Wednesday, April 16, 2014

In Case You Missed Anything

Hello again!  Many of you have followed the updates we have provided on Facebook over the past month or so, but in case you missed anything, this post should be helpful for you.  It is hard to believe that five weeks ago today (March 12) is when we received the big phone call – come to Uganda…you have a court date. 

Here are the highlights of the past month:
  • March 15-17 – we travelled to Uganda
  • March 17 – we met our children for the first time, though they will have no idea who we are yet.  We are simply visitors to GSF; we are called Auntie Sarah and Uncle Joey. 
  • March 18 – first court date (“the hearing”)
  • March 28 – second court date (“the ruling”)
  • March 29 – We told Jeremiah that we were now his mommy and daddy.  Joey would be leaving the next day to return to the States, but he would return in about a month or so to come help him, Katie, and mommy come home to join his new siblings in the States.  While we are not sure what he understood during this first conversation, he now is understanding more.  Sarah mentioned a few days ago that each time he hears an airplane, he asks if daddy is on it - so sweet!  Katie is too young at this point to understand much, though she is potentially beginning to understand more as Sarah spends time with her each day.
  • March 30-31 – Joey flew back to the States to be with Zoe, Micah, and Caleb.  Other than the expected missings of mommy and daddy, they did quite well.  Sarah’s parents stayed with them at our house, and without them and their help both while we were away as well as while Joey has been fulfilling the single parent role, who knows where we would be.  Thanks Brian and Hazel!
  • April 5 – Jeremiah moved into the guest house on the GSF campus to be with Sarah 24/7.  Katie continues to remain in the babies’ house at GSF.
Here's a picture of us with our new children before Joey returned to the States.  We are standing on the shore of Lake Victoria, not far from the source of the Nile River.

Before Joey left Uganda, we knew that there were five major steps that would need to happen for Sarah, Jeremiah, and Katie to come home.  Here are these steps, as well as where we are as of today:
  • Step 1: Obtain the written ruling from the judge.  This was expected to take two business days; instead it took eight.  Welcome again to Africa time (not our first experience, and certainly not the last).  Sarah picked up the ruling on Tuesday, April 8.
  • Step 2: Obtain Jeremiah and Katie’s Ugandan passports.  We filed these on Tuesday, April 8.  Our lawyer estimated that this process would take about a week, though if delays occurred, it could take three to four weeks.  Praise the Lord that Sarah was able to pick these up today, Wednesday April 16!
  • Step 3: Complete medical exams as required by the US Embassy.
  • Step 4: Drop off required paperwork at the US Embassy and complete necessary interviews.
  • Step 5: Apply for visas for Jeremiah and Katie.
  • Book tickets and come home!

Thank you for your continued prayers for our process.  The Lord has been so faithful and continues to answer our prayers and meet our needs.  We ask that you would continue to pray for the following:
  1. Pray that no delays would occur with Steps 3 to 5 above, especially with Step 4.  Pray that all of our paperwork presented, specifically the written ruling, would be abundantly clear for embassy personnel reviewing our case.
  2. Pray that Sarah would continue to have a great time of getting to know Jeremiah and Katie and bonding with them.  Pray for her as she works through homesickness and looking after the remaining details until Joey returns.
  3. Pray for safe travel for Joey (the actual date has not been determined yet) as he returns to finalize things and to help Sarah and the kids fly home.  Pray that we can all return together around the end of April.
  4. Until we arrived in Uganda, we estimated our financial need to be $20,000.  However, with the length of time required to be in Uganda, the rising cost of airline tickets, and the number of trips back and forth to Kampala for court, our lawyer, the US Embassy, etc., our actual need is now around $23,500.  So far God has provided $20,843.  Would you prayerfully consider how God might use you to help us reach this adjusted goal?

Thanks again for your prayers as we look to the day to be reunited as a family of seven in the States.  Blessings to you all!

Joey, Sarah, Zoe, Micah, Caleb, Jeremiah, and Katie

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