Friday, September 24, 2010

Exiled


Someone keeps adding more track to the end of our adoption roller coaster. Here‘s the deal: when we received our adoption approval back in May, our “golden ticket” 171H was held in the Virginia office and never forwarded to US Immigration. The US Embassy in Ki*v never received permission to issue Aaron a visa. One official offered the theory that our form was lost in the shuffle when the Virginia office was switching all of its files over to the new (and improved??) immigration system. When we arrived at the embassy yesterday, they had never heard of us. We carried our original 171H with us and gave it to the embassy worker, and she agreed that we were approved and that the paper was legitimate. But she could not, or would not, use it to open up a file for us. The approval had to come from the US. We begged. We pleaded. One of us cried. None of it moved her. Procedure had to be followed.

Anyone who has dealt with immigration and adoption officers (USCIS) knows that getting them to do what you want is equivalent to moving Mount Everest. Yesterday, the embassy here sent an urgent email to the US immigration office about our case. Their response was typical: your “emergency” will be reviewed within 48 hours and any action will require several business days after that. We’ll have to wait a few days to receive your file, “review” it, and “re-create” your 171H. This is the sort of bureaucratic nonsense we got back. There is absolutely no need to review anything. All they need to do is wire our approval, which they have already issued.

We’re not commenting on politics here, but it is a bit ironic: Any number of illegal immigrants enter the country over the southern border every day, unchecked, but for some reason one little disabled boy flying in from the this country is a major potential threat that cannot receive a visa without a week-long review.

Last night we worked non-stop trying to contact everyone we thought might help us. Back in March we used our local congressman to get our process moving. When we finally received our approval in May, the congressman’s office heard the news before we did. They got a copy of our 171H and emailed it to us before our own copy arrived in the mail. So yesterday, when we bumped into Everest, we re-contacted our congressman’s office (and apparently, so did a whole host of our Charlottesville-area friends). Because we already had a relationship with them, we asked them to forward another copy of our 171H to US immigration. The US Embassy here had already sent the one we gave them yesterday, but apparently they couldn’t open the attachment back in the US. What a time for technology to fail us.

Does this mean Mount Everest has moved? No. As it now stands, the bureaucrats are going to wait for our file and send our approval in their own sweet time. The congressman’s office is trying to help, but they too have been told that whoever they have contacted has to “wait for our file.” No one is willing to do anything out of the ordinary to help us.

We’ve already lost our chance to get home this week. The US Embassy here is closed today, Friday, so even if the bureaucrats in the US moved for us today, we still couldn’t leave before Tuesday. The other problem is the time difference. The 7-8 hour time difference (depending on the time zone back home) means that the embassy here closes just as offices in the US open. This means that if we don’t hear from the US today, it’s highly unlikely that we’ll get our visa on Monday. We could be here through the coming week or even beyond if no one has mercy on us. Right now, this seems the most likely course of events.

So please storm heaven for us.  We know that we will eventually get home but sooner is much better than later. We are still counting our blessings. Being stuck in Ki*v is at least better than being stuck in Ananiev. Our little fugitive is a pure delight. This child radiates joy.  He marvels at the simplest of things and is quite content as long as we are by his side and his trusty truck is along for the ride.  Having a TV helps but right now all we can find for him to watch is Animal Planet.  (Anyone know the channel for the cartoons??)  He was a bit frightened when we went to the embassy and medical offices yesterday, wanting Rob to carry him.  We enjoyed dinner last night with Joel Fick who was on his way home after they received court approval.  His family added sweet Darya to their family.  We do plan on exploring the city over the weekend.







We know there are quite a number of families who will be here in Ki*v within the next day or so. PLEASE CONTACT US! We would love to meet up! Call us at 099 470 6792.

10 comments:

  1. Good gracious!! All I can do is continue praying for you.

    I'm glad you got to meet Joel! He said he had a nice time with you guys and that Aaron is adorable. It looks like you're in the same apartment we were in when we first went to Kiev (7 flights of stairs and a raised bathtub, rock hard bed, right?). And we couldn't find anything but Animal Planet either on the t.v. :-) If the Savages are there, maybe they can take you on a subway ride - the deepest, longest escalator rides you've ever been on!!

