Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas 2016.

I think back at the mixture of hope and disappointment that accompanied Christmas last year and could have never dreamed that it would once again be with us as we celebrate Christmas 2016.

Every year the weight of waiting grows. Seeing the pictures of F warm my heart but at the same time stirs up pain as we see him growing up without being home.

Every day minutes and hours slip by that could have been filled with family time and memories, that we will never get to experience with him.

I can picture him here as I look at the stocking with his name on it hung in the middle of the others.

As I look at each family gathering and the cousins all laughing and enjoying family, I can't help to think about F and wonder about what he is doing.

I look at the Christmas tree ornaments that Grandma carved for him and wonder when he will get to hang them on the tree.

I think about the ornament that holds the picture of the twins, baby boys who joined my family so many years ago on LaGonave...the dream to adopt that did not happen due to the legal process in Haiti.

I know the Lord had a plan for them even though they never legally joined the family and only lived in our home for 6 months. I know that the prayers over the years have been a positive impact in their lives.

We do not know what 2017 will hold but we trust the Lord. He is good. He loves F and our family and has a plan. He is in control even when we hurt and don't understand.

Lord surround each of us with Your love, peace, and patience. Please open the doors to bring F home soon. We thank You for starting us on this journey and making F part of our family even through we remain apart. We give you the glory and honor. Thank you.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Holiday waiting

Well the historic flooding of Cap Haitian canceled the November 8th court date for F's family.

So we continue to wait.

In a recent email told us that the judge has asked a group of doctors to produce a report about the health of F's bio mom . This step was not known up to this point as needing to be done for us to exit.  In this same email it is stated...this is a step we’re waiting on after the family court, which went fine.'

As we received no word on a new court date, we've asked for conformation that F's family did appear in court and signed.

F continues to enjoy and do well in school. Due to his starting later than the rest of the class he is receiving some one-on-one time during the day.

F's current foster family will be moving back to the USA around Christmas. For a while the house will be supervised by the Haitian nannies who have lived and worked with the children since they moved into the house. We are thankful for this constant influence in F's life.  A couple who lives in another foster house will also help with supervision checking with the nannies throughout the day.

We handed off his Christmas gifts to teachers at his school during the Thanksgiving celebration.

 While we look forward to celebrating the holidays with family, our hearts ache, as we know that one will be missing. He will not see the new stocking with his name on it, hanging in line with the rest of the family.

Last year I considered leaving up our decorations so we could celebrate a late Christmas with F. I'm thankful that I will not need to unpack those same decorations this year...still waiting for him to come home.

We continue to pray that the Lord would allow the new document to be signed in the courts if not already done; for the new report by the doctors to be done correctly and before the holidays; the paperwork to be accepted by IBESR; and to exit before Christmas. We know that He can make it happen, if it is in His will.

Praying for children around the world who need families and for the families who wait to be complete. Lord protect each one, comfort them, show them Your love during the holidays.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Court Date

While America focuses on the Presidential elections on Tuesday, I will be watching the clock and praying for F's family as well as for the USA.

Tuesday they should appear in court to sign the document requested in early summer that should allow our adoption paperwork to move forward.

Since day one of our adoption journey, I've prayed for the birth families. While waiting for our referral I prayed knowing they would be signing away their parenting rights for a child or children.

Now it's more personal. Now we know the name, the face, the voice of a dearly loved little boy. We know that the family visits occasionally and that he enjoys the treats they give him. We know that the possibility of visits will continue after the adoption, but they do not know.

Do they wonder if each visit will be the last time they will see him? Did they miss celebrating his 6th birthday as we did? Do they question if they are doing the right thing?  Will their feelings be mixed on Tuesday? Do doubts linger or will they sign with peace?

After waiting all summer for courts to open having a date feels like progress but does it bring their loss closer? Glad the Lord remains in control and has a plan because this is so much bigger than us.

We hear that F continues to do very well. Due to different issues, F now joins his roommate and foster family children in attending school at Cowman. Eli and Anna attended for one year back in '07-08.

Sunset over LaGonave island
Today we were able to see and talk to F on Face-time. We heard how he likes the wind when driving fast to school and about how he has lots of friends. He is learning the letters that make up his name. He enjoyed having TWO pieces of cake on his birthday but was upset when the rest of the cake spoiled.  He asked about where Eli was and to see the goat and goat house.

Thankful to finally be moving forward. But a bit stressed to be entering the 'one more signature' zone again where every work day one hopes, prays, and wonders until quiting time if it will be the day!

