We have seen a great deal of change in our boys, Will and Jake, since we brought them home a year and a half ago. They came to us speaking only French and now they speak mostly English (with an impressive vocabulary!), along with some Wolof and French. They have both moved about 20% higher on the height and weight charts for their age. For example, when Will came to us he measured in the 3rd percentile for his age; now he is in the 30th percentile for height! At first, Jake would only eat a few familiar foods: rice, bread, eggs, bananas. Almost everything else he put in his mouth, he would chew and then take back out. He no longer does this! Both boys now enjoy a wide variety of foods. One of their favorites is peanut butter and jelly sandwiches — obviously they are ready to officially become American citizens!
Many of you have been praying for us since we started this adoption process in 2013. We never imagined it would take us this long to get this point! We had hoped our trip to the US in March 2019 would have resulted in the boys receiving their citizenship, but due to a State Department rule change and poor communication between US Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) and the US Embassy in Dakar, we are having to do this further step. But we are thankful to finally be nearing the end of this process! USCIS granted both boys an appointment for their citizenship interviews on January 27 in Hartford, CT. We have purchased plane tickets for the four of us (Corey, Katie, Will & Jake) to spend just over three weeks in Connecticut while our three girls are at boarding school. We will be in the US from January 23 to February 18.
We are overwhelmed with gratitude for how the Lord has already provided so much of what we need for this trip. Friends have generously covered the cost of our transportation from Kaffrine to Simsbury, including the plane tickets. Isn’t that amazing and wonderful!? Other friends have volunteered to let us stay with them. (We sincerely hope that they don’t regret this later!) And someone else has offered us the use of their vehicle. These sacrificial gifts have been such an encouragement to us during this stressful time and have reassured us that the Lord, and His people, love us and are close by with a helping hand.
We would love to be able to borrow a second car for when our out-of-town family comes to see us and so that Corey and I can use our time more efficiently. And we are looking to borrow three car seats as well (a booster seat for Jake, a 5-point harness car seat for Will, and a 5-point harness car seat for our 2-year old nephew just for a week). If you have a car or a car seat we can borrow, let me know via email or Facebook messenger. We will also need to borrow winter coats, boots, snow pants, and clothes for the boys. As a side note, if you have boys’ summer clothing sizes 5 – 8 in good shape that your sons have outgrown, we will happily take them back to Senegal with us for Will and Jake.
Thank you, friends! Looking forward to seeing some of you soon!