Instead I am here to tell you that your prayers are powerful, and we are really feeling them. With as many delays as we have been having at the end of this process, I have to admit that there have been many moments of frustration, defeat and sometimes even anger. I think that having these emotions in the face of something so central to the makeup of our family is to be expected. However, I really believe that we have survived these negative feelings because of prayer. Dozens consistently and likely hundreds periodically have been lifting our family up before the Lord pleading for patience, health for the twins and for this process to move forward. I am certain that the spiritual realm is bristling with energy with all of the prayers that are surrounding our family. I firmly believe that your prayers have protected us from the lowest of lows. Without our faith, and without our family and friends praying us through, there is no way that we would have been able to venture into the adoption world.
The end of last week, we made some decisions that required much prayer and wisdom. We spoke with a local lawyer and received some information from an international lawyer as well to make our decision. I don't feel that this is the place to elaborate, but I feel that for the first time in a year we have some leverage. I am not sure if it will truly make any difference in the grand scheme of things, but it has given us a sense of peace that we haven't had for a long time.
Last week two other families that had been submitted to USCIS found out that they had errors that needed to be fixed as well. Our international adoption counselor informed us that there might be these issues with our paperwork as well. My anger flared when she said this. I really felt a bit hopeless at that point but was able to express to her that they needed to examine our paperwork immediately to determine if we would have these issues as well. It was incompetent to NOT be looking for these errors in our paperwork when we should have been submitted NINE months ago! Let's just say that my assertive communication was working at its best in those moments. Point taken....she discovered early this week that we did not have those same errors. Supposedly.
It is now Saturday, May 31st, and I am reflecting back on a week that I thought might be OUR week. Our week for re-submission. I rallied for prayer support this week, hopeful for everything to finally be complete.
We were told that this week our director would be checking on our adoption decree attestations which are the last documents that we need for our file to be ready for re-submission to the US visa process. Sadly it took until Friday for our director to go check on them and they were not ready. I do not know how long it normally takes to do this portion of the process, but next week I will be clarifying when our documents were dropped off for attestation and how long that usually takes. I want to know if there is an issue causing the delay with wrapping up this step. None of this seems to make sense to me. All of these delays are maddening...but your prayers kept me from hopeless anger.
We had been sending many messages this week checking in with the new Haitian lawyer that we are going to have review our case prior to resubmitting to USCIS. He was ill at mid-week but thought that he would be able to pick up our dossier to review it sometime on Friday. Well, late Friday I contacted him to see if he was able to get it, and he was at Parquet court all day Friday so wasn't able to pick it up. Sigh. What a strange feeling to always be hopeful and guarded at the same time. It has to be your prayers that kept me from freaking out at that moment.
Surprisingly, in the face of all of these disappointments, the emotion that I feel the most today is hope, HOPE! Crazy. After nine months of broken promises, dealing with a broken system, with a broken heart...I feel hope. The only explanation for this irrational feeling at this time is your prayers!
I cannot tell you enough how much I appreciate all of you! Those praying that we see regularly or talk to often and those praying that we have never even met!!! I received a couple of messages this week from strangers that have stumbled across our blog and lift us up in prayer regularly. That gives me a lump in my throat and swells my heart with what I can only describe as HOPE.
This world is so broken. Broken like my heart, but with people like you praying consistently, we are given something irrational in our situation...HOPE.
Craig and I took another step this week that we have been praying about for many months. We have been trying to figure out when or if we should schedule a trip to see the boys. This waiting is torture. It has been one year and three months since we saw them last. They have changed so much in that time. I really try to keep myself from thinking about all of the firsts that we are missing with the boys. That is survival. If I dwell on the bruises and battle wounds I see in their pictures or think about the parasites and other organisms that are likely affecting their health and growth, it eats me up inside. This is what pushes us forward, but it also makes us want to jump the next plane and just go hold them.
In the meantime, we have also been asked by our pastor to join a team from our church to go on a mission trip with Mission Haiti in July. Our church is traveling to Haiti several times a year to the area that we have done all of our mission work. Every time a team heads to Haiti without us, I have to admit....both of us are filled with jealousy. I guess it is a good form of jealousy. It means that we are completely in love with the people of Haiti and love and support what our church and Mission Haiti are doing there. So....we have loosely committed to join a team from July 15th-22nd and would stay after the team heads home to spend time with the boys.
As much as I am excited to head back to Haiti to do missions again, I am hoping that we won't be able to go. If the boys come home before the travel dates, we won't be going along. Our pastor and Mission Haiti is aware of this and are very supportive. They have been praying for us in our adoption since the earliest days of this journey.
So, it is with a spirit filled with hope that I plead for you to continue to pray for our family.
* that the adoption decree attestation would be completed.
* that the new lawyer would obtain our dossiers and find them error free
* that we would be submitted to USCIS for visas and it would take less than the normal 6 weeks
* that we finish our 4th home study update paperwork
* that the boys continue to have good health
* that we would have the patience we need
Thank you for praying us though,