A little over a month ago, we checked off a HUGE adoption milestone- NOC (No Objection Certificate). This basically means India has no objections to us adopting our daughter. We received it on a Wednesday (church night!), so we celebrated with Chick-fil-A dinner/dessert at the church playground. Many people have been so kind to ask us what’s next, and I wanted to wait to write an update when we had a better understanding of what’s next. However, we still don’t know a whole lot more than we did when we got NOC (this is due to COVID-19 wreaking havoc in India), but I figured I could still update today with what we do know.
Receiving NOC means we can be registered for court. Court takes place in India, and typically, families aren’t asked to travel to India for the court process. The specific next step we’re waiting on is to be registered with a court date. More than likely, we’ll have multiple court dates before we have written court orders (these mean Faith is legally our daughter). Our agency prepared us that the court process could take 4-8 months (with some processes being faster and others being longer). From what I understand, the court hearings will consist of our dossier being looked over to evaluate if we’re able to bring Faith home. The judge could take multiple hearings to look this over (it’s TONS of paperwork!), could ask for more information, etc. One word that’s used to describe the court process to us is “unpredictable”. For some, court moves quickly, while it moves more slowly for others, and there doesn’t seem to be a rhyme or reason to it. We’ve learned many things in the 3 years of this process, and one of them is that “unpredictable” seems to be a pretty predictable/normal thing in adoption.
One reason why there are so many unknowns is due to COVID-19. In the last several months, COVID-19 has been absolutely awful in India. Honestly, I haven’t watched/read tons of news about it because it causes me lots of worry, and I’m trying to keep my mind set on things that are true, excellent, worthy of praise, etc. like we’re commanded in Philippians 4:8-9. Due to all this, it seems the courts have been at a halt or slower to move. We don’t know how this affects our daughter’s specific part of India, but I’m guessing the courts might be backlogged due to being locked down/slower to operate because of COVID-19. Praise the Lord, though, it does seem that the COVID-19 situation in India is improving.
Here are some specific ways to pray:
- That we would get a court date soon (& that our hearing would happen when that court date is scheduled)!
- That we would get an update soon on our daughter. We haven’t received any updates, pictures, etc. since we matched in January. Our agency has reached out to her SAA (orphanage). We definitely understand that this is normal, especially since everyone in India has been in survival-mode due to COVID-19. However, it would do this mama’s heart good to get an update (I mean, imagine if you didn’t know how your kids had been in almost 7 months?).
- For our judge. Yes, I pray he/she would quickly give us written court orders! But I’ve also been burdened to pray for the salvation of our judge.
- For Faith’s caretakers. I’ll forever be grateful for the precious people who are caring for our daughter right now. Most of all, I pray they know Jesus as Savior.
- For COVID-19 in India. Things have gotten better, but India desperately still needs prayer for relief from COVID-19.
- For our bonding/attachment with our daughter. This is a HUGE request we pray for almost daily in our home. The adjustment for all of us (especially her) will be a lot, so we pray we’d bond/attach quickly, and she would trust mommy/daddy/brothers.
- For our hearts while we wait. Waiting is tough. Pray we’ll glorify the Lord in this.
Of course, we have so many things to praise God for too:
- We got NOC fairly quickly! This was so exciting to us. If you know our process, you know that little about it has been quick.
- My job!!! I wanted to keep teaching at SCA, but did want to cut back some so I can have as much time as possible home with Faith once she’s home. The Lord was so gracious to work that out. I’m so grateful to SCA for their willingness to work with me!
- God has been kind and faithful every step of the way. He’s good, even through difficulties and hardships.
Friends, as always, we’re so grateful you’re journeying along with us. For several months, I’ve clung to, “Even when I can’t see it you’re working. You never stop, you never stop working,” from “Waymaker”. Even though it seems there’s been no movement in our process since NOC, I trust that the Lord is always at work. I also trust he loves our daughter far more than we do. He’s good and faithful, friends.