So it's official. We have a new son, and Keem has a new family!!!
Today's meeting was very similar in that we spent half an hour waiting for a 5 minute appearance before the judge, whose only words to us were "Your family is big enough now" or something along those lines. We think he was joking, but hard to tell. We weren't even sure if the verdict was positive, or when the meeting was over. They just told us we could leave, and we actually had to ask our lawyer if it was accepted. It was one of the most anti climatic moments, but afterwards we were elated. Keem is finally ours!
After court we and the two other families who we are with here, whose hearings were all at the same time as ours went out for ice cream to celebrate. We ordered the largest 3 scoop waffle cones they had and by the time we were done the kids were all covered in ice cream. We walked through the hustle and bustle of the outskirts of Stabroek market to get there, which was quite the feat with 9 small kids, but it was totally worth the walk. Keem devoured a massive bowl on his own, and it truly was a celebration.
We feel we should clarify the rest of the process coming up, in case you think this is the end of our trip. Keem is officially a Slingerland, but he is not yet a Canadian. First, we have to wait for the Adoption Order and new birth certificate, which generally takes a week. Then, we need to apply for a Guyanese passport, which also generally takes a week. Normally after this we would head to Trinidad, to the Canadian High Commission to get Canadian citizenship, which in the past has taken about 5 days.
Today we found out this might not be happening as planned. The man in charge of the process in Trinidad has left his position, and we found out today that his replacement doesn't come in until August. We received an email informing us that our application will not even be looked at until sometime in August, and that we should not be making travel plans to Trinidad until then.
This was a huge shock to everyone here, as we had all planned to be home by the end of July, at the latest. This would potentially add 1 or 2 months to our stay here in Guyana.
We are exploring some other options, and planning to visit the Canadian embassy here tomorrow morning, to hopefully get some answers. We are hoping that we are able to either get a temporary visa, and possibly finalize this all in Canada, or get permission to travel to Barbados to finish the paperwork there. All the other families are on a massive campaign sending emails to their mp's and we plan to do the same, so we are hopeful that something can be done, otherwise, we will see you in September!
We aren't worried about this new development, just thrown off guard and slightly annoyed....ok, very annoyed. We were looking forward to being able to enjoy the last half of the summer in Canada, and it is also going to cost us a lot more. Either way our family is all together and Keem is ours and no one can change that. What else could we want? We are so thankful to God for this day, and our new son!