• Posted by Meghan on 12 Aug 2011

Caroline from Little Angels came to our house today for a home visit.  She arrived around 10:30 and went over all of our paperwork and watched the kids play for a bit.  Then we answered a lot of questions for our joint interview, had lunch, and then each did an individual interview and concluded with a quick tour of the house.  It went well and she seemed happy with the information we gave her.

As always there was a mix of good news and bad news.  She is going to try to complete her report quickly so that the committee can review (and hopefully approve) Eden’s adoption this month as they only meet twice a month.  She was not able to get the district children’s officer to write a letter, but she was able to experience some of the frustration that we have had with them and said she would include their lack of help in her report.

We have a few things to gather for her which we will hopefully be able to do this weekend or Monday and then she can proceed.  Overall, we felt very good about her visit and really appreciated her time and help as well as the information that she gave us.

On Wednesday we are traveling to Nairobi for the day to meet with someone at the embassy regarding Eden’s visa.  We are anxious about this meeting and hope that they are able to answer our questions and give us good news.  It all hangs on whether our guardianship order from 2009 gives us legal and physical custody and whether the courts had the right to give us guardianship.  I’m not exactly sure how we prove those things, but hopefully it will be clear to the embassy that everything has been done properly.  If they determine that everything is fine we can apply for her visa in October.  If they think that things are not correct, the 24 month waiting period would begin when the adoption is complete.

Please pray for safe travels for Ben and me, that the kids will do well without us for the day and that the embassy will grant Eden an immigrant visa in October!

  • Posted by Meghan on 19 Jul 2011

Our lawyer met with the district children’s officer today to discuss our case. Diana had reviewed our file over the weekend and wanted to talk about some things with Were. They met this morning and she told him she has no objection to us being granted the exemption! She will go to court with us on the 25th in case the magistrate has any questions.

After we get the paperwork finalized for the exemption on the 25th we can apply for the adoption! We are so thankful that God has worked everything out so perfectly and with such speed!  Thanks for all of your prayers!

  • Posted by Meghan on 11 Jul 2011

Well, we didn’t get the exact answer that we wanted, but darn close! The magistrate said that he doesn’t have a problem with granting us the exemption as long as the district children’s officer says that it is ok. For those of you that remember our dealings with the district children’s officer (Phillip) at the start of our process with Eden, you are feeling nervous, which is how Ben was feeling. The good news is that there is a new district children’s officer now who I’ve heard is very nice. Were is going to see her tomorrow and she just needs to either write a letter or come to court with us on July 25 to give the magistrate her approval. This does delay us from filing for the adoption right away, but all in all, it’s pretty good news! :-)

  • Posted by Meghan on 11 Jul 2011

Our lawyer is hopefully going to court this afternoon around 2 to plead our case for the exemption so that we don’t have to live here for 3 years. Please be praying that Were presents our case well and that the magistrate grants our request. We are not going to court with him because the hearing is during the kids nap time. We will post an update as soon as we hear a result!

  • Posted by Meghan on 01 Jul 2011

We haven’t made very much progress on the adoption since we’ve been here, but in the last few days we’ve finally talked to the right people and have gotten some good information and good news!

Ben talked to a woman named Susan at Little Angels in Nairobi and she told us that since we already have custody of Eden, we can go ahead and file for an exemption on the 3 year residency requirement.  We should be going to court soon to apply for the exemption.  Even better is that the 3 year residency requirement isn’t actually a law, but a recommendation that the adoption agencies have.  Also, the three months of post-placement visits that have to be made by a social worker are not necessary for us.  She told us that is to allow time for bonding between the child and the family, but obviously we have already done that.  The last good thing Susan told us is that as soon as our exemption is approved we can go ahead and apply for the adoption.  That should take 2 court dates but then we should be done.

Today I talked to the District Children’s Officer in Kapsebet who used to be over the Eldoret area.  She helped with the adoption of another little boy from Sally Test several years ago.  She said that we can go ahead and do the adoption here in Eldoret, then we can go to Nairobi and see the Children’s Officer there.  They will give us a letter saying that the adoption is finalized and that’s what we take with us to the US Embassy.

It sounds like it should be fairly easy and move pretty quickly, but even so, we probably won’t be able to come home before October.  That’s because the US has a law that says a child adopted abroad (not through the international Hague convention route) has to live with the family for 24 months before they can get a visa to return to the States.  Our 24 months roll around on October 13.  We will certainly ask for permission to come home earlier, but doubt that will happen.

Please continue to pray for the process.  That the magistrates will be kind and willing to help us and that we are able to get court dates in a speedy fashion.  Finally, pray that the US Embassy employees will be compassionate and let us come home early!

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