We have both been feeling like we are "in the process" -- our lives are pretty busy and I will confess sadly we just have not put our children in Africa as priority. We both came to a genuine realization of this a few weeks ago:
It was a busy evening and Dean was on the laptop, I was cleaning the kitchen. I asked him to help me put the kids to bed. So he closed the laptop and we both went upstairs to get jammies, sippy cups and tuck 4 kids into bed. We came down and I resumed cleaning, Dean went back to the laptop. He opened the computer and said "Ok Jan...trying to send me a message?" Confused, I say "what do you mean?" He simply turns the laptop toward me and the whole screen is a picture of the twins. I had not touched the laptop.
That was all I needed. I stayed up late that night to call our attorney in Lusaka...only to find she no longer works there. Great. Her partner was rude and said "get us money and we'll talk further". Didn't sit well. So back to the drawing board. I googled more adoption attorneys in Lusaka. Made several unanswered calls. Finally one gentleman answers, just so happens I talked to him months earlier and he totally remembered me!
He seemed experienced in International Adoptions and one of the best parts was he was very excited about Tanis living in Zambia as he said she can be our "foster parent" of the twins for the required 3mths before they can leave the country!
I told him Tanis would be in Lusaka while waiting to fly out to Canada in late September and asked if he would be willing to meet her-and we set an appointment.
Tanis did meet with him and got a few documents for us to sign. She came and visited us early October for 5 days. It was so exciting to not only get all their medical records from birth but all all the photos from 5mths til now!
Let's fast forward to last night. I stayed up late getting the I600 file ready--long story but we were waiting for required documents from Zambia before filing with USCIS. Just out of the corner of my eye I noticed a note in the instructions about where to file. If we were adopting a child from certain countries we would file this document in the USA ... but if the country was not listed then it was to be filed directly in the country of the child's citizenship...at the US Consulate.
Ok. Thats kind of big. I was about to send it off then we would be waiting forever for them to not only get to our file but return it to us so we could send it to the proper place!
Last night I looked up the number for the US Consulate in Lusaka Zambia and called. Finally reaching someone he quickly said "Ok, I can help but now is not a good time to talk can you please call back at 2pm?" Meanwhile thats 4am our time...so I'm thinking NOOOOOOO...but I managed to keep him on the phone long enough to get an email address. He said at 2pm he would email me and by morning my time I would definitely have a reply with the details of filing the I600.
This morning I was excited to check my email only to find...no email. So even though it was now after 6pm Zambian time...I called. The recording said the US Consulate is now closed but if you know the extension please dial it now. I decided to do so assuming I would get the gentleman's voicemail. It rang. And rang. And rang. I think I was daydreaming when someone said "Hello?" that through me off!! After a few questions with a lady that was clearly American I found out I was actually talking to the Consular herself! She was so friendly and helpful! She pulled my email and promised that by tomorrow morning my time I would have an email with all the details laid out! When I got off the phone with her, she had already written me a brief email confirming that I would have a reply tomorrow and wishing us the best with the adoption!
This afternoon I got a call from Tanis (who is still in Manitoba for 5 more days). She was clearly excited and said she had GREAT news from the attorney in Lusaka today! Because of some naysayers doubting our attorney was legit, she had been advised to get references of successful international adoptions he has completed. He wrote today and actually gave us the most recent adoptive parents' names and email!!!
Of course I thought this was all too good to be true! All in a day no less! So I promptly sat down and wrote the man an email and in 2 minutes he had replied saying he was forwarding it to his wife, Amy, who could better help me! She then wrote me a detailed reply within 15 minutes! She is very excited because she just adopted their 20 month old Zambian baby boy in May 09 and said she only wishes she had someone who was just through it to give her direction. She gave me her phone number and we have set up to talk tomorrow afternoon on the phone. She said she highly recommends the attorney we are dealing with as they 'bent over backwards' to get through hoops for her!
I'm so on top of the world I could scream!! God has blessed us beyond belief and we believe He has chosen us to be the family for our precious little Zambian twins.
Please continue to pray for them and us and that this would go smoothly!