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Remembering Uganda: Sigh

August 6, 2013

We are telling our adoption story by posting a series of emails that were sent while we were in Uganda in July & August of 2012. If you have made your way here because you are thinking about adopting from Uganda or are in the process, please know that the process is very different now than it was in 2012.

Sent August 6, 2012
Our visas were denied today. Basically, the person who did our interview was not convinced, based on the paperwork and testimony presented, that our new children qualify for an adoption visa under the US law’s definition of abandonment. It was explained to us before we left the embassy that the procedure for visa denials is that our application would be sent to the USCIS processing center in Nairobi for review. This center takes 4-6 weeks to process reviews and make a determination from the time they receive our documents. To say we were disappointed by this news would be a huge understatement.

Upon leaving the embassy, we notified our agency about this turn of events, and the agency immediately began trying to contact our attorney, who is out of the country on vacation. Miraculously, they were able to get a hold of him, and he called us and assured us that he did a case like ours just last month and that it went through the embassy just fine. He said there has to be some misunderstanding, that the official who did our interview today must have overlooked something and that he will try to help us fix it. His first and most urgent instructions to us were notify the embassy to NOT send our documents to Nairobi. Because once the documents are gone, our attorney cannot help us.

We need prayer:
-that we can stop our documents before they get sent to Nairobi. We have sent emails, made phone calls, and Tim is going to the embassy very early tomorrow morning- all in an effort to stop our documents from leaving the country. Please pray that whoever is in charge of sending out packages will be notified to stop our case file before it leaves the embassy.
-that the person who did our interview today, “M,” would have mercy on us and agree to give us a second interview and take a second look at our file before sending it to Nairobi. There is nothing in procedure/protocol that indicates he should do this for us: he interviewed us, reviewed our paperwork and examined our witnesses, as he is obligated to do as an embassy official. All this led him to deny our visa. His job is done. Policy now dictates that he send our file to Nairobi for review. Pray that God would move his heart to break procedure and grant us a second interview.
We are thankful for:
-our interview was scheduled for 2pm, and we arrived for it at 1:30pm, as instructed. We didn’t get seen until after 3:30pm. I confess I was sinfully annoyed at the wait, with four kids under four during nap time, and yet as it turns out, the delayed interview was God’s grace: by the time the interview was over and our visas were denied, there was not time to send the documents to Nairobi that day. Which means we will have time to stop our documents before they leave the country.
-that our agency was able to reach our attorney who is out of the country on vacation, that our attorney has handled a case like ours before and knows what to do, and that he is willing to come back from vacation to help us get this worked out.
-that Eliza’s stomach bug passed quickly, as Jude’s did, and that so far no one else has gotten sick.
We will keep you updated as we learn more tomorrow. We are anticipating that Tim will be at the embassy for a good part of the day tomorrow, trying to get this worked out. Please pray for strength, grace and wisdom for him as he tries stop our documents and request a second interview. Pray for me as I care for 4 kids by myself.

Tim read this early this morning before he left for the embassy: “Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor the fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail, and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will take joy in the God of my salvation. God, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places.” Habakkuk 3:17-19 We are begging God to make this true in our hearts: that He will help us to rejoice, take joy and find strength in Him.

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