Saturday, January 14, 2017

Day 1096. Year Three in IBESR

3 years = 36 months = 1096 days = 26,304 hours.... and only the Lord knows how many prayers and tears.

Pillow reminder, finished yesterday. 
The receipt reads January 14, 2014 but we did not know that our file had entered IBESR for another couple weeks. We rejoiced. Hopes soard high with expectations of a referral and forward movement.

Plans were always followed with 'unless we need to travel for our socialization visit'. Our adoption journey was already 1.5 years long at that point. Our dossier arrived in Haiti a couple months prior, we were excited to be in position for a referral.

Then the wait continued. For the next 16 months the pressure intensified under the desires and wishes that Eli would meet our new family member [s] before heading off to college. After the tickets were purchased and the possible time shrank from months to days the stress became extreme until our referral came just in time for us to squeeze in a 10 day referral trip.

Again hope filled our days. Now we prayed specifically for F and dreamed of him coming home in the fall for the new school yard, for Christmas, for my parent's annual visit in the new year......

Now that hope remains but it endured scars, nicks, bruises, and lives in a heart with some calluses. 

No more tacking onto plans 'unless we get to travel to pick up F' because every one has heard it so long and so many times it is no longer necessary to voice it. 

No longer does my mind watch the clock and figure out how many business hours remain in the day or week that we could expect an e-mail containing positive news or any news about our paperwork.

The boxed cheese cake, our traditional family celebration dessert sits on the shelf expired...still waiting for the news that we've exited IBESR.

The ten months and six+ times of needing to submit the same paper changed even our social worker's hope...from 'any day now' to "We’re expecting any day though, unless they come up with another reason ".

Three months later the visa paperwork finally made it to our file but 'the another reason' resulted in needing the mother's family to sign off on a paper...we continue to wait today [6 months later-due to courts closing for summer break and historic flooding in Cap Haitian] for confirmation that this occurred in November. 

December 2,  we learned of yet another report requested this time by the judge, not IBESR, that requires a group of doctors to fill out.

Even when we hear of these papers being done my battered hope will only rise a little. I read about the excitement of others as they begin their adoption journey and picture new kites soaring up into the  clouds...while my battered and torn one rests caught in the sharp talons of a tall tree, weathered by years of storms and sun. 

For even when the reports and paperwork are signed they will still need to be accepted by IBESR and make it into our file. The reminder that one paper took 10 months in our case weighs down our expectations.

Then perhaps we will again return to 'any day now' or 'one more signature' with a bit of fresh hope. 

Intentionally now I picture giving each new day to the Lord as a wrapped gift. Lord, Your will. I WILL praise you and serve you while we wait....with Your help. Help my attitude. 

Words cannot express how grateful we are to each person who's prayed for our family and this process. Thankful for every encouraging word. 

Thankful for every person encouraging F while he waits. Thankful that he continues to have hope, asking whenever he sees a paper going into his house that he asks if it is the one we've been waiting for. Thankful that he knows that the Lord is praying for him...interceding. 

Thankful for praise music and music to wait by that helps to keep our eyes fixed on our Savior.   Thankful for the new hope that maybe we can visit and spend some time with him soon. 

Thankful we can trust in the Lord, His plan, His power, His timing, His love for F, His unchanging faithfulness to sustain us through days and years of waiting.