Saturday, February 28, 2015

Update :)

Update on Camden's health from previous post: he is feeling much better from the medical care that he received at the hospital.  He is getting stronger and stronger each day.   

Update on adoption process: we received AMAZING news on Monday, February 9th that we passed investigation from the US Embassy.  Yahoo!!!  In the same email, we received a visa interview for Camden on Monday, March 2nd.  Be praying that the visa interview goes smoothly to have one more step down in the process.

We are so thankful for the continued prayers for Camden and our family.  We know and trust that the Lord's timing is perfect.  :) 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Last Few Weeks

Several people have asked about Camden over the last few days so I need to update everyone on the last few weeks in our adoption.

When Jason was in Congo, he was able to file our I600 paperwork.  The next step in the process is the US does an investigation to make sure that Camden is an orphan.  Within a few days of Jason returning from the Congo, we received an email from the US Embassy stating they needed to do a family interview to start the investigation.  Our lawyer set the interview up for December 22nd.  Our lawyer said the interview was good and we should expect to hear back soon.  Of course, anything in this process has not been soon or fast.  We are waiting on the US Embassy to contact us that we have passed investigation.  Then, we obtain Camden's visa to travel home.  Of course, he can't travel home until the exit letter suspension is lifted.  Continue to pray for the President of Congo and Director of DGM to allow exit letters so Camden can come home. 

In the waiting, we received an email 2 weeks ago from the orphanage director stating that Camden was running a fever and complaining about stomach pain.  He went to the doctor to discover that he has a hernia and needed surgery.  When Jason was there, he said it was obvious that he had a hernia.  It hasn't bothered him until about 2 weeks ago.  If at all possible, we wanted him to have the surgery in the US.  They wrapped it and gave him medicine for the fever.  He was doing well for a few days then we received another email that the nannies took him to the emergency room.  After blood work, they found out Camden had malaria and typhoid fever along with his hernia problems.  He stayed in the hospital for 5 days and was given medicine to care for the malaria and typhoid fever.   They are going to monitor his hernia and try to wait for the surgery until he gets home.  Once again, we are having to trust people to care for our son when they are in a third world country.  So, it was a crazy week emailing back and forth trying to find out the information.  During Camden's sickness, the orphanage director (from FL) went to Kinshasa to assess the situation and take care of some business.            

We are so thankful that he went to Kinshasa because this past Monday we woke up to emails stating protests were taking place there.  The protests were from University of Kinshasa students concerning political issues.  The University is about 1 mile from Camden's orphanage so they have been on lockdown all week.  He said that you can hear gunfire, see things burning right outside the orphanage and people are being kidnapped during the night.  Businesses and government building were closed, internet, and cell services were cut off for the local people.  He said that it has been a scary week because of the uncertainty of the government.  After speaking with him today, he said children are still safe and things are starting to calm down.  We are thankful for his emails to give us updates.  He is able to email because his cell phone has US service.  Continue to pray for the government and orphanage director's wisdom to know how to care for the children during these protests.

We KNOW the Lord is in control of all these things when our minds can't comprehend it.  We continue to trust His perfect timing to bring Camden home.   Continue to pray for the Lord's will to be done in this adoption!!! :)

Friday, December 5, 2014

Update/Congo Trip

We had the "5K for Camden" in October and it raised $1400 to help bring Camden home.  Amazing!  We have a few "Bring Camden Home" shirts left if you want to purchase one.  They are $15 each!  Thanks to Thred's Ink for doing these for us!    

