Saturday, November 28, 2009

Fundraiser...

IS happening. That's interesting. Yes our church talked to us and are excited to support us in our adoption! Soooo we are trying plan that for this or next weekend!!

Got a date from Uscis AND>>>>>

We got a date from USCIS for our fingerprinting and biometrics appt...guess when? Ok ... my birthday :) Thats kind of cool!!! Dec 8 in Yakima. Yay!

Even more exciting news...??? #1 is we have bio baby #5 on the way (soon to be baby #7) that we are soooooo excited about and #2 news....we talked to our twins tonight!!!! so cute I could cry!!! Said a bit of memorized english words and Mama that they've never met and still don't know anything about ... melted.

:)

Monday, November 23, 2009

Sister Sombo

So Tanis (aka Sister Sombo) is now the guardian of our boys! Even though the courts do not require it she wanted to foster them so they could learn English. Saturday Tan got a knock on her door and it was the boys with their g. aunt! She was "going into town to live with her daughter" and wanted someone to take care of the boys! Soooo it worked perfectly. (side note...I can't wait for Tanis to send us some pictures b/c we sent her home with a massive suitcase of clothes -- both new and some from Zion and Azlan--and I'd LOVE to see them wearing the little clothes we bought!).

So today Tanis brought the boys, with their g.aunt and their bio dad to Zambezi district Social Welfare office to meet the social worker. Tanis said it was quite insane how the man almost sounded like he was pressuring the aunt to NOT give them up. But she was very firm that she could not provide for them. Three hours later (!) and 2 bored little boys later....they were done. The bio dad and g.aunt signed relinquishment letters in the social worker's presence and Tanis made a date of next Wednesday to go to the village with the social worker.

We are praying to have a court hearing date soon so we can plan (whats that?!) and get a flight etc.

Tanis said she has hired a teacher to start teaching the boys their ABC's , 123's etc. Today they earned "A" :) She later heard them in the bath singing at full volume YES IN ENGLISH "Dare to be a david..." she couldn't believe it! Just from hearing it in sunday school. She put them on the phone last night to say "Hi how are you" and it was the cutest thing ever. Sounded like those adorable little voices from African Childrens' Choir :)

I just love you Jacob and Meleki. Cannot wait to bring you home.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

A bit of a delay

Tanis called today to say that her car broke down today and all in all its still broke down and she had a 22hr day...and the trip tomorrow to Chris our s.worker has to be cancelled. She hopes to reschedule by Friday.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

Fundraiser..?`

Not happening. We just got word tonight that our church will not be our 'non profit' so we can do a fundraiser. I don't know what to say. So I won't. One thing I know is its a hurdle and we are kind of excited to see what God has in store!

Got my I-797C today!!

Ok I know -- who even knows what that is but it was cool to write it :) From USCIS it was my notice that they did receive my I-600A and that they will process it and notify me of when to do our fingerprints and photos.

:)

Ok the little things that excite!!

While doing our banking yesterday I noticed my check to USCIS was cashed!!! WOOHOOO! Why does this excite me? Who knows. You'd have to be in my shoes to understand I guess ;) But it does mean they have my file!!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Spoke with Mulenga (attorney)

I finally reached Mulenga and its only 10:30pm!! Maybe it will be an early night! I told him I received his email and that I was in contact with Musenge "yesterday morning" (last night) and stated that only I am required to come for the initial visit. I asked who makes the decision and he said "Oh absolutely, she does". So therefore we are clear that only I am required to go! This is fab news as Dean can be home with our children and wellll that saves a lot of hassle :)

I asked Mulenga when we could know the committal hearing date by and he said we should definitely have a date in a few wks when I am to come. I can't even say how exciting that moment will be!!

For now we are waiting to hear how it goes on Monday with Tanis and Mr. Chrissy (his preferred name) visiting Jacob and Meleki in the village.

Also we got the go-ahead from "LifeSong" today that we can apply for a grant and see if they approve us. (we needed the go-ahead since we are adopting independently). This would be awesome if we did get this because people who wished to support bringing our children home by giving financially would receive a receipt for tax purposes and LifeSong may match a portion of the gifts we receive through them up to $4000! So we hope to have that application filled and in the mail by Friday morning.

Still looking into the Krispy Kreme fundraiser and waiting to hear if our church will do it under their non-profit name.

We have so much to be thankful for and so much to pray about. Can I say how completely over-the-moon excited we are?! I cannot believe this lifelong God-given longing to adopt children from Africa is actually happening. I'm humbled. And overwhelmed that He would choose as a family for these precious boys.


Email from our attorney

I just received this email this morning from our attorney:

Dear Tanice,

I hope you had a safe flight back to Zambezi.