Lord, help us to continue to serve and worship while we wait for you to open the doors.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Birthday week.

Last year we visited the day before F's  birthday to help him celebrate. At that time we thought we were moving closer to exiting IBESR and still had hopes for him to be home within a year.

Our social worker wrote yesterday that they were hoping his family would go to court to sign the needed documents this week.

Received a report last week. F's lost his third tooth. He continues to enjoy school both the time with the other children as well as some one-on-one homeschooling with his foster aunt.

Dear F,
Trust you will enjoy your birthday. Know that we are thinking about you and praying for you every day. Happy to hear how well you are doing, and that you like school. Dreaming about hugging you, and playing with you. Looking forward to reading books and enjoying celebrations, holidays, and parties together. We enjoy seeing pictures of you. Very glad to hear you are growing bigger and not been sick recently.     Love you!

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Waiting for court..

A bit of news but not what we wanted to hear.

The non-court document submitted this summer 'was not sufficient' for IBESR so they did not accept it.

So we continue to wait for courts to open, likely sometime in October after the Presidential election Oct. 9th.

So what we understand needs to happen:

  1. Staff member goes to court to get them to request that the family come in to sign the needed documents
  2. Family has 12 days to appear in court to sign. [Praying everyone is healthy, understands why this is needed and shows up!]
  3.  Documents signed.
  4. Documents presented to IBESR and hopefully accepted
  5. Final signature give for us to exit IBESR
  6. Exit IBESR

The staff have tried everything they can think of but IBESR remains firm on needing the court documents. So we wait.

And pray.

Monday, September 19, 2016

16 + 16...nearly 1,000 days.

Waiting for our referral, the time added up to one week less than 16 months.

This week we reached 16 months since our socialization visit and continue to wait for word about the final document being accepted, the last signature and our exit out of IBESR.

We continue to pray and wait, wait and pray.

Someone wrote recently on a Facebook group that they didn't know how we can stand it... my answer is more than just words.

Heart felt and true..."only with the Lord's help".

And the Lord's help comes with supportive people and lots of prayers.

While we don't know everyone who's praying we do know some and thankful for each one:

  • supporting churches
  • small groups
  • other adopting families
  • F's foster families
  • those who connected with F during a visit
  • homeschooling families
  • friends around the world
  • family
  • friends we met on work teams
  • adoption agencies and staff
  • creche workers
  • other missionaries
  • our Haitian churches in the northern district 
October 10th will make 1,000 days of our chart being in IBESR,  the Haitian social services office.

Praying for the Lord's will. For F to be learning about the Lord's love along with growing in mind, body and spirit. 

For F's biological family, his foster family and nannies, his case workers and our family to keep our eye's fixed on the Lord and be filled with hope in His plan. 

Saturday, September 3, 2016


No, we haven't moved a step forward, but we have some good news anyway.

  • This week we signed a new Power-of-Attorney adding the newest member of our adoption team, bringing the number of people who can sign for us up to four. Papers are already printed [in French and English], notarized, scanned, and sent to the USA electronically. 
    • Originals will either be mailed to the USA or delivered to the creche soon.
      • Thankful for the staff working in two countries to bring F home.
      • Thankful for people in numerous countries praying for F and our adoption.
  •  The staff continue to work on F's case in two ways:
    • a different agency that was asked for similar paperwork submitted something that "apparently was accepted by IBESR". So this method will be tried in F's case this month. Praying it works.
      • Thankful for sharing of information while working together to bring children home as well as keeping Haitian families together.
    • meanwhile they continue to work on the paper that was requested to have it ready for courts when they reconvene in October. 
      • Praying this isn't needed as there could be a delay due to a back log of cases or delays associated with political instability with presidential elections set for Oct. 9th
  • Better understanding on our I-600 visa. The November expiration date that had us wondering about needing to file for a new type of visa was for our I-600a. Last May, after meeting F we filed an I-600 which we now understand will not expire. So as long as we continue to let the USCIS know that the case is active we can submit the requested documents when they become available once we move forward after exiting IBESR. PRAISE THE LORD!!
  • We hear that F continues to do well despite the long wait. His foster aunt remains impressed when they talk about the waiting on how well he can express his feelings, even the hard ones.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Prayers, hope, waiting....

