So, today was a bittersweet day for us. Joey and Jeremiah dropped off Sarah at the Entebbe Airport to return to the States. Whether you just heard this for the first time, or if you saw the quick posting on Facebook, this was probably quite a surprise. It was for us too. Here is a brief recap of what brought us to this tough decision.
Sarah had been on her own in Uganda for nearly a month, and she simply needed daddy’s help. Thankfully Brian and Hazel (Sarah’s parents) were able to watch Zoe, Micah, and Caleb again. Joey arrived back in Uganda late on the night of May 1, and it was such a sweet reunion with Sarah and Jeremiah. Then, the next day, we moved Katie out of the babies house at GSF to come and live with us. Our time of bonding with our new kids is going well; we have our sweet times and our rough ones.
Then, we had our document drops at the US Embassy in Kampala on Monday, May 5, and Wednesday, May 7, and this process appeared to go well. Next, we were waiting on our visa appointment/interview, as it appeared that this would happen today, May 12, and we could potentially come home together as a family around May 15. However, we received some disappointing news on Thursday afternoon from the US Embassy. There was a problem with Katie’s paperwork (her passport and birth certificate now needs updated), and this must be fixed in order for us to be able to get our visa appointment/interview. Unfortunately, it may take a week or two for these documents to be updated.
Sarah has now been away from Zoe, Micah, and Caleb for eight weeks – way too long. Also, Brian and Hazel have been watching our kids for a while, and whether they will admit it or not, they need a break. So, we prayed through should Sarah go home or not? We decided that she should, especially not knowing now how long it will be before Katie’s paperwork gets fixed. Thankfully, Joey’s dad was able to get her return ticket completed last Friday for today, May 12. Delta thankfully did not charge us a $300 change fee, and no fare difference was required too. So, Sarah left today, and Lord willing she will be home on Tuesday afternoon.
Oh, and we did obtain the “wrong” documents today from the US Embassy, and we took them to our lawyer’s office this afternoon to start the process of them getting updated.
Amidst this disappointment, we continue to treasure the dedicated time that we are able to have with Jeremiah and Katie and work with them in developing an understanding of what it means to be in a family. We also were able to participate in GSF’s 20th anniversary weekend. This was an amazing time of hearing many stories of how God has used this ministry in the lives of so many children.
Here is how you can pray for us at this point:
- Continue to pray for our process to end soon. We want to be together back in Pennsylvania together as a family!
- Continue to pray for Jeremiah and Katie’s transition to being in a forever family. Pray specifically that the time Joey now has with them would go well.
- Pray for a safe return for Sarah (she leaves in a couple hours of when this was posted) and then the same for Joey, Jeremiah, and Katie.
- Continue to pray that God would meet our financial needs. The longer we have to stay in Uganda, the more expensive our process becomes.
Blessings to you all!
Joey, Sarah, Zoe, Micah, Caleb, Jeremiah, and Katie