“How would this work? Would we have to go through the same process from scratch?” My mind drifts and I remember landing here over six months ago, knowing we had to be residents here for at least that amount of time before we could bring home a baby. We have submerged ourselves in the culture and have grown to love the people here. They have nothing, but are the happiest people I have ever seen. The women sing as they carry their heavy loads...their giant bundles of sticks and heavy buckets of water…and though I don’t understand the words, I feel their power. They expect to work hard from dawn ‘til dusk, and they do not complain. Ever. There is no sense of entitlement, they just do what has to be done. The women are strong and they raise strong children. And oh! the children! They have wide, white smiles that pierce your soul. Images of them stay with me long after I have left them. I would adopt them all if I could.
During our stay we have met several families from the village but Haji was quick to tell us to not “advertise” that we were here to adopt. There are so many laws, but one very important one to remember is that it is illegal to solicit for adoption. Villagers cannot approach people perceived to be “in the market” as he called it, and adoptive parents are not legally allowed to inquire about adopting specific children. Violating this law would cease all adoption proceedings and families caught trying to secretly arrange adoptions could be fined, imprisoned...or worse. Understanding this law, I couldn’t comprehend how this additional adoption was even possible. Not only that, how could we get the proper documentation for Jaibi? I pinched my eyes shut and tried to block out the chaos around me and in my mind.
Haji’s voice jerks me from my thoughts. It seems he is reading my mind. “You are familiar with the laws here. Normally this would not be permitted. But there are….special circumstances to be taken into consideration in this matter.” He paused and lowered his voice as he carefully chose his words. I struggled to hear him over the throngs of impatient passengers that were pushing past us. Amina continued fussing in my arms and I passed her to Jonathan. “The child’s father is the son of the Registrar-General. The very man who granted you the adoption of Amina. He is eager to resolve this.”
Check back tomorrow to see what happens with the adoption!