We’ve hit a glitch, a bump, or a derailment, I can’t tell which, and we would love your prayer. Some of you understand the Ukrainian adoption world, or the adoption world in general and may not need all the specifics. I’m going to try and make this as simple as I can, knowing that I don’t fully understand the process.
1. There are two types of orphans in Ukraine – social orphans and pure orphans. Social orphans are kids who would most likely be placed in foster care in the U.S. They still have family that is somewhat involved in their lives and they are not available for adoption. Katya was placed in the orphanage when she was 6 as a social orphan, but was registered as a pure orphan on March 4, 2008. She was almost 7 at this point.
2. Once the children are registered as pure orphans, they must be in the system for 14 months before they are available for international adoption. This allows Ukrainians to come forward and adopt Ukrainian children, for family members to appear, etc. Katya’s 14 months will be completed in May, 2009 and therefore she should be available for us to adopt her after May.
3. Katya has a grandmother, Tamara, who cared for her until she placed her in the orphanage. This is not news to us. We have always known about Tamara. Our understanding has been that Tamara placed her in the orphanage knowing that she was unable to meet Katya’s needs and that Katya’s chances at adoption decrease as she gets older. We have also understood that Tamara had relinquished all guardian rights. We have prayed for Tamara as well as Katya and believe that this is a piece of our call to care for both orphans and widows.
1. We have heard from Dima, our facilitator, that although Katya was registered on March 4, 2008, Tamara still needs to write a letter refusing to be her guardian. He assures us that this is not a problem as she wants Katya to be adopted by us. We have also heard anecdotally from Vinny at Frontier Horizon that Tamara does want us, specifically, to adopt Katya. This is important to us, because we have no desire to remove Katya from her grandmother if her grandmother does not desire that she be adopted.
2. We don’t know how this letter of refusal to be Katya’s guardian impacts the timing. It could be that it doesn’t affect the timing at all and it’s just something to check off the list. OR it could mean that once the letter is written, the 14-month wait starts back over. OR it could mean that if she doesn’t write the letter, that Katya will never be available for adoption.
3. Vinny, of Frontier Horizon, is in Ukraine right now and will hopefully be able to meet with Nina, the orphanage director and Tamara to sort through this situation. Dima, our facilitator, is also working on this.
So, please pray:
1. God will give us peace and prayers as we watch and wait.
2. God will give Vinny clarity and favor to find answers quickly.
3. God will guide Dima’s footsteps as he works on our behalf.
4. God will care for Katya’s heart as she has heard of our intent and has asked us to come get her “tomorrow.”
5. God will care for Tamara as she makes a very difficult decision.
Our confidence is two-fold:
1. God is good – He knows what is best for Katya and for us
2. God is great – He is powerful to orchestrate events according to His ultimate plan
Thank you for being friends who care for us and will pray for us. I will keep you updated.