Time in Kigali Rwanda

Friday, October 31, 2008

baby clothes

Betty (Buster's mom) sent a box of little girl clothes today. It was such a fun surprise. It was the first little girl things we have gotten and really made this whole process seem almost tangible. We all (Buster I and the boys) just stared at the stuff for awhile and thought... wow... it won't be too long before we get to put those little girl clothes on our baby girls!


Monday, October 27, 2008

time to think

Things get so crazy sometimes that I loose sight of just how important this whole process is for us. I cannot believe that God has desgined things in a way that allow us to adopt a child from the other side of the globe. It really is amazing that we can be part of something of this magnitute.

People often ask us why we want adopt, versus having another biological child etc., and our answer is usually pretty basic... we might not be able to change the world, but at least we can change the world for at least one person.

Thanks again everyone for your support!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

interesting story

Here is an interesting story that I read today about Rwanda. It sort of shows how important it is to open adoptions in Rwanda to help the situation. Copy and past this link in your browser to view it.


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Home Study in Review

Ok... our home study agency finished their report and now it has to be reviewed by our adoption agency before our "file" is complete and we can process our dossier. The agent I spoke with today said it takes 7 to 10 business days to do the review.

Meanwhile the agency director of the Rwanda program is in Rwanda working with the government and Gladney staff there getting things orchestrated to start moving adoptions along. He gets back in three weeks and we are suppossed to get a program update at that time. Hopefully he will report all good news! Also, it sounds as though Gladney just had their first family finish all the paperwork and submit their dossier to Rwanda to wait for a referral. I am keeping tabs on this to see how quickly the process moves along for them to get a better idea of what it will look like for us. Hopefully we won't be far behind and can get the rest of our paperwork done (fingerprints back, dossier authenticated etc.) within the next month to six weeks.

Thanks to everyone for their prayers and support!!

Monday, October 20, 2008

coffee n such

Ummmm.... my coffee from Rwanda arrived over the weekend. It is very good!!!! Not much news to report on the adoption end though. Buster and I had our federal fingerprints done last week and it will probably take over a month for those to process. Our home study agency is finishing up our home study report and then there will be a couple weeks of revisions and approvals before that is completed. Once that is done we can begin processing all the paperwork for our dossier.

We are all getting pretty excited. Oliver keeps telling everyone that he will be five when he gets his babies. I hope we don't have to wait until September (Oli's bday) but I love it that he is excited too.

We appreciate everyone's prayers and support and hope that you will continue to pray that the process moves along smoothly and that the baby(s) are healthy and well taken care of until we arrive!

Friday, October 10, 2008

home study

We have a very nice social worker helping us with our homes study. Today we completed our part for the home study, wrapping up all the interviews and home visits. She (social worker) has no doubts that we will be approved and expects to have the home study done within the next two weeks. Once the homes study is officially completed it will go to the government office in Minn. and be combined with our fingerprint forms and some other paperwork and then we will be officially approved to adopt from USCIS. After this we can complete the dossier and then paperwork will be on its way to Africa (hopefully by the middle to end of December). Please pray that the rest of the process (which is mostly out of our hands now) goes smoothly! Thanks all. We will keep you posted.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

More Information

Hey again,
I forgot to mention... the agency we are using for the adoption is the Gladney
Center for adoption out of Texas.
We chose Rwanda because... well... because Buster and I both felt like it was the way we should go :)
Another FYI... We are considered a Pioneering Family, because the agency is one of only two that are working on adoptions from Rwanda. The governement is just now opening up adoptions to international countries. We are only the fourth or fifth family that is on the list for adoptions from there right now, and since it is so new and only one family has completed the complete process and brought babies home, there are a lot of unknowns. Therefore, the process could go really fast or really slow... we really have no idea.


Hey... you can buy coffee to support Rwanda. It is good too!!! www.thousandhillscoffee.biz Check it Out:

Here is a bit from their website:

Known as the land of a thousand hills, Rwanda produces the world's finest coffee. These coffee beans have a rich color and deliciously refreshing aroma. Taste the sweet and wonderful flavors, chocolate, passion fruit, cherry-toned with a smooth finish.

Why is Rwandan coffee great? High altitude, consistent climate and rich African soil. The cup has classic East African character with a bright, firm, lively character. It has amazing floral notes and a sweet taste and is 100% traditional Bourbon Arabica!

Sip coffee and support peace in Rwanda. Proceeds from the sale of this coffee support the Rwanda Middle School Project sponsored by the Paraclete Foundation of South Boston, MA.


