Saturday, September 16, 2006

CONSENT SIGNED ! !


It’s been 13 months since sweet Kadi Lael came into our home. The road toward adoption has been long and there remain many steps until everything is completely finished. BUT….yesterday was a HUGE day in this process! We were finally able to obtain the certified written consent from Lael’s birthfather! If you’ve followed this saga, you know it is not from a lack of willingness on Ega’s part (he asked us just after her birth in July 2005 to adopt Lael and has never wavered in his decision). First we had to obtain Lael’s birth certificate which took 6 months or more. Then we first went to the Notary back in February and Ega didn’t have the proper form of identification. And ever since then, the prayer pursuit was to acquire his official Benin birth certificate. Once that happened a month ago, we’ve been waiting and trying to coordinate schedules with the appropriate legal authority. Finally, we were informed that Friday, September 15th, we could arrive at 11a!

With two witnesses (our friends, Sossa and Laurance’s husband, Ben), we left Aplahoue early that morning and drove to the Baptist Guesthouse in Cotonou (a little over 2 hours away). Ega, Sossa, Ben and Laurance followed in a taxi and met us there. Laurance, who is so great with all our kids, stayed with Tori, Jonathan and Lael at the Guesthouse, while the rest of us piled into our truck and headed across town to the Notary’s office. Timothy went along with us and he won the “best behaved kid” award (later celebrated with ice cream!) He was so good for the long 3 hours we had to wait at the Notary’s office. Later on, once the deluge started, Timo thoroughly enjoyed playing in the rain! It was just after 2:30p when the Notary finally completed the 2nd draft of the consent form (the first one had some misspellings and the witnesses’ names weren’t included). Because of his disability, Ega’s autograph is conferred with his thumbprint, thus requiring the two witnesses. We have been completely confident from the beginning that the Master ordained this adoption to take place. We have had plenty of conversations over the year ensuring us Ega’s unwavering decision to place Lael into our family. But satisfying the legal requirements of Benin is an absolute necessity, so we are filled with great joy that this consent form has been signed!

-Randy & Kelly

16 comments:

vicki said...

Praises to God!! I am so glad this monumental day has finally arrived and I know you are rejoicing. Whatever is left to do should be a piece of cake. Love to all, Aunt V

Kendra said...

I've been looking for this news to come . .. thanks so much for sharing and we are SOOO pumped for your family!! Yea!!! So, what's the next step? love you guys -

Greg Bailey said...

Praaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaiiiiiiiiiise de Lord! Halleluja! Amen!
----Gregoire

Greg Bailey said...

By the way, LOVED the pics of Lael's in between 'do!
----Gregoire

Beth P said...

Hallelujah!!!! (I can hear the African women saying PTL just like Greg wrote it!) I know that moment was a sweet, sweet time to keep in your hearts. I'm so happy for you and my prayers are with Ega as he continues to give his blessings on this adoption.
I love you and can't wait to squeeze your necks!
Beth

Judy & Ronnie Vaughn said...

Thank you, Lord! Wow, what a great day! I pictured your little convoy and had a smile on my face. Ega, Sossa, Ben and Laurance in a taxi for some reason makes me smile. I bet they never pictured themselves doing that either. The memories you all share with these wonderful African people is so special. I told someone today I didn't know how your separation from them was going to be and that was BEFORE I read this blog. I think they should come here with you. If the Metroplex would be just overwhelming to them, they could live here in Littlefield! My yard needs Sossa and my house could certainly use Laurance and Louise. Ega and his family could live on the farm and grin those beautiful grins for our pleasure. What fun we could have. That might get you guys out this way even more often!

Seriously, this is answered prayers and we look forward to the coming day when Lael is COMPLETELY adopted. Please give Ega and all your helpers there our love!

Love you all,
Mom and Dad

Murray & Jaime said...

Yipppeee!! WE are celebrating this step with you!

P.S. Becky did a PHENOMENAL job at the Sweet Saturday retreat last weekend. We should have the sessions posted on the church website soon (www.fxcc.org) so you can listen to them if you want. It was INCREDIBLE!!

Donny said...

What exciting news! I hope there was some dancing around a pole (Benin style!!) to celebrate !! HA "Praise the Lord" cannot be uttered enough in situations like this. What a blessing!

