Tuesday, August 31, 2010

On the Phone with US Officials

This morning, at 6am Pacific Time, I participated in a conference call hosted by the US Dept. of State, USCIS, and the US Embassy Officials in Kathmandu. 

The organization of efforts since Aug. 6th, and the expediency in which the US seems to be dealing with these Nepalese adoptions is encouraging for those of us waiting on the other end.  It appears they are going to make every effort to not only process each case as quickly as possible, but also keep us all informed as to where in the process we might be. At least where in the queue we landed.

Though they were unable to give specifics on 'how long will this take?", they are sending boosted personnel to Kathmandu in order to handle the 80 pending adoption cases.  Each case will be different, therefore it's difficult to determine how long this "proof of supporting evidence" will take.  This is based on Proof of Orphan Status as outlined by US Immigration Laws.  There has also been an (one?) approval since all of this started, which is so great to hear!  So now maybe only 79 pending cases?

This call has left me nervous and at the same time relieved.  Nervous; does he have the right evidence?  Will I come this far and be denied?  Relieved; the US Govt. seems committed to process all of these cases to conclusion.

My hope is that no parent that is currently in Nepal will have to come home while their case is being reviewed.  I can't imagine how hard it would be for the children to be having regular visits from their family, and then to be told the family had to return to the United States, and may or may not come back for them.  It's already hard enough to establish trust with these children who have been left by adults at least once already in their short lives, let alone to have it happen again, especially while in the process of trying to bond. 

Keep your positivity flowing.  I can feel it!  Namaste.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Light, One Ray At a Time ~ Ping!

Many years ago I was camping in a snow cave.  It was supposed to be some clever way to fool Mother Nature into somehow using snow to keep warm.  It was also a great way to avoid having to carry a tent, along with my snowboard and pack, a laborious 10 miles in snowshoes.  It was a bad idea.  Each morning I would wake to a beautiful dawn, about as refreshed as one can be after sleeping fully clothed in a freezer on a block of ice.  Crawling out from my frozen nest, I would excitedly wait for the sun to rise from behind the mountain peaks.  One ray at a time would literally "ping" me with warmth and hope, until sun made it's way into full view, completely showering me in bliss. 

Today I got "pinged".  A ray of light from that dark tunnel literally came through and just, well, gave me a 'ping', filling me, like that light from the sun, with warmth and hope.  

The possibility of being able to file my 1-600 from the U.S. is true, and I did it.  What a relief when my agency already had all the required paperwork and files all lined up.  The Police Report from when he was abandoned, the newspaper article announcing he was found, the Police Recommendation and his Orphan Status Certification.  All there.  It will soon be on it's way to Kathmandu where it will have to be hand-delivered to the Embassy,  and I will then be put in a first-come, first-come queue for processing.

There are still no guarantees that he will 'qualify" as an orphan, therefore there are no guarantees that I will be able to travel to go pick him up, but it looks so much better than even a week ago.  It is also not known how long it will take to process things.

For the official report click here:  Nepal Update USCIS

So thank you for all your prayers that have already been flying around the world on the wind.  Anything is possible, and if enough of us send our positive thoughts in any direction, they will eventually land right where they need to.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Possible Light in the Tunnel!

It appears there may be light already in this tunnel of adoption darkness!  Though unconfirmed by anyone of authority that I know, an announcement was made yesterday that the families waiting in the US (who are in 'the pipeline') would be able to file an 1-600 from the States, rather than having to go to Nepal to start that process.  In English, that means that we may start our 'orphan investigation' from the US.  Typically it was required that the parents must travel to Nepal, file there, and wait for the investigation to take place (2-3 weeks) and then they were issued a Visa for their child to be able to travel home with them.  Because of the suspension, and the controversy, the US 'appears' to be allowing this process to take place while we are all in the comfort of our own homes. 

No one knows how long the investigation will take now that the spotlight has been put on Nepal.  The ability to produce the 'proper' documents showing that these children in orphanages are truly 'abandoned' is the issue at hand.

Of course this is all in the best interest of the children, and I'm sure there isn't a parent out there who wants to take home a child from Nepal that has a family.  Hopefully the outcome here will be that every single one of these 80 matched children will be able to leave the orphanage they are in either because a) they are truly orphans or b) because their birth family has been located.

I have to trust that, as frustrating as this might be, it will serve these children in the end!

To see the whole story click here:
The Official Story

To read an uplifting story on someone doing good work to help Nepalese Orphans click here:  Maggie Doyne and Nepalese Orphans

Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Crux Lies Ahead

Is it possible to come this far and be turned around?  Is it possible to live my life not knowing what has happened to this beautiful child that sits waiting in a Nepalese orphanage for someone to bring him home, to show him love, and take away his fears; fears that no child should ever have to face?

I remember hiking the Annapurna circuit in 1998.  Each day we climbed higher and higher in altitude.  The scenery changed from sub-tropical greenery, to barren high deserts and towering snow-capped peaks, to finally a solid blanket of white.  Every step brought us closer and closer to the infamous Thorong-La Pass.  At over 17,000 feet, it loomed in front of us as the crux of our journey.  We boldly and naively walked towards her each day, not knowing if the weather, or our bodies, would allow us to endure the grueling 10+ hour hike to reach "Shangrila" (aka: Muktinath), on The Other Side.

Like that day I hiked Thorong La, I have no intention of giving up.  It was a long, painful, bitterly cold hike, but I continued putting one foot in front of the other, the human metronome, enduring a searing headache, gale force winds, scorching sun and melting ice.  Like any aware traveler, I took full advantage when the earth beneath me gave way to a sledding reprieve.  The reward was immense beyond words.

I intend to explore for myself, and report in this blog, the journey, the controversy, the wins, the losses, the heartache, the joy, the inches gained, and perhaps miles lost.  I intend to keep putting one foot in front of the other, though The Pass is not yet in sight, and sit down and slide gratefully when the Universe bestows positive news and forward movement.  There are many sides to every story, this is just mine.

As of today, there is no new news.  The Dept. Of State has not updated their website since Aug 13th, my agency has come up with nothing but dead ends, and those stuck in Nepal report they are "Still Waiting' without any word.