Saturday, August 2, 2014

We're Still Here

I have been pretty quiet on my blog lately, but we are still here, praying through every day that we will be allowed to bring our son home. We have been in this adoption process now for 2 years and 4 months. Roland received his immigrant visa (the final step before applying for an exit permit) 9 months ago (2 months after the suspension began). Roland turns 21 months old today (he was 3 months old when we were first matched with him).

For the last 18 months, Roland has been cared for at our adoption agency- run transition house. However, that is sadly coming to an end. By the beginning of October, our agency will close our transition house because it is just too expensive for them to keep running. The 42 children who have been living in the house will all be moved into foster care. This may save us a little bit of money on the monthly childcare fees, but I am not happy about this situation at all. Honestly, I just do not trust "foster families" in Congo to care for my son. Our agency says they will screen them, but I do not know if anybody holds them accountable after that. Just the culture difference makes it unlikely they would raise our children according to our standards and customs. Not to mention that the families could possibly be dishonest, abusive, neglectful, etc. (just like people are in every part of the world). I feel quite uncomfortable with this situation being forced upon us, but there really isn't any other option beside me moving to Congo to care for Roland myself. I do toy with the idea, some days more seriously than others, but finances will always be the limiting factor. We just keep praying he will be able to come home as soon as possible.

Over the past few months all of the adoptive families with children stuck in Congo have banded together to get our story to the ears of the public and those in power. In April, 171 members of Congress sent a letter to Congo's President Kabila asking for the adoption crisis to be resolved. In May, John Kerry brought up the exit permit suspension during his visit with President Kabila. In June, a few of the children were allowed to come home, but shortly after the door seemed to be slammed shut tighter. At the end of June, 56 families gathered together in Washington, D.C. to meet with nearly 100 members of Congress and to raise more public awareness of the Congo adoption crisis. In July, Jill Biden traveled to the DRC and requested that the ban on exit permits be lifted. A few days later, the House of Representatives passed a Resolution calling on the DRC to end the suspension of exit permits. Following that, 167 members of Congress wrote a letter to President Obama asking him to personally engage with President Kabila to end the suspension.

President Kabila is expected to attend the African Summit in Washington, D.C. in a few days. If you have not already done so, we ask that you sign and share the petition that asks President Obama to bring up the adoption crisis while President Kabila is here. Our cause has gained a lot of momentum the past couple months and we need to keep it going until every last one of these adopted children are safely home.

Here is a video describing the adoption crisis in Congo. It was taken when the adoptive families gathered together in Washington, D.C.