Step 3: Denied, Step 4: In Process

Its been a busy and exciting week, and it is only Wednesday! Monday morning we went to court for our final ruling to hear the judge’s decision regarding our request for proof of Kenyan Citizenship (Step 3). The judge unfortunately denied our application stating only that she did not feel we needed the court to provide proof of citizenship.

With this news we decided to proceed, as scheduled, to apply for a Kenyan passport for Oscar (Step 4). This can only be done in a few select cities in Kenya and for us, the closest place is Kisumu, a city on Lake Victoria about 5 hours from our home. We arrived in Kisumu on Monday afternoon and by God’s grace we were greeted by a very helpful immigration worker who set us up to submit an application for a passport. Two hours later we took Oscar to get his photos taken and by 5pm we were enjoying dinner at our favorite restaurant in Kenya, Java House. We spent the night in Kisumu, at a hotel with a pool. The kids loved it. We swam until dark.

Tuesday morning we arrived at the immigration office before it opened. We submitted all required documents and were given a receipt to come back when the passport is ready. Mike and I both walked out of the building asking ourselves “What just happened?”. Neither one of us is overwhelmed with confidence that this application will actually result in a passport. However, we went through all of the appropriate steps, turned in all required documents, and were given the standard receipt with a tracking number for passport pickup in about three weeks. There wasn’t anything else we could do, but the process felt rushed and almost too easy. One things is certain; it is out of our hands now. We are praying for God to continue His good work and bless us with a Kenyan passport for our boy.

Trusting and believing that God will indeed bring this passport, our final step will be to proceed to the US Embassy and apply for a tourist visa for Oscar to visit the states with us. God has done amazing things bringing us this far, this fast and we trust Him to finish this good work!

 

I Love My Job

Just another day in the neighborhood over here. I haven’t shared any hospital stories lately so here is a glimpse at my day:

It’s 4am, the neighbor’s (endangered) rooster is already crowing. The day starts with a call from Maternity. My first patient was a mama in need of a C-Section. A healthy baby girl joined our world this morning.

After a nap on the couch and a quick breakfast, I’m called back to Maternity for another C-Section. The world is blessed with a second healthy baby girl.

Now that my work in the operating room is done, I start my normal rounds. My first patient is my favorite patient (please don’t tell the others that I have a favorite). She is a beautiful five month old malnourished little one. By God’s grace, her Mama’s hard work, and my limited knowledge on malnourishment she is growing well and gaining weight like a pint-sized champ! Next, I head over to Maternity where I counsel a husband and wife for infertility and make a plan for referral for further lab tests.

Its about this time that I get wind of not only our hospital’s blood shortage but a national blood shortage. I’m also informed that one of my CS Mama’s is anemic, there’s no blood available, and the two of us just happen to have the same blood type. Off to the lab I go to donate blood. It’s quick and relatively painless and the lab staff rewards me with a bottle of Coke. Not a bad deal.

Back in Maternity I round on 7 new mama’s, then head to the New Born Unit. My precious patients in the NBU range from premie babies, to a baby with Meconium Aspiration, to Neonatal jaundice with a bilirubin high enough to cause Kernicterus. I also stop to write a referral for one baby to go to the city for a cranial ultrasound. Heading out of the NBU I’m stopped by a mom with tears in her eyes. Her baby has meconium aspiration and she’s scared. I take a few minutes to explain things to her and encourage her about the improvements her baby has made so far. Relieved she thanks me and I continue on my way.

After lunch I admit another baby with jaundice. Through the Maternity outpatient room I admit and counsel a woman who is unfortunately in the middle of every pregnant mom’s nightmare; an early miscarriage. These cases break my heart.

My last patient of the day is a mom who is 43 weeks pregnant. And I thought I was tired. She’s tucked in to maternity and will hopefully have a healthy baby in her arms soon.

I am home now resting, feeling a little dizzy after my blood donation. A healthy dinner is in the crockpot (I seriously love my crockpot), my kids are riding bikes in the front yard. God is good!

 

 

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Step 3 is in Process

Step 3: Legal proof of Kenyan Citizenship. The final hearing was held in court today. We were expecting to receive the official  documents when we arrived at court, but instead we were told to come back on May 15th for the judge’s final ruling on the matter. Patience and prayers people, patience and prayers!

Once we have this document we will begin step 4: applying for a Kenyan passport. We have heard stories and we are preparing ourselves for frustration. Our goal is to handle each obstacle with grace.

