As most of you know, Eric and I have documenting the majority of this process to hopefully create something for the boys to watch that can show them the process that took place in order to bring them home. For us, the most important part of this documentation was when we were going to pick them up and document where they are from and what it is like.
Recently, our adoption agent informed us that there is now an additional step needed to leave the country and bring children home. In addition to acquiring the child's visa and passport, you now must obtain an exit approval from the Congolese government. We were first under the impression that this would add a few days to our trip. No big deal right? Well, it turns out that the exit approval takes everywhere from four to twelve weeks to get.
As you can only assume, this put a wrench in our plans. What were we going to do?
After much discussion, we have decided to use an escort to bring the boys home. This is a very hard decision, but one that we feel will be best for us and our adoption process. Our agent informed us that the exit approval tends to take less time when a national is getting it as opposed to two white American parents. This insight only affirmed our decision.
Despite this decision, we would not get out of our heads the need to show the boys were they come from and to experience their culture first hand. When they ask us what it's like in the Congo, we want to be able to tell them because we've been there, not what we've read. This prompted our next decision, which is to go and visit them in the Congo. Yes, we know it's going to be hard, very hard actually, but we feel that it's the best thing to do.
So Friday night we booked our tickets and are flying out of Detroit on October 17 to go visit our boys. We are planning on only staying a few days, since they longer we stay, the harder it will be to leave. We have spoken with some families at our adoption group who did the same thing, and they think we'll be fine. They also visited for only a few days and recommended not staying more.
I am so excited for this little adventure, as well as terrified, nervous, anxious, happy and sad all at once. Added to that is the stress of making sure my schoolwork is done, so my grades don't suffer. I know we have taken on a lot with this, but I know I will regret staying home because of schoolwork/stresses and missed seeing my boys and experiencing their culture and where they are from.
We know not everyone would choose this, but we know that it's important, for us.