- Our case is being presented to the local court for approval. Court is usually scheduled within 1-3 months. Parents are not required to be in court.
- Following court approval, there is a 30 day appeal period before the Certificate of Non Appeal is issued. When the CNA is issued, the case then is reviewed for approval by the Ministry.
- Once all the adoption documents are complete, the next step is to file the I600 with USCIS. The time-frame to get I600 approved varies, but is currently estimated to be 3 weeks to 2 months.
- When the I600 has been approved by USCIS, we will then request an appointment from the Embassy. All documents are submitted to the Embassy for Visa processing. The visa is issued typically within 2-4 weeks, and in rare cases has taken several weeks.
- The final step is to obtain a letter from Congolese Emigration (DGM) for the child to leave the country. This process can take several days to a couple of weeks.
- Derek and I are both planning on going to the DRC to go claim our son. We will be in the capital of Kinshasa (see it there on the map?) We will be there 10-14 days and will stay at convent near the orphanage. We will bond with our sweet son, try to piece together what we can of our son's past and gather clues for him as he grows here in the US so that we can share with him his culture and homeland.
- Unfortunately, the DRC is not a particularly stable country so we will not do much travel/sightseeing if any at all. The Democratic Republic of Congo is a vast country in Central Africa. Its infrastructure has been damaged due to years of dictatorship, civil war and ethnic conflicts. We will stick close to our room at the convent and the orphanage. Our trip will not be a vacation where we also end up with our son. It will be a rescue mission to ransom a little boy with an uncertain future in an unsafe country. Our primary goal is one less orphan. One less hurting child.
Sometimes the process seems more overwhelming to me now than when we began. I look at that list of what is left to be done and I start to feel stress and panic. I'm ashamed at how easy it is for me to forget how far God has brought us and to rest in his grace and faithfulness. I have moments of struggle to remember that He who has called us to this will indeed see us through. Thankfully when I am weak, He is strong and he is still writing this story. Pray for us, the Congolese government and our son!