Thank you for praying and we ask that you will continue to pray for God to grant us favor in each step along the way.

The boy is forever ours! 

Today is a day to record in the books for the McCurry family! By God’s grace we were granted full permanent legal guardianship of Oscar! 

We are beyond excited and feel so blessed to be able to sigh in relief that this sweet little man is OURS! After wrapping up at the court we celebrated with lunch and ice cold Coca Cola, and there may have been some ice cream too!

Thank you all for praying with us and supporting us through this. It means so much to us to feel your love reach all the way to Kenya! 

We want to take some time and praise God for this good gift. But, because everyone is a little curious let me just explain a few things. This is not adoption, unfortunately. Adoptions are closed in Kenya but this gives us legal rights over Oscar until he’s 18. This also doesn’t mean that we can can travel home with Oscar…yet.

Basically in order for us to travel home with Oscar we have to navigate through a five step obstacle course, and get on our knees and pray! The permanent guardianship order was Step 1. Tagged on to the guardianship order was a travel order that states that we are allowed to travel outside of Kenya. That’s Step 2. Next week we will pursue Step 3 which is a court issued document that proves Kenyan citizenship for Oscar. Step 4 is to apply for a Kenyan passport. And the grand finale, Step 5, is to apply for a visitor’s visa to the states. 

With Step 1&2 out of the way we are praying for God to continue to open doors and navigate us through Step 5! Obtaining a visa would mean that we could travel home for a furlough as a family. Our families could finally meet Oscar and we would finally get some much needed time with our loved ones. We will keep you all updated as we continue on and we would appreciate your prayers along the way! But for now, praise God from whom all blessings flow!

Making Progress

We returned to court this morning for what we thought would be an appointment to schedule a hearing for guardianship. I even debated not going and instead staying back at the hospital. Fortunately I decided that it would be best for Mike, Oscar, and myself to go together.

Its a good thing we were all present as today turned out to be our actual hearing. We were pleasantly surprised to be given the opportunity to discuss our case with the judge. At the end of our hearing the judge indicated that she was willing to grant us guardianship but that she didn’t have the time to get it accomplished today. We are returning to court again tomorrow but this time it will hopefully be to pick up our signed court orders for permanent guardianship!

Please pray that by this time tomorrow we have signed guardianship papers in hand! We were blessed today with an unexpected hearing and we pray that the blessings will continue on in to tomorrow for official guardianship papers.

On the road again…

Court Exhibit A : this cutie
Court Exhibit B : the five chickens behind him

Outside of the court room

Oscar’s sly smile

No news

After a very long and very frustrating day I feel defeated to tell you all that we are no closer to permanent guardianship. Today did not go as I would have planned but once again I fall back on the truth that God’s plans are far greater than my own. 

Tonight I am choosing to be thankful. I’m thankful for a children’s officer who has a pure heart and a good work ethic. I’m thankful for Mike’s ability to navigate these Kenyan roads and I’m thankful for travel mercies today. 

Tomorrow Mike will be traveling again to take care of some unfinished ends in our case and Wednesday we will return to court. Thank you all for praying with us, please continue to lift this process up in prayer! I look forward to the next two days with hope that God will see this through! 

Open Doors

Three years ago the McCurry family was changed forever. Through tragedy and heartbreak sweet little Oscar came in to our lives as a bundled surprise. We took him in with open arms and haven’t looked back since. He is our son, our brother, our ear-loving-Kenyan-gospel-singing little boy!

For the last three years we have been attempting and failing to navigate the Kenyan legal system. We were granted temporary guardianship awhile back but have yet to accomplish the feat of obtaining permanent guardianship. In the recent weeks God has been opening doors like never before. It seems as though guardianship is right around the corner and we are sprinting to get there before our opportunity ends. Monday morning we have a court hearing for permanent full legal guardianship of Oscar.

We have been fervently praying for God’s blessing over this process and for the blessing that permanent guardianship would be. We are inviting you all to join us in prayer. We know that with God anything is possible and we want His hands all over this process and especially for Him to be involved in every minute detail of the court hearing on Monday.

We believe in the power of prayer and we believe that God knows the desire of our heart. We trust that His plans are far greater than ours and no matter the outcome on Monday, His praise will be on our lips.

At just over 5 lbs, this was our tiny Oscar!

Chubby cheeks!

All smiles for this two year old!

Oscar’s favorite way to snuggle; while rubbing Mom’s ear lobe.