Unfortunately, there is nothing new to report. However, I get so many questions that I thought it might be helpful if I explained our current situation in a post. Sorry it’s so long.
Currently, we believe that President Kabila has 120 international adoption files sitting on his desk waiting for his approval. Approximately 13 of those are American families. We are doubtful that our file is one of the 13.
Now, let me try to explain the entire situation as succinctly as possible.
In August of 2013, we were matched with our little boy and immediately began the court process to make him legally our son.
In September of 2013, the Congolese government put a suspension on exit letters for all adopted children. They did not however, stop processing adoptions. They just would not allow adopted children to leave the country. Every Congolese citizen needs an exit letter to leave the country for business or pleasure. The same goes for our son because he is not yet an American citizen, even though he legally became our son in October of 2013.
For the past 22 months, the Congo has not lifted the suspension. They have allowed a few grandfathered and medical cases to leave, but those are few compared to the 1300 international cases that still wait.
Many have asked us if this is just about money. We do not pay the Congolese government any money. They are not making money off of us while we wait. We pay or agency to take care of our son in foster care and that is it. Believe me, I know people want to wrap their minds around this situation and try to come up with some type of simple explanation as to why this is happening. But the truth is, no one really knows why this has gone on for so long and why it seems to have no end in sight.
We continue to work with our Senators and Congressman to press the State Department and the Embassy to push harder and come up with a solution. Many senators, including our own Senator Bob Corker, have advocated for us and our son, and we are incredibly grateful.
Since learning that there was a new process to review adoption files in late May, I have actually become more anxious and not filled with peace. I’ve been struggling to figure out what I’m anxious or fearful about. I’ve realized, more than fear, I’m feeling anger. I’m angry that this had gone on so long and I’m angry that I’m missing precious time with my little boy.
I struggle with waiting patiently for the day that I’m afraid will never come. I’m learning to understand why the Congolese people hold loosely to rigid expectations and that “tomorrow” just means “not today”.
When it comes down to it, I sometimes want to throw a temper tantrum and scream “It’s not fair” like one of my kids does.
The reality is, it’s not fair, but goodness, how many people could say that? Every day, I meet people who are faced with situations that are just not fair. They didn’t ask to get cancer, to lose a job, to have an unfaithful spouse, to lose their child, to be married to a spouse who’s mentally ill or one who’s just plain cruel. They didn’t ask for children with learning disorders, autism, developmental delays or deformities.
Sometimes life just hands us a poop cake. And it’s not fair.
And I’m learning from some sweet friends who walk with me, that sometimes it’s ok to not be ok for a season of life. I like to keep everything “together” because Julie’s always “ok”. But there’s a difference between not being ok and being hopeless and in despair. And the only thing that keeps me from going to those dark places is a God who, even when everything’s not ok, is there with me.
Most of us have heard Psalm 23 read at a funeral or during a dark time in our life. If you get the chance, reread it and listen to where the comfort comes from. It doesn’t come from God fixing or changing our situation. It comes from his presence.
“Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me”. Psalm 23:4
So I’m looking for more moments to be in His presence. To allow Him to comfort me, when this world, these government officials, offer me nothing but turmoil. I’m resting in the promises that He’s given me
“I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.” Psalm 27:13-14
I’m looking for the goodness of the Lord today while I wait.