A few days ago I mentioned the big news that our Ugandan judge has written a positive ruling for our adoption. If the wording on the ruling is precise and accurate enough to be accepted by the U.S. embassy, Judah should be able to come home sometime in the first half of July.
There are still a few steps left in the process before Judah can come home. For those of you interested in the details, I’ll summarize as clearly as I can. I don’t blame anyone who can’t follow my description or who doesn’t care to read the details.
- The judge has hand-written a positive adoption ruling for us. This means that we have official, irrevocable custody of Judah.
- Our Ugandan lawyer typed up the judge’s ruling, turning it into a signed court order. This contains less detail than the initial ruling.
- The U.S. embassy has seen the court order, and they have judged that it does not contain enough detail to warrant a visa for Judah. They want to see the judge’s initial hand-written ruling to determine whether or not the judge has given us specific permission to bring Judah to the States and adopt him here (technically, we only get legal guardianship of Judah in Uganda; we then bring him to the States and actually adopt him). The embassy is not being overly strict or unnecessarily demanding — they simply want to make sure that the words on the judge’s ruling indicate that he understands the process the same way we do.
- If the U.S. embassy does accept the ruling, all Judah needs is a passport and a visa for him to travel. If the embassy does not accept the ruling, our lawyer will have to type up a revised court order (probably only adding a few words or phrases), have it signed by the judge, and have it approved by the embassy.
- Because the passport officials (who are different than those at the embassy) have already accepted the court order, the passport application will be filed on Monday (a previous passport application was misplaced, so this is the second time). Once the embassy confirms the court order and the passport is finished, we can apply for Judah’s visa. Since the embassy handles the visa, it can be done in 24 hours (!).
- So the three things we’re waiting for are: (1) the U.S. embassy needs to approve the wording on the hand-written ruling; (2) we need to get Judah’s passport; and (3) we need to get Judah’s visa. Once those things are done, Judah can travel.
- We have two different trusted friends returning from Uganda on July 1 and July 13, so if the three above things are completed before either of these dates, we will do our best to get Judah on one of their flights and we will meet them at the airport here in Southern California.
In the next few days I hope to post some other exciting adoption news along with a meaningful picture and some fun videos of Judah. Thank you, again, for your prayers, and for sharing in our joy.
Perhaps the most significant thing in all of this is the answer to this question: Would God still be good and worthy of our joy and devotion if the entire adoption fell through tomorrow? In other words, would God be good if the news were bad? The answer to that question shows that we are incredibly secure, and it also reveals the unshakable foundation of our faith and joy. What a wonderful place to stand.