Some of you may have heard that we’ve had some recent complications with
Judah’s adoption. Here’s the latest email update from Cindi that went out today. I have a lot of thoughts about all of this, but maybe I’ll share those in a couple days.
First, I just wanted to say “THANK YOU!” to everyone who has prayed for us and for those of you who have written emails of encouragement and thoughts. I know you understand that I can’t respond to all of you personally at times since these updates go out to several hundred people :) but know that Gunner and I are very thankful and we can only fathom how wonderfully big this family is that Judah is coming home to! He has so many people that love him already.
I have spent many hours on the phone these last few days so I wanted to clarify a little bit of info that I had misunderstood previously and also let you know where we stand today.
I discovered that our I-600 was not denied but it is actually considered “on-hold, pending further evidence.” This is GOOD because we don’t really want to have a “denied” response on our file if we decide to adopt again in the future.
The “further evidence” required has to do with Judah’s custody papers from what we understand. We learned that we were originally supposed to get his papers with his birth certificate several months ago but due to some Ugandan governmental issues, they were not able to be sent. This has nothing to do with our orphanage. Most offices seem to pass the I-600 without needing the custody papers. The LA office (as we are all learning :D) is different. The reality is, LA SHOULD be different. We live in Los Angeles…the home of thousands and thousands of illegal immigrants, child-trafficking predators, and underground porn producers. It is GOOD that our office is stricter than most. I also wanted to stress that no one is out to get us. Just because the lady who works in the LA office is not nice at times does not mean that she is intentionally making our paperwork more difficult than others. I think that living in Los Angeles just means a lot more paper and proof :)
Also, to clarify some things about adopting from Uganda…we get a lot of questions and statements saying that things should or shouldn’t be going a certain way. Uganda has very recently opened up for adoptions. We are actually the FIRST people (along with the 3 other CA families in our group) from California to adopt from there. We are definitely the guinea pigs and we knew going into this that we would be jumping a lot of hurdles so that people behind us might not have to. Also, technically, Uganda does not adopt out of the country from what I understand. We have received some emails and phone calls expressing some concerns because Uganda is a closed country. Well, yes…and no. In order to adopt from Uganda, you have to LIVE in Uganda for 3 years. However, it is possible to get legal custody of a Ugandan child, then bring them back to the States and adopt them here. That is what we are doing. Actually, many countries operate this way. That is why there is some confusion over whether or not we can actually adopt from Uganda. The adoption process actually will take place AFTER we get Judah in the States.
To those of you who have offered to contact people in high places or have advised that we notify the government of the issues that have arisen, thank you for offering to help. However, the complications are pretty murky right now, and as I said before, we’re convinced that no one is out to get us or hinder us in this process. Because of that, we’d really appreciate it if you would refrain from contacting senators or others in government about this. We don’t want to develop a reputation (for ourselves or the people we’re adopting with or the orphanage) for jumping the gun and protesting and petitioning things too quickly. We want to understand what’s really going on first. At this point, these updates are mainly so that you can know and pray. We deeply appreciate your support, and we sense it often. If there comes a time when we feel as though we need to reach out for people’s connections, we will definitely let you know :) and I have no doubt that you would all be very helpful!
Ok, that was just the clarifing part! Here is the current info: We are waiting :D. Currently, we are in the process of trying again to get Judah’s custody papers. You can pray for the Lord to direct the hearts of kings :) We know and believe that the Lord controls all things so we are waiting for Him to turn the hearts of those who need to sign our custody papers. This is our next step and we can’t really do anything until we get those.
You can also just pray for me personally that I will rest in the goodness of the Lord. It is hard as a mom to watch your baby grow up via pictures and video. Especially at this age (Judah is 8 months now) he changes so much every month and I don’t want to miss anymore. Still, the Lord knows that and He acts however He pleases :)
Please feel free to pass this on to anyone and everyone :)
The Lord is good.
cindi (and Gunner)
There are a lot of serious aspects to this situation, and lots of biblical realities to reflect on. But this is what Judah himself thinks about all the bureaucratic blockades currently keeping him from his mom and dad: