This year has been crazy. If you’ve followed my facebook updates, you’ll know that Little and our 2 oldest traveled back to Uganda to bring JuJu and Mo home at the end of May, right in the middle of our summer staff training. Holloway life isn’t easy or calm, but JuJu and Mo have fit right into the chaos. While we still have to go through the United States adoption process, I plan to update you guys on how things ended up on the Ugandan side of things throughout the next month.
I can’t begin to express in words how overwhelming the support our family has received throughout all of this has been. I’m so grateful for each of you.
Our SWO14 summer was great, and I’m excited to have this website up and running again. As most of you know, things don’t really ever slow down for us here—I love it! We’ve already had a couple retreats and one conference. Most of you are already back in the swing of school and work. As you get into a rhythm this fall, I want to leave you with this resounding truth in 2 Timothy 3:16, “All scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” In the busy-ness of work, Scripture is sufficient. For the single mom trying to make ends meet, His Word is enough. College student, the Bible is alive and applicable for your circumstances.
It’s easy to let our situations dictate our thoughts, emotions, decisions, etc. I challenge you in this new season to establish yourself in the Truth. Abide in His Word, daily, and let it change you.
‘til the whole world hears,
We are excited to report that the passport applications for JuJu and Mo have been turned over to Immigration here in Uganda. This is sort of like the halfway point of the process. Turnaround for these applications has been about a week, so we will hopefully have our passports in hand by next Monday. Once we get those we can begin the medical screening process, which takes about a week. From there, we go to the US Embassy. The Embassy stage is about a week, barring any hang-ups. We have quite a few friends who have run into various paperwork issues at the Embassy, so pray we are vigilant and detailed in preparing the documentation for the Embassy. Once we are at the Embassy, we can be out of country within a few days. We are just asking people to pray for us until we are on a plane headed for home.
As I write this, I am awaiting a flight for the States. I will be flying into Jacksonville, FL. on Thursday to speak at a church, then home on Sunday. I will have a few days at SWO, then, head to Charlotte for the Live Sent Conference at Hickory Grove. Little and the kids will be staying here in Uganda, and I will return on Monday, March 17. We are asking for prayer during this short trip.
Pray for Little and the kids, and for the continued process of adoption while I am gone. Pray for JuJu and Mo, as this will be the first time I leave them for more than a few minutes, since we got them. Pray they have a peace from God as they try to figure things out. Please pray for God’s favor as I prepare, study, pray, and preach God’s Word to students over the next couple weeks. I so desire the power of God to grip the thousands who will hear.
We love you all, and are so grateful for you.
Judge Signed the Court Ruling! Thanks to all who have prayed with us for the judge to sign the court ruling. It is done! He signed it at 7:00 pm today, Friday. We do have a few things that need to be corrected before we can go to the US embassy for document review. The document file for these kids is literally about four inches thick. There are so many forms, and they must all match perfectly. Names and spellings, dates and places, and every detail must be without contradiction. If any two documents do not match perfectly then the whole process can be delayed weeks, even months. Pray that as we move through the passport and medical stages, the other documents can be corrected and ready for US embassy review, in the final stage.
One of the critical changes that must be made is to Mo’s birth certificate. We were told that it should arrive in the lawyer’s mailbox on Monday. This would be a huge blessing because we could then go to apply for passports on Tuesday. I fly out at midnight Tuesday night. We have to have the birth certificates and the court ruling the judge signed today in order to apply for the passports. Keep praying!
On the lighter side, we are enjoying the time here, and the people we are meeting. I wanted to share a couple of videos that you would hopefully enjoy. We are trying to introduce the kids to everyone before we get back home. Through the comments and emails, it is obvious that so many of our extended family already love these two with us. Thank you all for that.
We will keep you posted. Pray on!
I wanted to just give everyone an overall update on where things are. First of all, we cannot express as a family how grateful we are for the overwhelming support. It has made this journey exponentially easier and more encouraging. Thanks, and please hang in here with us until we are home.
I thought it might be helpful to give you a brief order of deadlines and decisions that must be made to get the kids home.
First, we had our court date. Many of you prayed and the judge ruled favorably. This was a ruling for guardianship, but it is temporary until a written ruling can be obtained. This takes a couple of weeks, and it is what we are waiting on now. A few days after the court date, we received an official court ruling that is then written out, and signed by the judge. We are waiting now for the signing. It is on his desk, so please pray he will do this quickly.
Once this is done, we are clear to take the ruling and apply for passports with Ugandan Immigration. Once we apply, we wait until they call us with the passports. This can take anywhere from three days to three weeks. We obviously are praying for this to go quickly. Average time has been around a week for the other families we have spoken with.
When we have the passports in our hands, we can go to have medical clearance for the kids. This is about a one-week process, consisting of a general exam and TB test, and then an approval is sent to the US embassy.
Once the exams are complete, we will apply for an appointment with the embassy to have all of our documents reviewed. This is where a lot of people run into trouble, as the pile of documents is huge and there can’t be a single mistake or discrepancy. We have met people who were hung up in country for weeks and even months because of a wrong date on a document, or a misspelled word, or any other number of things. We will have to go through these documents with a fine-toothed comb before we go for our review. We still have quite a bit of paperwork to do through each stage of this process. We cannot afford to mess those up. For those of you who know Little and me, this is our biggest weak spot. We are both horrible administratively. Pray we are vigilant in this area.
Once we have been cleared at the document review, we are given a visa appointment for the kids’ passports, which will be two days after document review, then called in two days later for a final exit interview. Once that is complete, we are given all we need to leave the country.
- Court date and initial custody granted (Birth fathers present)
- Official verbal judge’s ruling (1 week)
- Official written judge’s ruling (what we are waiting for now)
- Passport applications
- Passports issued (Can be 3 days up to 3 weeks)
- Medical exams (one week)
- Document review (3 to 7 days)
- Visa applications (2 days)
- Exit interview at Embassy with birth fathers present. (one day)
Hope this isn’t too confusing. A lot of steps, I know. If we get the passports applied for this week, and then the medicals and document review goes well, we are looking at about three more weeks in country. I will travel home on March 5-6 and be in the U.S. for about 10 days. This would put me back in country here just in time for the final two steps. Please pray this all runs smoothly!
We could be home by late March if all is well. In the meantime, we could not be more convinced that we are in God’s will here. We are learning much and seeing new life in these two little ones. Our three older ones are doing an amazing job, and we couldn’t be more thankful for them.
Thanks again for all the prayer support. We will keep you posted.