Friday morning we woke early to call the embassy in the DRC. It took a few tries to get through, but when I finally did, I got some of the best news we’d had in a long time: our kids were at the embassy at that very moment for their interview appointment. In fact the embassy employee I spoke to was actually laughing when she answered the phone. When I told her who I was, she laughed some more and said that she had just been with our kids and they had her laughing. Apparently, Rose was cracking everyone up because she wouldn’t stop talking. I guess she’s not shy!
We’ve had a few friends go to the DRC over the last few months, and interact with our kids. I’m so thankful for these friends who have sought our children out to check on them, to give them messages, and to take pictures. We got our first picture of Rose giggling, and one of Emmanuel smiling. There was a point in time when their location and condition was very much in question, and these friends have made sure that our kids are okay. One dear friend even talked to Rose in French, and had the chance to tell her that we were going to be coming for her soon. Rose wanted to tell me, “Hi mommy.” By all accounts, our kids are very sweet, and know that we are coming for them soon.
So when is soon? We’re back to being in an unpredictable stage (as if they haven’t all been). Right now, we’re waiting for the embassy to do an investigation into how they came into care (which we don’t know much about) and if they qualify to enter the United States. There is really no way to predict how long it will take. Some people have already been waiting months. Some people only wait a couple of weeks. Of course, we hope for the latter.
Once they get visas, we’ll apply for ours, and when we receive them, we’ll get to the DRC as quickly as possible. So it could be as soon as 3 weeks, or as long as 3 months. Most cases are taking more time than less, but only time will tell.
Would you pray for the embassy workers? I know they have a lot on their plate, and have a very important job. Would you pray for joy and blessings in their life? Would you pray that they would find great reward in their work? Would you pray that everything they need to make a decision would be found quickly and in order?
For now, we’re greatly relieved to know that our kids are safe, and that after 3 months of being stuck in the process, we’re finally moving forward again!
But for now, you can watch this “gotcha day video”:
In spite of a hefty amount of begging, our embassy appointments have not been changed. We still have several more weeks to wait for the make-up appointments, and a longer wait for visas for the kids after that. Knowing that we should have been preparing for travel by now makes the wait harder. We miss the children we have never met more with each passing day.
After our embassy debacle, in which our representative in the Congo failed to drop off our paperwork, we were hopeful that our agency would remedy the situation with a heavy dose of apologies and persistence.
I was told more than once that our paperwork had indeed been dropped off, only to find out later that it hadn’t been.
Finally, I believe that the paperwork was dropped off. Truthfully, I’m not even positive when because I heard several different stories, but it has been done.
Ordinarily, interview appointments are scheduled 4 days after the paperwork dropoff. Once the interview appointments are complete, the final investigation into whether the children qualify for visas takes place, and then visas are issued. Then we get our visas to travel, which takes about a week, and go!
Unfortunately, our interview appointment (which was missed on June 18) was not rescheduled for 4 DAYS after our paperwork dropoff. It was scheduled 4 WEEKS after the paperwork dropoff — the LATE paperwork dropoff. This was after waiting for 7 weeks for the first set of appointments. We were sent to the back of the line again due to no fault of our own.
And now, rather than visas taking 1-2 weeks to be issued, they are now taking much longer. It’s hard to even give an estimate because many have not been processed in the last month, but it’s looking like it’s going to be at least 6 weeks after the embassy interview appointment.
So, 3 weeks ago, we were planning on travelling the second week of July. Now it’s looking like we’ll be lucky to travel by September. Maybe even October.
Our agency is trying to get our appointments moved up, as well as the appointments of some others that are in exact same shoes. We’ve all been waiting nearly a year to get our children home. We’re tired of them being in an orphanage. We’re tired of paying hundreds of dollars in monthly fees for them to get substandard care. We’re tired of reaching every stage and being told that it’s going to take longer than expected. Would you pray for all of us and our children? We need divine intervention, probably more than you know.