Just in case you were wondering... we do hope to adopt a girl or girls from Rwanda. I told Buster that two very busy boys... plus him... is way more than enough boy in my house! We are requesting a baby girl or baby girls under the age of two. We would be open to twins, or siblings as long as they are under two years old. (Meaning one could be 4 months and one 24 months when we bring them back to the US). We think we have names picked out but are always open for ideas :)

Adoption Process

Here is a brief overview of what our process will be like:

Phase One: Paperwork: We have a mountain of paperwork to get through. Lots of forms to fill out, things to notarize, and fees to pay.

Phase Two: Homestudy and government fingrprinting: This involves interviews with our homes study agency (Bethany Christian Services) and getting fingerprinted etc.

Phase Three: Approvals: After the home study report is finalized it will go to the United States Citizen and Immigration Services office to be combines with some of our paperwork and federal fingerprints in order for us to get our official approval to adopt from Rwanda.

Phase Four: Dossier work: Although a lot of the paperwork that goes with the Dossier (the paperwork that gets sent to Africa), is done simultaneously as the other paperwork, we still have to wait until our homestudy and USCIS approvals are completed before we can get the Dossier authenticiated (state verifies that the notaries are good and certified etc.) then this paperwork will all go to Africa and we will wait for a referral

Phase Five: Referral: Once our Dossier is in Africa then the person who is our case worker there will help find a match for our family. She will work with the government to make sure things are in order, and when children are matched with our family they will "refer" them to us.

Phase Six: Once our case worker notifies us that they have a "referral" for us, then we will have some more paperwork to do here in the states and will have to make travel arrangements etc., to go to Rwanda to pick up our girl(s).

Phase Seven: Travel: It could take anywhere from one to three months (expected time frame) from the time we get our referral to the time we get on a plane and head to Africa. Once we do go there we will meet up with our in-country host(s) who will take us to the orphanage to meet our baby(s). It is believe that we will spend some time in Rwanda and some time in Ethiopia.

Phase Eight: Paperwork in Africa: After we get the baby(s) from Rwanda, then we will go to Ethiopia to finish our paperwork in order to bring the baby(s) back to the US. This will involve work with the US Embassy, lawyers and the consulant and once it is stamped and approved then we travel back the to US.

Phase Nine: Adjustment: Once back in the states we will introduce big brothers to their new siblings and then work on getting everyone adjusted to live with a larger family! During this phase we will also have some follow up home study visits to ensure that things are working out well and probably have some more paperwork to complete!

Whew!!! It does seem like a lot of work and a long process... but I am certain it will all be well well worth it!!!!

About Rwanda

Rwanda is an amazing country! Many of you have heard of Rwanda because of the genocide that happend in the mid 90s. However, the country is well on its way to healing and there is a lot of economic progress happening there. As a whole, the country is about the size of New Hampshire. There are over 9 million people that live there and an estimated 1 - 1.5 million orphans. Of those 1.5 million, we hope to bring one or two of them to live here with our family. :)

Interesting Rwanda facts:
- Population: 9 million (300 people per sq. kilometre)
- Religion: Christian
- Language: French, English and Kinyarwanda
- Seasons: Wet (mid March-mid May and mid Oct.- mid Dec.) dry, (mid May- mid Oct. and mid Dec. - mid March)
- Tourist attractions: volcanos and gorrilas (many people come to Rwanda to go gorilla tracking)
- Movies Made: Hotel Rwanda and Gorillas in the Mist are both movies about Rwanda and good flicks!
- Genocide: In 1994 an estimated 800,000 people were killed in only three months, mostly by milita. The fighting was the result of violence between extremist members of the Huto and Tutsi tribes. Many people fled the country and were displaced. Today the country is rebuilding and there are no more Huto or Tutsi members... only Rwandans and the governement is working hard to bring stability and prosperity to the country.

Just starting the process

Hello everyone. Buster and I decided to set up a blog to keep all of you updated on how the process is coming along. We are working with a great agency, The Gladney Center for Adoption, to help us in the process. We are nearly completed with the paperwork phase of our process, and just have a few letters to collect and then the bulk of our work is complete. We still have to wait for the home study report to get finished, approved and set to the government agency that will put it with a bunch of other paperwork and fingerprints we have filed to officially approve us for adoption. It seems likely that this phase of home study and government approval will take a month or more. Which means the middle to end of November by the time we have a green light to adopt.... officially. The next phase will be getting documents authenticated for our dossier (the paperwork that goes to Africa). After that is finished, then the paperwork goes abroad and we wait... and wait... and wait. Hopefully not too long, but there are a lot of unknowns right now so we will have to see how the process moves along.