Thank you for joining us on this journey to become adoptive parents. A little over 4 years ago, we had it upon our hearts to adopt a preschool daughter, internationally. Two years after being admitted into the Ethiopia program, we knew that, for all intents and purposes, that country had been shut down to adoption, and heard the news that Ghana was open for adoption. Our heart’s desire now included the thought of adopting older children (anyone over the age of 3), and siblings. And on January of 2013, we were matched with two beautiful little girls who would become our daughters in May of that year–at least they were our daughters according to the law of the land in Ghana. The U.S. wasn’t and isn’t so easily convinced.
The United States Customs and Immigration Services department has determined once more, and likely with finality, that our daughters will not be granted visas to emigrate to the US, because we haven’t sufficiently proved their orphan status to the letter of the law. Our Motion to Reconsider has been denied.
- It doesn’t matter that the girls were surrendered to an orphanage in 2009.
- It doesn’t matter that their mother feels she can not care for them, has not seen or had contact with their father in a number of years and doesn’t know where or whether he lives.
- It doesn’t matter that we sent Doug to Ghana to find the father, to no avail, despite days of searching and interviews with with friends and family members. He just was nowhere to be found.
- It doesn’t matter that the US Embassy never found him, either.
- It doesn’t matter that the girls’ mother, and the High Court in Ghana say that the girls should emigrate to the united states and live with us.
- It doesn’t matter that, without us, the girls have no support in their country. They would be homeless and orphaned. Again. But they’re not really orphans, right? Evidently, they don’t matter–except to us.
- Justice doesn’t matter, nor does the spirit of the law.
As you can imagine, we tried to prepare ourselves for this eventuality, but that is much easier said than done. Our goals for the near future include: double-checking with our legal team to ensure that no.stone.is.left.unturned (though if we are at the wall of futility, and we think we are, we shall fight no more); figuring out how to best support, nurture and educate our girls from here–maybe going to visit in the near future; and possibly sharing our story with others, so that other families would be spared the 2 years of hell that we have faced. No one should have to go through this as an adoptive family, and CERTAINLY no child, who has already endured trauma beyond what most of us can fathom, should have to go through this. Ever. They are the true victims in this story. Only, they are really the heroes. They soldier on in whatever circumstance they’re dealt and continue to smile and do the best they can. A shout out also to my amazing husband and his selfless, sacrificing, gentleness and perseverance. He has fought harder than anyone will ever know to bring his daughters home. How are David and Jenny? Stunned. Crushed. Their long-suffering, patient wait for little sisters has yielded no fruit. They amaze me every day, though, with the love they have for two little ones they have yet to meet, except over a grainy Skype connection.
Thank you for being our village as we struggle along with our feelings of hurt, loss, failure, anger, disbelief, and all the other feels. Local peeps, we don’t need anything, really, except hugs and prayers. There are no right words. We know that. But please don’t stop talking to us or trying to reach out. But I ask that you bear with us if we’d rather cocoon a bit. Finding a new normal is hard work.
I give thanks for a God who is near to the broken-hearted, because mine is broken. I give thanks that somehow, what one means for evil, God will use for good. And I give thanks that the same God who allows this suffering is the One with an easy burden and gentle yoke, because I am weary and burdened for these children, for I am their (second) mother.