After reading our last blog entry, I realized that I left you hanging on the adoption process.  We received all our paperwork in October and our plan was to file our I600 in Congo.  Then, we decided to go ahead and file here in the US at the end of October.  I was still hopeful to file in country because it helps the process move a little faster.  After much prayer and details worked out by the Lord, Jason is going to file our I600 in Congo on December 3rd.   
Journal of the Journey:
December 1st - I took Jason to the airport for his 25 hour trip to the Congo. 
December 2nd - Jason is still traveling!  I expected to hear from him during the middle of the night (December 1st) but heard nothing.  I knew the plane already took off for Kinshasa from the online itinerary.  His plane was to arrive at 9:20 PM (2:20 PM our time).  We finally heard from him at 5:30 PM through Skype.  We arranged for someone to pick him up from the airport and it was worth the money.  He went through security quickly and drove to the hotel with flashing lights and honking horns.  He got the royal treatment.  Lol :)  When we talked to him, he informed us that he met Camden in the hotel lobby.  WHAT?!?  Our lawyer brought him to meet Jason at 10:30 PM.  What a blessing!  He immediately took to Jason like he had known him forever.  He knew that "his daddy" was there.  After the meeting, they took him back to the orphanage for the night.  Jason hit the sack for the important Embassy appointment.
December 3rd - Jason went to the Embassy appointment with everything that he needed to file our I600.  After about 1 hour, the lady said everything looked great.  Praise the Lord!  Now, on to the next step in the process, which is the I-604 investigation.  They will investigate to make sure that he is an orphan even though we have 25 documents stating that he is.  Lol!  More documents, more money. 
Meanwhile, I was waiting patiently to hear how the appointment went at the Embassy.  Waiting, waiting, waiting.  Finally at 11:00 AM (our time), I hear Skype beeping for me to answer.  I opened Skype to find Jason sitting on the bed next to Camden.  WHAT?!?  I was so surprised to see him sitting there because we didn't think this would be a possibility while there.  Even better, Camden was spending the night with Jason at the hotel.  As we were talking, Camden was hugging Jason and laying his head on Jason's shoulder.  Melts my heart!  Also remember, Camden speaks only French and Jason speaks only English.  Lol!
We decided for me to take the computer to the school for the kids to Skype with Camden because we didn't know if we would get another chance.  They called the kids to the office where I had the computer set up.  As they came in, they just started grinning because they knew why I was there.  "Are we going to see Camden?"  What a blessing for the kids to be able to see him face to face!  They had the best time making funny faces to each other, watching Camden show off his soccer skills, hearing Camden say "my brudders, my sister," laughing as Camden was rubbing Jason head and beard, and waving at each other.  He is going to fit in perfect with our family!  You could see his personality come out with each minute that we were together.  At the end of the conversation, he said, "love you mama" and was hugging the phone.  WOW!!!  I pray that he will quickly understand what "love" means in a family and ultimately understands the "love" that the Lord has for him!  The kids couldn't stop smiling when we got done.
Jason, Camden, and the translators were able to take all the donations (from friends and family) to the orphanage.  All the donations that we gathered we put in his checked suitcase that weighed 49.5 pounds.  They loved it and were so thankful for everything.  Camden was so proud that his daddy visited the orphanage and was showing him off to his friends there.  Precious :)     
December 4th - Camden slept for 12 hours straight.  Jason not so much.  We were able to Skype again before the kids went to school which was a huge blessing and surprise.  Camden immediately starting saying "my brudders and sister" with his accent.  They picked back up from yesterday making funny faces to each other.  Anything the kids would do, he would mimic them.  Anything he did, the kids would mimic him.  They would just laugh and laugh at each other.  Precious to this mama's ears. 
Jason and Camden spent the whole day together playing soccer, touring the city, meeting his uncle, eating, wrestling, and just being together.  I can't explain how important this trip was for our adoption process but also the time spent with Camden.  The Lord has given Jason this precious time with his son to start the bonding process.  What a blessing!
We decided to send Christmas gifts for him from each of our family members.  Each gift was wrapped with a picture attached of the family member that gave him the gift.  We also made him a photo book with French translations of who each person was in the family.  He can start memorizing names with faces.          
Camden had to return to the orphanage at 7:00 PM.  Jason said it was difficult to watch him go back to the orphanage knowing we don't have an exact time to bring him home.  Pray for his heart to understand that we are bringing him home as soon as we can.
December 5th - Jason was by himself for the day until his flight at 9:50 PM (2:20 PM our time).  He ventured out to a market across the street from his hotel to pass the time.  He said it had everything that you would need, like Wal-Mart. Lol!  His translators were 19 and 20 and came back to the hotel to hang out with Jason before he left.  Jason has such a way of making people feel comfortable and that they matter that people want to be around him.  They kept asking, "Pastor Allison, how can you bring us to America?"  Their goal is to come to America to make a better life for themselves.  I think that they think that "Pastor Allison" has connections to get them here.  I said if he had connections, Camden would be home!  Lol :)               
December 6th - I will pick Jason up from the airport!  
PLEASE PRAY THAT CONGO WOULD LIFT THE EXIT LETTER SUSPENSION THAT HAS BE GOING ON SINCE SEPTEMBER 25, 2013.  We keep making great progress in our adoption but the exit letter still stands in our way of bringing Camden home.  We know the Lord is going to do it and we trust his perfect timing!!!  You can join us in praying specifically for the exit letter suspension to be lifted.  THANK YOU for joining us in our adoption journey!  May the Lord receive praise and glory for the things He has done in the last 2 years!  :)

