We’re Matched (Recent Past)
On September 30th, in the early afternoon, i found myself rushing home from the downtown building where our church gathers corporately and those of us on staff have make shift offices. i had been working when my bride called and told me a photograph was being emailed to her. We had potentially been matched with a girl in Uganda. No way! This wasn’t supposed to happen until sometime in mid or late 2016. That’s what we had been told to expect. But i would be hard pressed to tell you a single part of this adoption journey that has gone as we expected.
When we switched from Colombia to Uganda (you can read about that here and here), we had asked how long until we would be matched and receive a referral. Based on what we had been told, we’d grown used to the idea of being matched towards the end of next summer (2016). That was about to change. My wife told me what to expect from the photograph, “The picture will not have her face in it, it will show her special need without showing her face.” If that didn’t send us running we could see the rest of the photos. I dropped everything and raced home… weeping and praying the entire way.
She has a face, she has a name, and she has a future. It’s incredibly bright in spite of much. She has been seen by us.
We’ll tell the story in detail one day, when much of the information is no longer private, but long story short, we saw the first photo and then the rest and we said yes. And that is how we got matched on September 30th.
A match is not a referral, it is more like a “soft-referral”. It is like someone asking you, “would you be interested in adopting this specific child?” And if the answer is yes, they will get you the referral as soon as possible. We were matched. It was a beautiful day… a scary day… an unforgettable day. She has a face (we can’t show online), she has a name (we can’t say online), and she has a future. It’s incredibly bright in spite of much. She has been seen by us.
We’re Waiting (Right Now)
We don’t know exactly how long our wait will be but we know the determining factors of our wait. Two primary events influence the amount of time we must wait:
- The official referral: We are waiting on the official referral and this is everything, but a formality. It’s not a guarantee but the odds are almost 100% that the referral will come. And it will likely come very soon… like within weeks or even days.
- United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Approval: We have filed an Application for Advance Processing of Orphan Petition (sounds pretty official doesn’t it). USCIS normally takes 8-12 weeks to turn this around, but the process can sometimes be expedited for the extreme health concerns of an orphan. We strongly believe that the girl we have been matched with may qualify for the medical expedite.
And so we wait. The future in still very uncertain, but we know her face (i dreamed about her the other night). This makes the wait easier and harder… both at the same time. We’re striving to rest in God’s perfect timing. He is faithful and good. His timing is always perfect. We wait with hope.
We’re Hoping (The Future)
If we receive this referral, there are three possible scenarios moving forward.
Scenario One: USCIS does not expedite the processing of our paperwork and we are not approved until December or later. The Ugandan government closes down from December 15 – January 15 and therefore, without expedited approval we would not travel until late January or early February. We would travel once for anywhere from 3-8 weeks. And we would bring her home.
Scenario Two: USCIS expedites the paperwork and we travel in November for our court date. At this court date we will hopefully be granted legal custody of our daughter. And we would wait for Ugandan officials to provide her passport and clear her for exit. The Holiday season (December 15 – January 15) would most likely stall this process for no less than a month. In this scenario we would then leave Uganda and our daughter behind while we wait. We would then return after the Holiday when the processing of her exit requirements was completed. Then we would bring our daughter home.
…it is not even in the realm of possibility in all reality… but this would not be the first time God had pulled off something impossible.
Scenario Three: This final scenario is the most impossible of them all and for that reason, i am praying towards this end. Again, the likelihood of this scenario is almost zero. The scenario goes like this… We get USCIS approval and our referral ASAP… like early November. We get a court date in Uganda and we board the plane towards African soil. We receive custody of our daughter without any hesitations and because of her medical needs, the Ugandan officials in charge of processing her exit requirements push everything through before the Holiday and we bring her home before Christmas! Pray that this happens. Again, it is not even in the realm of possibility in all reality… but this would not be the first time God had pulled off something impossible.
We’re Inviting You to Join Us (Our Story is Your Story)
So many of you have already joined us in this journey and we are so deeply thankful. It’s been an honor and a joy to have so many of you walk with us. Our need has grown slightly from $41,000 to $46,000 because of some extra fees during the switch from Colombia to Uganda and because of extended travel requirements. Currently we are about $11,000 away from this goal. We expect to receive several grants that will hopefully cover a chunk of this, but we still have lots of ground to cover financially. Add to this the crazy details of this journey and the twists and turns that it has taken and just to be frank, the team of people fighting for this girl cannot possibly grow too large. She already has armies of people fighting for her and we’re inviting even more to join us. Here are some ways you can join us in this adoption journey.
ETSY: We have an ETSY shop full of original and re-purposed art. We made some and our friends made some and people we barely know have made some. You can shop that store by clicking here and every single penny of the profit will go to fund our adoption journey. You can also get in contact with us about donating art to the shop, if you are so inclined.
Puzzle Pieces: You can read all about the puzzle fundrasier here, but basically we are putting a puzzle map of the world together for our daughter’s room and on the back of each puzzle piece will be tons of names… names of people who helped bring her home. The puzzle pieces are $20 each and if you purchase one (in our ETSY shop or in person) we’ll put your name on the back of that piece and she will know that you were a part of this story.
Email List: You can sign up for our email list by clicking here and as we get closer to traveling it might just become a more frequently used method of communication for our journey.
Pray: Every day it becomes more and more clear that we are being and will be stretched beyond anything we are capable of in this journey. Pray that God’s strength will be made perfect in our weakness and His glory will be made known to all who see. And please join us in praying specifically for Scenario Three listed above.
Share: Help us out on social media by sharing our posts and linking to our stuff. This has been the number one way for us to connect to new people in this adoption journey. Please share and share again.
Get Creative: If you have any other ideas for how you can join this story of love and adoption…. please contact us and let us know. We’re open for any suggestions and would welcome your ideas with deep gratitude.
Let’s get this little lady home!