Nearly two weeks ago, we finally got our corrected court documents . . . only the corrections were incorrect. Worse than they were to begin with, in fact. What was supposed to only take a few days took two months, and they were irritatingly inaccurate. Had they only typed what we had said, there would be no problem. They didn’t.
Our other issue is our Certificate of Non-Appeal, lovingly referred to as CONA. It’s the document issued 30-60 days after the final judgment is pronounced that declares the children to be irrevocably ours. We’re now marching toward 90 days, and still, we’ve received nothing.
So we’re stuck on two different fronts: the incorrect court judgment, and the missing Certificate of Non-Appeal. The longer we’re in this process, the more the timelines are getting stretched out. Having been told initially that we would travel by the end of 2011, and now we’re hoping to travel by the end of 2012. Embassy appointments have slowed down. Passports have slowed down. Visas have slowed down. With increased numbers of people adopting from a country with minimal infrastructure, many are travelling 7 months or so after they received CONA, and we don’t even have that yet. We don’t expect even that timeline to hold. Even if we did get CONA, our court documents are still hopelessly lost in translation. Families that we were on a concurrent timeline with are now months ahead of us.
Our agency is trying to help: the U.S. Embassy has been asked for clarification regarding our situation. They’re talking to Immigration. Our CONA has been requested . . . again. We’re caught working with a country that does not share our priority of timing, punctuality, meeting deadlines; and working with a U.S. government department that deals exclusively with people with no rights as citizens, so again, there is a lack of urgency.
When we originally started this adoption journey, I was warned: Satan hates adoption.
While we believe that we’re on a mission to rescue the fatherless, Satan is doing everything in his power to disrupt, discourage, disappoint. It is not a battle with a court reporter, an immigration official, or a translator. Ephesians 6:12 NIV says,
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”
Is Satan angry that these two children will be raised in a loving home and taught to know the love of Jesus from the minute we embrace? Absolutely.
We laughed today in Sunday School about a Biblical theme that few of us talk about in The Church:
- God calls.
- A person answers.
- Then bad things happen to that person.
To think that we can boldly follow the will of God and remain comfortable and safe is NOT Biblical. When we do anything spiritually significant, Satan feels threatened. Then he fights back.
I used to believe and tell people all the time that our adoption timeline is all in God’s timing and He has the appointed day when the children are ready, and when we are ready, to go and get them just when they were meant to be ours. I now equate that to telling someone whose house burned down that Jesus had chosen the precise day that they would lose all that they had, and shouldn’t they be excited about God’s timing?
God hates the brokenness in a world that causes parents to abandon their children. God hates the war, poverty, and famine that leave children without families. My children had all they knew stolen from them — even if it wasn’t much to begin with. Every day they are there and we are here, they are being robbed of loving parents, healthy meals, bedtime prayers, a safe community, an education, and so much more.
So no, it’s not okay that our timeline is getting drawn out, any more than it is okay to watch a fire burn your neighbor’s home to the ground and say, “It must just be God’s will for them.”
It’s simply not okay.
And really, it’s not okay with Jesus either. The fact that it’s not okay is why He led us to this country, to this orphanage, to these two kids.
I was reminded recently of this by my dear friend, adoptive mom, and orphan advocate, Angie, when she wrote to me, “Please hold on to the happy ending. Someone has to for these children. They need a family. Children thrive in families, and lose hope without them. God WILL not forsake them or you in this process. Hold on to that.”
Someone has to advocate for these children. God has chosen us.
We hope you’ll stand with us. To tell Satan to take his hands off of these kids. To pray for God’s intervention in their court documents, and in their Certificate of Non-Appeal. To pray for every official who will process their paperwork in the steps that follow. To pray for the safety of the children, their caretakers, and for our travel to go and get them . . . . someday.
We need friends who are willing to not be okay.