So we made it back home safely, and after sleeping 12 hours, I’m feeling a bit more human. My stomach is still not right, but I’m having Gatorade, rice and tea and giving it some rest. Hopefully, healing is just around the corner.
Speaking of illness, please pray for Pearl. We spoke to her this morning and she is suffering from some stomach issues and also had a bloody nose. The pastor is taking her to see the doctor tomorrow. I pray it’s just a minor bug and that she, too, will be on the mend ASAP.
You’ll have to forgive me if I sound tired, but I am of course still very jet-lagged. I’m just hoping this post is coherent! Several people have been asking questions and I wanted to try to address them here. If you haven’t read THIS POST yet, please go back and do so. It will explain the reasons we decided to change our plan from one trip to Uganda where I stay a long time, to two trips where only one of us stays a shorter number of weeks. (Lots of folks are asking us questions on Facebook that will be answered by that post.)
Everyone wants to know what happens now, and I apologize for not including that in yesterday’s post (no sleep=scattered thoughts). Here’s a rough outline of the steps ahead. The timeline for all of this can vary hugely, and we are not yet certain at what point one of us will fly back over for all the appointments that finalize everything.
- We must receive the judge’s ruling before doing anything else. This is set to come in Wednesday and is the judge’s determination whether to grant us legal guardianship of our girl. If it’s only a verbal ruling that comes Wednesday, we might have to wait anywhere from one to three weeks to receive a written ruling. This written ruling has to be in-hand before taking the next step.
- Once we have the ruling, we apply for her Ugandan passport.
- After the passport is complete, she will have a physical at IOM.
- It takes a few days to get her TB test results. When she passes that, we move on to the embassy process.
- There are several appointments needed to complete the embassy process and get her visa to travel home.
- When the travel visa is received, she’s free to fly home with whichever of us is in-country with her at that time.
SO…at some point within the next few weeks, one of us will need to fly back to Uganda and hopefully only stay a few weeks to get everything finished. What we’re eliminating by my coming back home is the potential for several weeks’ in-country expenditures while we wait for the court order and passport process to begin. We have help there from the orphanage’s pastor in getting her passport process going, so it could be a month or more before either of us are needed back in Uganda. That means that we can expect Pearl to come home at some point within the next 4 to 8 weeks. So, she will probably be here at some point in March.
I hope this makes sense. Ugandan legal guardianship is a lengthy, complicated process with many areas where things can be delayed or extended. It also, sometimes, can go very smoothly and fast. Obviously, we’re praying for the latter and ask that you do the same.
Thanks, as always, for your support and prayers!
(I plan to start the travelogue posts later tonight…)