Ok, so what's next? I know you are doing things with CH of Abilene but what's the next hurdle that you can share? Is the homestudy complete? I don't recall hearing that it was but was in progress. Just looking to see what we can be praying for next.

Love you guys!!

Randy & Kelly Vaughn said...

Thanks everyone for your encouraging comments!

NEXT STEP FOR PRAYER: We have an appt with the lawyer this week who will, upon our signing of the paperwork, present our FIRST petition to the courts (tribunal). The FIRST request involves petitioning the courts to be approved to adopt. The law allows for exceptions, but the law does not permit parents who already have children to adopt another (unlike in America where you can adopt multiple infants, here they are concerned about child trafficking and also about the welfare of the child...here, it is often the case that parents are overwhelmed already by the financial responsibilities of their biologicals...so to adopt another, in the eyes of the court here, would be adding to the parents' burden and create an unfit environment for the adopted child). Again, there is a clearly stated exception clause, and we simply have to follow protocol and petition the courts as the exception. According to Maurice (our attorney), having Lael in our home for over a year already should prove the point for our case (we have the means to provide a positive environment for Lael, giving her everything our biological children have). The lawyer files that petition this week (we're impressed with his confidence and tenancity!) Then we wait until we hear if we've been approved.

Then the NEXT step would be to return to the Notary who will draft the formal legal ADOPTION ACT paperwork. The lawyer will then take that dossier and make a SECOND petition, this time asking the courts to approve the placement of Kadi Lael into our home (this is where she would become our officially adopted child, having all rights as our biologicals...also when we she could officially be a VAUGHN!) So,first,pray for the FIRST request (approved as an exception). The petition will be presented to the courts this week...no timeframe was given as far as when we'd know the answer. The next step (Notary and 2nd petition) will likely not happen until close to the end of the year or even into January. Ega's consent is legally revocable up to 3 months. After December 15th, the consent legally becomes irrevocable, at which time we could procede with the final adoption placement (in other cases, the law allows the birthfather to have those months to ponder changing his mind, thus we can't procede until Dec 15...we are confident that won't be a problem here, so don't worry!)

Thank you all for praying through this with us!!!

-Randy

Randy & Kelly Vaughn said...

The outline mentioned above involves simply the Benin-side of this whole process. Simultaneously, we are working through Christian Homes (our Texas adoption agency) who will approve the homestudy that is in preparation right now (Darrell said by the end of the month, he'll be done). CH will approve the homestudy, facilitate background checks, and then communicate their approval (approving us as fit to be adoptive parents) to the US Immigration. It is Immigration who has to approve for Lael to obtain a visa to enter the U.S. next year. So once the Benin adoption is finalized in the courts (and then obtaining Lael's passport), we can then begin petitioning U.S. Immigration to grant Lael an immigrant visa. Once Immigration reviews the recommendation by CH, we can expect (through the Lord's mighty hand!) that Lael will be granted a visa to enter the U.S.! This will be necessary upon our return next year, but all of this process won't happen until the early part of next year. This is ALOT to do and ALOT of praying is needed! So thanks again everyone!!!

-Randy

Donny said...

That's a perfect recap of next steps so Thanks a bunch Randy!!! We will be praying from this end for sure. Can't wait for all this to be finalized! Love you guys!

Kelly C said...

Yahoooooo!!!!!! I'm pumped for you!!! For all of us! Love you guys so much.

shell said...

As we say in Aggieland, "Whoooooop!!!!" We are so excited for you guys. And praying for the rest of the process. Love you!!!

Ron and Marilyn said...

It was so great to hear this news today, Randy and Kelly!! Now onward Christian soldiers!! On to the next step to be taken care of earlier than stated!!

love all of you!!

Marilyn and Ron

Kristi said...

Hey I am so happy for you guys. God is good all the time. I can't wait to see all of you, especially Lael, when yall get back to Texas. The Wedding was so beautiful and awesome. When I get time I will put pictures up soon. I can't wait for the professional pictures, it was so cool. Talk to yall later,
Love,
Kristi

Jill said...

We are rejoicing with you!!!! September 15th is a special day for us, also. It is the birthday of our precious one year old Caleb. We will now have this milestone to remember on this date.

Love,
Jill