For those of you wondering what a potential match is, I'll do my best to lay it out, from what I know. Before we get an official referral (match), the kids have to be tested for several medical conditions and the lawyers have to do a social history and make sure the kids are officially (by US definition) orphans. But that takes money. Before they will go forward with any of that, they need a $7000 retainer from us that will pay for that stuff as well as the orphanage fees, etc. etc. etc.
Once all that is done, we receive an official referral, and our Congo lawyer works towards legally adopting them on our behalf in the DRC, for a lovely fee of $10,000. So essentially, before we can move forward, we need to have a full $17,000. Fortunately, we actually have $10K of that.
But it's hard, because the longer we wait to test the kids, the longer it will be before we can bring them home. Right now, we're (hopefully) looking at July/August, but at this point, we have no idea when we'll be able to go. We're diligently working to fundraise, but it's a lot of money. We also have to come up with the money to travel, which will be another $6-8,000. Eeesh.
I'll admit, I've been grieving lately. While we're here, living this rich life, with food in our stomachs and access to clean water and great healthcare, our kids are living in the Congo. I'm really struggling. This whole process has taken so much longer than I thought it would. We were so hopeful that our kids would be home by this time. And we really don't know how long it will be at this point. At this point, I don't even have a picture of my children.
It's hard, being paperwork pregnant. Since we started this process, we've had friends get pregnant and give birth. And more friends have gotten pregnant and will give birth before we ever meet ours. And while I am honestly, wholeheartedly excited for them, it hurts too. Knowing that we have children out there and not being able to bring them home NOW.
It's been a long process, but we are hopeful that things will move more smoothly from here on out. Out of $40,000, we've already raised $25,000. And that's a pretty big accomplishment, right there. The rest will come.
Thank you all for your support so far. We appreciate it more than you can know.