Tuesday, May 19, 2015

small glimpses of HOPE

So much to say.

It has (seemingly) been an eventful week-ish in DRC and among hundreds of families whose children have been stuck in DRC. (As of yesterday, children who had been adopted before September 25, 2013, have been stuck 600 days! This is unbelievable.)

Let's begin with news of last week. We saw a clip of a TV show in which Jules Kidinda (a Congolese news personality/journalist perhaps?) shared a piece focusing on the situation of French families whose children were stuck in DRC. The show was AMAZING, as it shed a whole new light on the adoption situation and potentially helped DRC citizens see what adoption is truly about. Many DRC citizens have been led to believe that adoptive families adopt children from DRC to use them, abuse them, eat them, re-home them, or treat them as sub-par family members who are not loved as much as biological children. This TV show, however, showed adopted children being pampered by their new families, smiling, and flourishing. In  as opposed to some of the lies about adoptive families that they have been fed. From what I gather from the piece, Jules spent a week in France filming adoptive families and concluded that:

The French adoptive parents show love immeasurable compared to what I thought and what is commonly imagined in my country.
A translation of the remaining part of the article (which can be found here) reads as follows: 

"Jules Kidinda himself explained that 'adopted children are better loved than in Congolese families,'" summarizes Maurice Labaisse, who recalled that "the Congolese do not adopt" and even collected nephews were " never the same status as biological children. " And still insist on living conditions "disastrous" in Congolese orphanages.

The issue seems to have surprised and moved the Congolese population. "We were contacted to intervene in two television news next week," said the founder of Family Life, which in 2014 obtained the International Balzan Prize for Humanity, peace and brotherhood among peoples.

"Speaking to the public, it was hoped to talk to politicians. After two years of intense international pressure, the Congolese government has finally decided to release all the records that have already received an adoption order. "

DID YOU SEE THAT LAST PART?! "The Congolese government has finally decided to release all the records that have already received an adoption order." 

We still didn't (and don't) know exactly what that meant, but we received more positive news in the following days that indicate something is happening. 

On Friday, we received an email from our Department of State requesting that dossiers (official court documents, not just the dossiers adoptive parents compiled at the beginning of their adoptions) to be dropped of with DRC officials for a review of some sort. It was, again, more positive news but still somewhat vague about what was happening. 

Saturday, there was this news article. The most significant line: "This Saturday in Champsecret, during a day organized by the authorized body for adoption (OAA) Family Life , the deputy head of cabinet in the Ministry of Gender, Family and Children of the DRC, Ms. Berthe Kaya Bongo has officially announced the resumption of the adoption of children between his country and the world."

More articles saying essentially the same thing followed. 

And this morning before I even got out of bed, there was this article

The most intriguing lines said this (translated): "After a two-year moratorium, these children are reassured to leave the DRC in June. Everything is ready. The latest official formalities have been completed on 12 May at the various Embassies concerned by the adoption of children went to the General Directorate of Migration (DGM) to submit complete applications by nationals of their countries covered by the protective measure. According to some information intersected, there fifty children treated files. About 40 have already been approved by the DGM for a departure early June. The others will follow. It is only a matter of time." 

This article went on to say that 1300 adoption cases would be reviewed in the next two months.

This has begun quite a scurry of activity, speculation, excitement and joy amongst adoptive families, yet we still do not have a formal announcement of the end of the Exit Letter Suspension. In addition, a US Embassy worker reiterated the fact that DRC has stated the the suspension is still in place and has not been lifted. 

So....this leaves us with a lot of questions. I'm taking these articles as signs of great things coming, but I'm also taking everything with a grain of salt. The process of getting all kids home will take longer than we hope, the processes to get kids home will be harder and more complicated than it seems, and we will still be waiting. 

BUT, we definitely have HOPE that amazing things are coming, that our Clementine is coming HOME relatively soon. I continued to pray that God moves things so quickly that we can't catch our breath.