Seconds melt into minutes. Minutes add up to hours. Hours accumulate into days, and days to months. Relentlessly the months join together into years as time marches on....
No real news but don't let that stop you from praying!
  • Thankful for the new attorney working on our case.
    • The legal counsel she's been waiting to talk to about our case should have returned to work today after being gone on vacation.
    • Thankful she and the agencies are looking into all possible answers
      • Asking the Lord to show the best way for us.
      • Asking the Lord to grant everyone wisdom, efficiency, and integrity.
      • Asking the Lord for forward progress and that He get the glory and honor. 
  • Sent in our 3 month renewal request for F's I-600 visa and received a different response.
    • Thankful for our agency looking into this.
    • Thankful there looks to be a few different paths for a visa when this one expires
      • Asking the Lord for wisdom and direction.
  • The first child will be leaving F's foster home this week to join his new family.

    • Thankful for the wonderful housemates F has and nannies
    • Thankful for the adults pouring love into the kids during these hard, confusing times of change.
    • Thankful for progress and the first home going party for this house! Thankful for the other 4 children from the creche who've gone home during 2016. 
      • Praying for each during this week of transition and for the good-byes to occur on Friday.
      • Praying for progress for F's case as well as the other 4 children in the home. 
  • Thankful that F's foster aunt agreed to spend some extra time with him reading books and working on some kindergarten stuff.He will continue to attend pre-school three times a week as well
    • Thankful the books arrived to the family before they returned to Haiti and that they were willing to carry the books in for us.
      • Praying for F to learn well and continue to enjoy school
  • Thankful for those praying and supporting us and especially those supporting F.
      • Praying that F can put his trust in the Lord and the adults telling him that we love him. At this time the staff does not think that F would understand if we were to visit him why he can't go home with us. So we wait, longing to interact, hug and tell him in person that we love him. Waiting for the day the Lord opens the door for us to be a 'real' family when F legally becomes ours in name and place, not just in our hearts and minds. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Four years...the door opened.

I just went back and read my first two posts...
African desert roses

That Friday morning we did not have a clue about the journey that the Lord was about to start us on by opening our hearts up for adoption.

No idea of the ups and downs, confusion, hurt, frustration that would occur before and after the joy of meeting F and spending time with him.

No notion that four years later we would remain in IBESR and not have one or more children at home bonding as part of our family.

No concept of the prayer and emotional support this walk would require from our friends or about the new friends we would gain along with way.

Chou Chou beach-old picture
I think the biggest surprise for me the process changed me and my faith.

Stretched, refined, sifted, shaken, blown to dust-my expectations now look nothing like they did at the beginning.

As I shared in the last blog, the Lord just keeps whispering to me " Trust me".

While we continue to pray for miracles and movement, we worship and wait.

We are F's family. We don't need a paper or signature to tell us what we know in our hearts and minds. We will be in his life, for as long and as much as as the Lord will allow us.

Doesn't mean we like waiting but we will wait. F's more than worth it.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

The lesson--trust

Found with no dirt, no leaves but still beautiful. 
Yesterday we heard from our social worker...

-they are insisting on the new paperwork about F's parents
-the creche is asking other creches for help and a sample letter
-it could be October before they get this paper if it has to go before a judge
-a new staff member with law background has been asked to work on our case

I'm struggling.

-it is very likely our visa paperwork will expire.
     -options for new visa not clear as we live in Haiti, not the USA.
-'any day now' now looking at months
-what could happen if they can't get this paperwork or it isn't want IBERS needs/wants?

I had the following in draft written just before we learned of the new paperwork issue -guess I need to listen to myself.

Written a week or so ago...
Cory called it the 'never give up' flower.

I do better with waiting and delays when I understand why. So I've asked lots of questions during our adoption journey especially in the last few years of waiting in IBESR for our referral and now to exit.

The limbo of unknowns remains uncomfortable to me. So I keep trying to figure out the why, the reason, the lessons.

While my head knows that the Lord's reasons may not be revealed to us now or later I keep looking. Lessons to learn...maybe if I learn that one, it will be the key to progress and moving forward. 

So in the last couple of years some things I've pondered or tried: increased church, increased prayer, fasting, different prayers, lots of books on prayer and waiting, increased gratitude, thanking before something happens, working on problem areas, being content, reading more about adoption-prayers-worship-attachement-contentment..... 

Results: I've changed. I think I've improved in some areas with the Lord's help [maybe hard to see yesterday and today]. But I think most of the lessons boil down to 'Trust me'. 

