As part of the process to adopt, we found out early on that Colombian citizens get priority. However, recently we learned through our agency that it is in fact a requirement for at least one of the adoptive parents to be a Colombian national.
Thankfully, because my parents are both Colombian I was able to request my Colombian papers last week. The only document that took a long time to get for this was my Venezuelan birth certificate, which I was able to retrieve back in August in Caracas, but other than that the actual process at the Colombian Consulate in Miami was very smooth, and it only took one day!
Turns out, because my parents are Colombian I am Colombian by right, so this process wasn’t one of naturalization, rather a request based on birth-given rights. I was glad to learn that, because I do not want to lose neither my Venezuelan nor my American citizenships!
My dad was gracious enough to take time off work to go with me to the Consulate. Once there we were both pleasantly suprised at the respectful manners of the diplomatic officers, as well as their willingness and drive to help us get these papers quickly. And, since the motive for this was an adoption, they would encourage and even thank me and bless me for it. I would tell them the blessing is really ours, we want to have a family and this baby will make a dream come true. Regardless, I pray these blessings get passed on to our new child!
I am grateful to my parents, German and Yolanda, and to my heavenly Father, for giving me this gift of being Venezuelan by birth, Colombian by right, and American on purpose. I am honored to be a national of three amazing nations, and Erin and I are so happy our first child will have all three heritages.
On Monday the social worker came to our home to learn more about us and our life. While my first reaction was to vacuum under every piece of furniture, rearrange my bedroom, and call a landscaper, this wasn’t really what it was about. We have been taking courses related to the special issues of parenting an adopted child, so we got to ask our questions from the courses. She was great at responding to our concerns and questions. The other portion of our three hours together was mainly about telling our story (which is fun for us). We got to share how Alex was called to ministry, how we met, how we decided to get married, how we ended up in Florida, etc. We also shared about our families, how we were raised, what we fight about and how we resolve it, etc. Before we knew it 3 hours had gone by! I mean we even had the photo albums were out! The funny part is that the part we were so worried about (the home inspection) lasted all of two or three minutes. I don’t even think you could call it an inspection. It felt more like a tour.
In the end, it was an honor for us to share our story with our new friend Jeannette. She was genuine, empathetic, and very interested in who we were. We are so blessed that even the journey to be united with our child is a joy. Thank you for everyone who is praying already for this process, our family, and our child.
Next steps: we are still working out a way to get Alex’ birth certificate and completing our classes required by the state of Florida. Our next meeting with the social worker is scheduled for a month from now!
We are in the very beginning stages of this process. The agency we’ve chosen is called “Alliance for Children” and their staff has treated us wonderfully so far! We met with them last week to discuss the many requirements needed. Since Erin is taking the summer off she will be focusing mostly on putting these papers together. It looks like it’ll take just about that long to get all the documents needed for our dossier. Something that will speed up the process some is for me to get my Colombian citizenship. Apparently Colombia gives priority to their citizens, and I can request mine through my parents’ rights. So that will give me a third nationality, which is ok if it means a faster process. The next tangible step is going to be our first home study, which will take place on Monday June 18th. So, slowly but surely, we’re moving along!