Thursday, January 29, 2015

Fingerprints refreshed!

One year ago we received the e-mail informing us that our dossier ended IBESR on January 14 with the file number 42.

Received e-mail notice today that our fingerprints are now 'refreshed' and the immigration officer was updating our approval and will be getting it in the mail to us!

Thank you Lord.

Sent that e-mail on to our agency and our social worker who did our home study.

Our home study needs to be renewed by May 21.

Still praying that we can receive our referral, accept the match and get our bonding trip in before that date.

Our social worker responded and let us know that we will need to get a social worker who can visit our house and confirm that nothing changed since her visit in June 2013.

Then she can write up an update and sent it to the USCIS office.

Next week we plan to nicely ask one of the doctors at the meetings on LaGonave to fill out our 1 page medical updates needed for both our agency and the home study update.  We will also try to have our TB skin tests done while on LaGonave.

Then all that remains other than paperwork will be to find a social worker who would be willing to come to the house for a visit and write a one page report.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Surprises

Saturday while instant messaging with my folks I just happened to look up and catch the short notices of in-coming e-mails in the upper right corner of my computer.

Shocked, I went immediately to the in-box where I confirmed the arrival of an e-mail from the USCIS office! Would never have guessed that they would send out an e-mail on the weekend.

Good news!! The officer who I planned on reminding this week that our I-600 a fingerprints were now expired wrote to let us know he'd requested the prints to be 'refreshed' !

Yeah!! This should not take very long as the gal at the Embassy said it should only be a couple of weeks during the holidays for this to occur....[she also said she would send in the request but didn't!]

Also heard of a non-prematched referral last week from a family who waited 15 months in IBESR.

My brain reminds me that with the uniqueness of each case comparisons cannot be made, should not be made.

But my heart does the math and whispers that if IBESR were working oldest cases to newer cases and we've waited almost 13 months then......

Trying to keep my hopes and prayers centered on His will and not skipping rapidly ahead of what ifs can be hard.

Today I asked our agency for some needed financial information for Eli's college financial aid applications.

Now trying not to read too much into the information we received...but my hopes have soared away like a kite in a strong wind and I'm having a hard time pulling them back down to ground level.

Then on the heels of the first e-mail [within 10 minutes] we get a general one from our agency sadly letting us know they will no longer be working in Haiti due to many factors. They will continue to work with us on our adoption if we want to stay with them.

Up and down; round and round the thoughts and feelings fly. But He remains faithful. He is the rock on which to build our faith. Confidence placed in God is never misplaced or a mistake.

God's timing. God's plan. God's will. God's power. God's way.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Expiration Date

Cory says that I worry too much, but I'm asking the Lord to increase my faith!

I'm not extremely stressed or obsessing over this, which shows my level of progress. I will admit to some butterflies in my stomach knowing that today our fingerprints expire for our I-600A, USA visa paperwork.

I know we did everything we could short of flying to the USA. I know that we possess the e-mail from the immigration officer saying that if they expire 'it's no big deal', 'no penalty' and 'can't run them to be refreshed until the others expire' but still.......

Plan to e-mail him back next week to see if they can refresh the prints.

No word about a referral. Next week will mark one year since we learned we entered IBESR and the last sign of any progress in our case.

Someone suggested this week in the Haiti adoption group that the charts should contain GPS markers so one could tell if the chart moved at all... while I understand the desire to see progress, I think it would end up being a big waste of time for me and depressing. Hope would soar every time someone moved the chart to clean or just to reshuffle their desk.

This week a neighbor shared a short devotional about doubting Thomas. Thomas heard about the miracle of the Lord's Resurrection but wanted physical proof. He prayed we would all have faith that God was working in our lives even when we don't see any evidence or when we cannot feel it.

I know that God called us to pursue adoption. I know I've changed in the last couple years through this process. I know God's plan; His timing remains the best plan for our lives. I'm thankful for those praying with us on this journey. I know He can open closed doors, move mountains and part the deep waters.

Lord, teach me to wait well. Lord, help me to increase my faith and confidence in You.

[Picture is a dead palm with a new tree growing on the top. Hoping the dead tree symbolizes our expired prints while the new young one represents our 'refreshed' prints.]

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

One Year, IBESR

One year ago our chart entered IBESR. Number 43.

We received the news January 29th...and nothing since.

Our chart could be sitting on the same desk where it arrived a year ago.

But we pray many steps occurred in the last year.

We pray that it may be sitting on a desk along with the charts of our children just waiting for someone to pick up the phone, or hit send on an e-mail to let our agency know about the match.

