Our case if you haven’t been following: We adopted two children in Ethiopia in November. We are their legal parents in ET. Before we can bring them back to America, the US Embassy has to clear our case. They didn’t. They said our case was “not clearly approvable” and sent our case to their superiors, the US Citizenship and Immigration office in Nairobi Kenya. On Friday February 7th, USCIS sent us a Request for Evidence (RFE). We had to prove to USCIS that these children are orphans and that their birth mom willingly and knowingly gave them up. To do that, we hired a private investigator. Oh yeah, and I’m having a baby in three weeks.
Today was an exciting day in the Miller household! You might remember that our investigator researched the facts of our case, dug into our children’s case files, and interviewed key people involved in our case such as the birth mom, neighbors, relatives, and the orphanage director. She finished her investigation on February 20th and sent us electronic records of many of the documents. We knew she mailed us a hard copy of the documents, along with videos, last week. We stalked the tracking number and were ecstatic to see the package arrived in Kansas City today! Unfortunately, the package arrived after the delivery trucks had left for the day. We weren’t going to let that slow us down, so the husband left work early to go pick it up. He reviewed everything and added the important pieces to the package we already had prepared. A couple hours later it was all in the mail again on the way back to Africa!
USCIS should receive our documents early next week. Hopefully they will review and approve our case within a few days of receiving our papers. Our case is more complicated than most adoption cases. But when you compare it to other complicated cases, it’s pretty black and white. We have substantial evidence and it’s pretty clear that our adoption should move forward.
Hopefully by the end of next week we have a travel date and the mister is planning a trip!
The light at the end of this very long tunnel is getting brighter and brighter! After going through all of this, I can’t say I’m happy that things happened this way. It doesn’t make sense that our kids have sat in an orphanage for two months when they should have been here. It doesn’t make sense that we’ll be bringing these kids home at virtually the same time we’re bringing a newborn home. But, I am glad that we did this investigation. We learned a lot about our kids’ history. They’re not things to be publicly shared, but we have answers to things we would have otherwise never known. We’ll be able to tell our kids more about their beginnings. We’ve learned precious facts that in the grand scheme of things will be worth the time and money they cost.
As my due date, March 23rd, draws near I am often asked how I am feeling. That’s a difficult question for me to answer. Physically, I feel great. I’m not at all uncomfortable. I kind of like my enormous belly. I’m not in a rush to have this baby. Emotionally is sort of another story. I often feel overwhelmed at everything we have going on. When friends have asked if I’m excited, I couldn’t honestly answer yes. Anxious, yes. Excited? Not so much. And that made me a little sad.
Throughout this whole journey we have been preparing for this to be a difficult time- we’ve been preparing for the worst and hoping for the best. We’ve been expecting that this baby won’t be as easy as Wiggles was; that our big kids will come with significant emotional issues that require significant amounts of our time and energy. That’s a good thing to a certain extent- it would be foolish to be in our situation and to think that it’s all going to be rainbows and butterflies. It’s not. It’s going to be hard.
But in the last few days I’ve realized I’ve been focusing on the hard at the expense of all the positives. I’ve focused on waking up for 2 am feedings and not on the joy a newborn giggle brings. I’ve focused on the issues that adopted kids sometimes have to deal with and not on the miracle that adoption is. All of this negative thinking has really gotten my spirits down and taken away from what should most definitely be an exciting time. That’s not how I typically operate and it’s not a healthy place for me to be, so I am working on changing my attitude so that I fully embrace this special time for our family. It’s going to be hard, but we are as prepared for it as we possibly can be. We are surrounded by friends and family that I know will be helping without us even asking. It’s very hard for me to admit I need help, but sometimes it truly takes a village and there is a certain beauty in that.
Thank you for being our village. I hope my next adoption-related post contains some very good news!