Tuesday, August 21, 2012


It has already been several months since we last wrote. I think that if I wait much longer to try to piece my thoughts together...I will inevitably miss several key points. The last we shared with you, we had just returned from our incredible trip to Haiti as a family. Our return home was smooth and painful all at the same time. The regular day to day events continued as prior to our trip...but the heart-rending separation that we felt was very powerful. One of the most difficult parts of being home was not knowing when we would be able to return.

Shortly after returning home from Haiti, we discovered that the International Adoption Counselor, Erin, that had traveled with us to Haiti was no longer with CAN. We still don't know what happened, but this was the second counselor transition in less than a year. Needless-to-say...this created a hiccup in the communication process between the orphanage, the agency and us. We had a couple of emails, but we didn't hear anything directly from the agency for almost two months. We received a short update on the boys immediately upon our return with some adorable photos on it, but then nothing....transition is hard.

We spent most of the days following our trip praying that all would go well with the Birth Parent Interview that was scheduled on June 27th. This is where the birth dad tells the US Embassy that his intent is for his boys to be given up for adoption. That they are truly orphans. We also spent our time hoping that the documents that had been missing when we went to the US Embassy would be able to work their way into the hands that needed them. We also were learning more about the process now that our paperwork was into IBESR (Haiti Government Process) and the USCIS (US Embassy/Government Process) portion of our process had also begun. I have found some timelines that I hope to have Craig include onto the blog in the future. I am the emotion behind the blog and he is the brains... I need him to attach the information. Once we do...it will give everyone a chance to look at all of the steps that are still coming. So often we get the question...."Why does it take so long..." I think that seeing the process listed down might give all of us a better picture of why the process is so lengthy. My hope is to then keep the list updated with the dates that those portions of the process have been completed! Our own timeline!

Scranton Street
 We found the month of July full of distractions...we were in the middle of trying to sell a home and build another one with more rooms to accommodate our growing family and give the kids more room to play outside. We were busily trying to keep our home on Scranton Street pristine so we could show it at the drop of a hat and at the same time making dozens of late night decisions for the home we were building on Paddington Trail. It was a busy time...which in many ways was good.

Paddington Trail
Even in the crazy paced process of building...we were stopped in our tracks and thoroughly disappointed when we found out that the boys birth dad did not make it to his US Embassy appointment. We still don't know why...but we received an email on July 18th rescheduling him for August 7. We forwarded the message on to the international agency but never heard anything back. To our knowledge, this was all that we had to do...wait.

Elijah and Judah
Each month there is a team of families that travel down to Haiti. I didn't think about this much beforehand but when the date arrived that the July team was leaving for their trip, I found myself tearful much of the day. My heart was broken and all that I could think of was my boys. Praise God that I have three beautiful children here in Sioux Falls that I could love on in the meantime. We are just really looking forward to the time when we will have our arms filled with five little ones! We were very blessed though because one of the other moms that was on the trip was generous enough to include a photo of each boy. We were surprised to see that they had had their first haircuts!!! Wish I could have been there for that! That is scrapbooking material!

In the midst of waiting...there were more questions that cropped up. We found out that Haiti is likely going to be changing its adoption laws. (Read the Hague Convention Update toward the bottom of our orphanage's news webpage if you'd like: http://forhisgloryoutreach.org/whats-new) Nothing is done yet, but we are waiting for the information to be clarified. Even the adoption agencies are not sure what to say regarding this...but it might mean changes to the ability to visit our children, have contact with the orphanage or with the staff at the orphanage. Please pray that things go smoothly with this transition if it does come to pass and that it won't be as limiting as everyone fears. Please also pray that the pace of the adoptions will pick up as it seems that some of the glitches in the system might be starting to be fixed (hopefully).

