I picked up our boys’ Ugandan passports just a few days ago.
To have these documents, with our boys’ photos in them, with their names ending with GUENTHER, meant so much to me that I held back tears as I thanked the man who handed them to me.
I still cannot believe that we made it to this point.
It took everything we had to make it this far. I am not sure I will ever find the words that will truly describe the stress, sacrifice, pain and trauma that has defined this entire process for us.
That is how I think about the process. As for our family, it is wildly different. Within the walls of our home, love and attachment grew naturally. Becoming Oliver and Finn’s “Daddy” was the easiest, and the best thing about it all, only bested by seeing my amazing wife become an amazing “Mummy!”
Obtaining the paperwork, the legal orders, the passports, that all would acknowledge this love? It felt impossible, right up until the moment when it wasn’t.
But it took everything we had.
Today, I sent in our applications for Canadian Citizenship for Oliver and Finn. We should have been excited, but we are afraid.
Immediately after July 14th, we began preparing our applications for the boys. It is a complicated, opaque process, that we ultimately have no control over.
We have already been told that we cannot apply for visitor visas for our sons. They will be denied. We had no idea that this avenue would be closed to us, and the news was shocking. The only path for our boys to come to Canada, is citizenship.
The truth is our boys are NOT Canadian. So they do not have rights, even though they are legally our children. They cannot access consular services, they cannot submit enquiries, there is no obligation for any government employee to provide them with any services, regardless of their status as the legal children of Canadian citizens.
There is a part of me that feels this is not just or fair, but I also understand there are rules and regulations that guide these processes. The truth is, that these rules and regulations can have dramatic impacts on families like ours.
We have been given no timeline. No expectations. Granting our boys Canadian citizenship is NOT guaranteed. If our applications are successful, we have no idea when they will be granted. 3 weeks from today? 12 months? No one can tell us what to expect. It’s literally against their rules.
So we need your prayer, and your support. I have not touched Canadian soil for 3 years. Nadine has not given her mom a hug since April 2018. We have three nephews we’ve never been able to meet. Almost every one of our friends and family have not been able to meet our boys.
We know that COVID-19 has changed everything, and of course this will impact our situation as well, but we need to be home. We need to find some rest. We need our sons to meet their family.
We remain committed to our work in Uganda, and so we hope that as we move forward, we will be able to make it home to Canada in time for Christmas, and then return to our other home here in Kampala to continue this amazing adventure we find ourselves in the midst of. Make no mistake – we love our lives in this incredible country.
If you feel like you want to help, then ask us how! We honestly don’t know! A simple side effect of never having to apply for Canadian Citizenship before, right?
We do know that we need your prayers for this to be successful!
Pray for the safety and security of our boys’ applications as they are shipped to Dar es Salaam. May they arrive safely and quickly.
Pray for the officials who will receive our documents. May they be compassionate, and efficient.
Pray for consular staff, who are our only Canadian resource here in East Africa. May they be motived to see this process come to a quick conclusion.
Pray for our family back in Canada. May years of prayer and waiting, be answered.
Pray for us. Insomnia, poor health, stress, illness, we have experienced it all. There’s a lot we do share here, and there’s a lot more that we don’t. We need a season of renewal, and we need it to come swiftly.
So yes, we’ve given this everything we’ve got. It’s not enough. We need help.
Lots of love. We will keep you updated!