Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Next Steps

Yesterday around lunch time we had resigned ourselves to the possibility that we may not get the birth certificate on Tuesday, so we headed out the door to find a place for Josiah's birthday lunch.  Before we even got down the stairs, we received a call from Alex…"I'm coming to get you in 10 minutes.  The birth certificate is ready!"  You should have heard the celebrating that went on in the apartment hallway!!

Finally!  We have the illusive birth certificate.  

After picking up the BC, we headed back to the apartment to pack up for a train ride to Odessa later that afternoon.  

In the meantime, we had a birthday boy to celebrate…

Josiah wanted hamburgers and french fries for his birthday lunch and chose McDonalds.
A choice that both our stomachs did not thank us for later.  

At 4:30 we boarded an express train for Odessa.
We arrived in Odessa at 11:45pm.

Now we can begin the steps that we thought we would begin the day after we arrived in Ukraine.  Although we finally have the BC, there are several other hurdles that must be crossed before we can fly home.  Today we are meeting Svetlana to apply for Isaac's passport.  It should take 4-5 business days to get this (although, as we've learned, you never know what unexpected delays lurk around the corner).  Monday, June 29th is a holiday, so all offices will be closed.  We are hoping the passport will be completed by Tuesday or Wednesday next week.  We plan to take a bus back to Kiev on Monday.  Tuesday Isaac is supposed to get a physical, which includes a TB test which must be read 48 hours later.  Hopefully, we can do his 2 day embassy appointment on Wed. and Thursday.  If that all works out we could fly home next Friday or Saturday.

However, there is a very big problem that needs to be resolved before we'll be able to get Isaac's visa from the US embassy.  About 2 weeks ago the US embassies experience a world wide glitch in their computer system.  They have not been able to fix this as of today.  So no one has been able to obtain visas.  Alex told us yesterday that even if we had been able to get the birth certificate sooner, we would still be stuck here because of this problem.  The US embassy is continuing to accept petitioners, so a very large back log of people waiting has been created.  I don't know when they will fix their computer system or when we might be able to get an embassy appointment.  Please pray that this problem can be resolved soon for the sake of so many families.  This even effects the children who are being hosted by orphan hosting organizations this summer.  They are scheduled to fly out next week, but will be unable to do so if they can't obtain their visas.

So the battle is not over yet.  Please keep praying!!

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