On August 13th, I was at work and received a call from a number that was strange looking and said DC next to it. I don't typically answer personal calls at work and at first thought...nope...better not. But then I thought...that is so weird...DC? So I answered and thank goodness I did. It was the US Embassy in Haiti calling to ask why we had never messaged them back after receiving their email and wondering why the boys' birth dad did not attend his appointments. She informed me that he had missed his August 7th appointment as well. I felt my heart fall and a lump begin to form. She was being very confrontational and I really didn't have any great answers for her..."I didn't know that we were supposed to message you back." "I am really sorry but I have not been informed of the reason that he did not attend the appointments." "I haven't heard anything from our international agency." It was very overwhelming.

I hate to say it...but I had some very frustrated and even angry thoughts about having been put in that position. We had sent emails to CAN and even had called them but never got a return call or message. So...I decided now was the time to call them. I put in a message to Kristi, the new adoption counselor and then called back to talk to the secretary to make sure that he would notify Kristi of the need to call back today. She called back within the hour. We talked for quite some time and she really did put my worries to rest. She apologized for not calling back sooner. She thought she had already returned the call. I decided that she must be having some difficulties transitioning with all of the families wrapped up in their emotions...it must be a difficult job. I felt much better..

That night after returning home, we decided to look through the mail and were thoroughly blown away and continued to be blown away every day for about the next week. Someone (we still don't know who) somehow connected with people from our family, our church, and our past encouraging people to send us words of encouragement and love gifts to help with our return trip to Haiti. We received anywhere between 2 and 4 letters each day and the tender messages brought us to tears repeatedly. (especially me) I still tear up when I think about it. This has been a tough journey...a blessed one...but tough...and there is nothing like being lifted up by those that love you and those that you respect. We are so blessed with wonderful people in our lives.

The next day, August 14th, the whirlwind began! I am not sure how else to describe it...emotional...but all wonderful!!! I got a call from Craig in the late afternoon and he shared that we received an offer on the house! It took some negotiating, but we were able to come to an agreement and we sold our home to a young couple that have no contingency and are flexible with their closing date timeline, which allows us to move from one home directly to the other!!! Our God is so faithful! We had been praying for Him to make the transition smooth! He did just that!

Eli and Angie (the US Orphanage Director)
Then later that day, I got a phone call from the international agency, CAN. I was a little nervous at first...but realized it was a good call. Kristi called to tell me that Elijah had taken his first steps earlier that day!! Praise God for this little mover and shaker. He was climbing all over everything and standing up and taking steps along furniture when we were in Haiti in June...we were anticipating an early walker. On August 14th he was only 10 months and 9 days old! What a big boy! I am sure Judah is not far behind.

We also received an email informing us that the next attempt at the birth dad's visit to the US Embassy would be on October 1, 2012. So please, please pray that the agency and orphanage will be able to find him and get him to that appointment. This will help the US portion of the process go much smoother.

So...we are feeling very blessed about right now. Humbled beyond belief and crazy in love with this God that loves us so much that He works out even the tiniest details. We were filled with joy when the closing on the houses was scheduled for October 5th. OF COURSE it would be October 5th. Yes, God IS in the details! That is the twins' birthday. We can't spend the day with them, but we can spend the day preparing a home for them.

Thank you so much for all of the prayers that you all send up to the Lord on our behalf. We feel your prayers! We have been remarkably strong, patient, and trusting through this process. I know that this does not come from me. I am not wired to be strong, patient or trusting. This is all of the Lord's doing! I know that He is hearing our prayers, and your prayers, and He is faithful!

Please continue to pray. Pray for effective communication with the adoption agency, orphanage and governmental processes. Pray for the birth dad's appointment to go well. Pray for peace and contentment in this time of waiting. Pray that we can identify a time to travel to see the boys again. Pray for their health and our health. Pray for the country of Haiti as the poverty is overwhelming. Pray for the Lord's loving hand to come to their aide through the hands and feet of His people. Pray for continued encouragement along the way!

Blessings to all of you...time for rest.
Love, Rebecca
(Link to Photos from our June trip)