We pray for the Lord's plan, His will, His choice of children, His choice of crèche, His timing...but our hearts long to know names, ages, faces, where, when, who...

We start to think about updating our chart and shutter to hear stories of families updating for the 4th time during the adoption process. Please, no Lord.

Please move the blockades. Please pour out pity and compassion. Please work miracles.

But if not....still we will praise Him.

Lord, help us to wait well. Help shape us into the family our children need us to be. Help us to learn the lessons well while we wait. Increase our faith.

Thank You! Thank you Lord, for being with our charts and children. Thank You for interceding on our behalf when we can do nothing. Thank You for leading us on this journey every step, every day, every prayer.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Prayer for prints.

No word on our adoption fingerprints being refreshed [will expire 2 weeks from tomorrow*].

First e-mails Nov. 10th, then Nov. 21, the visit to the Embassy Dec. 10th, another e-mail Dec. 29.

Time between e-mails because they generally sent an automated response that lets you know that it could take 7 or 10 business days to respond...so you wait.

The staff at the Embassy never did respond to our first two e-mails and when we asked why during our visit to the Embassy the reply 'because we could not do the prints here' did not make us happy...after the 6+ hour ride and an overnight so that we could be in line shortly after 6 a.m.

* Sent off another e-mail this afternoon.

The US Immigration officer wrote back:

"Why was the Embassy unable to take your prints?" We don't know.

"Did you try to have them done at the military base there too?" Not aware that the US has a military base in Haiti.

"I am inquiring into what we can do from here." Thank you! Praying they decide to refresh the prints!

"Does the Embassy need us to send you a request for the prints before they’ll take them?" They did not mention any requests. They said they would ask the USA office to refresh-but the US office did not receive any requests.


So looks like although we started the process 2 months before the prints were to expire that we're really not much further along the process than we were.

We'd rather not have to travel the 6+ hours to Port again, an overnight to visit the Embassy but will do what we need to. 

Not only does 6 hours on bumpy roads make one tired Port has been experiencing many days of political protests that we'd just as soon avoid. 

Waiting on one more piece of paper for our truck plates which means that if we would need to travel to Port in the next two weeks it would likely be without the new plates on the truck.

Keep praying. 

HOT Update. As I went to share this on Facebook this e-mail came in....

"Ok. I have inquired into refreshing them and I’m still awaiting word on that. I do know that we can’t run them to be refreshed until the others are expired. If they expire, it is not a big deal—there is no penalty for a break in their validity. I will update you once I’ve gotten more information on your case." 

Thanks for the prayers as we continue on this emotional journey!

Sunday, January 4, 2015

New Year, new hope, more waiting..

Been thinking for a while about the first post of 2015. Considered focusing on our fingerprints 'refreshing' which no one has contacted us about since we visited the Embassy on Dec. 10.

Or reviewing that if we don't get a match before the end of February will need to seriously start exploring how we will renew our home study, which will expire on May 21.

A year ago we waited for news that our case entered into IBESR. Our case entered on January 14 as number 43. We received the information on January 29th, 2014 the day that my parents arrived in Haiti for a visit.

I prayed last year to receive our referral during my parents visit. So many major family events we've shared over the last 17 years by short phone calls or E-mails. I cherish the major family moments that we can share in person. They plan to leave Haiti on January 21st.

Since January 29th no news on our case. We pray that our children's charts moved through many steps last year. We pray for our referral to occur in His timing. We pray for the committee that will be matching children with family under the new process.

Knowing that little would be occurring over the holidays gave us a bit of a break from the normal 'Wonder if we will hear anything today?' thought that frequently crosses my mind during the work week.

During the last few days already thoughts about the start of a new year, a new week, a new day have started to increase in frequency. The 'what if's'....of 2015.

Pastor's sermon today hit the mark with me. Psalm 37:7-8. "Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways..."

My notes: Confidence in God. Hope in God. Stay bound to Him. Sit quietly. Not for us to act, He will act. [Read sea parting] Calm and confident in all circumstances. God dominates all. Victory in Him.  Verse 25..'I have never seen the righteous forsaken' God never let's us go. He hears those who walk straight when they call for help and He will deliver you. Guarantied. When we don't have hope-God gives us hope. Don't get worried, worked up about your needs. Wait calmly before God. Answers, successes, healing, deliverance, victory, all in the Hand of God. 

Goals for the year.....waiting well. Confidence in Him. His plan. His timing. His will.