Tuesday, April 25, 2017

One small step but more prayers needed.

Due to the determination and tenuousness of staff and lawyer, court did happen yesterday but not as expected.

The required family members and staff made it to court, only to find out that the judge did not come due to illness. So they, along with a lawyer, drove to the judge's house....in the end a different judge heard the case so the family members will not need to return.

Next steps as we know them:
  • Judge who heard the case writes up the document
  • Document goes to first judge for final verdict. He writes a letter for IBESR
  • Paperwork goes to Port-au-Prince, IBESR
  • Sign off chart.
  • Exit
  • Wait 30 days!?! This one we do not like! In the past it only took a week. IBESR thinks things go 'too fast' in the north. They go fast because there is only one place doing adoptions vs. many in Port; and they have a good relationship with the northern IBESR staff and everything moves smoothly. 
  • Parquet [lower courts] and adoption decree. These need to be 30 days after IBESR exit.
Time line.. likely 2-3 weeks before paperwork in PAP. Exit ?? 30 day wait. Then a week or so. 

This would put us the end of June, at the very fastest. Looking back at our emails from last year when the new paperwork was asked for....we learned about it on June 29 'IBESR just asked for a new document.' This is the same document that should be 2-3 weeks from being returned to them, 10.5 months later.

One of the reasons was that courts shut down for  three months during the summer.

So some specific prayers:
  • First judge gets the report to the second judge rapidly.
  • Second judge recovers from illness and finishes paperwork.
  • Paperwork to travel safely and without delay to Port au Prince
  • Signature and Exit!!!! 
  • That the Lord would move IBESR to show mercy and pity in our case which will be over 2 years from our socialization visit by the time we exit. A miracle to have them decide not to require the 30 day waiting period..... I think we've more than waited enough in the last 2 years.
  • Have the adoption decree before summer.
  • Cory and my visa fingerprints will expire on June 21st. That renewal will not require travel to Port au Prince or the USA 
F is doing well in school.

P.S. Adding....received a FB comment from another family who's case was in courts last summer in the north and their decree and judgements were signed in July and August. So maybe we would not have to face a 2-3 month wait! Thank you again for the prayers.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Third court date try....Monday

Next attempt, third, at court date will be Monday, April 24th. Thank you for the continued prayers. 

Please include prayers for us to be able to wait well, to serve the Lord and worship Him while we wait with growing faith and steady hope. Some days I wonder... I start to think about ‘what ifs’:
  • our fingerprints expiring for the visa in June; 
  • the courts again closing for summer recess without our adoption being done in Haiti which would mean another 3-4 month wait;
  • about moving to Délice [many months down the road, but when a step that should have taken 6 weeks more or less is closing in on the two YEAR mark one gets a bit paranoid!] and needing to update the home-study and all the money and work that would entail.
And I return again to the Lord in prayer, because our hope is in Him. We need His strength, hope, peace, and joy.

Report cards and teacher conferences just happened and were ‘very positive’. And he loves doing puzzles! As does Eli so a fun family activity in our future. He's also transitioning to new living arrangement. Thankful he’s healthy physically.

I, Kris, just started a new book and the first Bible story it talks about is when Jesus asked Peter to put down the nets again after a night of futile fishing. Luke 5:5 “But if you say so, I’ll let the nets down again.” I stopped reading, as the phrase echoes in my mind, bringing to mind the old testament story of the fiery furnace..WE know God can deliver us...but if  not, we will still be faithful. 

Lord, help us to be faithful in this journey. Help our wobbly faith to grow strong. Give us the strength to wait well and praise you while we wait. Thank you for encouragement provided by friends, books, and emails.

Yesterday, I went to the email box to read a daily email from [in]courage..that just happened to be about waiting!  The picture at the top was overlaid with this phrase “We can wait with a Promise in our hearts that He is with us and for us!” Amen. “Things are happening in the waiting” Thank you Lord!

