Little Blog Ditty (with an Update).
Hey guys! SO many of you have been asking me what my morning routine is, so I thought I would...
Clearly no one cares about my morning routine –other than my children who dictate to me what it looks like (I'll give you a hint - "I'm hungry! I'm still hungry! .... I'm STILL HUNGRY!")
What I DO get asked a lot, however, is how our adoption process is going.
& while I sometimes straddle the line between feeling: a) thrilled that people are thinking of us , & b) frustrated that the most overdue baby in the world hasn't come yet and "NO, we have STILL NOT gone into labour! Thaaank yoooou for asking!!", I figured I would find a way to land in the middle...
Hence this little bloggy...
Updating everybody via our Youtube Vlog has proven to not really be my thaaang. We aren't giving up on it entirely, we just haven't gotten used to having a camera in our faces, nor do we feel particularly comfortable talking in front of one – especially when editing consists of rewatching yourself mispronounce words over & over. So every once in a while, we will still post a video, but if you are interested in hearing more frequent/ personal updates, this blog is parked here. & I'm committing myself to updating it every Monday at 11am.
Ok, so. WHAT IS UUUPPP. . .
For a real good background on our story with Joy, I'm going to suggest you either watch our Youtube Videos, or take a good scroll through our instagram feed.
This is what's most recent:
Most people who choose to adopt internationally, choose an adoption agency that is licensed to work in the country they are wanting to adopt from. In the province of Ontario, which is where we live in Canada, there is no agency with a license to adopt from Uganda (in fact, I don't believe there is an adoption agency in the entire country that has that license). So, ever since we found out we could adopt Joy (which is coming up to TWO YEARS!!), we have been working with our adoption agency to create a program for Uganda. The provincial government of Ontario needs to grant a license to our adoption agency in order for us to be legally allowed to adopt a child from Uganda.
We had NO IDEA it would take this long.
It's so hard for me to explain to you how it's all gone down. We have spent anywhere from a couple days, to weeks, to months, waiting on a single response. . . that lead to other responses we then need to wait on as well. Bureaucracy within one nation is agonizing. Bureaucracy between two nations is impossible. My trip to Uganda with Iris last year for example... I waited two weeks to get ONE letter written and signed by the Ugandan government. I met with multiple officials, sent dozens of emails and made numerous follow up calls. In the end... they didn't even have the letter ready for me by the time I had to board the plane. It was insanely infuriating. To top it all off, when I came back to Canada and we FINALLY had the letter sitting in our inbox, it included a miscommunication because of translation issues. That little mistake has probably added months to our adoption process.
Just working on compiling the license application (a MASSIVE document), took months. We worked closely with our adoption agency to go through Ugandan laws with a fine tooth comb, discussing how the adoption process in Uganda works (down to the finest of details). I couldn't relay to you just HOW many countless nights I spent up until 3am, looking through the Ugandan Children's Act, as well as its amendments. Then there were meetings and phone calls with lawyers, ministry officials, babies homes, social workers, adoptive parents, and so on. It's been a full time job. Diplomacy can be insane.
Our adoption agency has been INCREDIBLE. We have already been dropped by one adoption agency in the past & are truly aware of how hard they are working for this to be a reality. They are going out on a limb for us & we are so grateful. I met the lady who's been working on our case in one of my African Studies classes a number of years back. I just happened to hear her mention that she worked for an adoption agency and we got talking after class. She has been a God send. It's especially great that we share a lot of the same values (I mean, we met in a course about 'The Use and Abuse of History in Human Rights, Humanitarianism, and Development in Africa'!). She has even GONE to Uganda to meet with ministry officials to move our licensing process along & met Joy! Such beautiful commitment.
So just the preliminary process of getting the license application ready to go was long and strenuous... It's now been submitted for 9 months.. & we still await a final approval.
It certainly didn't help that in the midst of all of this, a huge CNN report came out all about human trafficking within adoptions in Uganda.
That made what already seemed like the slowest process in the world even slower.
Don't get me wrong, I think it's great that light has been shone into the dark and awful practices that have led to unethical adoptions. It's heartbreaking and horrible.
It also couldn't be further from the reality of our adoption case. Not only have we been insanely thorough, our government has also imposed it on the process, leaving no room for poor ethics. How infuriating that the few people who cheat the system, pay bribes, turn a blind eye or look evil straight in the face, ruin it for the rest of us. Not to mention those children and families who have been abused by this illegitimate practice.
So, where we are at right now...
Since receiving our license application, the ministry governing adoptions in Ontario has gone back and forth with our adoption agency asking questions and for clarifications. The most recent clarification they asked for was submitted about three weeks ago by our adoption agency, and it has been communicated to us that this clarification is the 'last step' in getting the license. We are still waiting on the governments response (...bureaucracy... eye roll). They could either say "this satisfies our requirements, you have the license!", or "actually... you need to be more specific and get us something else that we now require...". We honestly have no idea.
Once our license is approved (could be tomorrow, could be three months from now, WHO KNOWS – I can't answer that), our adoption agency then submits our completed homestudy and child proposal. The annoying part about that, is now it has been over a year since we have completed some parts of our homestudy... which means, yay.. paying for documents to be renewed :| . Once submitted, our homestudy and child proposal supposedly take "6-8 weeks" for approval... but, I have to say I am a little skeptical by this point. Either way, once our homestudy and child proposal are approved, we would then have the green light to go to Uganda.
So, there is a possibility that things could pick up at any minute & suddenly speed on by! However, we've been living in that "ready, set, go!" place for years now. It seems to be our life.
I hope that answers most of the questions you may have about our adoption process. Please comment below if there was something I didn't answer, and I will do my best to clarify for you!
As I said, I'm committing to at least one new blog post every Monday, so there is plenty of opportunity to continue the conversation. Next week, I'll fill ya in on how we're all doing on a more personal level; including Joy.
I also just posted a blog about what it feels like to wait. It's shorter & more of an easy read than this one, so check it out! I wrote it months ago, not expecting to show anybody, but in an effort to be vulnerable about what this is really like, I thought I would share.
Enjoy & have a lovely day :)