One family's journey to hear God's calling, overcome our fears, and be obedient to Him!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Hope is a Waking Dream!

It was 27 months ago today that I returned from my first trip to Haiti. I met Jesula the day before returning home. God clearly laid it on my heart that she was my daughter, so we began the adoption process immediately. Exactly two months to the day after meeting Jesula, I met Redjina on a return trip to Haiti. Once again God clearly laid it on my heart that she was my daughter, so we moved forward adopting both.

Looking back it is hard to believe it has been 27 months. This long journey has been filled with countless twists, turns, obstacles and delays. When we first started the adoption process in September 2010, we were told the girls could be home in 12-18 months. Of course we heard 12 months and clung to having the girls home in a year.  When "we hope to have them home by" has changed so many times I can't even remember them all.

We struggled not being with them for that first Thanksgiving 2010 and Christmas 2010. Not being with them for their spring 2011 birthdays was really hard. We hoped to have them home by fall 2011. A year came and went. We hoped to have them home by Thanksgiving 2011, and then we hoped to have then home by Christmas 2011. Eighteen months came and went. We hoped to have them home by their spring 2012 birthdays. When our file finally cleared the Haitian government and made its way to the U.S. Embassy in July 2012, we thought we would have them home by August 2012. Then we hoped to have them home by September 2012. Two years came and went. Then we hoped to have them home by October of 2012. We knew for sure we would have them home by Thanksgiving 2012.

Time and time again, what we hoped for came and went. Each time what we hoped for turned out to only be a dream. We woke up from each dream only to dream again.

Along this journey there have been so many days of joy, frustration, and even doubt that it would ever happen. But the tribulation of this 27 month process has nurtured our love for the girls. Close your eyes and try and imagine how much love you would have for your children if you were separated from them for over two years and were constantly anticipating them coming home. 

Thankfully I have been able to scatter in nine trips to Haiti over this time. The trips allowed me to have time with the girls once every few months. Those were nine wonderful trips, but they were all followed by nine heartbreaking departures.

Today I thank God that on my next trip to Haiti the girls will depart with me!

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but when dreams come true there is life and joy. Proverbs 13:12

Friday, November 23, 2012

Adoption News ~ Finally!

We finally received notification today from the Consular Section of the United States Embassy in Haiti that Redjina has been approved and scheduled for a visa interview.

Redjina's medical exam is underway. Redjina and Jesula will appear together for visa interviews at the U.S. Embassy next week and apply for IR-3 Immigrant Visas. Visas are typically issued about one week after the interview. Once the girls have their visas we can bring them home, together!

Thank you to our family and friends who have been prayer warriors for our now 26 month long adoption process. We ask that you please continue to pray for us as we take these final steps in our journey to bring Jesula and Redjina home. I hope to be sharing pictures and the story of their arrivals very soon!

Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His loving kindness is everlasting. 1 Chronicles 16:34

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Adoption News ~ Mixed Emotions!

We received notification today from the Consular Section of the United States Embassy in Haiti that Jesula has been approved and scheduled for a visa interview. When I asked about the status of Redjina's case the Consulate replied, "Redjina's case is still being reviewed and we will let you know when a decision is reached".

Although we are very anxious about Redjina's case, and very concerned for the girls who may not come home together, we are Praising God for moving Jesula forward!

Jesula's medical exam is underway. She will appear for her visa interview at the U.S. Embassy next week and apply for a IR-3 Immigrant Visa. Visas are typically issued about one week after the interview. Once Jesula has a visa we can bring her home.

We ask that all of our family and friends continue to pray for our adoptions. Pray that Jesula's medical exam and visa interview go smoothly, that Redjina is quickly approved and scheduled for a medical exam and visa interview, and that we are able to bring both girls home together, or at least both very soon!

And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Matthew Commits to TTU!

Matthew signed his National Letter of Intent to play Division 1 baseball for Tennessee Tech University. National Signing Day was November 14, 2012. Matt signed as part of a very nice ceremony in his honor at Grace Christian Academy High School.

The ceremony opened with GCA Campus Pastor Matt Mercer leading all present in prayer over Matthew. Several people spoke about Matthew and his accomplishments on and off the baseball field. Those speaking included; GCA Athletic Director Johnny Cox, Grace Baptist Church Youth Pastor Bobby Thompson, GCA High School Assistant Baseball Coach Dwight Smith, and GCA High School Head Baseball Coach Brian Hochevar. The ceremony closed with a photo session and interviews with local television stations.

We are looking forward to Mathew's senior year of high school baseball this spring. Then it will be on to Tennessee Tech University in the fall of 2013.

We are so very proud of Matthew!!!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Adoption News ~ More Waiting!

The Consular Section of the United States Embassy in Haiti is proving to not move any faster than the USCIS. Typically a few days after the USCIS approves the I-600, the Consular Section approves and provides a date for visa interviews and medical exams. Well, ten days later and counting we are still waiting.

Several factors have contributed to the delay. Hurricane Sandy closed the Embassy for two days on October 24th and 25th. Embassy appointments scheduled on those two days had to be rescheduled prior to ours being considered. The Embassy is now closed again for two days. November 1st and 2nd are observed holidays in Haiti, All Souls Day and All Saints Day. And apparently, the adoption of multiple, teenage girls brings increased case scrutiny and simply requires a more thorough case review.

Please pray that the Consular Section of the United States Embassy approves our case quickly and provides us with an expedited visa interview appointment.

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though the waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. Psalm 46:1-3