Also noticed someone posted a timeline in a Haiti adption group yesterday. I generally try to ignore them as the step we're currenly in generally takes a few months or less and we're nearing the two year mark. But I did look because we would LOVE to attend a family wedding in Michigan in late August as a family of FIVE. Well if you take the longest of time ranges listed for the next steps we could just make it if our case would clear courts on Monday and make it out of IBESR by the end of the month.

Know that the Lord is in control. Know that if He wants us to have a visa by mid-August it will happen! He's our Lord, Savior, and good Father. 

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Friend's encouraging dream..

 A friend wrote today about a dream she had last night from the Lord.

"Happy Sunday. I had the COOLEST dream last night. I was in a theater... like a movie theater, and it was FULL. EVERYONE was praying out loud and ALL the prayers were for F!  It was such a blessing.    Praying for tomorrow! "

My response: "Thank you...making me tear up. Praying here too. For all of us waiting for courts. We could likely fill a theater with all the folks praying for him around the world!"

"I believe that's what I saw in my dream!  It was a BIG theater. Such a blessing. Every now and then Jesus gives me dreams that I KNOW are from him. That was one of them. I'm sure you were there.... probably on stage with Jesus!"

So blessed by all our praying friends. How wonderful to imagine all of us in one place: people who know us, who know F, or who know about our story celebrating the Lord's power that brought us together as a family.

I've been thinking recently about the Biblical widow who Elijah asked to make a small cake with her remaining flour and oil. Did trusting the Lord for provisions get easier after that first time? I'm sure she had prayed and prayed for provisions for herself and family. I'm also sure she did not have a clue how the Lord planned to answer those prayers.

Did she have days she didn't think twice about using the oil and flour or did some days the fear creep back into her mind as she wondered if it would finally be the last?

One way the Lord has already answered prayers during our long adoption journey is for faithfully supplying us with hope and supportive friends for each day. Yes, some days and weeks are easier than  others. But at the end of the day-He's faithful. He's there. He is Love.

The trouble with a drought is that one must survive to the end. It does no good to make it a day, a week or a few years if one does not last until then next harvest time or is able to leave the area.

Each day is a choice. We pray that tomorrow the court case happens and the needed paper is obtained.    If not we will continue to trust in the Lord and praise His name. Prayer is more about reminding ourselves who God is because He doesn't need a reminder about courts. He knows. He cares.

I think as well that praying is in a way prophesying. We are thanking the Lord for future acts on our behalf. For the day that He opens the door for our paperwork to advance. For the day that F can come home! For the day we can travel with F and introduce many of you in person to our youngest son.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Between a rock and a hard place...God is there

African tulip tree at the school
Life is just so complicated, I can't help but sigh and focus on the Lord once again.

He knows so much more than tiny, limited us, and He feels for us who struggle with emotions and confusion.

I once read a blog about someone with extreme health issues who noted that pain is pain. Basically, while some pain is so great that it consumes life, that does not and should not negate the pain of a small paper cut. Both hurt.

It hurts that non-criminal court cases were delayed for a second week. Knowing that children waiting to join families will continue to wait...hurts. Our son lives in a good place, surrounded by people and friends who love him...but it still hurts.

However, knowing that some prisoners live under inhuman conditions, slowly dying of starvation and lack of hope for months to years without a day in court is horrible!

We know that some of these people's only crime is to have angered someone with more power who took revenge by having them put in jail.

I can easily picture a family or church members praying, begging, crying out to the Lord for a day in court to free their loved one... day after day.... week after week.... month to month...and tragically sometimes years.

I think that the children of these prisoners are in a way orphans as well, growing up in a very difficult situation without the missing parent present to love and to help them.

Thankfully the Lord loves us all. He knows how we feel. He is always with us. He has a plan. He is our good Father.

Lord, we pray that you will help the judges and court staff to work effectively and fairly. May justice be served. May the Light of your Truth be seen and strip away the devil's lies and deception. Provide for and protect Your little ones who need You. Turn our eyes to you!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Be still.

