I apologize for my long lapse in blog posts. (All really great adoption blogs eventually have a post that begins like that, by the way. It’s true. Check it out if you don’t believe me.) Anyway, after waiting through (yes, through is the correct preposition to use when you’re talking about a thick, nasty bit of waiting. You’re wading through the waiting. Again, I digress…) We waited through more than six months of an investigation that extended our already lengthy delay in bringing our son home.
After the six months ended, I called the US Embassy and received bad news about our case. Our son had been removed from his orphanage and there were questions about his paperwork. We were afraid we had just hit a giant speed bump. A week later, I called again and the embassy begrudgingly passed his case. They set his appointment to be interviewed at the US Embassy for September 25. Our heads were spinning. (Side note: When I picture him going in for his interview, I always think of him wearing a little suit and carrying a briefcase. He would set it on a desk and click the latches open, then he would pull out his resume and various letters of reference. I don’t think it really happened that way.)
We learned that our Congolese lawyer brought our son to the appointment but didn’t bring all of the documents. (Up, down) A different lawyer brought those documents the next day and then we learned that another appointment was scheduled for next month. (Up, down) Then came a much bigger dip:
As I was dropping off the boys who ride with us to soccer practice, I checked the email on my phone. I quickly glanced something from our agency but I didn’t get a good look at it until I pulled our van into the garage. I sat in the garage and read the full, sickening email. It contained an alert from the state department. Here’s a little of what it said: “On September 27, the Congolese Ministry of Interior and Security, General Direction of Migration (Direction Generale d’Immigration, DGM) informed the U.S. Embassy in Kinshasa that effective September 25, 2013, the DGM suspended issuance of exit permits to adopted Congolese children seeking to depart the country with their adoptive parents. The DGM reports the suspension will last up to 12 months. This suspension is due to concerns over reports that children adopted from the Democratic Republic of the Congo may be either abused by adoptive families or adopted by a second set of parents once in their receiving countries.”
I almost turned the engine back on and put it in reverse just to get out of the space I had just read myself into. Nevertheless, I pulled myself together and went in the house. Brent was making grilled cheese sandwiches to go with the soup in the crockpot. I took one look at his face and I knew he knew. We suffered through eating with Knox—the girls had already eaten while watching Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. I tried to gulp down my soup and sandwich then I went to our bedroom to search the Internet for some ray of light. I’m unsure what I was looking for. Maybe a “Just Kidding!” from the State Department? Who knows, but I didn’t find it. What I did find was adoptive parents like me venting and scared on Facebook. I found a nauseating article about a child who was handed over to another family and this article is apparently the match that lit this recent explosion from countries who participate in adoptions with the US.
I left my bedroom and went looking for Brent. I finally found him sitting in a dark room with the windows opened. He wasn’t on his phone and he wasn’t asleep. He was just sitting in an armchair. I sat in the chair next to him, listening to the announcer call the football game at the high school down the road. Neither of us could say anything. The hopelessness and the futility of the past two and a half years eventually weighed down on me and I began to cry. I just couldn’t stop. How many times have we been at this point where we thought we’d leave in a month or so? How many times have we kept our vacations and holidays tentative because we just weren’t sure if we’d need to buy plane tickets and fly across the world in a hurry? What really convinced me of our state of wretched misery was Brent’s reaction. I held my face in my hands and wept while Brent sat motionless. In all our years together, it was the first time he was unmoved by my tears. I realized he was as broken as me. I stood and went to sit in his lap, trying to comfort as I drew comfort from him.
So that’s where we end our evening, with questions and grief and anger. We’re running out of the energy needed to get back up to stay hopeful. Prayers are always appreciated. Thanks for loving us through this.