Why the wait?                                                                        Trust me.
Why can't F come home?                                                       Trust me.
Wouldn't it have be better to be a family of 5 for a bit.           Trust me.
What if our visa paperwork expires?                                      Trust me.
What if its hard to get a visa as we live overseas?                  Trust me. 
What about school?                                                                 Trust me.
What if our papers are lost or misplaced?                               Trust me.
What if corruption or revenge is causing the delay.                Trust me.
What if the government destabilizes?                                     Trust me.
What if we can't travel for another year or so with F?            Trust me.
What if he thinks we don't love him and gets discouraged?    Trust me.
Should we be doing more?                                                       Trust me.
What should we do?                      Just trust me.

Added today...
       What if the new requested document takes months?                        Trust me.
       What if the information is not what they want or need?                   Trust me.
        What if.........TRUST ME!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Additional prayers needed!!

Listening to my adoption songs of hope to help offset my frustration and remind me that the Lord remains in control. He's sovereign. He's all powerful. His plan will come in His timing. He cares for F and us. He is good. He is love. He is justice.

Instead of good news from our social worker today we learned that IBESR has not released our chart but is requesting additional information about F's parents.

We do not understand this, as any additional request for information from the family or orphanage should have come before we received our referral. The information requested is not law, not a requirement and not something our agency has been asked for in any other case. The judge doesn't even understand what is being asked for or why.

On the bright side our social worker plans on being in Haiti next week. Procedure is to go, sit, and wait to see the person or persons you need to see. We pray that anyone she needs to see will be working and have time to talk early next week.

Her flights to and from Haiti are early Tuesday morning and mid-afternoon on Friday.

We would love it if she can update us sooner than the 12th when she plans to return to work. At the least on Friday the 8th before leaving Haiti we’d love to hear that she was successful in some way/shape/form to advance our case. Details can wait until her return to work.

More and more this feels like a spiritual battle and less about being disorganized or ineffective. Other cases with our organization and the orphanage are also stuck. We know that Satan does not want children placed in Christian homes, but our God is stronger, His plan will prevail! The battle and victory will be His, along with all glory and honor.

Please pray:
  -over this trip and for our social worker [travels, health, safety].
-that Port-au-Prince stays calm politically so that the meetings can take place at IBESR
-that someone even today decides that the requested paper is NOT needed !
-she can meet with the correct people to work out the issues on her cases.
              [earlier in the week the better]
-that she can get IBESR to release our file for the courts.
-that she would find the time to update us next week so we don’t need to wait over the weekend.
-that F remains hopeful and trusting in the Lord.
-that our next steps move forward rapidly so that visa paperwork can be completed in time.

We have been allowed twice in June to talk online with F. We heard about his goat [gifted from a friend], loosing a tooth, school, and more. He asked the second time to see ‘his cat’, having been introduced the first visit. He also saw his room.

Not the family time with all five of us we’d prayed for but great to see his smiling face and hear his voice and giggles. Eli leaves for the USA on July 7th and then on to Germany on July 15th.

F’s current foster family will be visiting the USA the end of July for summer break. Changes in ‘routine’ are hard for F and we’re asking the Lord to give him peace.

40 days of more intensive prayer, with at least one person/family fasting each day.  June 23- August 5 is the time frame.

Thank you for your partnership and support of our family.
Cory, Kris, Eli, Anna, & F.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

40 Days of Prayer for Haitian adoptions.

One of the groups I frequent on Facebook is for people involved in adopting from Haiti.

On Mondays many folks post prayer requests and then on Fridays we share praises.

Along with my daily prayers for adoptions I also pray for the Lord to reduce the need for adoptions by keeping Haitian families together and providing for their needs.

A couple of years ago during a major transition period the IBESR [children's social services office] shut down for a month to try to 'catch up'. During this time the group intentionally increased prayers and many chose one day of 40 to fast.

June 23 - August 2 will be another 40 days of intentional and intensive prayer for Haiti adoptions.

Many transition families like ours continue to wait for either referrals or exits from IBESR after their referrals and bonding trips. Some families have waited close to three years for a referral.

We've been in IBESR for almost 2.5 years.

Many of the 'pre-Haughe', I-600 visa cases will be looking at starting over as the paperwork expires.

Ours will expire on Nov. 21st unless we start moving rapidly and can get several steps done before then.

Because of long delays in waiting for referrals some of the new Hauge families who've applied for I-800 visas will also need to renew paperwork.

F continues to wait well,  but like us does not understand why we wait?

We know many of you already pray for F and our adoption daily. Thank you!!!
Would you join us in praying for Haiti's other adoptions as well?