"Be still and know that I am God." Psalm  46:10

I wonder how many times this verse has echoed in my mind, usually in response to my begging and pleading for some positive news, for forward movement in our paperwork, for a mountain of delays to be behind us.

"Be still" Trust...but I want to be doing! I want to call up an army or a speicialized team to go and and fight our way to being a family. Let's go and bring our boy HOME!

"Be still"...I'm tired of being still. I'm tired of writing updates about waiting. I'm tired of not knowing how to make future plans because of great unknowns. I'm tired of reading about families waiting for three years or more for a referral.

"Be still" sigh..... Three weeks and two days, fifteen working days but no word on if the medical reports are in the hands of the judge. We could have driven to Port-au-Prince multiple times, picked up the paperwork and dropped it off in Cap Haitian at the judge's office....'be still'.

Does the judge have the papers? Don't know.
How long will the judgement take? Don't know.
How long to then get the paperwork to Port? Will this be the last paperwork requested?
Do we still only need one final signature or did we slide back to needing five again?

So many questions without answers at this point!

We keep praying about what we should do, what can we do. We keep writing e-mails to our agency asking the same questions. Not doing is harder. At least when we had paperwork to fill out one felt like you were moving forward....doing something!

All we can do is pray and wait. Wait and pray. Trust in Him. Focus on Him. Praise Him. Honor Him.

He who is able to do exceedingly above all we ask or think, according to the power that works in us. Eph. 3:20.

Lord we need Your power, Your help to focus on You. Your patience. Your strength. Help to wait well and worship while we wait. Thank You for providing what we need. Thank You for covering us with Your Love. Thank You for being with us every moment and allowing us to come to You. Thank you for caring for the minute details of our lives and F's.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Doctors Reports

YEAH!!! All three doctors reports have been completed and the staff of our creche picked them up.

Now they will be delivered to the judge to compose a judgement.

If things go as expected the judgement will be completed soon and then turned into IBESR.

Then we will once again be waiting for our exit.

Hope continues to increase but with the shadow of remembering all the weeks and months that we waited last year for 'one last signature' only to learn of new requested/required paperwork.

Thank you for continuing to lift up our adoption process and F in your prayers.

We know that he had school off this past week but enjoyed working and playing with some visitors.

Keep praying!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Good Byes & Waiting..both hard

Good-byes to loved ones remain high on my 'do not like list' especially when I do not know when we will likely be seeing each other again.

This week, the last thing my mom whispered in my ear during our last hug for a while .... 'Bring our boy home.'

OH...I want to! I pray to! Lord make it so !!!!

Still being stuck in IBESR stage of our adoption feels like a never ending winter cold or a 3+ year drought. The paperwork we hoped and prayed would be completed when the courts opened in October remains uncompleted...and months of unrealized hopes and dreams turn to dust and blow away.

For years now every trip or plan carries the heavy weight of the unknowns in the adoption timeline.

Malay apples on campus started blooming as the last
 fruits ripened. Only a few months until another harvest.
Will we be able to travel as a family to celebrate our niece's wedding in August? Will we be able to visit supporting churches and friends? Will Anna be able to take phase one of Michigan's driver's education and the PSAT?

Each holiday and special family event comes with the cloud of F not being home to participate.

While we long for updates and any information we can gather about our son...each comes with the painful fact that if he were home we would not be needing others to supply this information.

How the hope jumps with each email from our social worker...dreaming of those words to inform us that significant progress moved us closer to F coming home...

Waiting does not get easier with practice.

The all-day meeting that happened three weeks ago...only one of three needed reports completed as of an email we received Tuesday from our social worker.

Faith does get one through. Every frustration and tear we can choose to hold on to or to bring it to the feet of our Lord.

Intentionally focusing on Him, His power, His love does bring comfort.  As does each message and note from friends and family reminding us of their support and prayers.

Thank you for walking this hard journey with us.  Looking forward to celebrating with each of you when F joins the family and we can introduce him to you in person.

Keep those prayers coming!