Thursday, October 21, 2010

An Adoption Update: A Big Announcement

13 Months ago I made a big announcement here on the blog concerning the Prenkert family... we were growing by one, this time through an international adoption. 

We've gone through a lot of steps and a fairly steep learning curve since that announcement.  As we prayed through our decision, God gave us clear confirmation on the organization (Holt intl.) and the country (Uganda) for our adoption.  The trick has been that Uganda is a Pilot program with Holt, meaning they are just getting started with working in that country.  Early on, we were informed that the positive would need to be prepared for potential delays and unknowns. We have definitely experienced both in the process.  In communication with Holt, the hopeful timing has fluctuated between months and years on certain aspects of the process. They have been very honest, gracious, forthcoming in available information... simply all-around fantastic to work with.

The process is has been tedious.  Initially, Holt outlined it to us in this manner:
  1. Choose A Placing Agency: Not all agencies are equal. Not all approaches are the same.
  2. Choose a Country Program: Aim to have at least one program in mind when you apply to Holt.
  3. Apply: Complete Holt’s application online or return a printed application by mail.
  4. Homestudy: During this 2-4 month process, you will explore issues related to being an adoptive family, in-depth, with your social worker.
  5. Prepare the Dossier: “Dossier” is a formal term for a collection of documents prepared in a specific way.
  6. Apply for USCIS Approval: You must obtain permission from the U.S. government to bring a child into the United States from another country as an immediate member of your family.
  7. Wait and Prepare: The waiting time for a referral varies by country.
  8. Your Child Referral: A full-disclosure agency, Holt strives to deliver accurate and thorough information about your child.
  9. Meeting your child: Once legal steps are complete, Holt will help coordinate arrangements to meet your child.
  10. Post Placement: Upon your return home, your social worker will visit your family.
  11. Finalize or Re-finalize your Child’s Adoption: Several months after your child is home, Holt will issue consent for you to finalize your child’s adoption in the United States.
  12. Life together: Adoption is a lifelong journey.
In August, we were informed it was time to begin steps 6 and 7, which was much later than planned.  We were also informed that, due to complications in the court systems of Uganda, we needed to be prepared for 2 trips to the country.  Finally, we were told that although there was not set timetable, we needed to be prepared for as much as a 2 year wait before we would be bringing a child home. 

We went to work immediately on our USCIS and Dossier.  Two weeks later, I received a call from our representative at Holt.  Two weeks later we received a completely unexpected call.  Holt had received several referrals from Uganda and felt they had found the a child that was to be a member of our family.  So, without further ado, I'd like to introduce you to our son, Moses:
 Moses was born July 2009, and is currently being cared for by Ugandan Holt partners in the capital city of Kampala.  He is a healthy little boy, and we are extremely excited to get him home with us.

So, now what? That’s the same question we asked. Although we don’t have a lot of answers, we can share with you what we do know.
We have completed our Dossier (international lawyer papers) and have sent it to our agency. From here it will be authenticated and sent to Uganda. The Ugandan partners will secure the Probation Officers Report that is in favor of the adoption. The lawyers will work on affidavits for the courts and hand it to the Court Registrar for a court date. This whole process will take up to 6 months. So this means that our first trip should take place in the next 6 months (around March). We will bring Moses home on our second trip, hopefully 2 months after that.

Again, these are hopeful dates, but international adoption has to have a high level of flexibility when it comes to timing (meaning 6 months could easily become a year). Although we would love to have him home with us as soon as possible, we are trusting God and His timing.

Although he is halfway around the world right now, we already rejoice in the 4th member that has joined the Prenkert family.  God is good, and we look forward to being together as a family soon!


Shelley said...

Our new cousin is absolutely beautiful!

mindi jo said...

What a cutie! and What a blessing!! What a wonderful God we serve.

Steph said...

Hey Derry, Praying that God's will be done! He is adorable! Congratulations to you and Janelle and Katylynn! And please forgive me if I spelled her name wrong!