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!
Saturday, October 03, 2009
What to do about a little Snaggle
Here's the story. The US Consulate in Rio received our USCIS "Provisional Approval" and needed to process a form called DS-230 "Application for immigrant visa and alien registration," a 4-page form with a $400 processing fee. Once this form is approved, then the Consulate will write up the "Acordo" document (aka "Article 5") which allows Lino to go make us a court date to meet our children. The consulate used to process this form after the finalization of an adoption but have changed their policy and now want it completed before they issue Article 5. (This is a smart policy change because it eliminates the risk of finalizing an adoption and then not being able to get the children out of the country with their new parents.) However, here's the snag: they will only accept payment in person. ... right. We can't go to Brazil without a court date, and we can't get a court date until we hand the consulate payment in person (or have someone do it for us). In other words, we must pay in person before we arrive. In other words, we're stuck in a policy that doesn't make any sense.
Our agencies (AWAA and LIMIAR) are working their tails off to try to figure out a solution, but have been unable to find one in the last week or so. We have offers from 3 friends to connect us with their personal and/or business contacts in Rio who might be able to make the payment for us and are following some of those leads. We also have many suggestions that we contact our Congressperson for some help. I guess I'm not sure how the government could help me with problems with the government. Even so, I left a voicemail for Rosa DeLauro.
It's overwhelmingly tempting to just get plane tickets and take care of this mess ourselves. We've been encouraged not to do that because no one really knows how much time will need to pass between getting this payment made... and the creation of the Acordo document... and the day our court appointment will actually happen. I'm not sure how spending an extra 2-3 weeks in Brazil is a bad thing, but we do understand how it would make travel arrangements difficult--not knowing a start date means not knowing an end date and difficulty booking return tickets.
Thinking back over the last 3+ years, I realize that just about NOTHING has gone as smoothly or quickly or easily as it should have. Just about EVERY step of this process has turned out to be unpredictable, delayed, or difficult. Of course I know that God has the timing in His hands and that I will see how perfect it is someday, but after more than three years of working and wanting and praying and striving and jumping through many many hoops, I am at the end of my strength and I feel like it's time for something to go smoothly.
The most encouraging word I've gotten during this latest round of frustration came from a LIMIAR parent whom we met at the reunion this summer. He said, Soon you will be looking backwards on all these delays and they will be your war stories about how you battled for the lives of your children....AND WON!
It's hard to stay positive and keep trusting God's plan when our desires seem to be thwarted at every turn. It's not a selfish desire, is it? I don't think it's a sinful one. Will our family ever come together? Lord knows.