Today is the day we remember Alethia's denial at the Embassy. We remember standing in that little room, "Shabby" propped up on the counter, our other kids huddled up close, and the Embassy worker giving us the very cold, indifferent "nope, she can't get a VISA to go home". No explanation. No options. Just "no". As if the daughter that had been grafted into our family could simply be cut off again. We remember those following few seconds that felt like years, as our bodies froze in place while our minds raced all over trying to make sense of what had just happened.
We remember. We, ahem...I, cry. I cry a lot during this time every year (I can't help it, don't judge). Because those feelings are still inside of me. They awaken every year just as fresh as the day they happened.
But I have the full picture now and the crying is coupled with the shadows of grace and love that sustained us, and brought us through to the soon-to-come season of firsts that Alethia got to experience once we got her home.
We know SO MUCH MORE about the process now than we did then, and PTL we know that there are options. You just have to keep working the system...and that is exactly what my brother and sister-in-law have done. Over the past 4 years they have been working on bringing their daughter home, after getting a denial at the Embassy shortly after ours. And now it's time for them to go back to court to fully adopt Chloe in Uganda and apply for a different VISA that will FINALLY bring them all back home to America.
And you can help them get here!
They are doing an auction over at @bringchloehomeauction on Instagram to raise (hopefully) their last big chunk of funds for their legal fees in court. Kelly has found local artisans who have made the items being sold for the auction. (Their stories are on the site. I love getting to meet where the items have originated!)
Here are the rules that are posted on the auction site:
1 - The auction begins at 9am EST on Tuesday Nov. 17. It will be open for bidding until it closes at 5pm EST on Wed. Nov. 18.
2 - To bid on an item: comment with your bid (in full dollar increments) on the item you wish to bid on and your email address. If you are outbidding a previous bidder, please tag them in your comment so they can see you have been outbid.
3 - When bidding has closed, I will comment "closed" on each item and no bids afterward will be accepted on that item.
4 - If you have the winning bid, I will email ASAP (within 48 hours) with your invoice and direct you in paying for your item(s).
5 - If you fail to pay your invoice within 24 hours of receiving it, I have the right to give the item(s) to the second place bidder.
6 - A small shipping fee will be added to your winning bid(s). Total fees are as follows:
- 1-3 items: $4
- 4-6 items: $6
- 7-9 items: $9
Thank you for understanding.
7 - All winning bids will be paid online through our sending agency, World Reach Partnerships. If you win, all billing instructions will be included in your email. (It's super easy!)
So make sure you share this fundraiser with your friends and start shopping.