Monday, August 9, 2010

Adoption/Theo update

Adoption in Nicaragua has been difficult for a long time.  Now, it's super duper difficult.  We talked to a lawyer a week ago (who came highly recommended) and were encouraged and overwhelmed.  Here's the gist of what we learned/affirmed:

Before we can go on, our lawyer needs to talk to the psychologist here to make sure that the girls are good candidates for abandonment/adoption.  If they are then:

-Our girls have to be declared abandoned for this whole thing to even get going.  
*in order for them to be declared abandoned, their mother has to either sign them over or her rights have to be terminated.  We're praying for her to sign them over because it's much quicker.  The entire family is working to convince her that this is the right decision.  She has another family now with her new husband and he treats the girls poorly.  Maricela is the only one who has ever even lived with her birthmother, so the girls and the grandparents are very indignant that she has to be consulted in the process. 
*If for some reason she won't sign, we still have quite a bit to go on.  She neglected to get birth certificates for the girls and that is in our favor.  Not to mention the fact that she only parented one and that one was taken away from her. 
-Once they are declared abandoned the process shouldn't take "that long".  We have no idea what that means. 
-We have heard that the once mandatory fostering period (up to 4 months) is being waived.  We'll see how long that lasts. 
-As far as everything goes on the states side, we have our documents and need to get them stamped by the secretary of state (basically s/he is saying that the notary signature is actually the notary's signature) and then send them off to the Nicaraguan consulate.  I don't know how long that will take but I can't imagine it taking too long.  It's government, but like anything I'm sure you can pay a fee to expedite it. 
-Before I leave here our goal is to have sent a letter to the ministry of family asking them to start the process of abandonment for the girls.  

So that's what has to be done, in a nut shell.  Somewhere in there we'll have to meet with the ministry of family and such, but that's a ways a way.  For now we just want to get the girls side of things done.  We're almost done on the state side (and when I say done I really mean that we are certified to bring orphans into the country).  In fact, there could be a paper waiting for us in the mail telling us we're OK to go ahead, but we don't know.  I'm fine waiting until we get home because we don't need it yet.  

Our prayer requests are simple:
-That the girls birthmom would sign over her rights. 
-That the state would process our paperwork quickly

I'll keep you updated on how things play out for us. 

In the mean time, the girls are really bonding well and are asking really good questions about what life will be like when we are all together as a family.  They want to know about life in the states, our house, our pets, where everyone sleeps, the schools (they are super stoked about homeschool which scares me to death…I was only planning on homeschool until they were ready to go to public school), clothes, the weather, what snow is like, etc.  Maricela informed me today that she wants to share a room with Theo.  I told her that he still wakes up in the middle of the night and she changed her mind.  Now she wants Tate.  She got to talk on the phone to Mark today and cried when he hung up.  I got a little teary too. 

I struggle with the fear sometimes that I won't feel as motherly toward them because they are older and don't seem as vulnerable when you're just watching them, but I am definitely starting to feel that momma bear protection thing in regards to them.  I'm getting a little panicky about the thought of leaving again without taking them with us.  I know that this bond has to form, but it sucks that bonding requires hurting as well.  I also struggle because I'm not their mom yet, I don't necessarily feel like I've earned the right to parent them, but the more I do lovingly correct little behaviors, the more they cling to me.  I think they long for loving (very, very loving) correction because it acknowledges that I notice them, I'm thinking about what they are doing and I care about how they are perceived and how their choices might affect them.  

Our daughters have a long road ahead of them.  As their mom, I have a long road ahead of me.  But we're forming bonds right now that will hopefully be strong enough to pull us through the tough times that are coming.   I am thankful of this time we have together to get to know each other without the constant nagging of a upcoming goodbye looming in our minds. Now if we could just all get healthy enough to enjoy it!!  On that note, Theo has turned a corner and is doing better, praise God!  Thanks for all your prayers!!


Britney said...

Thanks for the update. I will continue to pray that your girls arrive home with you safely and soon and that the BM recognizes the loving sacrifice she would be making by facilitating that process.
What is the Theo update?

Christine said...

Praying, praying, praying! Keep us posted. xoxo