Thursday, July 02, 2009

Now they can prove it!

Over three years in the works, Yosef and Biniam now FINALLY have their Certificates of Citizenship. What a nightmare.
The United States is a great place for immigrants to come, but the CIS office is pretty ridiculous, and there are some really frustrating bureaucratic hoops you have to jump through for no apparent reason.

My sons became citizens of this country when their adoption was finalized in a local court about two and a half years ago. But in the US, it's not enough to BE a citizen, you have to have PROOF that you're a citizen. Aside from the court document showing you became a citizen. ???? We don't have their greencards, because their first adoptive family presumably trashed them/held onto them out of spite. So instead of just being able to get them passports as proof, we had to get these Certificates of Citizenship. Which cost hundreds of dollars apiece and lots of legwork.

BUT, it is done. Soon they'll have Social Security numbers and they'll never be drafted into the Ethiopian army. :)

The day the certificates arrived, Kevin presented them to the boys and we went out for Ethiopian food to celebrate.

(And really, it should be Kevin standing in the picture proudly holding the certificates, because boy did he have to move heaven and earth to get those things!)


Jennifer said...

Wow, that sounds like a lot of hassle! The boys look so cute with their certificates!

You mentioned their first adoptive family. I'm curious, was this in the US or Ethiopia? Was the adoption dissolved?

Brianna Heldt said...

They were adopted by someone else who flew to Ethiopia and changed their mind. By the time you travel, the adoption is done, so they had to be relinquished through the US courts. It was a very ugly situation.

Jennifer said...

Briana, thanks for answering my question. What a sad situation, but we see that God redeemed it for good! I asked because I'd seen on your blog before that you flew to ET to get the boys, so I was really curious!

I follow several other blogs of families who have adopted and I've seen some of them adopt kids who were adopted internationally by Americans and later the adoptive parents decided they couldn't take care of the kids anymore and these other folks stepped in. It makes me wonder how common that is. So sad.

Joanie said...

I love the boys' story of God's plan and provision, but it is always heartbreaking to hear of children having to go through court systems, instead of just getting to be in warm and loving homes. (My rose-colored glasses)

Congratulations, Yosef and Biniam!

And how very blessed you two are to be brought into the fold of your loving parents' arms - they are very, very special parents!

Brianna Heldt said...

Jennifer, disruption DOES happen, and for a number of reasons. It is really sad. Sometimes a family just isn't a good fit (birth order/lifestyle/etc.), other times I think a child's situation is perhaps more than the family feels they can handle. Oftentimes a child will go on to thrive in a new adoptive family. It's not anything anyone wants to have happen, but it does. Our case was a little different, and highly uncommon.

Jen said...

Oh, they are just so cute. Such great smiles! What a proud moment for all of you. Sounds like it was well deserved, too!

Kristen said...

yay! thank goodness it's over! i love the official ceremony in pictures. so awesome! but perhaps kevin should have worn a judge's gown. that would have been way awesome.

Mama Mote said...

Yay!!! Now, if I could only find my citizenship papers, SS card, passport, birth certificate, etc., etc. I know they're somewhere, but not in my sight.

But congratulations to your little guys. They are sure growing fast.

joy said...

yay for citizenship! and i love how keving is shaking their hands in the pictures. so cute.

Bekah said...

oh goodness, the hand-shaking pictures are so adorable! they look so proud. what cuties! sorry that the process was such a ridiculous hassle...i'm so glad you're done. let me know if you want to go sit at the SS office togeter sometime. I have to go do a name change for Miles. last time I sat there for a few hours. :)

adventures north said...

Congratulations! The CIS is cruel & unusual punishment as it is, but with extra hoops to jump through, I can imagine what a nightmare it was. Your boys look so happy - kinda neat that they're old enough to process it a little bit, anyway!


Blog Template by