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. She finished her work recently and we mailed in our response to the RFE last week.
Today we got fantastic news- OUR ADOPTION IS APPROVED!!!!!
This is huge news! It’s been a long, drawn-out journey and we have been waiting for this moment for such a long long long time. This is the final hurdle we had to clear before bringing the kids home.
From here, the office in Kenya has to mail our papers to the office in Ethiopia. After the ET office gets them, they will work with us to schedule an appointment date. The husband and his mom will travel for that appointment and then board a plane back to KC with our big kids! The light at the end of this 3+ year tunnel is shining bright!
Typically, the husband would leave for ET as soon as possible with the hope of getting an Embassy date asap. There’s just one little thing…we have a baby due any day. That has left us with a lot of very tough decisions:
Should the husband go pick up the big kids as soon as possible, even if that means tickets are $1K extra each? What about flying out of and into another city- would the extra drive time and trouble be worth the savings? What if he just flew out of another city and then into KC for partial savings? Could he take the train home? If he gets home a day before my due date, are we comfortable with that? What about two days after? What if he’s still jet-lagged and tired when I go into labor? What if he misses the labor? Should I be induced? What impact would it have on the kids if I go into labor/leave the house soon after they get here? Could I manage by myself with a baby and a toddler if he travels shortly after the baby is born? If we let the baby deliver on her own time before we get the big kids, how much longer are we willing to let the big kids sit and wait? That could be a month-plus from now.
Going through all of our options has been overwhelming and stressful. It feels like what is in the best interest of our baby conflicts with what is in the best interest of our big kids and making a decision seems impossible. I’ve cried. I’ve lost sleep. I’ll settle on one option only to change my mind a few hours later. It seems that there are no good options, only varying degrees of crappy options.
After going back and forth approximately six billion times, here’s what we’ve decided, assuming the Embassy cooperates with our requested appointment times:
- If I don’t go into labor naturally, I will be induced the night of the 19th and will most likely deliver on the 20th
- The husband and MIL will leave to go pick up the big kids sometime around the 29th for an Embassy appointment the week of the 31st
- Big kids will arrive home first weekend in April
The down sides of this plan are that I will likely be induced, something I don’t really agree with or desire (more on that later). It means I’ll be left alone, 9 days after giving birth, with a newborn and a toddler. It also means the big kids are waiting for us a week or so longer than they really have to. But all things considered we believe it’s the least horrible option. It means we don’t have to worry about the husband missing the birth. It will give us a couple weeks to get into somewhat of a routine with the baby before the big kids get here. It gives me a little alone time to bond with baby. I already have guilt about not traveling for this trip and this means I won’t have to disappear after the big kids get here. It means the big kids will return home to their complete family and not have to have their worlds rocked twice in just a few weeks.
So for the next few weeks we’ll be acquiring kids at a rate equal to one per week. We can’t wait!