Tuesday, December 18, 2007

My Three Jobs

Matt here. With the prospect of bringing two children home (not just one), new questions have raised about our life. Because my salary with New Hope International is support-based, even with my part-time (12 hrs/week) job in the Asbury College Library Archives, we are going to need a lot more income to care for a family, especially because our current two-bedroom apartment living arrangement will not be sufficient for long. I had also been considering, at the urging of some people at the College, to pursue a graduate degree in library science at the Univ. of Kentucky, a terminal degree in the library field that would qualify me for faculty status and give me some stable career options. I was thinking of beginning next fall, but that would be more expense.

Last week the job of Office Manager opened at our local public library. I applied, interviewed, and was offered the job. This 38 hr/week job is a rather sudden and somewhat unexpected development. (An added benefit is that this job qualifies me to receive some significant financial assistance in the graduate degree program at UK.) To maintain my connection with Asbury, I hope to continue with my 12 hr/week job in the Archives. (That is only a 9-month job, so I will not have to work it during the summer.)

So what does this mean for my work at New Hope? It will be difficult, but I do intend to continue most of my work with New Hope for two reasons: (1) I do not yet feel released from this area of ministry, and (2) it will continue to provide a small additional income as we try to save for the adoption, larger living space, and grad school (not to mention the expense of supporting a growing family). I intend to continue my work with New Hope on nights and weekends at least through the end of the summer 2008, at which point we will reevaluate. There are many things going on at New Hope with which I am involved and that still demand my attention, so I will continue to do much of what I do now for NHIM, though perhaps at odd hours. Much of what I do with New Hope is increasingly done by email anyway, and I will be able to continue to monitor that wherever I am working. I will also be delegating more tasks to our student workers under my supervision. I feel that, though I will be pulled in more directions now, I still have valuable and crucial service to offer to that ministry.

So...three jobs...yikes. Pray for me that I will have strength and wisdom as I try, with God's help, to make this all work.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The Latest Adoption News

The picture here at left is of Rosa and Carlos from when Amy was down in Guatemala in March 2006 with a mission team from Asbury. They are 10 and 5 in this shot.

Through phone conversations with our missionary friend (Steve English) and email conversations with the Guatemalan lawyer (Claudia), here is what we have learned today:

  • The kids' birthdays are June 13 (Rosa) and April 20 (Carlos).
  • La Senda (the children’s home we visit where Rosa and Carlos have lived for the last six years) has documented legal custody of both children.
  • Before Rosa and Carlos can be adopted, the Guatemalan central government adoption authority (the PGN) must make La Senda the legal representative for them (which would eliminate the mother’s legal representation and power over them).
  • The court resolution shows a different first name for Rosa’s mother than her birth certificate does. (We think one name is her mother and the other is an aunt.) Whichever of the two documents is incorrect must be amended.
  • Carlos does not have an official birth certificate, so one must be created.
  • The lawyer is strongly suggesting that we move ahead with DNA testing to confirm who the birth mother is (a common practice in Guatemalan adoption).
  • The lawyer is asking for a very high first payment for the DNA tests, doctor fees, and legal fees. We are in the process of trying to confirm if this is a reasonable request.
All of this is somewhat daunting and very unpredictable, but is necessary for the completion of this process. Much prayer is needed. This is by no means a “sure thing” yet.

The most crucial point is getting the legal representation transferred to the children’s home so they can adopt the kids to us. We believe this will happen, because the courts have previously recommended that Rosa and Carlos be made available for adoption, but as with any adoption we cannot guarantee a favorable ruling.

The second most crucial element is the current political situation concerning Guatemalan adoptions to the US. Though much has been said and debated, we haven’t found definitive answers on how this applies to our situation. We do know that we will be fighting through the bureaucracies of two governments to get these kids home.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

What the Lawyer Said

We got an email from the lawyer in Guatemala yesterday (Monday). She did go to the courts on Friday to review Rosa and Carlos' papers. She found that there were no birth certificates for either child. However, Steve (the missionary) provided her with a copy of Rosa's birth certificate. She is going today to the municipality where Carlos was said to have been born to see what she can find. (This is all kind of puzzling, because these kids have been in the court system for six years.) So, that's the latest. Keep praying!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Our First Family Picture?

This picture is from a mission trip we took to La Senda back in 2005. In this picture Rosa is 9 and Carlos (not his normal photogenic self here) is 4. It was on this trip that we fell in love with these two and originally looked into adopting them. When it didn't work out, we figured it was not to be. But God had other plans!

We are anticipating an email tomorrow (Monday) from the attorney in Guatemala. We are hoping it will shed more light on what our process is going to look like (and how much it will cost?). Please be in prayer for two specific concerns: the timely completion of the logistical work and provision for the extensive financial cost of the adoption.