It is so hard to believe that we are really, truly about to head to Uganda to meet our baby(ies)!!
Tomorrow, as you’re sitting down to your turkey dinner, we’ll be on a plane! SO CRAZY!! Our hearts are so full of excitement (and nervous jitters!) as the clock keeps ticking us closer and closer to that go-time!
I know you’ve probably got questions for us, so we’ve tried to compile our most commonly asked questions, and answer them to the best of our ability:
What does your trip look like? What will happen when you get there?
We take off from Phoenix at 7AM tomorrow (Thanksgiving) morning. We will arrive in Uganda 29 hours later, after stops in New York City, Amsterdam and Rwanda. When we arrive late Friday night (ironically, 2 hours after Pope Francis also lands in Uganda, in the same airport! Not sure if that will cause any additional delays or not..) in Uganda we will head to the hotel we will be staying at for the duration of our trip. Saturday morning is an exciting morning because we will get up and head to the Orphanage to meet with the orphanage staff and FINALLY MEET OUR SON!!!!!
We will spend Saturday and Sunday bonding with him and preparing for our court appointment, which is on Monday at 2pm (Ugandan Time). That is 4AM in Phoenix. That court appointment will be a very stressful day. Often times the judge will decide not to show up or reschedule, so we are praying tons that we will be seen. Then we are praying that God will give us the words to speak during that court appointment. Judges have many different styles of questioning over there.
After that court appointment, we wait… We have to receive the Judges ruling and sometimes there can be additional court appointments. We are praying for a QUICK decision from the judge so that we can begin the rest of the process. We cannot do anything until we get a favorable ruling from the judge that we have been appointed legal guardians.
Once the decision is made and then written to make it official, we can apply for his passport.
Once we get that, we have to have what is known as the IOM… a medical appointment required by the USA for our son to obtain a visa.
Once we have successfully completed the medical appointment, we will gather all of our paper work and visa applications and turn it into the US embassy in Kampala, and wait for them to schedule our Visa interview. This is a huge prayer need, as this is the point the USA will determine if they will grant him a visa or require more investigation into his orphan status. We pray that does not happen, and they grant us the visa on the first time through because otherwise it could extend our trip by weeks.
When will you be back?
That is a great question! We are glad you asked… While we would love to give you an answer, but we cannot…because we don’t know! Some families choose to do this in two trips because of its length, but we are doing one trip which could last anywhere between 6 and 12 weeks. Yes, you read that correctly… weeks! While we are praying expectantly for God to work a miracle and get us home quicker (fewer weeks there, less expensive!!), we do also need to prepare for the possibility of a long trip. At least we will be together as a family for the first time in forever…
Will you be bringing both children home?
We have gotten this question a lot. We are still actively pursuing two children, but this court appointment is only for our son. It’s a one-time shot, when they assign you to a court date, so we’re definitely going now! We are going expecting that God will move in such as way that we might bring home both children, but we just don’t know for sure what His plan may be. We are still waiting on paperwork to come through for our second child, and as soon as that happens we will know more on the timing.
Will you be updating us while you are gone?
We will update everyone as much as we can. For security reasons we may not be able to share all that is going on, but we will certainly send out prayer requests via this blog as much, and assuming we have access to the Internet.
Is it dangerous to go to Africa right now, with all that is going on in the world?
Another popular question right now too… All we know is that God has called us to Uganda and we are leaving the rest up to Him. Our children are over there and just like any parents would… We are going to get them!! Dangerous or not, those are our children and we would do anything to be with them and protect them. God’s got this, and we trust Him to lead us where He wants us to be. So here we go on an adventure of a lifetime, to unite our family, to fulfill the call God has placed on our lives, and to be with our children who have been growing in our hearts for the last few years. God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and of a sound mind.
What are some ways we can be praying for you?
1.) For our son. Everything he knows, everything he is used to and is comfortable with, is about to change BIG TIME. We have no idea whether or not he even knows we exist, or if anyone has told him he is about to be adopted. It’s going to be scary; we are going to feel like total strangers, and he is about to leave people and places he knows, to go to a place where everything looks, feels, smells, and tastes really, really different from everything he is used to.
2.) For the little girl we are hoping to adopt. We are still praying for a miracle; that we would be able to also bring her home by the end of this trip, but since her background investigations have been in limbo for a couple years, we do not know when those might be completed. There is still much background work, on the Ugandan end, that needs to be done before she will be eligible to be adopted by us. It is a very real possibility that we will have to travel to Uganda two different times.
3.) For health. Anna’s medical issues make travelling difficult, and her food allergies make eating anywhere besides home (or mom’s house!) basically impossible. We are preparing as best as we can, but there are still many unknowns ahead of us in this trip. We won’t have access to the things that can usually help us feel and function normally. Also, we may become aware of medical issues our son is experiencing. We only have the things we are packing with us (pray that all the bags get there safetly!!); so prayers for good health and safety would be very much appreciated.
4.) Favor with the various officials we will be assigned to. Our judge, the embassy officials, etc. will each have a great deal of control over our case. They have “creative control” over their positions, and will personally be able to decide if we are acceptable adoptive parents, and how long we stay in Uganda, etc., based on their feelings about us.
5.) Our sister, brother, and niece are visiting AZ for a few weeks over Christmas, and are heading back to their home out of the country mid-January. We would love to be able to be back home in time to see them, and for them to be able to meet our son (and maybe our daughter, too!) before they have to leave, as we are not able to see them very often.
We would like to thank each of you for your involvement, your love, your prayers, your encouraging words as we have walked through this process. We could not have done any of this without you. If you are interested in continuing to be a part of our journey, this E-Cookie Book will continue to be for sale; every cent of the $5 price goes towards our adoption fund, plus you’ll get exclusive access to yummy recipes you won’t find anywhere else!
To look back and read about our journey up to this point, click here.