It’s been a little while since I’ve written, so I thought it would be good to give a little update and some details on the remainder of our adoption process for Ruthie.
We have completed our end of the home study, including visits, interviews and paying the fees. In about 3 weeks we will have a final copy of that home study, which will complete our dossier. When we have our completed dossier (a collection of documents, including our home study, licenses, passport info, marriage certificate, tax info etc.) we will send it over to the Nigerian government for processing and review. After that, we just wait.
Because Nigeria just opened up their adoption to non-Nigerian citizens in October of 2016, they are going to be overly critical. That is why they have a law stating that a full year must pass between when a family applies for adoption in their country and when that family can have the final court date to adopt their child. So, for us, that means that we can’t bring Ruthie home until after her final court date, which will be early December (if everything goes smoothly), even though we will technically be ready when our dossier is submitted and approved. This shouldn’t take 7-8 months, but because of their law we will have to wait for that amount of time before we are invited in country to meet our daughter.
Yes, it’s a bummer. No, there’s nothing we can do to speed it up. Believe me, I’ve checked. But, we are taking comfort in the fact that she’s safe and loved and growing every day. So much so that when we go to her, hopefully at the beginning of November, she will be old enough to understand what’s going on. We will be required to stay in country and be observed with Ruthie for a minimum of 4 weeks. That’s a crazy long time- to be away from home, but especially to be away from Allen. But we can make it work. If it looks like the court date is not going to be scheduled on time, Shane will return home to take care of Allen and be here for our students at church. When we have a confirmed court date he will have to fly back to Nigeria to be there. I will stay the whole time with Ruthie. I just can’t imagine having to leave her after we’ve (hopefully) bonded for 4 weeks.
So that’s kind of our timeline now. Sending over our dossier and taking care of any final business just as soon as possible, then preparing to go to Nigeria at the first of November with the hopes of being home with our beautiful girl before Christmas. It seems like it is moving so slow- but honestly, we weren’t even expecting to be matched with a child until the end of this summer, anyway! So it’s probably the same amount of wait time- or less- just with the knowledge of who our daughter is. So, we really have nothing to complain about! (I say this on a good day when I’ve just received a recent photo of her: sometimes my humanness isn’t so optimistic!)
This is Ruthie and her best friend, Israel, sitting on some steps and enjoying what looks like a fruit drink! She is very at ease in this photo, not scared-looking at all like her other pictures. She must love her best friend very much, or is getting used to a camera being in her face!
Here are some ways that you can pray for us as we continue to work towards bringing our sweet girl home:
- Pray Shane and I remain faithful and patient. God is working through so many people and in so many ways, we don’t want our sinful nature to inhibit any of that. All for his glory.
- Pray our house sells. We are counting on using this money to finish paying the large fees until grants and donations come in, if they do at all.
- Pray for Ruthie- that God would be preparing her for her new family and home, and that she would be safe and loved at her orphanage.
- Pray for Allen. He is very much an only child and Ruthie coming home will be just as big of an adjustment for him as it will be for her. Pray that God starts to soften his heart for his big sister, and that he would be mature and loving beyond his (few) years.