To recap our case:
The US Embassy has to clear adoption cases in Ethiopia. Before they clear a case, the adoptive parents are the legal parents in Ethiopia but cannot bring the kids back to the United States. The USE found our case to be “not clearly approvable” and sent it on to their superiors, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The nearest USCIS office is in Nairobi, Kenya. When USCIS receives our case, they will review it and either clear us right away (what we’re hoping for) or ask for more evidence that the birth mother willingly and knowingly gave up her children. The official term for that is Request for Evidence, or RFE. The RFE process can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months (!)
To update what’s happened since my last post:
USCIS received our case on Monday.
That’s it. Not much news.
USCIS technically has 30 days to review our case and either clear us or issue a RFE, but we are really hoping it doesn’t take nearly that long. From people we’ve talked to, sometimes it takes just a couple days and other times it does take the full 30 days. We have been in contact with USCIS and so far they have been responsive and good to work with.
But seriously, it sucks. It sucks to be living your comfortable life while you know your children are living in an orphanage. Especially when those kids are old enough to know that you’re not there. It sucks that I won’t get to be a part of the first family moments. It sucks that we will have less time to adjust before the baby comes- if they even get here before the baby (6.5 weeks to go). It sucks that they could be preparing for school now, but instead they’re spending their days with little stimulation or guidance. I don’t want to sugarcoat it because is hard. It almost feels like we’re trapped in the infertility cycle of emotions again- every night we go to bed so hopeful we’ll wake up to an email, and every morning we’re disappointed when there’s nothing there.
It’s really frustrating and annoying and we don’t understand why it’s happening.
That being said, I have found myself leaning on my faith through this all. I have an overwhelming sense that things are going to work out they way they need to work out even though we don’t understand the logic or reason to it all. I think back to other hard times in my life- namely, when we were trying to conceive- and I remember the beautiful son we’ve been given in Wiggles. He’s so fun and cute and we couldn’t love him more. We didn’t conceive on our time schedule, and at the time that made no sense to us. I was frustrated and annoyed and didn’t understand why it was happening. But in the end, Wiggles came at the perfect time and has been a near-perfect son. That whole experience made me realize that my timelines aren’t necessarily God’s timelines, and that when I get frustrated I need to remember that He’s got it under control and that He’s been faithful before.
I really truly believe that, and that’s what is getting me through this otherwise sucky time.