Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Prayer Update

Thursday Brad flies to Capetown for Orientation with a church and an all-nighter with the youth. Please pray for him as he travels and ministers and for us as the family stays home without him. Pray for safety all around! He will return home on Monday.

Thanks!
Mary, for the fam
Brad, Mary, Brandon, Marissa & Mya

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Another Update on Mya's Adoption

Through some research on the internet, it appeared that we could get an apostille from the Department of Foreign Affairs in Pretoria. This is about an hour drive from here, so I phoned them yesterday morning to confirm that they could do this for us, and they said to go to ANY home affairs office and have it done.
Well, I had some paperwork that I needed to turn it at the local home affairs office which is about 10 minutes away, so I thought I'd kill two birds with one stone and off I went with Mya (Brad took the bigger kids) and headed to home affairs.
I stood in line for an hour and a half to turn in the papers for Mya's unabridged birth certificate and wait for them to be faxed to Pretoria (for the 3rd time) and then I asked about the apostille, and was told that they don't do that. Crazy!
The magistrates' office is just down the road from home affairs so I popped in and spoke to the clerk, and she said she would talk to the magistrate to see specifically what he wanted and where to go for it. She kept our original marriage certificate, passports and pay stub to show him. I think it is possible that with the original documents he may be able to do the apostille himself! We'll see....

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Update on Mya's Adoption

It's been a while since we've sent an update on the progress in Mya's adoption.

The case went through to the Magistrate that could approve the adoption, but according to the Hague Convention (which has come into play after we started this process, changing some of the requirements) we need to have an apostille for the copies of our US documents - our marriage certificate, pay stub and passports. We are hoping to have this done early this week and then return it to the Magistrate's office. Then we wait again.

An apostille is the legalization of a document for international use under the terms of the 1961 Hague Convention Abolishing the Requirement of Legalization for Foreign Public Documents. Documents which have been notarized by a notary public, and certain other documents, and then certified with a conformant apostille are accepted for legal use in all the nations that have signed the Hague Convention.

Another change that has taken place as a result of the Hague Convention, is that we are supposed to be approved by the US for adoption BEFORE a child is chosen in order for the US to approve the adoption. HOWEVER, (God is so good!) there is a way around this!

Because we live in South Africa, we don't NEED to have the US approve the adoption right away. Once the adoption is finalized here, we will wait two years. We can then apply for citizenship to the US based on the fact that she is our adopted child in another country and we are US citizens.

This is through an N-600K, which says that it is for A US citizen parent seeking citizenship on behalf of a minor adopted or biological child providing for citizenship through an application process for biological and adopted children who regularly reside outside of the US and meet certain conditions while under age 18.