Here's part of the post:
It seems fitting to gather together again in prayer. Let's spend the next 40 days in intentional prayer and fasting. 
Let's invite the Holy Spirit to pour over every dusty file, to brighten every page, and move in every heart and hand that is required to sign. Let's pray for the courts, the officials, the immigration officers, and every step in between. Let's lift up the birth parents and nannies and orphanage directors. Let us intercede for the life of each child who waits in an orphanage, for their health and hearts and homecoming. 
Will you pray and fast (in whatever way you can) for 1 day? Will you ask your family and friends to pray that day too?

Thank you for helping to get children to their new families. 

Director's name is Mme. Arielle Jeanty Villedrouin, the last signature needed for referrals, not sure if she is the last for exits (our stage) also.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Face Time

No news on our chart or case.

Eli's time in Haiti will reach the 1/2 way point tomorrow.

 I know that the Lord knows how much we would love to spend time together as a family of five...because I've told Him several times! But we trust that the Lord's timing and plan will be best.

Sunday morning I awoke after seeing F in a dream, only to find a message from his foster Aunt asking if we could Skype or Face Time with F.

After only seeing an occasional new picture for six months we all enjoyed seeing his face and hearing his voice. He's growing up.

He talked about school and told us about his goat, a gift from a visiting friend. He asked to see the goat house that my Dad and Eli built at Christmas time and to see his room.

We heard how he lost his tooth, about school, and we showed him Kody the cat.

We told him we loved him and how we and many people are praying for the paperwork.

We learned he did well after our talk and were able to talk to him again last Sunday. A nice Father's Day gift for Cory. F asked to see Kody again. Because he decided to play with the goat rather than nap we were able to see his sleepy side.

Waiting is hard but we have peace from the Father, can't imagine how people without faith in Him go through an unpredictable adoption process.

Very thankful for the Lord preparing us to be a family for F. Reading a recommended book about attachment and another about the effects of trauma. Interesting...and not without hope and healing.

 Please continue to pray for the process of adoptions in Haiti as well as for government stability so that the cases can progress.

Thank you to each who support us with prayers and encouragement. Your emails and comments mean a lot. Already this week we've received 3 communications of encouragement specifically about our adoption.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Standing on God's Promises.

F's packed and ready to come home..
Still no word on the final signature.

Lots of people praying hard and daily for us to move forward.

Eli's summer break time in Haiti started yesterday, he will be here just over one month before heading back for summer term in Germany.

F met with the man from the orphanage yesterday and asked him if he was working on getting the paperwork done so that he [F] could join his new family.

He then packed up his best shirt, underwear, a piece of sugar cane and some paperwork and brought them to his foster aunt. One paper reads “ God keeps his promises’!!!

He occasionally tells people that in two more days he will be with his mom and dad. So glad he's not discouraged with the wait, and a bit jealous that he can stay encouraged with 'two more days' while my mind counts..6 months, 10 months, one year, one year + 3 weeks....

We bought him some clothes, shoes, and a very cute soft monkey while in the USA last week.

Heard a family exited last week from IBESR so know that the folks that need to sign are signing some charts.

No idea why not our chart, but trusting in the Lord.

Starting to wonder and pray about our visa dead-line of November 21, 2016. If you go to the 'Steps' tab at the top of this page you'll see the many additional steps and paperwork needed to get our paperwork in by this time.

Know that God has a plan...a good plan but also know that the devil does not want good plans to succeed. Praying for the Lord's protection as well as for his grace and intercession.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

One year ago..

Our dearest F, as I look at the picture on our dresser of you taken a year ago today in front of the Haitian flag for Flag Day my emotions run the whole range: happy, joy, sad, frustrated, mad, hope, nostalgiac, envy, tender, scared, gratitude...

Last year we spent the morning with you, visited with the social worker who graciously came for our second interview on a holiday, and then said good-bye. 

Our hopes ran high and hard that the paperwork would finish in a timely fashion so that you could come home.

Those hopes today longer shiny new and high but battered and torn but still strong in our Lord.

We rejoiced that Eli could meet you before he transitioned to the USA for college and today he finished his freshman year. 

Now as we count down the days until we get to see him again [11] I cannot but help to wonder how many days before we will get to see you again??

Only the Lord knows if the two of you will get to spend any time together this summer during his visit home.

I looked forward to teaching you in pre-school. 

Now the school year winds down and while I'm thankful for the progress you've made and all the things we hear you learned..I long to be the one to hold you, read to you, play with you, and spend my day with you.

