While in Washington, we sent off money orders, pre-paid envelopes, cover letters, and notarized and/or certified birth or marriage certificates to four different locations: the states of Florida, Texas, Washington, and the Bolivian Consulate in Los Angeles, CA.
It was quite the challenge to figure out the requirements and get everything prepared just right with no internet access or printer at the cabin! But apart from having to order a newer birth certificate from Texas, we seem to be on the right track.
In a few more days I'll call the consulate in LA to make sure that all of our documents eventually arrived from around the country. Then they will send everything to my family, who will send everything to the next volunteer coming to Bolivia.
Meanwhile, I checked in with our lawyer last week, and she said she'd been looking for me. She gave me a list of four more sets of documents Jake and I need to obtain. We had already done one item on the list, the judicial background check, so now we're in the middle of the next three: police background check, work certificate, and visa certificate.
And to my slight consternation, she again insisted that the boys need to arrive before the baby (today I'm at 7 months). She says that legally, since the boys are older, they need to arrive before there's a newborn, to keep the "birth order" in line. Yikes!!! We need to move from our condo to a house with a yard before they come, and we had hoped that our baby could be born first - and maybe even have our first anniversary before welcoming three more children into our family!
Jake and I have several thoughts on this. First of all, a fast guardianship happens within 4-5 months of beginning paperwork. We, however, are requesting THREE children, all different cases (no siblings), and going directly to adoption because all three have been adoptable for years ("cases closed", so to speak, with no chance of relative involvement later on). If the local court and La Paz and our lawyer can actually push this through as incredibly fast as the lawyer says is necessary, with NO DELAYS, well then.... Go for it, we say! Could we have Bolivia's fastest adoption ever?!
Secondly, our court is on winter vacation for the month of August. We won't be able to present our official adoption request to the court (and thus re-start our process that's been "resting" while we were traveling) until Monday, September 2.
Thirdly, I know that many times I've been disappointed in Bolivia when the court system does not act "reasonably", but we find it hard to believe that just because we could have a baby when we're reaching the end of the whole adoption process, that the court would all of a sudden deny us the boys on this technicality. We are still confiding in that the judge who originally offered me A. last year in January, and this year in January was very pleased to hear my husband and I now desired to adopt him plus two more, will still be happy to continue with the process even with a baby in the picture.
All three of the boys are definitely "waiting children" with next to no hope of obtaining a family, both because of their age and because of their history of rejection by other families. Then you add to that no international adoptions... Their files are just gathering dust in a corner of the court office!
Ultimately, our comfort and hope in ALL the unknowns of the next few months rests in knowing that GOD is in control and knows exactly when each child will be added to our family. We trust in his perfect timing. If all four come within days of each other, we'll just have to depend on Him for strength and wisdom!
We'd appreciate your prayers! :)
"He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it." I Thessalonians 5:24