Further to our discussion on 5th November 2009, I am writing to confirm that it will be imperative for Dean and Janice to travel to Zambia prior to the children being committed to their care for the statuory 3 months period.As I indicated in our meeting, this requirement for the parents to come to Zambia prior to the commital order, has been insisted on by the American consulate at the embassy in Lusaka. With the Canadian families for whom we have carried out adoptions through Kids -Link international, the prospective adoptive children have been commited to fostering in the hands of an orphanage or other third party. In effect Dean and Janice will be required to travel to Zambia twice in order to conclude the adoption of the twins.

However in view of the fact that Dean and Janice are probably both in full time employment, they will only be required to stay for at least 1 - 2 weeks so that they can make initial contact with the children prior to the commital order. They can then return to the states and come back to Zambia after 3 months in time for the granting of the formal adoption order.

Kindly be guided accordingly and kindly confirm the transfer of the initial deposit required for the adoption process.

regards,

MULENGA

It looks like my late nights are not quite over yet and I will be staying up tonight to call both Mulenga and the Consular to verify what the social workers are saying that only I am required to come for the initial visit.

Please continue to pray.

Its a go!!

Tanis texted me this morning and said that she spoke with Mr. Chris (our now social worker!) and she will drive 50km and meet him on Monday and they will drive together to the village and see the boys. The process has realllllllllllly begun!!! If they give me a date within the normal Christmas holidays, my sister may travel with me! (which is pretty cool especially since we have not seen each other for 3 years!)

Now we have to get the fundraising into motion!!

Overwhelmed.

With emotion. It is 12:30 am. I've been sitting here calling my attorney (call back in 2 hours he is in court). I asked for the number for the Social Welfare office (since my only source is Google and it apparently is an old non functioning number) and she said "call back in 2 hours and I will have it for you". ...

I found some number for some place that I honestly did not even know who I was calling...services for juveniles or something but I did know it was in Lusaka and that was a start. I asked for three women's numbers and surprisingly the lady gave them to me. (These names were given to me by the lady I met in IL that adopted in Zambia as the 3 Social Workers that deal with adoption). Then the lady I was speaking to asked who I was and what I wanted etc. She totally knew my case!! She said your attorney was here speaking with me last week. She said "I am the one at the Department of Social Welfare that will approve or not approve your case" !!! Ok this is a big deal. So we talk more. It is a bit frustrating because of the phone delay and the accent that in some words I was simply unable to understand what she was saying :( She said NO Tanis can NOT foster the children that that simply does not make sense. Ahhh. She said "you can come here for 90 days yourself and foster them." I asked if we both have to come and thankfully she said "no, just you". So then I told my story. How we believe we are to be these childrens' parents yet we have 4 small children here in the USA and I simply cannot up and leave my children for 90 days to move to Lusaka. The she said "Oh no problem, just come and meet the children. Spend one week with them and then go home and 90 days later come back to adopt them". I must have asked her to repeat that 3 times to the point where the lady was a tad frusterated with me :) But I was so elated I needed to hear it again. And again :) She said since the children are in Zambezi district that we needed to call that office but in the end it was her that would review our case and have the final say. I asked for the phone number for that office and she did better. She said "here is a gentleman's name and number, tell him I sent you". I was on the verge of tears.

I called him. Mr. Chris ______. He answered the phone immediately and I told him who sent me and the story. He said "we can help". He told me to get Tanis to call him today and that he would meet with her and then drive with Tanis in country to go meet the children and to get a letter from their bio father saying he was relinquishing his parental rights (he abandoned the children at birth but Tanis met him and he is very willing to write the letter). Then he said he will call me and tell me when to come.

Ok I just hung up the phone with him and tried to call Tanis but she is likely already in hospital for the day. I texted her (how cool is that?!? Yes we text...to a village hospital in Chitokoloki Zambia!!!) and hope to hear back from her. I am exploding with emotion. Tears. Excitement. Overwhelming emotion of staying up several nights to get nothing now to get so many answers and be led in the right direction.

Psalm 18:6 "In my distress I cried to the Lord; I cried to my God for help. From His temple He heard my voice; my cry came before Him, into His ears."

Thank you God for hearing my cry. For "I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you".

Please continue to pray.

--Just got in touch with Tanis who was so excited at our news. She is going to call Mr. Chris right now and said his office is 50km away from her and she is hoping to set an appointment to meet him on Monday. She will text me an update.



Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Update.

(Last night I stayed up and could reach NO ONE. All numbers were busy or "call back in 2 hours" and it was clear I was to go to bed. I did so. Not so willingly. I really wanted more answers).

