The adoption protocol is very strict and complicated here, even much more so in this region than Ava's region. After a certain number of visits you can decided whether you want to proceed with the adoption. which of course requires more official paperwork and signatures, the story of our lives these days. That is what we did yesterday.
Next we have to submit our papers to court and wait for a court date. It is possible we could have to wait a week or two just to get a court date, and then another week or two to have the court date. After court, we will have a mandatory 10 day wait period (a period which allows any birth relatives to have a last chance to come claim the child). In this region the 10 day wait is mandatory and there have been few, if any, waived as Ava's was. After the 10 day wait, we can begin to apply for passport and visa, which will likely take another 10 days. Very lengthy and very strict.
We plan to return home at least once somewhere in the process, and possibly John's niece Heather will return with me for the second or third trip, after the 10 day wait is over. Some families adopting from this region have actually had to make three trips, that is how long it can take.
As most of you know, Joseph once had a committed adoptive family, who got all the way up to about this point in the adoption process, maybe further, when a judge noticed a mistake in the birth relinquishment papers. A mistake that could only be fixed by Joseph's birth parents. Parents who had left the country three years ago. The judge threw the whole case out, deeming the child "unadoptable".
It is my opinion that no child should ever be called unadoptable, unless that child already has a family. Which Joseph does not.
We are praying and believing we will have a more experienced judge this time, who will be understanding about Joseph's unusual circumstances. Every time I kiss him and tell him his mama loves him and is working hard to get him out of here, I remember that I am not the first mother who loved this boy very deeply......
Here is Jolie, Joseph's would-have-been adoptive mama who came her to adopt him last October. And then because of these legal hurdles, she had to return home without him. It breaks my heart every time I think of it. She was blessed with two other boys when she could not choose Joseph but I know that does not take away the loss, for either of them.
I hear from Jolie often and she is cheering us on and praying for Joseph. I know she wants nothing more than to see her boy in a family who loves him. Please join the Harris family and ours, in praying that Joseph will be able to break through these legal gates and be free from being an orphan, once and for all.
Go Joseph! Go, son!