There are big updates in the works. The plan, as of right now, is that I will travel to the Congo to get our daughter in about a month! Before you all get too excited, however, please know that we don't get to bring her home right away. But in about a month, Mbo will legally be ours by Congo law. What this means is that when I travel to the DRC, she can come and live with me, while we wait together for the final paperwork for her to come home. A basic breakdown of it is this:
1. Court papers are filed, petitioning for our adoption of Mbo.
2. Congo law states that family members have 30 days to contest this.
3. At the end of the 30 days, she's ours! And she is issued three things: a CONA (certificate of non-appeal),
a birth certificate, and a Congo passport.
At this point, she's ours, and I will travel so that she can live with me while we wait for:
4. U.S. 1-600 (where the U.S. government allows us to adopt her)
5. U.S. VISA
6. DGM appointment (where the Congo gov. signs paperwork allowing her to leave the country)
Unfortunately, this does mean I'll be in the DRC for about a month. Ryan will travel with me for the first part of the trip and then he will return home to take care of our kids while I work on adding another one to the family! I know this seems a little crazy, living in the Congo for so long, especially being away from Robby & Ella. But the truth of it is this: my daughter needs me. She needs her mama. She needs clean food and water (and enough of it!). She needs adequate medical care and a bed to sleep in. She needs a mom to love her and take care of her. And so... I'm going to get her. Simple as that. My child needs me, and I'm going.
Because this is a public forum, we won't be posting a lot of details about our travel, at least until we're home.
This next month is going to be crazy busy, full of preparations to travel. We started that off yesterday with immunizations to travel. While I knew shots would be expensive, and I had planned on that, the total amount made me want to puke! DRC requires yellow fever shots to travel. So I researched that. And booked an appointment, knowing that it would be around $350-$400 total for Ryan and I to get those done.
What I didn't plan on was all the other shots we needed! We got yellow fever, meningitis, and polio vaccines, and Ryan also got a tetanus (I've had one recently enough). We are also taking typhoid oral vaccinations. Our total for the day? $950!!!! And that's not counting the anti-malaria drugs we'll need- Craziness! And the best part? Insurance doesn't cover it. Boo!
As expensive as that doctor's visit was, protection against these illnesses is worth it. Seriously. Worth it.
There's always a lot more to say, but for now, this update is already lengthy!
If you're a praying person, we could use it!
1. Safe travels both to and from as well as in country (Congo transportation is freakin scary!)
2. That God will help our paperwork to go smoothly and easily.
3. That our time together in Congo will be meaningful and well-spent.
And the biggest of them all
4. That God will protect the heart and mind of our daughter, and help keep her safe from the serious consequences that come from being abandoned and without a family.
We love you all and thank you for the support you've shown our family. This hasn't been an easy process, to say the least, and we truly appreciate you all!