"Orphans are easier to ingore before you know their names. They are easier to ignore before you see their faces. It is easier to pretend they are not real before you hold them in your arms. But once you do everything changes."
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
International adoption is like wanting to climb the tallest mountain in the world. And you stand at the bottom looking up and wondering if and how you will ever make to the top. You realize that it will take faith, trust, and Patience. You know that there will be things along the way that will set you back from reaching the top. Money, paper work, and somethings that are just out of your control, you may start the climb and everything seems to be going smoothly until something causes you to lose your footing and you fall all the way back down and you find yourself looking up again from the bottom of the mountain. That is where I am. Things were going smoothly for us, fundraising was difficult but, God provided for our needs. When I got back from the first trip, I was anxious to get the second stage documents done and get our I800 sent in to USCIS(you have to get immigration approval to bring a specific orphan into to United states.) I waited for the approval notice to come so that we could move forward, but that is not what happened. I received a phone call from our immigration officer, telling me that she couldn't approve our I800 because "T"(our foster son) was turning 18 and is now considered an adult. therefore he would have to meet the immigration requirements. I knew he would be turning 18 when we sent in our I800a so I called immigration and asked them what we should do because "T" is like a 15 month old child. He doesn't communicate by talking, signs, or pictures, he only understands simple things that are part of his routine and you have to use gestures. If I say "Its time to eat" he will just sit there. If I point to the table and say its time to eat he will go to the table, if I tell ask him to go get his shoes he will bring me his shoes, or his back pack or his coat. or all of it. They told me on the phone that he would be exempt from the requirements and all we needed to do was to put it in the home study and get a letter from the doctor stating his cognitive level. So, I was surprised when she told me that I was told wrong and that he would need to meet these requirements that consisted of back ground checks, answering questions about any criminal history that he may have, a few other questions, plus he would need the biometric finger prints done as well. I panicked, I tried to explain to her that he could not do this. I asked her how he was supposed to answer the questions? or sign the papers he can't sign his name you hand him a pen and he uses it as a "flippy" I didn't know how I was going to get him to do finger prints, I went on to explain that he has sensory issues with people touching him, he doesn't like things on his hands, cutting his hair is hard, he will block you and cry and hit himself, I told her he has to be sedated to go the dentist or if a doctor is doing something. She told me that it was the rule and that she couldn't give me advise but that I needed to do it. I then got a phone call from the supervisor telling me that I would be getting a letter in the mail, with the intent to revoke our already approved I800a because we didn't put in the home study that he has such severe behaviors, and therefore they can't approve us to adopt. That is when I fell down to the bottom of the mountain, I found myself looking up and wondering how I was going to climb back up to the top. I am not even" T" guardian legally I could not do anything. In order to get the BCI on him he needed to have picture ID, in order to get the picture ID, he had to have a certified copy of his birth certificate. It all seemed so complicated. But, I know with all my heart that our Father in Heaven answers prayers! He didn't take this problem away but, he helped find a solution. Tim's mom had his birth certificate, we got the ID and the back ground check. I was able to get letters from social workers, teachers, and his behaviorist that explained his behaviors, and that he was not aggressive. I am so grateful to his DCFS worker, my social worker who worked so hard to get the BCI done quickly, and to my officer who was able to get us a biometrics appointment before the paper work was processed. This saved us at least a month's worth of time. Everything has been sent back to Immigration and now we wait for processing which will take about a month before we hear if what we sent was sufficient enough to meet their request for evidence. Once again we will get back up and climb until we reach our son. I don't know the outcome we may fall again but, I do know that I will get back up as many times as I have to bring him home. I also know that our Father in heaven hears our prayers, he knows our needs and he is with all of us who have chosen to be a family to his precious children who have been deemed unworthy, unwanted, unlovable by so many. Oh how I miss his squishy little cheeks, his little giggle and mischievous smile when he realized he could get me to pick him up and carry him down the streets of Bulgaria. I even miss chasing him from room to room as he threw stuffed animals at the curtains to knock them down just to see a reaction from everyone. A friend of mine that is also just starting this journey said that God must be trying to teach her patience. Same goes for me, but apparently I am not a very fast learner. So, as it stands now, if they approve us, it will be sent to Bulgaria which will take a couple weeks, then we will get a visa appointment and issued an article 5 letter this will complete our file, it will have to be signed off by the minister and then sent to court for a date. Then our attorney in Bulgaria will go to court and hopefully, we will become the parents to a very energetic, very much loved and wanted little boy by April. which means our pickup trip will be in May right when baby boy my first grandson (I am starting to get used the idea just don't call me the "G" word yet) is due to enter into this world. Please pray that we sent in what they are looking for, that the officer will see Tim for who he really is, and that the rest of the process goes smoothly and quickly. It is so hard to not be in control, and it is even harder to just be still and know that God is in control.