About a week ago, I decided to begin to put together a much belated Christmas letter. We had planned to wait to send one so we could include photos of the homecoming and first few days with the boys in our letter. However, with the delays that were surfacing, we knew that it could potentially still be many months, and I didn't want to wait that long. So early this week we began to write and print our letter and developed photos of the boys and a photo of the rest of the family. (They are sitting on the desk beside me as I type just waiting for envelopes and stamps.) We figured with photos of the boys in our friends' and family's hands, we were bound to have our prayer warriors in full force!!!
I called our international agency on Monday and left a message asking for an update. There was no response for three days and then the updates began to arrive! I feel giddy just writing this. Yesterday we got an email with ten attachments!!! The attachments are scanned copies of several of the documents that needed to be redone...and YES, they are REDONE; for both boys!!!
Sarah said that the people at the orphanage are working diligently to compile the documentation for our case. She thinks that the documents she received fulfill the first two of the items on the list below that need to be redone.
1. Minutes of Consent
2. Minutes of Adoption predating the Final Order
3. Certificate of Adoption
4. Biological Mother's Death Certificate
She also informed us that there is good news regarding Elijah's birth certificate. The orphanage was able to clarify what the issue was with the document. Apparently the government was unable to find his information in the book that the certificate stated it had been registered in. Turns out that they were able to locate his information in a different book. Now the orphanage will be able to have a new birth certificate issued with the correct registry information and then the staff will have to apply for the extract from National Archives. It sounds like the director of the orphanage, Pierre, was already working on getting the birth certificate made on Wednesday!!!
Then, yesterday, we received another message that clarified that Elijah's documents are being corrected at the same time as Judah's. This is a huge blessing as we won't have to wait for the corrections a second time.
So here's where we stand (although we think the boys need medicals in here somewhere too):
3. Certificate of Adoption
5. Elijah's Birth Certificate
6. Both boys submitted to USCIS (US Visa Process)
7. Visa's issued
8. Exit letter issued
9. Bring the boys home!
I was feeling like I was on top of the world last night just knowing that some progress was being made. We tucked all three of our kiddos into bed and said prayers for their brothers to come home soon. We kissed goodnight the three that are here with us, and I walked into the twins' room and just sat on their bed and prayed. I couldn't help but think of how different it will be when the twins are here and we give kisses and snuggles in their room each night too.
I figured that we wouldn't have another update until next week sometime since we had received such good news just yesterday...so you can imagine my surprise when my phone dinged and I saw that there was another message from Sarah at CAN. I dropped everything and read the email. Before I knew it, I was dancing around the room. I don't think that I have danced like that since before my ACL repair! It was a fabulous feeling!!! This message stated the we have received a copy of the boys' birth mom's death certificate today!!! I think I reread that line five times! Unbelievable!!! This is truly prayer and God at work. The death certificate is the document that we had heard had taken other families upwards of six months to obtain! Praise the Lord!!!!!!
Sarah said in her email that it is her understanding that we only need to get item #3, the Certificate of Adoption, and Elijah's birth certificate and extract; and then we will have two complete dossiers to turn into the US Embassy!!!! She said that the staff are already working to obtain all of these documents. I am bubbling over with anticipation. The joy I feel is unbelievable. I have longed for it for so long now!!! I truly feel like the Visas will be issued in the near future. I really hope that I am not being unrealistic...but all signs are pointing towards this possibility at this time!
Please continue to pray for patience, forward progress and huge PRAISES to GOD for the progress so far! Your prayers are what has brought us to this point, I have no doubt!
We love you all and can't wait to share the next update!!!!
Dancing around the room,