This has not exactly been the easiest week...we went from receiving devastating news on March 11th...to waiting for OVER a week to have another update. The time in between was not without pain. I have learned many things in the last week.
One thing that I have learned is that when adopting...it is not wise to get your hopes up. When we thought we had a timeline of weeks...I began to daydream and plan. This is clearly dangerous business because it is the reason that when the next glitch surfaced, I felt as though the rug was pulled out from under me completely. Craig, on the other hand, admitted yesterday that he did not feel as crushed because he guarded his heart when we received the information that it could be only weeks remaining. Hmmm....I will try to work on that...but I will likely fail miserably at controlling my emotions. Sigh.
I have also learned that as a Christian, we need to be extra careful with how we use our words when talking to someone who is hurting. I have learned that it is not healing to be told that the circumstance "is a part of God's plan." I think that it is more helpful to think that the circumstance "will be used by God to grow our faith or to be a testimony to others."
I have also learned that sometimes we think that our friends can understand what we are going through...but actually it is impossible for others to understand the depth of the emotion that we are experiencing without having experienced it themselves. I had a situation this week that knocked me to my knees emotionally. I don't want to go into the specifics of the situation, but it really helped me to see that for our friends and family, it might be difficult to identify with the fact that we are adopting two real little boys...flesh and blood...not just pictures. Of course this is easy for us to grasp because we have held them, fed them, giggled at them, bathed them, changed them and slept beside them. When we struggle with the distance, it is because we have known them as our boys since they were three months old, been able to spend less than two weeks with them and have now been apart for more than a year. A very large portion of our hearts is truly in Haiti. Even on a good day, our hearts are broken. So, when we consider traveling to Haiti on an extra trip and hiring a lawyer, it is because these boys are a part of our family and we have already missed too many moments with them. Two years and almost three months worth of memories since we received our informal referral. So, if the need arises, and we have to find a way to hire a lawyer to bring the boys home, please understand at this point, we will do anything to get them home.
In the last week, I have also learned how important it is that when we begin to struggle emotionally, it is best to reach out for help. I have been struggling with feeling anxious ever since this weekend. I have been anxious about our finances. I have been anxious that the adoption could come to a screeching halt; the paperwork might not be repaired in a timely manner; that Aftyn, Haley and Aiden might be affected negatively by all of this waiting; and that our friends and family won't understand the choices we make as we move forward from here. So many things on my mind and the anxiousness began to take control of me. This weekend I decided to open up to our Bible Study group about it and boom, three days later we have a prayer session scheduled at our church!!!
I know that many people have been praying for our adoption since the moment we shared our intent to adopt with our family and friends in February of 2011! We thank you so much for your love and thoughtfulness! I truly do not know where we would be without all of you. It is interesting though...when the anxiety begins to take over, somehow knowing that people are praying for you simply does not feel like enough. I needed to HEAR it. I needed to HEAR the words leaving the lips of those that love us and are lifting us up before the Lord. There were about twenty five or thirty of us in the conference room at our church last night. We shared a bit about where we are in the process and what the current issues are preventing the boys from coming home. Craig and I had prepared a list of prayers and petitions to help update everyone who was there. Our pastor opened with prayer and then we broke up into small groups to pray. Within seconds, the rumble of voices began. Many beautiful voices pleading with the Lord for His mercy and grace. I could just feel the tension begin to leave as the tears began to fall. My broken heart could not be fixed, but my wounded soul was being pieced back together. Praise God for the gift of being able to come to Him in prayer and petition, and praise God for our church family who so loving and rapidly put together this time of prayer.
Just one day later, I find myself experiencing a renewed peace. I am restored through prayer. I know that there will continue to be ups and downs, but I have learned to ask for people to pray for me. OUT LOUD. I want to encourage and challenge you that the next time that someone you know is broken with the circumstances of life...pray with them...THAT VERY MINUTE. They need the angels to fight the fight for their soul right that minute. If you are shy about praying...believe me...that person won't care if it is the clumsiest prayer ever uttered...in such a broken state...those details don't even matter. Let the Holy Spirit do His work through you!
So...we received an update today from the US Embassy via Senator Thune's office...and I am not sure how to even summarize it. I'll just say this, the Embassy is aware of many families from our orphanage that are hurting. Please, in your prayers for us, remember all of the others that are going through the same process.
We were also informed that there is a scheduled appointment for the orphanage lawyer to meet with USCIS/Embassy on Monday, March 24th to clarify what needs to be repaired in our paperwork. Apparently, he must have missed his appointment last Thursday morning. So, please pray that this lawyer would make it to the appointment and would understand thoroughly what needs to be repaired.
That is all for now. We love you!