So 2 days ago Dean and I are talking about the possibility of going to Zambia soon...and we look up flights. We remember Tanis saying she LOVES flying British Airways as their service is awesome (and they stop in London which is fabulous since I do have a sweet friend and her family that live in London that I'd love to meet up with!). So we go to BritishAirways.com and guess what? Right on the home page there is an offer: Fly with us anywhere we fly between such and such dates and receive a FREE companion flight to use anytime in 2010 when you fly with us again. Ok. SO this is pretty amazing. If I have to go to Zambia...soon...then when we go again one of us flies free!!! It didn't really hit me right aways but then I thought...ok this seems to be for us. Thats pretty amazing!! We are talking a $1600-2000 flight free! I called on it today and got the details and if we fly before Jan 29th then yes we get one free companion airfare anywhere they fly!!

Then today I get a sidekick email from BAirways saying huge slashes in their prices and included in the list was Seattle to South Africa...for quite a discount.

It hit me how often I miss seeing God. I pray and then take the answers for granted too often. It would be sad if in all these 'little things' along the way...I missed God.

We still have no idea whats happening ...if/when we go. If I can go instead of both of us (which with having 4 small children at home would be awesome if Daddy could stay home with them)...we know nothing except the only thing that matters here--this is God's. These precious boys are His and we are simply the ones He is using. The more we realize that the more humbling it is. I absolutely love love the verse in John 14. Verse 18 says "I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you". I read it on a friend's adoption blog recently and it brought tears to my eyes.

We are also trying to put together a little fundraiser. Perhaps a Krispy Kreme fundraiser to help raise the funds for some of the adoption expenses. This too has been very humbling for us. I think there's a part of me that wants to say "we did this". "We worked hard and WE adopted these children". The further we go in the process the more I realize its really not about us at all. It quite frankly has nothing to do with us. I'm excited to see what God will do!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Tonight

The plan is to stay up and call the social worker contact I have...and our attorney and perhaps the Consular. Praying for good news!!


Friday, November 6, 2009

.....

Nevermind...I stayed up 2 more hours past when I called the Consulate but Miss Consular is still in a meeting and will likely be in a meeting til noon and guess what..? The Consulate closes at noon on Fridays. Sigh.

Goodnight.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

I need Your help.

God-I need Your help.


Tanis calls me today and says she spoke with our attorney in Lusaka on Thursday and the problem they are facing is that while she can foster the children, etc....they need Dean and I to appear in court for the committal hearing for her to foster them for 90 days. Then we go home and come back again when its time to bring them home.

Ok. Thats kind of a big deal. Especially since the lawyer says we may have to go in a few weeks.

Tonight I'm sitting here at 11:30pm with everyone in the house sleeping....making some calls.

I called the lawyer, call back in a few hours.

I called the Consular at the US Consulate in Lusaka, she is in a meeting call back in an hour.

I called Tanis, we spoke. Talked over some things.

I called the Social Welfare department in Lusaka who I am told, makes the decision on the fostering. She was blunt and not that friendly. She told me "this won't work you MUST come live here for 3 months". I told her we simply don't think we will be able to pick up our family and move to Zambia for 3 months. She proceeded to tell me what if I get home and don't like the children. Ahhhh. I told her we are committed to these children and will do what it takes to make sure they are loved, accepted and nurtured. Finally after asking several times if I am white... (?) and if the children are Zambian and black (...?) that she will speak to her chief and to call her in a few hours or Monday.

sigh. I will not feel overwhelmed because I know. I know. I know, God, this is Yours. I'm not seeing the light here but I know this is what You told us to do, so please show Yourself. We need to see You.

We will do what we must do to bring our children home. Until God shows us otherwise, clearly, we will continue to search for answers and solutions.

Please pray for our family and our boys in Zambia.


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Wow!!! God hears and answers!!

So last night I stayed up late to call our attorney and for the first time ever ... the line was busy. For 15 minutes. Finally I sat down on the side of the bathtub and prayed. Good idea. I prayed that God would hear our prayer and have the lawyer not only agree to negotiate a price...but drop the 'fee' by 40%. I ended my prayer, took a deep breath and called. He answered the phone and said "Janice I have good news for you, I am willing to lower the fee to $_____ "which was exactly 40% less!!!

I ran in and woke Dean (who I don't think comprehended b/c he asked silly questions like "Azlan lowered his fee?" :) and couldn't sleep because I was so excited!!!!!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Officially waiting!

Yay! What a day!! I submitted our I-600A this morning and as well shipped a package overnight to an address in Ontario for Tanis to pick up on our way back to Zambia for the lawyer! (homestudy, documents, family photos etc). Good thing we thought of this as Tanis said it would take 4 weeks or so for them to receive it if I had to mail it to Lusaka.

I cannot possible describe the feeling.

A dream is about to come true!