Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Wait Begins

We completed our end of the piles and piles of adoption paperwork yesterday by driving down to Milwaukee to the Department of Homeland Security to get our fingerprints taken which are required for the I600A immigration form. And we thank God that he worked out all the details. I was originally supposed to be in Biloxi, Mississippi since February 10th, but rescheduled my flight to Wednesday so we could make our appointment for 3pm yesterday. Fortunately Kim's sister lives and works in the Milwaukee area so she called us Monday night to let us know they had received 3 inches of snow on Monday and were scheduled to receive 3-5 more inches on Tuesday. So we planned on leaving Bonduel at 11. Of course I was late leaving work, and it seemed the other errands we were running on the trip down were all taking twice as long as we planned. Driving down we hit several patches of heavy snow and so we weren't able to travel as fast as we normally would under dry conditions. But through it all we still arrived to our appointment 1 hour early. And thank God we did. Wisconsin's Homeland Security office is a sub-office of Chicago, and Chicago was experiencing blizzard conditions and so they were closing down both offices for the day. Had we arrived at are scheduled 3 o'clock time, we would have found an empty locked building, but as it was we were the last fingerprinting of the day. Praise God, because I don't think, in fact I know, I would not have been happy to drive 2 1/2 hours, rescheduled flights and plans to be turned away. But we got them and so now we wait. Hopefully in a week or two, Acres of Hope will have our I600A, and then they can give us a referral. I had mentioned in earlier posts, that we might get our referral possibly this month, but in reality, we hope in March to know. But it could take as long as May or June. Again we state our complete trust in God's timing and that He knows the children He has ordained for our family. We ask you to pray not only for our children and Acres of Hope, but pray for stability in Liberia. Just last Friday there was rioting in the capital and so several of the government buildings were closed. All that could spell further delays in getting passports and necessary clearance to go get our children when that time arrives.

We have been so encouraged and humbled by the group of fellow AoH adoptive couples we have gotten to know through an on-line support group. Their faith and testimony in adopting has ministered to both Kim and I. We have had some times of doubting in the past week. Anytime you have difficulty parenting (of which none of us are perfect parents) you begin to question "What are we doing?". More children will just add more more sickness, more expense, more fighting, and more issues to deal with. But we are confident that God has called us to adopt. He hasn't called us to problem-free living or perfect health, or wealth beyond measure. But we do know that if we trust in Him, he will provide for all that we NEED. And so I'm glad to serve a God that takes interest in my meager life, that in his divine plan, he uses ordinary people like Kim and I to do extraordinary things. Things that Kim and I could not possibly do on our own. And so we commit to give God all the glory through this journey, and look forward to trusting him more and more as we face whatever circumstances lie ahead.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Could this be the Month?

Hello again. First an update... Our dossier is at AoH awaiting our I-600A fingerprinting which is scheduled next Tuesday February 13 at 3pm in Milwaukee. We are running into some complications with income verification because I am self-employed and don't have an employer that can sign a document saying I make x dollars. But nothing impossible, and I'm sure I'll get it worked out in the next week. So hopefully once these last couple things get worked out, then AoH will let us know the children God has ordained for us. Our love for these children continues to grow with the anticipation. I've found my self day dreaming and imagining what they might look like and who they might turn out to be someday. If you can believe this, I even imagined walking my beautiful adopted daughter down the aisle someday and what that might be like. In that way it's like pregnancy. Once you get the news that your going to have a baby, you begin dreaming dreams and planning. And I praise God that He knows the plans he has for these children.

At worship today, we were studying Luke 4, where Jesus reads from Isaiah 61 and declares "Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your presence". And the verse from Isaiah is about preaching the Gospel to the poor, to release the captives, to set free those who are downtrodden, and to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord. Our whole goal in this process is to give the gift of Hope to two children. To let them know of a Savior that loves them, and to demonstrate that love in a thousand practical ways each day of their life. I am reminded over and over again how blessed we are, and in our own little way want to share those blessings with them, and to see how God uses us to influence them, so they can in turn influence others for Christ. Its an admirable goal, and by the Grace of God, we'll trust Him to see it fulfilled.

Regarding my trip to Biloxi, I've got a reschedule flight on Valentines Day - Wednesday February 14th. So I'll only be going from Wed - Sun rather than Sat - Sun. Not what I planned, but I'm at peace that i'll still make a little difference the couple of days I'm there. Also our Korean kids flew home on Friday, and Kim and I finally had a night out alone and celebrated. We were glad they came, but also glad to see them go.

Well thanks again for all you're support, and that you continue to care and checkup on our progress. I ask in advance that you pray for patience for us. As I read the posts of other couples who already have referrals, have adoptions complete in Liberia, but are still waiting for passports to get their children home, I know long tough weeks are ahead of us once we have the referral. I trust completely in God's timing, but that doesn't mean it will be easy. I just want us to make the most of our time without our adopted children to reaffirm our biological children and to use that time wisely to do what God needs for us to do to prepare for their arrival. Thanks again!