We’ve got two brand new Canadians that want to say hello! Canada just got THAT MUCH more awesome!
I’m still in disbelief even as I type this, but it happened!
We are the parents of Canada’s newest immigrants. We got official confirmation that our applications were granted yesterday!
I wrote in my last post, that it could have taken 3 weeks, or 12 months, we had no idea. Turns out I was wrong, it didn’t even take 3 weeks!
All I can surmise from this, is that our prayers — your prayers — were answered. Big time.
I will forever remember a sermon I heard several years ago.
When you understand you deserve nothing (because of sin), but then learn that you have a right to everything (through our birthright as children of God), you come to a place of truly understanding gratitude and thankfulness.
We didn’t deserve what we asked you to pray for us. Yet it was provided to us anyway. I am forever grateful, beyond any words that I can think to write.
What does this mean for us? I’ll share some details below, but this means that we will be coming home for an extended leave, most likely to take place for 8 weeks around December through January. We’re coming home for Christmas! <cue relevant holiday music>
There are still a few things to figure out:
- The boys’ citizenship applications have been accepted, but they will travel with their Ugandan passports. We applied for a little-known “facilitation” visa, that is dedicated for this exact purpose; to allow minors who have been granted citizenship to enter Canada while they await citizenship certificates and Canadian passports to be issued.
- Their passports are still in Tanzania, but we expect to have them back within the next week or so.
- We need to renew our residency/work permits in Uganda — if we still have to deal with closed borders upon our return, normal visas won’t work, so out of an abundance of caution, we will be extending our residency permits now, which otherwise would expire in December. That will take a bit of time.
- We also have so many exciting developments with LifeNet to take care of over the next couple of months, and I will be updating you all on that front with a separate post.
- Uganda’s borders and airport are still closed to international travel. It is possible that this will change in the next several weeks, but if it doesn’t we will have to rely on specialized repatriation flights to exit Uganda.
- If Uganda does open the airport, then we will be able to book flights, rather than apply for seats on a repatriation flight. We hope this will be the case.
- We will look to travel in mid-November, settle in for our 14-day quarantine, and will then be ready to run around hopefully first thing in December. I will have a two month “home leave,” which we have been waiting for years to be able to take!
- End of January/Beginning of February, we’ll hop on a plane to take us back to Uganda (and the equator) so we can continue our work with LifeNet!
So we are going to be busy as we prepare to travel and find rest with friends and family back in Canada, but we are more motivated than ever to move through these upcoming weeks, recognizing that incredible change is coming.
We had originally planned to spend these past summer months in Canada, but COVID-19 made those plans impossible. Now that we are coming home in the cold, we may need a few things for the boys to stay warm and enjoy the outdoors, along with a couple of other needs. A car with winter tires, car seats for toddlers, snowsuits, gloves, Arby’s (how did that get in this list?), even kids’ skates we could borrow… we’ll be looking for anything we can get our hands on to make our boys’ first winter a special one. If you’d like to help, let us know — our good friend Iain and my mom Jan have kindly agreed to help organize some things in anticipation of us finally. coming. home.
We cannot wait to see so many of you – we cannot wait for you to meet our boys! Turns out we don’t have to wait much longer!
See you soon (I can’t believe I just typed that!)
Josh & Nadine, Oliver & Finn.