It’s been over 2 years since I last wrote an adoption update (or written a blog, for that matter), so I thought it was probably about time. Sadly, today I don’t have a much better idea of when this adoption will be completed than I did two years ago. The exit letter suspension in the DRC lingers on, far past anyone’s expectations. So, we continue to wait and pray.
To catch anyone up who doesn’t know, Natalie and I have become the legal guardians of a child in the Democratic Republic of Congo. I won’t reveal any more details about our child online, but we’d be happy to share with anyone who wants to know in person. We are, according to Congolese law, this child’s parents; the birth certificate even has our last name on it! However, due to the continued legal entanglements in the DRC, we cannot bring our child home. This is the situation that hundreds of families around the world have found themselves in. It’s a mess of the highest order.
For more than 2 years now, officials from the US State department and Embassy Kinshasa have been working hard to find a solution to this problem. Recently, the DRC officials who were reviewing all adoption cases declared that they had finished their work. However, as it turned out, they had only actually reviewed 99 of the 1500 or so cases, and of those 99 cases, only 72 children were allowed to leave the country (I think 14 of them were from the U.S.A.). As for the 1400 others, it has not been made clear how, when, or if those cases will be reviewed. The latest word we’ve received is that the DRC officials do not intend to do any more work until new adoption legislation has passed in the DRC parliament, which apparently may not happen until next year.
There are a host of adjectives I could use to describe how we feel about this situation, but I think the one that sums it up best for me right now is disheartened. What do you do when you have a child stuck in another country, with no idea when or how the situation will be resolved? In the last week I’ve been on the phone with Senator Thune’s office, simply to ask what we could be doing. We can’t just do nothing. But the situation really is out of our hands.
So many of you have joined us in prayer over these (almost) three years since we started this journey. Thank you, and please continue to pray! If you really want to get involved, then get ahold of your represenatatives in DC and ask them to make DRC adoptions a priority. That would be swell.
This has, of course, given me much to reflect on as a pastor and a follower of Christ. The thing I seem to sense God teaching me the most in all this is what I shared in church this morning as I led worship: The way of Christ isn’t simply there to alleviate our suffering; rather, it leads us to a place where we can learn to suffer well. These trials are comparatively small, but I hope we can endure them in a manner worthy of our Lord. Thanks to all who have been enduring alongside us.