Thursday, May 30, 2013

Our adoption story continued : Going independent...

So in February of 2012 we had been with our agency for about 6 months. They had led us by the hand through the process up to that point which included our homestudy, criminal background checks and immigration approval. We had just been placed on the waitlist about 3 weeks prior. They contacted us to have a talk to us about their sibling waitlist. They had given a referral for a set of siblings 3 months prior in December, however, before that, it had been a couple of years since the last set of siblings. They said that the baby home that they worked with only had siblings come through once every few years and that since we were number 5 on the waitlist for siblings that the likelihood of us getting a referral from them was basically zero. So they gave us two options: (1) Switch to one child or (2) leave their program. We prayed and had zero peace about adopting only one child... so we left. You can see the post about that here

We found an attorney, and then after all the drama which has been mentioned before, we switched attorneys and ended up with an amazing godly woman named Rebecca Mugabi. If you are adopting independently from Uganda and have somehow found your way to our little slice of blogland here, I definitely recommend her without any hesitation. There was opportunity for ethics to be compromised, and she was unwavering in her commitment to do the right thing and to honor Christ.

We also were researching and contacting several baby homes and ended up connecting with Arise and Shine Uganda.  We quickly fell in love with the director of the home, Sharon, and she gained our trust as we saw her love for the children in her care and her desire to do the right thing. The baby home at Arise and Shine is only a small part of the ministry she has there which includes primary schools in the Kamuli district (where she is from) and family preservation efforts which include income generating projects such as bead-making, candle-making and sewing, among other things.

We were initially referred to a darling little boy and little girl. However, once we started their investigations we realized that to proceed with their adoption wouldn't be right. After that came up, we decided that it would be a good idea for Matthew to take a trip to Uganda. He met with our attorney face to face and he visited the baby home. There were 2 other sibling sets in the home at that time and only one of them matched the criteria that we had been approved by immigration for (2 children ages 3 and under) and so after praying and speaking with family and friends, we decided to pursue the adoption of John and Joshua, biological brothers who were ages 2 1/2 and 9 months at the time. While he was in Uganda, Matthew's mom unexpectedly passed away. While we were excited that our process seemed to finally be moving along, our hearts were full of sadness at losing Kathy. It was a very bittersweet time for us.

The investigation for John and Joshua was very straight-forward and pretty simple. Their story is one of love and tragedy, and loss and redemption. But it's their story, not ours, and out of respect for them we will not be sharing it publicly.

Everything was going really well with the case, but God surprised us by throwing some information at us that we never expected....

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