Today, we were able to finish up everything we needed for our dossier, and we mailed it off to our agency. Compared to most countries, the dossier for the DR Congo is pretty straightforward, and we had almost everything on hand. We did have to get a couple of documents notarized (Thanks Willard!), and thanks to our post office’s extended hours, we were able to mail it off this evening.
So, what does this mean? The dossier is the pile of paperwork that begins the adoption process in the DR Congo. From here:
- Our paperwork will be translated into French by people who know the language, and know the laws of adoption.
- Our paperwork will be sent to court in the DRC for approval, which can take 2-4+ months. This is one of the places where there’s a big delay right now because of a new judge. Hopefully, things will start picking up soon but with upcoming elections in November, there may be additional delays. I don’t pretend to understand what is going on politically, but there is significant tension about the elections. One agency employee indicated that it’s not uncommon for federal employees to stop working during the time surrounding elections, and there has already been some rioting. Thus, court approval is a big variable.
- After court approval, there is a 30 day appeal period.
- The approval is then sent to the Ministry for approval.
- Once approval is received, we then file again with US Immigration, which takes one to three months.
- We then request an appointment with the Embassy in the DR Congo for visa processing for the children, which typically takes less than two months.
- Obtain a letter from Congolese immigration for the children to leave the country, which typically takes less than three weeks.
- THEN we get to go get the children to bring them home. The trip is usually between 7-14 days. It’s now looking like this will be in the spring, if there aren’t any further delays.
Basically our paperwork is going to ping-pong between DRC and the US, with not much involvement from us. At this point, we’re just in waiting mode. But really, the whole situation has never really been in our hands, but in God’s hands. He knows the process, the judge of our case, the elections coming up, and all of those things that could cause us to worry. We trust God’s timing in all of this, and will look forward to each new step as it comes!