“Your adoption is final! That means you’re finished, right?” Unfortunately, no. I know that’s not the answer you were looking for, but it’s the answer nonetheless. But don’t be discouraged. Finalizing our adoption is a major milestone to celebrate! It’s just not the last one that needs to be completed.
For those who aren’t living this story, it may not be so fresh on your minds. Let me remind you that back in 2012, it was the visa which was denied, not our ‘Legal Guardianship.’ So what’s the difference? We were granted ‘Legal Guardianship’ in 2012 from the Ugandan Court. This was never a problem. This legally placed Chloe into our custody as our responsibility and made us her primary caregivers. She was removed from the Babies Home and placed fully into our care. The visa is what we applied for here in Uganda at the U.S. Embassy to allow passage for Chloe to travel with us to America. This is what we were denied and, consequently, the reason we had no other (good) choice but to move to Uganda to keep our family together.
Fast forward to now. We just went before the Ugandan High Court Judge and we were granted full adoption of our sweet daughter. Praise Jesus! This changes our status from ‘Legal Guardians’ to ‘Full Parents.’ This makes Chloe officially a Via on paper (Although she’s been a Via for years in our hearts). Note: You have to be ‘Legal Guardians’ & live with your child for 3 years in-country before you can be granted a full adoption in Uganda.
Our next big step is to apply for Chloe’s visa again at the U.S. Embassy. This is where they will review our documents to confirm that Chloe has in fact been fully adopted and, Lord willing, grant her an American visa. This is our last big legal step and our biggest prayer request. For me, a lot of anxiety lurks over this step in the process. This is the place where we were denied. Where our world stood still. Big life decisions hinged on this part of the process 3 years ago. Our Embassy is for us, for Americans, for justice, for helping us, and for doing what is right. We have completed the requirements laid before us in 2013 to adopt our daughter and allow her a visa to travel to America. We have walked this journey above reproach and there should be no hint of fear in me. But I can’t tell you there is not. I covet your prayers.
So, to answer the anticipated question from all of our awesome friends, family, followers, prayer warriors, and encouragers, our next big step is to apply for an appointment for Chloe’s visa at our Embassy and, Lord willing, get her visa! We will keep you updated over the coming weeks as we continue this exciting and long anticipated part of the journey. Thank you for continuing to support our family in numerous ways. We are so thankful for you all.