Friday, March 19, 2010

Copied from another family's blog

Regarding the situation in Uganda, in case you were wondering what is happening:

Our lawyer said that anytime a new consular comes to the US embassy, this situation can happen. Their job is difficult. The must be diplomatic and take the time to understand the ways of Ugandan law, so then things get moving again.

This type of situation can also happen when a new judge comes to preside over Family court. He explained that judges are not relegated to one specialty, so the new judge may come from the land division, or another division, and he or she then needs some time to learn the ways of the previous family court judge.

Unfortunately for all families applying for legal guardianship at the moment, both of these situations have occurred at the same time: a new consular as well as a new judge presiding over family court! This is why they are having a difficult time communicating, because they are both learning how best to work with each other.Our lawyer is certain it will smooth out again, because it always has in the past.

He then took some time to explain current issues surrounding adoption and legal guardianship in Uganda. He explained there are groups who oppose it, that feel the children should stay here. Their philosophy is that if people take the orphans to other countries, then they are not sending aid to all the other thousands of orphans who need help! So don't take the kids out of the country, instead use your funds to send to the orphanage, where they will go a long way to provide for many children, not just those who are being adopted. That is a good and valid argument, to be honest.

Th other groups philosophy is that this is good for the children of Uganda. The government does not provide any aid of any kind for orphanages. Not food, supplies, money, nothing. Their only means of support come in the form of donations from around the world. This group believes that until the government of Uganda does something to provide for all the millions of orphans around the country, then the children are better off with families in other countries, who will provide for them. This is a very true and argument, as well.

Such is the way of the legal system, where both sides have valid points.

Our lawyer explained that there are not enough Ugandans who can go pick a child from an orphanage and raise him or her. He explained that all middle-class Ugandans, with good jobs, have families who are out in villages, poor and suffering. Therefore their first desire would be to help their own kin before taking on a child they do not know. Again, a very good point.

Therefore, the thought of letting foreigners with means to adopt their children and provide a good family and life for the children of Uganda, that is in the best interest of the child.

The new family judge knows and admits to this. But it is a matter of diplomacy, of two governments working together. When the consular does not accept the Ugandan ways of doing things in their own legal system, it can lead the judges to think the US is making an effort to stop legal guardianships, without coming straight out and saying it. In other words, they think the US is using this opportunity as a round about way to discontinue legal guardianship.

However, that is not the case! The consular is learning, but it is taking time. Again, this happens every time a new consular comes to the US Embassy here in Kampala. It just takes time for everyone to understand each other.

All that said, today our lawyer told us that his recent family that I wrote about, the family that was presented to the court, awarded legal guardianship with the adoption language in the decree, and was then denied a visa by the consular, they were promised a declaration by the Chief Justice today. That declaration would set a legal precedent that would then pave the way for judges to award legal guardianships with wording as the new US Consular requires.

That would mean, for our family and many others, that we can move forward with the entire process. If the Chief Justice were to make that declaration. Isaac said the CJ promised to make it today, but it could be Friday, we just never know. But we should pray for it to be today. Of course!!
Not long after he made that statement, seriously, only a matter of minutes, he received a phone call. The call was from that very family. They were calling our lawyer during our meeting with news the the Chief Justice said YES!! He instructed the judges to put the correct wording and acknowledge the intent to adopt upon arrival in the US! THIS is the news we've been wiating for!!

Our lawyer received this call as we were sitting together at our table, talking about what other options and our worst case scenarios that we would have with maggie & angel, and how to proceed from this point. And right then, we got our answr! Nima asked our lawyer to send up a prayer of thanks and request for the process to move forward, so we held hands, the four of us, and he prayed over us. It was a-maz-ing, to say the least!

At this very minute, we are making plans to go with the girls to the probation officer tomorrow. The girls are coming back with the team from New Hope today. We have been at the guest house because of our meeting, so the rest of the team went without us. They will stay with us tonight and we'll travel tomorrow and Friday, should we be able to get the appointment straight away. If not then maybe we'll travel Friday and Mopnday.

The probation officer is similar to the home study agent that we met with in the US. She'll interview us and the girls separately. She'll make sure the girls want to go with us on their own will. She'll write a report for the court.

Our lawyer is having his associates go today and file a petition for our family to have a court date next week! Because the family today was approved, then we have a good argument for our family to appear before a judge, since we can now move through the Embassy. The problem is, there are many families here in Kampala in our situation, so they will all be filing today. Our lawyer said that perhaps their papers are not in the court already like ours are. So we could have a good chance that we will get a court date awarded next week!

Praise God and all the glory be to Him in all of this! We have believed that we would return home with the girls. We have been praying every second of every day when we are not at the orphanage or meeting with our team, that the Lord would work this out for us. And he has started us on the path to bring the girls home, just as we asked!

Thank You to all of you who have been praying as well! Our thanks to you all is more than any word could ever convey, but let me say Thank You for your support and love.

As he was leaving, our lawyer told us to continue praying today for everything that we are about to experience as this we continue into this process. Our prayer work is not done. Believe me, we will continue praying, each and every step of the way! There are still many unknowns and decisions that could be made to delay us at any point in the process. Nothing is set in stone right now, or ever.

We know that we can do all things through Christ. He can part the Red Sea, he can turn water into wine, he can feed 5,000 out of one lunch basket - he can work through this, too! And through every trial we experience, we will be thankful. It is through these times that we see God working in our midst. For that, we are thankful.

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