Thursday, March 11, 2010

Silver Lining

To all those who have commented, emailed, or called about our discouraging news...THANK YOU!!! We feel so blessed to have such an amazing support group with us through this!

As far as the changes being instituted in the Ethiopian Federal Court, they are really quite positive overall. Very hard for us mid-stream, yes, but overall positive for the country and the children.

And, there is more to it that I didn't realize...the silver lining is there, after all! I'm just going to copy below what my friend Jen left as a comment on our last post (Jen, have I told you lately that I love you?) :), and please correct me if I'm off on my explanation here!

Jen adopted her daughter Gigi from Kazakhstan, which requires a a trip for court prior to bringing your child home. With the court proceedings handled ahead of time, the newly adopted child travels to the US on an IR3 visa, which means that as soon as they step foot off the plane, they are a US citizen.

Jen just adopted her son Gav from Ethiopia...obviously prior to the newly required pre-travel court trip. Her husband Jim went over, and came home a week later with Gav! Without the pre-travel court trip, the child is granted an IR4 visa, and is not technically a US citizen, (and I think maybe not even recognized legally as your child in the US), until you go through the re-adoption process in the US court system.
Put the pieces together: adoption + paperwork + US court system=hassle + $$$.

With that background in mind, here's Jen's perspective:

I am sorry you are facing yet another financial burden. Ugh!

There is definitely lots of good news in this, and your finances may not actually take that much of a hit due to the elimination of the readoption fees.

Ironically, it was just yesterday when I was grumbling to myself, "If we adopt from Ethiopia again, we're traveling over pre-court. No more of this IR4 business!" It is one big hassle! Gigi came home on an IR3, and it was so simple! Not to mention, with the IR4, there is all the readoption stuff which requires a lawyer, and upwards of $1-2k extra about 3-6 months after our kiddos come home. No more lawyers or expensive readoption fees (or travel for American court) for an IR3 visa. It's a beautiful thing! :-)

So yeah, needing more money is no good. No good at all. But there are quite a few positives too. Having done it both ways now, if I can help it, I'll never bring home another kid on an IR4. It might be a little more expensive, but in the grand scheme of things it's actually a good thing.

I hope that didn't come across as preachy! I just was hoping to give you a little peace knowing that once you overcome this new obstacle, the benefits are quite positive.

I do have more peace about all of this now...but more fundraising news headed out soon!!! :)


Kari said...

I totally agree with Jen... we actually were in ET when Zoie's paperwork has major problems and the court date was scheduled while we were in country. We CANT believe in all the stress & craziness that we missed the opportunity to bring Zoie home with a IR3. Can you imagine to our surprise finding out we could have been done & over with more paperwork and re-adoption costs. Wellll as you know I think adoption is miraculously crazy from start to finish and in the end... I love wrapping my heart around the good in this law change. We will need to raise more $$ but I know God will provide when we need it!!
Thanks for bringing me to you site... love your blog:)

Jennifer M said...

I don't know how I missed this, but you just made me beam from ear to ear!

I'm really glad I could offer something up to help.

Love you too! And miss you! No trips planned to the NE this year? ;-) Alas, no trips planned farther than MN for us. Some day.

Ryan and Ashlie said...

Hi Wendy! My name is Ashlie and I was given your blog address by your sister Rebecca! She is coming with Kari and I on the July 19th Ethiopia Mission Trip!! I'm so excited to follow your blog and your journey. We are DTE 01/08/10 with AWAA for a baby boy or girl 0-6 months! We are praying for a referral in the near future, so that I can meet our baby on the trip. How exciting would that be???
We have an adoption blog at:
Thanks, Ashlie

A Stafford said...

We brought our daughter home with an IR-4 from India and while it was not much more expensive, (our state does not require a lawyer so our fees were prob. around $500) it was a pain to go through all the paperwork and be only her legal guardian for all those months. We couldn't adopt her until she was home 6 months, but with court scheduling it ended up being almost 10 months before she could legally have our name.

Also, you may not know, but kids with IR-3 visas are apparently automatically sent their citizenship certificates upon arrival in this country. Kids with IR-4 visas become citizens at their US adoptions, but we have to pay over $400 for the piece of paper that IR-3 kids get for free!

It will all work out for good!