Why these three families from Africa Adoption Services?
This month we have the honor of letting the Ackler, Cotterell, and Whitver families tell you WHY this feature is so beautiful. Please read their stories below and learn about how your purchase of seeing beautiful creates more opportunities to grown beautiful by uniting families!
We started our adoption journey in July of 2012 due, in large part, to a mission trip to Brazil in which Christy’s eyes were opened to the needs of orphaned children. After many conversations and much prayer, we decided that adoption was our future. We did our home-study in record time and set out finding where the greatest need was so that we could do the greatest good. We felt led to the Congo and, afterwards, received our referral on September 14th for a beautiful 2 yr old girl. Our case moved again at lightning speed and we anticipated that we were going to bring our daughter home in January or February, but the Embassy changed the way they conduct investigations and we have been waiting since then. In April we found out about a 6 yr old boy whose parents have both deceased and his extended family did not want him; in fact, they ran him off. Six is fairly old to be adopted internationally, the hard truth is that people want babies and toddlers, so we have ended up accepting his referral as well because we could not spend the rest of our lives knowing we could have helped saved his life and we did nothing. We are currently “in court” with his case, awaiting confirmation that he is legally a Whitver as well.
Christy has been to Congo 3 times this year already in hopes that our case would be completed and she could bring our daughter home since we have been i600 approved as of 2/19/13. In May, the Embassy did our investigation on our daughter's case and we were left waiting, yet we heard nothing. We then learned that new information had come to light and that Christy should come to Congo. During the next two weeks, we learned that the reason for the delay was that our daughter’s birth mother had been found, which was not on the original documents. We were floored, shocked, scared, terrified…all of the emotions you can think of in not knowing what the future meant for this little girl we’d grown to love. After being interviewed, her orphan status was solidified. We were overjoyed yet saddened; joyful that she indeed would be able to come home to us yet saddened that her biological mother could not care for her. Because of this new information, the embassy required the documentation to be corrected and a DNA test done. Being that his would take several weeks, we decided that Christy would come home.
Because of the upheaval with our case, we did not want our daughter going back to the orphanage so another American mom there in Congo kept her for us, after all, our visa should have been issued shortly after hers. 4 weeks later when she got her visa, Christy had to return because we still did not want her to go back after not being there for over 6 weeks. So, Christy came back thinking that after the DNA results were verified we would get the next appointment. Several days ago, we got our appointment, but it isn’t until September 18th. We are devastated but know that for some reason the Lord wants Christy and our daughter there a while longer. We cashed out Christy’s 401k a while ago but Christy’s been in country for 5 weeks on Monday and she has at least another 4 to go if you include the DGM exit letter wait. We are almost out of money and have not paid for the lodging yet...and that’s not even considering the money we’ve already used that we had been saving for our son’s adoption.
This journey has been very hard. We never, in our wildest dreams, anticipated the visa issuance to take this long. We were initially told 3-6 months from February, and here it is September and still no visa. To make things harder, school starts on Tuesday and our oldest son’s 13th birthday, his evolution into his teenage years, is on the 15th, both of which it looks like Christy will miss. We know these are only temporary pains, but they are still pains none the less. We appreciate the prayers and support that everyone has given us. They say it takes a village to raise a child; this has unfolded on so many levels for us during this process and even though our village may be spread out in geography, it is very tight-knit in spirit. Thank you for being a part of it…
Connect with the Whitver family on their blog HERE.