We continue to hope and pray. Pray and hope. We ask what else we can do...wait. 

Know we love you. Know we pray for you. Know we long to bring you home. 
Know your heavenly Father loves you and has a plan. 


Thursday, May 5, 2016

We want OUT!!

Eli's sunshine yellow
One year ago today the agonizing wait for our referral continued.

Our chart entered IBESR on January 14th, 2014 therefore the wait stood at over 15 months.

Only a couple weeks remained for all four of us to be able to meet our child before we transitioned Eli to the USA for college.

One year ago today, our chart received the needed signature from the director.

One year ago the day after tomorrow, in the late afternoon we received the long awaited email and saw our first picture of F! 

One year ago, we dreamed of attending the Amplifying Missionary Summit in New York as a family of five.

Only four of us will attend.

Each time a week passes without word I try to look for a positive, but it's getting harder.

F's, miniture bougainvillea. 
Early last month we were told our chart only needed one more signature, then they would call for our chart to be picked up.

Each weekday morning brings new hope that slowly weakens throughout the day and as the week progresses without word.

Once we receive our authorization to adopt from IBESR, our case will enter lower courts in Cap Haitian.

Eli plans to visit home for a while this summer, please pray for our case to advance so that we can visit and bond with F again.

I would like to ask you to join us in praying earnestly for us to exit IBESR this month! 

Other families who met their children this year have already exited IBESR.

[A while ago Cory brought home 3 new flowers for the yard and I decided it would be my Mother's day gift. One for each child.
Bottom picture shows normal size vs. mini]

Monday, April 25, 2016

Missed deadline...but all's OK

Well for the first time in this journey I missed a deadline.

The shocking email came this morning asking for information about where we were in getting the needed documents for F's visa as yesterday's deadline passed without our requesting an extension.

I do not know how that important date did not make it onto our calendar. [Failure to get an extension means your case is closed and we would have had to start over from the start with I800.]

Very thankful to report that the needed three month extension has already been granted and is HIGHLIGHTED on our calendar!

Praise the Lord!

Praying hard that this will be the last but it's our third extension and likely not last.

Also praying it will be the last time I miss something!

No word on the last needed signature that could come 'any day'...tomorrow will make three weeks.

We know that without the many friends praying this hard wait would be even harder.

Praying for health, no vacations, no political protests or any other distractions... for the person who needs to sign yet, so that they can focus and sign the charts that need signing!

A political protest is in Cap Haitian this afternoon-praying once the papers get into lower courts in Cap that everything can move smoothly.

We did see a very cute picture of F last week holding a fluffy baby chick. Hear he's happy and that last night he said during evening prayers "And I can't wait to be with my mom and dad!" 

Know that the Lord is answering the prayers that we and F will wait well and still hold on to hope.

Praising the Lord that F' is in a Christian home and doing well while we wait.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Flowers and thorns

Still waiting to hear that the final signature is on our chart and the pick up is arranged or occurred.

Waiting has not gotten easier with time or practice, for me.

Looking back to a few journal entries a year ago when the time grew short for our referral and being able to have Eli go on our socialization trip the emotions are easily similar as we rapidly approach the 1 year mark of waiting to exit IBESR and enter courts after meeting F.

Some days hope soars high and praise comes easier...but other days it takes every bit of concentration and intentionality to focus my thoughts on worship, praise and trust.

[Like flowers and thorns on the same plant-good moments and painful ones. Must try to focus on the flowers while acknowledging the thorns at the same time.]

While I don't believe in signs or clues, occasionally thoughts flitter through my mind...this date would be nice, this would work, why not this...what am I missing or what lesson haven't I learned that's holding us back?

Like if I could just figure out the game or one clue then we would be able to move to the next step. The right prayer or the right way to pray or worship...even though I know that my Lord doesn't work that way.

Encouragement comes from many different places: emails, prayers of friends, instant messaging with family, songs, books, or other.

Yesterday's encouragement came during my devotions. I Thess 3: 9-12. "How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy we have in the presence of our God because of you? 

Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you again and supply what is lacking in your faith. 

Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus clear the way for us to come to you."

My prayers for us and F, "Clear the way Lord!"

Door first opened: 3 years 8.5 months
Paperwork first in the mail: 3 years 1 month
IBESR: 2 years 3 months
Waiting to get out after socialization: 11 months tomorrow
Last saw F: 5.5 months

I-600 families received a 3 month extension, until July 1st, for receiving an official referral before they would have to change over to I-800. We are beyond this step but our I-600 will expire in November.