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  2. So sorry for all of the delays....sending prayers out......Aaron is beautiful and I can see the peace in his eyes knowing how loved he is!!

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  3. They mourn me a lot with his post....
    Adoption is so,you think averything is correct and always fails a document.
    Will be home soon, now enyoy Kiev and Aron`s eyes discobering theirn new world.That would be fantastic!!!
    I am inspired, the light in the face of this beatiful child,it seemsto como lrom a place so sad, but it appears raised in the White Hause!heh heh...
    l wish that the wait is shor and again sorry for my English.
    Teresa, desde España

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  4. wow. I am so sorry. I read this to my husband and his response was, "We're turning into a 3rd world country!" I don't know what airlines you are using, but the Director for Delta/Air France is American. We met him one night in a God Orchestrated miracle, of all places at TGI Fridays.
    His offices are located not far from there. We were distraught in Kiev due to missing our flight over a time issue. It was Easter weekend and we were stuck. We needed to change our plane tickets and couldn't locate the offices. They had moved. We prayed and went to TGI Fridays. This guy says in English, "you can sit at my table".... because there was no room in the Restaurant. We shared with him every miracle we had experienced over the last month, and then my husband said, "We need one more miracle!" The guy said, "what is that?" We need to change our airline tickets and we can't find the airline office and don't know what to do. The guy smiled and said, "What airline?" We told him and he laughed. "It looks like I'm your miracle"....."I'm the new director for Delta Airlines." We were all in aw!
    Just when my heart to began to doubt our insane situation, the Lord once again, comforted us.... and showed us HE was in control!

    ONE LAST THING:::::: We ALMOST didn't make it on the plane. Our last hurdle was getting through customs at the airport! I had put our adoption documents in our luggage and had our special envelope with us for immigration in the U.S. The one they give you and say do not open! I had copies of our other documents with us..... They wouldn't let us on the plane. The guy wanted a copy of our ORIGINAL ADOPTION DOCUMENT! The one with all the strings..... It had already been checked on the plane.... "NO DOCUMENT < NO LEAVE COUNTRY!" With guys with uniforms standing all around. I exited to the Air France counter and said, "you have to pull my bags off of the plane!"
    They were gracious and did just that... Poor people had to locate them first. Then I went through them and got the documents, took them to the guy and he didn't even look at them... grrrr
    We made it on the plane with 10 minutes to spare.
    I learned not to rest until we saw our family on the other end. LOL

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  5. I am so sorry, Julia and Rob (& Aaron). Your poor guys at home must be going crazy by now! My son and I leave in the morning and will be in Kiev on Sunday evening. I don't know if we will go straight to the train station that night or if we will rest and then leave on Monday. If we stay, we will give you all a call and maybe we can meet up. I will be praying for you all and I can't wait until you all can look back and "laugh" at this whole situation. Much love to you all.

    Stephanie

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  6. I am HERE!!!! Would love to get together with you. 066 905 9435 OR you can email me at wah3@hotmail.com Let me know where you are staying and what is cloes to you so we can meet for lunch/dinner:) Sorry for your struggle. GOd will prevail!
    ~Wendy:)
    Charlie & Levi's Mama

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  7. I am so sorry to hear that you are still waiting. I am horrified and completely frusterated that they will not accept the origial document. I am hoping that somewhere on this side is working on it today, and that it will be there on Monday when they return to work and that you guys will be on your way home on Tuesday!

    I am so happy that everything has worked out with the adoption, and that you have Aaron joyfully with you. He has such a light in his eyes, and I love to read about his joy (and yours). I hope that you are able to meet up with some of the many who are flying in next week.

    Remember that for every 1 comment or email or yahoo responce that you get, there are another 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, people or more how have heard of our journey and are surrounding your whole family in love, light, and prayer.

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  8. All I can say is at least the pizza looks good!
    Get home soon!
    Love,
    Sam

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  9. Still praying Julia!! I'm so sorry that you have to be stuck there, but yes, at least it's Kiev and not your village. And... just think of all of the RR families you'll get to meet!! I know, not a lot of comfort since you want and need so badly to get home to your other boys, but at least that will help pass the time.

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  10. I love that he holds onto the TV stand with his little toes.

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Loving words from kind people make our hearts glad!

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