Sunday, February 8, 2015

500 Days Waiting and more...

Three-and-a-half/almost four years ago longtime family friends of ours announced they were adopting two babies from the DRC. They shared their story with the online world and we followed along and rejoiced as each milestone happened. The referrals, the call to come over, the meeting of the babies, and the bringing them home. We've gotten to watch them grow up through their blog as well as through social media. I grew up with Casey's family - her dad was the pastor of the church I grew up in, and Casey babysat me a few times. This adoption seemed to go smoother than smooth and Ezra and Evie are happy and healthy kiddos...

Fast forward to today and we learn that it seems the Chappell kids got "lucky". Soon after they came home, the DRC didn't close adoptions, but they closed down the required exit letter program that allowed the legally adopted children to go home with their legal parents. All paperwork is approved and signed by both the DRC and American (or other country) governments, and yet the last signature needed - the one that allows the children to leave the country - cannot and will not be given.

One of Casey's childhood friends and her family are waiting to be reunited with their sons in the Congo. She and her husband were over in the DRC when it was announced that there would be no more exit letters given. After a few weeks with the boys they had to give them a tearful farewell. More than 500 days later they ARE STILL WAITING TO COME HOME. They have weekly skype dates, but as the unrest rises communication can become increasingly difficult.

The financial burden is great, but manageable... it's the emotional toll that needs our help and support.

Some facts (from
  • Over 350 orphans who have already been legally adopted by American families from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) are still stuck in orphanages and temporary foster care waiting for their American families to bring them home. 
  • There are at least 400 families that have been matched with children that are in the process of completing their adoptions. As the processing of their adoptions is completed, their children will be added to the list of children who cannot come home, despite having been legally adopted by their adoptive parents in the DRC and having received clearance for a US Orphan Visa from the US Government.
  • The immigration and emigration office (DGM) of the Congolese government announced that they would no longer issue “exit permits” for adoptions approved on or after September 25, 2013.
  • On May 26, DRC released 15 children to their adoptive families, with no apparent rationale for the cases that were chosen. Since then, 6 children that were in extremely poor health have also been released, after efforts by Ambassador Swan on their behalf. The remainder of the families to whom DGM originally promised exit permits, will not be considered until after September 25, 2014.
  • At least 11 legally adopted children have DIED waiting for their exit letter without their forever family there to comfort and love them.
Please join the campaign this weekend and encourage your senators, congressmen, and the White House to end this and bring the children home. Hashtags are: #BEBcampaign #500dayswaiting #uniteourfamilies #DRCstuck

Let's show these families we care.

If you are a family currently waiting to be united and whole and wish to keep in touch please comment on this post so I can pray for and follow your journey!

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