the judge decides, she will have to receive a report from CEJA's psychologist, Daisy. All the letters (13 of them!) and answers to questions that we sent to Luciana on Monday (July 20) were translated by Lino and another helper that same day and taken to CEJA on Tuesday (the 21st). The psychologist needs to put all of that information into a report (even though I think it would have been easier and just as effective to put it into a folder!) for the judge. Having read all 13 letters from our friends and family and having easily answered all the judge's questions with very well-reasoned and heart-felt answers, We really think that the only thing the Psychologist can say in her report is, "This is clearly the family God has chosen for these four children."

So, everyone is feeling very positive about the future outcome of this process. We all feel like the Judge is looking for reasons to say YES, not reasons to say NO and that she will eventually say yes.

Last Wednesday when Luciana suggested that we might need to move on and look for other referrals... that was really the pit of despair for us. We had dinner that night with our friends Rose and Marcelo. We had dinner with them again this Wednesday and they commented that we seemed much more joyful and less burdened. It's true. We went through that moment of darkness, sustained by God's grace and the purpose He has given us (that's YOU, my children!) and we are now filled with hope.

We WILL be a family. Hopefully, after the LOI is written, Lino will be able to get us some updates on the children... more pictures, clothing sizes, more info! That will make the time go so much faster.

We missed Maynara's 10th birthday in April not long after we knew these were the children God had for us, and it looks like we'll miss Brayan's 4th birthday at the beginning of August too. This is sad for us, but we are focusing on all the birthdays and everydays that we'll celebrate when they are finally our sons and daughters.

Another thing that has been encouraging is the tremendous outpouring of love and prayers and support from our friends and family and some blogland people we have never met. We feel like we've really grown during the last 3 years and we are looking forward to the stretching growth we'll experience as parents.

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