Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Big Uganda Adoption Changes and Updates

I am finally posting this, I have had it in draft form for months, but we want and are so glad to share every part of our journey with all of you! Thank you for reading and for walking along side us. So very much.

There have been some changes in the adoption process in Uganda. It is a very new program. Adoptions have only been happening out of Uganda for about 3 or 4 years now. And there are more things happening right now, that could cause changes as well!

1. Major change in Uganda adoption requirement: Heritage Trips
  • The High Court Judge has issued a decree stating that every 5 years post adoption, until the little one is 18 years old, you are to bring the little one back to Uganda for a heritage trip and must appear in front of the court.
First, a little background: to adopt a little one from Uganda, you are to foster a little one for three years in Uganda... OR the High Court Judge will grant legal guardianship and then prospective adoptive parents (PAPs) will complete full adoption when they return to the United States. The High Court Judge in Uganda was not sure if he wanted to continue with legal guardianship adoptions. The concern was that PAPs would pluck the little ones out of Uganda and forget their culture and their heritage. So the judge made a decree that there would a heritage trip 5 years post adoption in which PAFs would be required to bring the little one back to Uganda 5 years after adoption and appear in front of the court. Then the fine print came out and it is not one heritage 5 years post adoption. It is a heritage trip every five years post adoption until the little one is 18 years old.

2. Timeline length change
  • When we submitted our initial applications, the length of the Uganda adoption process was 12-18 months. When we received our Uganda manual from our adoption agency, the timeline had changed to 24-30 months. 
3. Reasons for the lengthened Uganda adoption timeline
  • Previously little ones had to reside in an orphanage for three months before the orphan investigations would begin. Now the little ones have to be in the orphanages for six months before the investigations begin.
  • To our knowledge: Uganda does the first orphan investigation. The United States Embassy does a second investigation after the little one has been declared an orphan and cleared for referral (to be matched with a family). Previously, the US consulate began their investigation when PAPs received their court date in Uganda. Now, the US consulate does their investigation after the PAPs have been through court.  
Our thoughts:

Each time one of these changes happened, we were a bit stunned, then almost immediately knew what we felt God leading us to do. This was where He had us.

The initial timeline change was a huge change, to us. We were excited about all of our littles being younger when our newest little came home. So they could grow up so much with each other, it would be like they were always together. Hubby and I looked at each other, said is this still what we want to do? We pretty much immediately looked at each other and both said, this is where we are supposed to be. We know that God is in control.

Just a week or so later, we happened to be on the phone with our agency, when the director came on and said there was an update that they had just received. It was the update about the heritage trip 5 years post adoption. Hubby and I discussed it right when we got off the phone, and pretty much immediately had the same reaction. It would be a wonderful time to take our entire family to Uganda, Africa to experience it together, and try to do something more while we were there together. 

Then the fine print came out that it was not just one heritage trip, but one every 5 years until the little one is 18 years old. Now that one threw us a little. Actually, a lot.

But after about a week of heavy discussion, research, seeking advice from wise council, and praying, we felt God still pulling us there. I will expand at another time with what we would love to do during those times of travel. But we are excited and have decided that we will be going on the trips post adoption as a whole family, together. We know we'll have to start saving right when we get back each time, but we want to obey God, and be together and do His work as a family.

*We also wanted to add that our and our wonderful agency's view is that these sweet orphans in Uganda would 1st have the opportunity to be placed with someone in their families if possible, if unable, then be able to be placed with a Ugandan family, and if that is not possible, then be adopted by a wonderful family for life, wherever they may live.


We'll be getting our next update, and our current position on the waiting list, from our agency reps this week!! Prayers always appreciated! :) Thank you so much!!


ARK said...

Will keep praying, very interesting info. Can't wait to hear more, prayed for you guys on Tuesday and Look forward to hearing how school is going, I have no doubt that you are doing well teaching. Have fun with it.

katie@tulsadetails said...

What a journey you are on! Prayers for you guys. I love reading about this. It is amazing to see how you guys will change one child's life so tremendously and have the opportunity to see every five years what his/her life would have been like has that child not been sent to you.

Mandy Rose said...

I love your heart {and you know that}! Proud of you for sticking to the plan despite all the changes! Can't wait to hear your update this week! Prayers your way!

Ashley said...

Thank you for sharing this journey, I love reading about the process. I think it's amazing that you guys are doing this, and I'll continue praying for you all!

Debb said...

A friend sent me your blog. We have been home 4 months now with our 11 yo son from Ethiopia and 7 months now with our 18 mos old son, also from Ethiopia. It was a loooooooooooooong road to them, but every obstacle that the enemy tried to to use to deter us, God used to further emphasize HIS PLAN for us! And wow! Every tear shed, every year waited was SO WORTH IT to have the blessings of these two sweet sons! Glad to see that you aren' t letting the enemy's attempts to thwart God's plan to deter you! God WILL give you all you need to endure!!!!! Blessings!

Virginia Belle said...

I really enjoy reading about your adoption experience and the process. I am also so impressed with your determination. You and your family will continue to be in my prayers!

Virginia Belle said...

I really enjoy reading about your adoption experience and the process. I am also so impressed with your determination. You and your family will continue to be in my prayers!

Virginia Belle said...

I really enjoy reading about your adoption experience and the process. I am also so impressed with your determination. You and your family will continue to be in my prayers!

Angie said...

I cant believe all these changes! You have a beautiful heart and ill be praying for yall!

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