Ok...here we go....
I have to include a little pre-meeting detail...LOL...we left the hotel this morning around 9 am. Giovanny and Carolina Valdez, missionaries here in the DR, are our chauffers while we are here. They have a car that seats 5 people and so we ride 2 in the front and 6 in the back. We pack in like Sardines:) It is about a 40 minute drive to Santo Domingo from where we stay. For any of you that have not experienced Dominican driving, it is like being on the raceway...lol! Except you go and stop and go and stop never knowing if someone is going to slam into the back of you, if you might run over someone on a motorcycle that might have a family of 5 on board or if a car is going to stop so that they don't t-bone you! In the Dominican the primary rule is whoever gets there nose out there first has the right away! It is quite an adventure!! Brayden says..."Hey mom if Davis (my nephew) got his license here do you think he would be able to make it one day without having a wreck??). I did give Jackson some dramamine before we left but failed to give the others some....mistake!!! As we approach the city, Jada was in my lap in the front and got a bad look on her face which had VOMIT written all over it, I quickly rolled down the window and out her head went as she vomitted as we were driving down the highway. Oh my! As we approached the lawyer's office Brayden starts to feel sick and when we went in Esmeralda starts crying that her stomach is hurting as well. I quickly administered zofran under the tongue and dramamine for them plus K Mae knowing we had more riding to go....haha!! It was quite eventful! I'm sure the secretary at the lawyer's office didn't quite know what to think as we walked in! We met with the lawyer for about 20 minutes and then headed to CONANI.
When we got to CONANI, we met with the second lady in command. She is very well acquainted with our lawyer. We jumped right in and just shared our story with her from start to finish. Tommy did most of the talking and I silently prayed for God to give him the words. The lady's name was Sarah and she was most attentive. We learned from her that as long as someone meets their requirement of age and marital status they are required to review any case for adoption that is submitted to them. Past that they make an executive decision to recommend or not recommend the case to their committee or board that makes the final decision to allow the adoption or not. Basically what happened in our case is our lawyer sent our papers in and asked Sarah to review and she denied our case to be taken before the board for a decision inn June. She said the reason being that she felt like there was a strong possiblity they would reject our case given the information she was given on paper. BUT....after hearing our complete story and our heart for these children she said...."There is no way I can deny putting your case before our board and the fact that you are here talking with me in person shows that you are committed to seeing this through". Music to our ears!!!!!! Now, she clearly stated that she can only recommend our case and the final say is out of there hands, but that she was willing to do whatever they could do to help us present a strong case. So... WE ARE ON!!! The process from this point on is this:
First we have to obtain birth certificates, this will be done by their legal department at CONANI with the assistance of our lawyer. This could take 6-8 months or sometimes sooner depending on God's timing:))
Second after birth certificates are obtained, their process of review begins, they will go to the orphanage, see the girls situation there, they will interview the girls, and anyone that can attest to the bond/relationship with them. They have to establish our bond with them, so they can prove it would hurt the girls more to not allow the adoption. She stressed their goal is to do what is in the best interest of the children no matter what. Acceptions for special cases have been made in the past but it is not a simple process because they want everyone to go through their lawful process.
So once all their investigations are finished and they have completed the paperwork then our case will be presented to their committee/board. Once in their hands than they will make the decision.
Sooo, we are still in for a lengthy process that we have to TRUST is God's perfect time table. Our lawyer is very committed to helping us and seems very efficient! Please pray that we will be patient and while we wait the girls will be protected and nurtured. We have seen some change in them especially Esmeralda. She is 13 now and as you know starting to come into her own as a young lady. It is difficult even now as we go get them from the orphanage to spend time with us because we know the other girls wonder why is no one coming to get me? I pray that they will not feel the negative effects of being the ones that get the attention. If I had enough money I would put them all on a bus and bring them with us!! Esmeralda gave her life to the Lord about a year ago, and we are so grateful, she is truly a precious young girl but it is hard being 13 and having to real discipline in her life to stay on track! This is why we want to have time to pour into her before it is to late. Jada is still the life of the party not taking to much to serious. She laughs most of the time. She will require a little more attention in the discipline department than Esmeralda and will definately keep us on our toes:)
It has been interesting watching the dynamic of 5 kids together. Esmeralda and Jackson are 2 peas in a pod. Give them a DS and they are happy for hours. Jada, Bray and Kennedy on the other had are quite the trio...jumping from bed to bed, yelling like they are at a ballgame most of the time and running down the halls anytime they think they can get away with it! If we don't get kicked out of our hotel by the end of the week it will be a miracle! LOL! They have had some squabbles, and we have had some hurt feeling moments but overall they have had a good time so far. Kennedy and Jada have been Tommy's shadow and want to sleep with him every night. I have slept with Brayden and Jackson and Esmeralda have had a bed to themselves:)
Well, I am going to close for now. Thanks to ALL of you who have diligently prayed for our family as we pray God's Will in this adoption. We do believe God has heard your prayers and is moving us forward as we see how His Plan unfolds. Words cannot express how awesome it is to know our Family in Christ is praying us through and what strength that gives us! We love all of you and look forward to the day when you can all meet in person the 2 souls you have prayed for! God is SO GOOD!!!!