As you know, we recently returned from Congo. We went with one main goal - we wanted to audit the paperwork trail and see how we could organize and be more efficient in the adoption process in country. During this review process, we determined it was necessary to have more adoption attorneys involved with your cases in Congo. We wanted attorneys who had successfully completed adoptions from the Congo, prior to the exit letter suspension by the DGM. It was imperative that these individuals be responsive to our requests, the requests of you (the families), and the needs of the children. We spoke with orphanages, US Embassy personnel, personnel from other country embassies, and Tribunal Chiefs to receive references on successful attorneys.
After an exhaustive search, we are happy to announce we have hired four (4) additional attorneys in Congo. Each attorney fits the criteria we were searching for, and will fill a specific role in the process. This will be very beneficial for all families involved in EAC’s Congo program.
In addition to securing additional attorneys, we also have secured our very own Foster Care facility. During our previous visit, it became apparent we were in need for more space for the children. After looking at 8 different houses, we settled on a very nice home (see photos below) for the children and staff. It is a very large, contemporary, house with 5 large bedrooms and 4 bathrooms. The home also features large great room play areas, a big yard with a 10 foot privacy wall, including a secured gated entry.
|Main entry to the New Foster Care facility|
|One of the large great rooms|
When renting in Kinshasa, you rent the “home”, and the rent does not include all the necessities such as kitchen appliances, water tank (and pump), a generator (power goes out frequently in Congo). For those of you who watch House Hunters International, you’ll know what we are talking about! The things we take for granted here in the US when renting a home are quite different in other parts of the world. We have spoken with many of you about the home, and many of you have asked if there is anything you can assist us in providing for the home. Thank you! We have already purchased 21 mattresses, plastic chairs, tables, bowls, plates, etc. We also bought a sound system for music (it can also be connected to the TV we hope to purchase). Below is a list of items we are need of, either through donations or funding:
Full size sheets fitted for bunk beds
DVD’s and CD’s
Any used iPads, Tablets, or laptops
Air Filter Systems
An additional refrigerator
And now to address the question regarding the DGM Exit Letter suspension, as many of you know if you attended the Department of State and USCIS conference call, DGM has stated the ban may last through September. We have heard varying time frames, with some suggesting the upcoming Congo delegations visit to the U.S. will have a big impact on the ban being lifted sooner than September. In the meantime, we will continue to work hard on adoption cases and caring for your children in our facility.
We are heading back to Congo in a couple of weeks and will update you on the goals for our trip very soon. We thank you for your concerns, support and patience during these times.