Wednesday, January 4, 2012


It's never simple with us is it?  That email we were hoping to get from the US Embassy won't be coming.  Today we received an email from them informing us that they could not process our case and are sending it to Nairobi.  Obviously, when things don't make sense clearly the place to have them sorted out is in another African country right?  Actually it has more to do with American policy.  In Ethiopia we had the US Embassy evaluating our case.  In order to issue a visa they must be 100% certain that a child is an orphan according to US law.  At first this seems totally reasonable.  We certainly wouldn't want to bring home a child who is not an orphan!!!!  Here's the problem: logic, common sense, and discretion.  Very few things in life are 100% certain.  The Embassy looks at a case like ours and says, "Everything seems to be in order.  We have no reason to to deny that this child is an orphan.  We are 99.9% sure"  Unfortunately 99.9% is not enough.  So the case gets sent to the USCIS (United States Citizen Immigration and there my mind blanks and I can't remember what the last "S" stands for).  The closest branch that deals with adoption is in Nairobi.  The USCIS only needs to be 51% sure (big jump right?!?!?!) that a child is a legal orphan.

So what happens now?  Well, the case is on it's way "express".  I was relieved to hear that "express" means DHL not fastest mule in the continent and our file should get there in 3-5 business days (so sometime next week)  Once it gets there we will get an email from them letting us know they have it and will review it within 30 days.  They review cases in the order they are received so hopefully they don't have many cases and it won't take the full 30 days.  After review the process is similar to the Embassy.  We will either get a request for more information or clearance.  If we are cleared we (George) can head back to Ethiopia and finally get our son!!!  If not, we continue to wait until they have conducted an investigation and clear us.

All in all we are looking at 4 or more weeks.  We are hopeful we will bring Ezekiel home in February.  We're pretty bummed that he missed his first Christmas and now we will miss his first birthday.  We're trying to trust that God's plan is perfect!

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