Wednesday, October 8, 2014


Fundraiser Update:
Chick-fil-A Family Night = $240 = Awesome

Noonday Collection Trunk Show = $200 = Wonderful

T-Shirt Fundraiser = Still going = $15 for each shirt
                       $10 for each shirt if participating in 5K or Fun Run

5K/1-mile Fun Run = Saturday, October 25th = McKenzie City Park
                                = Registration at 8:00 am
                                = 1-mile Fun Run 8:30 am = $20 entry fee
                                = 5K Run/Walk 9:00 am = $25 entry fee

Adoption Update:
We also want to update you on the craziness of adopting from the DRC.  We have FINALLY received all the paperwork from the courts to file for our I600.  Great news!  The I600 step is for our government to do an investigation to make sure that Camden is a true orphan.  We had originally planned on Jason travelling the middle of October to meet Camden and file the I600 in country.  When you file in country, this step of the process is much faster than filing in the US.  After much prayer and constant changes, we decided to wait for Jason to travel in November.  We are going to go ahead and file our I600 with the USCIS and pray for a speedy investigation.  On average, it takes about 6 months for an investigation but we have heard in the last few months that people are passing investigation in 2 - 3 months.

Of course, none of this matters unless the DRC government lifts the suspension on exit letters.  You have to obtain an exit letter to leave the country with your legally adopted child.  The suspension has been over a year and they released another notice last week that stated "the suspension will remain in effect until further notice."  We don't really know what that means for Camden and all the other 400 children that have been legally adopted by families over all the world.  Some families are moving to DRC at the first of the year, some families are backing out of their adoption because they can't afford the monthly orphan care fees, some families are giving up hope, and some families are fighting even harder to bring their children home.  You could probably guess that we are fighting and doing everything in our power to bring Camden home soon.  We are going to continue to move forward in the process, pay our monthly orphan care fees, send pictures of us through email, receive pictures of him growing up, contact anyone in government that will listen to our situation, and TRUST in the Lord for His perfect plan for our lives.  We ask that you continue to pray for the DRC government to lift the exit letter suspension.

"For I know the plans that I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you HOPE and a future."        Jeremiah 29:11                  

Saturday, September 6, 2014


Finally movement . . . With our agency shutting down in July, we were forced to continue our adoption as an independent adoption.  It means that we have to do all the paperwork, gather documents, pay money, contact Embassy, etc. on our own.  We don't have an agency to ask questions about filling out our paperwork, what documents we need to file our I600, how long it takes to get CONA, etc.  We have relied on other adoptive parents in the process, our lawyers in the Congo, the orphanage director, and the lady that translates our documents.  Now, we see what a blessing it was for our agency to shut down.  (not the taking our money part lol)  We are getting pictures of a healthy Camden, meeting people that are taking care packages to him, making connections with drivers/translators for our trip, and finally seeing movement in our case.

In the last 2 weeks, we have received several documents for our next step but we are still waiting on 2 documents.  In the process of receiving these documents and talking with our lawyers, our previous agency never sent our dossier (paperwork) to the court system.  They had been "on hold" because the agency never paid our lawyers.  So, our dossier has been sitting on a desk in the court for over a year with no movement.  I am so thankful that now we have movement and all kinds of people are helping to make this happen. 
We have some decisions to make concerning the I600 (next step) so be in prayer that we follow the Lord's leading and not our selfish desires. 

BIG NEWS:  Our sweet, precious youth group surprised us the other night with fundraisers to help bring Camden home.  I was in tears as they shared their hearts with us.  They have been on this journey with us and they want him home NOW!!!

1.  Chic-fil-a Family Night (on Bethel's campus) - Thursday, September 11th from 5:00 - 8:00 - They will donate a percentage of their sales to the Allison Adoption Fund.  How awesome is that!  Come eat at Chic-fil-a and support us at the same time!

2.  5K for Camden - Saturday, October 25th - Registration start at 8:00
                                 1 mile Run/Walk starts at 8:30 - Fee $20
                                 5K Run/Walk starts at 9:00 - Fee $25
Everyone participating will receive a free t-shirt.  All proceeds go the Allison Adoption Fund.

3.  "Bring Camden Home" T-shirts - They designed a really cool t-shirt that you can purchase to help bring Camden home.  They are $15 each.  I will let you know when we start selling them. 

4.  Noonday Collection Trunk Show - Our friend, Krista Taylor, is hosting a Noonday Collection Trunk Show on Saturday, September 13th from 9:30 - 11:30 at the FBC Parsonage.  She is donating a percentage of the sales to the Allison Adoption Fund.  Everyone is invited to attend and bring a friend with you.  We are so thankful for her willingness to help bring Camden home.   

Be looking for more details about these awesome fundraisers in the coming days!  :)