Farhan, Ayoub and I were in a car in Virginia when we got the news that Ayoub’s US adoption was finalized, signed, stamped and sealed by a judge here in our little town in VA. Alhamdulillah! The finalization also means that Ayoub is now a US citizen. It was a unique independence day of sorts for our little family. I was hoping that it would happen around July 4th and it did!
We had actually forgotten about the fact that we were waiting to hear something from the lawyer. This process is a far cry from the Moroccan one where we were literally holding our breath until the adoption was complete. Ayoub and I went to the lawyer’s office to pick up the paperwork and of course I started crying when it was handed to me! There was a typo on the final order but it can be easily corrected (some info was incorrect). No big deal–the judge signed the paper and that was the most important thing!
This has been a long time coming and it feels fantastic to be able to check this off our steps list. WOW! Wow! Wow!
People have said in the past that these legal hurdles are no big deal and that once you lay eyes on your baby, he is yours in your heart. I absolutely agree. At this point it doesn’t even feel like Ayoub was adopted. He IS ours and one of the best things that has happened to me and us. However, this is part of the process and we are making progress and it feels great. It’s easy to get caught up in the mundane tasks of raising a child but it’s also important to stop and remember how precious this child is and how hard we worked to have him in our family. This is a quiet reminder.
As I was rocking him to sleep I just gazed at his lovely face and thanked God for the opportunity to be his Mama. Alhamdulillah.
Well, hello again! It’s been about a month since my last post and so much has happend! We’ve managed to get Ayoub’s Moroccan passport, US visa, left Morocco (finally!) and have been in Doha for about 3 weeks now. I haven’t had time to post those experiences yet, but they are on the way.
What I’m REALLY excited about is the fact that we’re heading to the US tomorrow! Yep, FINALLY heading home and look forward to seeing all of our wonderful friends and family who will be waiting to meet us at the airport. We are as excited as they are and we know how incredibly lucky we are to have them in our lives.
First things first: we’ll start Ayoub’s US adoption process on Monday with appointments with the adoption attorney and social worker.
But one thing before that: maklooba and a 10 hour nap! My dear friend who is now bestowed with the title “Mama Nada” asked how she could help me while I was in Tangier. I told her the first thing I want after I arrive is her maklooba and to sleep for 10 hours straight. And that’s what I’ll do on Saturday! All of my girl friends are getting together, we’ll have dinner, I’ll then hand them the baby and go off to my long anticipated date in la-la land. (Seriously, I bet we’ll talk the whole night and have fun playing with Ayoubi!)
Until then, I must get back to packing!
PS: to those who have asked for advice and guidance about the process, I apologize for the delay. I’ll have some free time during my trip and will get answers to you soon. Hang tight!
Our little Sunshine!
We’re officially Ayoub’s parents, Alhamdulilah! We just returned from court where the adoption papers were signed and stamped by the local judge. Ayoub turns 7-months today, as well. It’s a very mubarak (blessed) day for our family.
Farhan and I would like to thank everyone for their support, duas, prayers, and love during this time. A special thank you goes to the folks from La Creche who worked and worried as hard as we did that all would go smoothly amidst the strike. It all paid off!
Now, on to the passport, Qatar visa and US visa. Ayoub and I hope to be back in Doha around October 16, and in the US around Thanksgiving time, God willing.
Step 10: Check.
Mrs. Haddad just informed us that the judge did not agree to see us on Friday. His reason is that other people in his office are required to be present at a custody hearing and they do not work on Fridays. We’ve put a call in to another person who might be able to make something happen. We’re waiting to hear back now.
I’m very sad at the thought of missing Sarah’s wedding. InshaAllah another door will open some where, some how! Never in my dreams or plan-b planning did I see this one coming.
Tomorrow, InshaAllah (God Willing), the judge will approve our petition to adopt Ayoub (Kefala). And on Wednesday, we will appear before the judge with Ayoub to receive permanent legal custody of our sunshine. I can’t believe we’re almost there!
This day has only been an image in my mind–September 23rd circled on a phantom calendar that only I could see. And now to actually reach it feels surreal. And wonderful!
Please keep us in your duas and prayers.
Had a great conversation with a US immigration attorney. Come to find out, he’s the same lawyer Rebecca at Coordinators 2 recommended this past summer, and he’s the business partner of a family friend. Small world!
So, when we enter the US, we’ll receive a green card for the child and have our first post-placement visit with Rebecca. Once that’s done, we can come and go between the US and Qatar as we please. We won’t need to apply for advanced parole! On our next visit to the US, we’ll finish up the post-placement visits and finalize the adoption/citizenship/passport process. Alhamdulillah, things are looking good 🙂
Sounds scary, doesn’t it?!
When we enter the US on the IR-4 visa, the baby will be given a green card. So that we don’t have to stay in the US for 4 months while the post-placement visits are going on (3 visits-1st and 3rd separated by 90 days), we’d like to travel back Qatar and spend our time bonding and becoming a family there.
To travel with the baby, we’ll need to apply for advanced parole (permission to leave the country while waiting to receive citizenship). Things we need to figure out:
1. can we get the baby a Qatari visa for more than 1 month?
2. will the Moroccan passport stipulate that the baby can only travel to 1 country after leaving Morocco?
3. can we get the baby under dh’s sponsorship and family RP w/ just kefala custody?
We have a call w/ an attorney on Friday, hopefully he can help answer our questions.
**Update** Check out this entry