Thursday, January 2, 2014

A New Year and Continuing Hope

I suppose that it is time for me to collect my thoughts and try to put some words to the way that we have been feeling. I have to admit that the last two weeks have been heart-wrenching. Getting that last notice from USCIS that they intend to deny Judah orphan status was a pretty low blow and knocked the wind right out of my sails. For some reason, I really felt that the US portion of the process would sail smoothly. I was naive. I guess I forgot that for it to move would require all of the paperwork to be flawless. Um, yes. Naive.

The document from USCIS had some information about the errors, and we were quickly flustered about what to do. Getting this information on December 23rd complicated things...especially since we knew that our international adoption counselor, Sarah, was going to be out for the entire Christmas week. At first we were thinking that we were going to have to wait to talk to her for an entire week (which would have felt like a year under these circumstances). Then it dawned on me that she has a supervisor. It was high time to get to know her supervisor more fully.

I called Emily, who is the director of CAN, and she was available immediately, PRAISE GOD. She listened to my update carefully and was thoughtful and caring when my tears and fears surfaced. She was action oriented and solution based. She immediately sent our notice on to the orphanage so they would have the update and know that there were issues. She was puzzled along with us that these errors could have been overlooked or missed at all. (This is something that we will never understand.)

We plugged into our adoption network and began to gather information about others that have had similar situations when adopting from Haiti and quickly received information about a gentleman in the USCIS office in Port-au-Prince that would be potentially able to clarify what exactly needs to be corrected in Judah's dossier. We received a bit of education on how to call directly to Haiti, downloaded the Rebtel app for our phones and were placing a call all within the hour. Of course he was on vacation as well, however, his assistant was able to provide some clarity.

I know that this is going to mean absolutely nothing to most of you but for my records, here are the items that need to be fixed-

1. We need a new Minutes of Consent
2. The Minutes of Adoption should predate the Final Order
3. We need a new Certificate of Adoption
4. We need the biological mother's Death Certificate

This week we passed this information on to Sarah, our International Counselor and she passed it on to Maison, the orphanage. In the meantime, we were receiving information that we needed to message the Embassy to allow Judah's Dossier to be released to the staff at Maison so they could pick it up. A few more emails ensued and we still have not received confirmation that it has been picked up. We assume (which is dangerous) that it has been and were told that the new lawyer for Maison was going to look at Judah and Eli's Dossiers to see what needed to be done.

We have asked for a rough timeline on how long they feel these documents will take to re-do. We have also asked to ensure that while this process is occurring, the Birth Certificate issue for Eli (which we still don't really know what is wrong) will be in process of being fixed as well. When we are updated on the timeline...we will have to make a tough decision. If the paperwork won't take long, we are planning to wait to travel until we can go to finalize their adoption and bring them home with us. If the paperwork is going to take several months, we need to decide if it is wise to see the boys one more time before the adoption is final. This is a trip that we were not planning on, but we feel that we need to consider going because in March it will have been a full year since we have seen them. Our hearts are lonely for our boys.

These delays put a bit of a damper on my Christmas spirit at first. It took a few days to work through the emotions of this, and I know that after Craig's last blog many of you were praying. Thank you so much. I really felt like I was having a panic attack after we first found out. Nothing like a panic attack to change the mood of Christmas. Since then, I have had a couple of people call to pray with me, to speak scripture to me and one friend even woke in the middle of the night and felt that the Holy Spirit placed our family on her heart and gave her some thoughts to share with us. She texted me and said, "Truth is on your side. The issues that need to be resolved are all things for which the truth will prevail and resolve. Once the truth of these inconsistencies is revealed, the process will go forward. God lives in the truth!" So true...and then she said my favorite part..."God must have huge plans for these guys if the process is going this way. I'm excited to see how He uses these guys!!!"

My heart soared when I read her words. It's true. Satan focuses his scheming attention in places where God will prevail the greatest! My boys are going to be AMAZING. I know this! I, too, can't wait to see how He will use them. We will not give up on this battle. I will not panic. I will not feel defeated...even for an instant. I am disappointed that I cannot be with them, hold them, love on them right now. I am disappointed that I can't kiss their foreheads as I rock them at night, but for now, I need to trust that Jesus is walking with them and loving on them through His hands and feet...the nannies in the orphanage. Breathe in, breathe out. This too shall pass, and soon I will press warm kisses on them night after night.

We are thankful for a wonderful Christmas and New Year spent with so many family members and friends to help take our minds off of this complicated and heart-wrenching process. Please, please continue to pray for us. We are close, and that is when Satan will try to defeat us the hardest. We need your prayers. Pray specifically for these glitches to be ironed out, for a clear timeline if that is possible and for clarity about whether to travel to Haiti for a visit if the paperwork is going to take a while. Pray for the boys to stay healthy and for their nannies to love on them completely.

Humbled and Hopeful,

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