As it turns out, April 20th may indeed not be the worst date of the year. In fact, it was the date that our case was approved. I think that was God winking at me and redeeming the date. I had been so certain that immigration approval would come on my birthday that I was genuinely shocked when it didn’t.
Turns out, I was right! It just took a few days to find out!
So where do we go from here?
We’re currently waiting for our kids’ passports.
Once the passports are received, Embassy appointments are made for the kids in the DRC. Appointments are currently being scheduled approximately 6 weeks after being requested. Then visas, which usually take just a few weeks to iron out.
Then we travel.
But everything now hinges on getting our kids’ passports. They were applied for a while ago (we’re not sure exactly when because our agency does it), as others in our group on the same timeline have already received theirs, but not us. Some are saying that they think that siblings are taking longer to process because of increased child trafficking in the DRC. In general, passports have always been processed quickly until the last few months, when things have really slowed down. Some have been waiting for passports for months. It doesn’t seem like they are processed in any particular order.
The other important new development in the process is that starting at the beginning of May, embassy appointments are going to be scheduled further out because of a change in personnel in the embassy. So our timeline may be stretched out even further, the longer it takes to receive our passports.
So, when do we travel? I know it’s what everyone wants to know. But that’s still so hard to pinpoint. If that sounds vague, it’s because it is. The DRC in-country process is known for being very unpredictable. If we got our passports tomorrow, I would guess 2 months. But every day we wait increases the wait exponentially.
So: Would you all pray for our kids’ passports? Pray that they come in soon, and that they are free from errors. Most of all, pray that God would make the way smooth for us to go get our kids and that He would hold them until we can!