“There will be a few bumps along the way,” my friend said.
“Treadmills are boring because there are no bumps,” I replied.
This was our parting conversation this morning. My friend got some very good news about the process of buying an apartment and she was stating realistically what she foresees. I was thinking about our adoption.
Tuesday was really good. Wednesday (today), not so much.
The first of a tall stack of documents that has to get processed is my Bolivian identification card that was stolen from me earlier this year. Getting this lamanated photo i.d. replacement requires standing in line about nine times in various offices in three parts of the city over the span of three to seven workdays. The bonus feature is that you get to pay a variety of fees to each person that you are so privilidged to see, both obligatory and, how shall we put it, complimentary. Overall the people have been helpful. One lady even joked with me, I think, when she was taking my picture and said, “Let’s be serious now. No smiling, you are sad because your i.d. was stolen.” Half way smirk on behalf quickly followed by a click. Another lady was candid as she said with a smile, “I have bad news for you. When you come back on Friday to pick up this paperwork and take it to the office next to mine you will not have your picture taken because the machine is out of service, so they will let you know when you will be able to come back, ma’am.” Yes, there are two sets of photos for this precious card.
Do you know what I was thinking when this card was being stolen along with about $40 cash, dare I say it, at knife point? (Don’t be too freaked out, it was only an old steak knife.) I think I even said it out loud to the kid. Take all my money but please don’t take my i.d. card because the process to replace it is tedious and long.
Apart from the paper work there is the legal process of coordinating the cooperation of our lawyer, the judicial courts, social services, and our own orphanage. There are so many details about parental rights honored by the government in an attempt to keep the children with their birth family that it makes my head spin. My logic is that the parents forfeited all rights when they allowed their children to be abused, starved, and abandoned. But the Bolivian system allows parents to take classes while their child is in our orphanage in order to be seen as fit parents and receive their child back. This can take months and years.
If the parents are seen as unfit or no family member appears with proof of connection to the child then the child is appointed a judge and the judge appoints the child to a family. Then it is another three to nine months before the child is adopted. In our case of wanting a specific child from our specific orphanage we have to work closely with the lawyer to acquire guardianship of the child in that small window of time between when the parents are proved unfit or absent and when the judge assigns the child to a family. With the two girls that fit into the age range we desire (three to four years old) we missed that window. I am happy for the girls that they have been assigned to a family; at the same time I know that it could be another year before they are in that home if everything works out. It was like a hit to the gut when we found this out this morning.
There are three other girls that fit the age range in our orphanage. I can’t get into specifics but there are difficulties with parental involvement and siblings. They try to keep the siblings together when being adopted.
So now we are praying and deciding how to move forward from here. Do we choose a boy or child of a different age? Do we separate siblings who will still be a part of each others’ lives because of the close proximity we will continue to have with the orphanage? Do we pursue proving the parents of one of the girls unfit and go against the Bolivian philosophy of reinsertion? Do we wait months to see if the adoptive families the girls have been assigned to per chance fall through so we can have a chance at one of them? Do we adopt from a different orphanage? Do we contact social services to see if a girl is waiting to be placed in an orphanage and accept her into ours with the intent of adopting her?
This is so much information. I told you I would keep you updated. Mostly this is a record for my own purposes. It is good to get it off my chest and I appreciate any and all who are ‘listening’ and praying with us. There are a few other things that I could write about that could be seen as bumps in the road, but I think they will work themselves out. I may be writing about them later if they fester and are not resolved. I think you know enough at the moment.
The enemy does not like families. The resistence we are experiencing is obviously from the animosity towards the power there is in godly, unified families. God is a Father and He operates through families. I am holding tight to Him and trusting that He is putting my daughter in my hands. We will keep moving forward.