Join Angela, Axel, Abel and Asher as they welcome their new sibling home.

Monday, December 6, 2010

The process

Several people have asked about the process here. You cannot just leave the country with a child. There are several legal steps to be taken.

First, I don't have a single legal document that gives me custody of Axel, and Axel is a citizen of this country and cannot just enter the U.S. He would be an illegal immigrant if he did. Here's how it goes in this country:

Yesterday I had post-placement visit with the social worker and psychologist in charge of Axel's care. Satisfied that he and I were both adjusting well, they have to write a report which is submitted to the head Minister of Social Welfare (or whatever the title is). That report was submitted today.

Now we wait for the head minister to sign it giving approval for the adoption. There is no telling when he will sign it, as it totally depends upon his schedule. If he's out of the country, or on vacation or something, there is no telling how long it will be.

The signature page is faxed back here to the social worker. Then we can have the adoption ceremony (which is in place of court, which you might have read about in adoption blogs from families adopting from Ukraine, etc.)

As soon as the adoption ceremony is complete, we must apply for Axel's new birth certificate here in this city. This takes a couple of days to get, but we won't wait around for it. I'll sign a power of attorney so the adoption facilitator can pick it up in a couple of days, and in the meantime Axel and I will be on our way back to the capital city.

Back in the capital, I need to contact the US Embassy, and go there to fill out paperwork to apply for his visa. He cannot enter the US without a visa. But this visit is just to fill out the paperwork, there are still more steps to get the visa.

Once I have he new birth certificate I need to get his passport picture taken at a certain place, then apply for said passport. This can also take a couple of days, though it's sometimes done in one day.

Get a medical exam done to verify he does not have any communicable diseases. The report from this medical exam is brought back to the US Embassy so they can issue the Visa. The visa is sometimes done that same day, and other times it's 2 days. There is one person who processes the visas for international adoption (because in 5 years there have only been like 10 or so kids adopted to US citizens.) If that one person is out sick or on vacation, there is a problem. I have already spoken to him before I even arrived in country so he's expecting to hear from me soon.

Getting the Visa is the ticket to home. Once that is in my hands I am able to leave the country with Axel. If we get back to the Capital city by Weds. it's possible we could be on a plane next Monday! It would be REALLY pushing it, but it could happen. Currently our flights are booked for the 16th because the process here in the capital can take anywhere from 4-7 business days so tickets are always purchased with insurance, and are changeable.

I am PRAYING that we get the Minister's signature tomorrow MORNING!! If it happens in the MORNING we *could* have he adoption ceremony later in the day and be back in the capital that night or on Weds!!!! If we don't get the signature until afternoon, the ceremony will not be until Weds morning and there is no way we'll be on a plane before Tues or Weds of next week.

So, if you would like to, you're welcome to join me in prayer that we get the signature tomorrow MORNING bright and early!


  1. Thanks for the clarifications. I knew there was more to this than your "gotcha day," but it seemed strange to me that they even let you take possession of him without official paperwork. Glad to hear that you have a good feeling for the process of the process!! Can't wait to hear that you and Axel are stateside. I know he'll have lots of adjustments to make once home but we'd love to have your fam come over for a visit to us whenever you think Axel would be ready for that. Caleb wants to meet him. He teared up when I read some of your blog posts to him and showed him the videos.

  2. Hello Leah,
    We are another RR family. Are you in The Capital, where the SDA is. We are here as we do not have our appointment date until the 9th. Please email us if possible. We would love to meet other families!!
    Tyler and Valerie Kirkland

  3. Leah,
    I pray that he signs tomorrow! I know how difficult it is to be waiting....and waiting....and waiting!! And I am beginning my prayers now that you are able to get his visa the same day. Vladan's couldn't be done until the next day but everyone told me that was the first time EVER that has happened. I can't wait for you to get back to the capital city. We felt so much more comfortable once we got there!

  4. Leah,
    I HAVE been following, just hadn't commented yet, bad blogger friend!
    OK, first of all, you already know this, but he is so stinkin cute, how can you stand it. He just has the sweetest way about him. And my goodness isn't he smart!! Can't wait for you to get hime home!