My sweet, precious Daughter,
I received your beautiful letter the other day.
Thank you so much for sending it to us. Our adoption agency emailed it to me and said “seems like she somehow knew she needed to reach out to you today!” They were right my child. I needed to hear from you, to know you are well, to see your precious handwriting and to imagine what you looked like writing it. Maybe you were sitting at a table in the care center, pencil in your small left-hand, maybe you were sticking your tongue out when you were focusing (like your sister KK does) or maybe you were tapping your pencil on the table as you thought of what to say next. I imagine your bright smile across your face as you called us your family and wrote to us the words, “I love you.” I could see the joy you felt as you decorated the page with the stickers we sent you…how did you know Ariel is my favorite princess? I savored every sentence I read, enjoyed every sweet curl of each letter written from your hand, hearing that you like it there and are doing well. But there was one part of your letter, the very first thing you asked us, my sweet girl, that I just can’t answer yet…and it leaves me with an empty gaping hole in my heart each time I read it.
“When will you come?”
You have been waiting for us at the care center for one and one-half months now, going to bed each night dreaming of being home with us. What you may not know yet is that we have been fighting for you since the day we first met you over three years ago! We didn’t tell you at first because, well, no one thought it was possible. We didn’t want to promise you something and have you wait…well, for YEARS..and then not be able to adopt you in the end. So, we sponsored you and continued to grow our relationship with you, loving you without you knowing the depth of our love or the relentless battle that we have been fighting since we made the decision to trust God’s plan and bring you home with us as our daughter so long ago.
The first question people ask when we tell them about you is, “When will she come home?” At first our answer was, “Hopefully within 6 months” as we thought we knew what needed to be done and we were sure we would have it done by then! But it hasn’t worked out quite like that, my child. As things fell through over and OVER again..agencies changed their policies, paperwork was gathered then lost, the list of things we needed to do grew..tremendously, agencies were corrupt, people we thought we could trust betrayed us, approvals were not granted, governments changed their laws and policies, having to jump through countless hoops, watching the mountain of obstacles growing each day, we realized that we could not predict the timing. As of today, we have been trying to bring you home for 3 years, 2 months, and 17 days. Unfortunately, my dear one, this week the mountain of obstacles getting in the way of us bringing you home continued growing.
We have been waiting to be approved by the US Immigration office to “classify an orphan as an immediate relative” and on Monday, August 17th, we received a letter back with the title “NOTICE OF INTENT TO DENY.” It is very complicated, but back in May, they had given us 87 days to collect five additional documents and our agency was only able to get one of those five documents. We turned in what we had and a letter explaining why we couldn’t get the other documents and US Immigration did not accept it. They have now given us 33 days to gather the rest of the documents they requested or they will deny our case.
We are doing everything we can to get these documents and asking everyone we know to pray for God’s help. Because, honestly, it is only by His help, His strength, His power, and His grace that ANYTHING can be done. Remember that mountain of troubles I was telling you about earlier, sweet girl? Well..God helped us get past ALL of those things and brought us to where we are right now. Things we were told were IMPOSSIBLE..have now happened, and you are in the care center you are today, closer than EVER to coming home with us, because of God’s power and love for you and for us! He is SO GOOD..even when things around us are bad!
I have never felt like more people/governments/policies are against us than I feel right now. It feels like the attacks just keep coming. It is exhausting and incredibly frustrating!
I have also never felt more loved, supported, and cared for than I do right now. Over the last two weeks God has been placing people directly in my path to encourage me, love me, and remind me that He is here fighting right alongside me. First, he crossed my path with a woman named Sarah, that I’d never met before, in a Starbucks while on vacation..she called out my name and told me that she had been following our adoption and had been praying for us. She also told me that she wanted me to know that there lots of people praying for us..praying for YOU my sweet girl..people we have never met, who we have no idea ARE in fact, behind us, lifting us up in prayer! Then, we went back to the place we were staying and our next door neighbors, who were just arriving on their vacation, recognized your Daddy’s Visiting Orphans shirt. It turns out that both families who were staying next door had gone on a VO trip…and one of the couples, Kara and Ryan, not only have gone on a VO mission trip, but have led multiple trips themselves, started a child sponsorship program in Rwanda (Imana Kids http://www.imanakids.org), and have adopted two children as well. They ended up being and continue to be a HUGE support, encouragement, and blessing to us!
|Me & Kara|
God’s help did not stop there…we have been blessed with friends from all over the WORLD bringing us meals, babysitting for us, sending notes and texts, knocking on our door unexpectedly to bring us encouragement, emailing us with your beautiful photos, and then finally we received your letter. He is caring for us, making his presence and comfort known.
|This is the picture we received of you this week. You are holding the package we sent to you at the care center. |
Your smile lights up the room. I can't wait for everyone to finally see it!!
So..my answer to your question today, knowing what I know after this 3 year journey is simply
“We will come whenever God says, ‘It’s time’.”
One lesson we have learned over and over again is to trust God’s timing and plan. We had a six month plan. It didn’t work out. We have learned to trust God’s plan because it is greater and bigger than we could ever imagine. He weaves together a PERFECT plan for each of us, and this three year journey is part of that plan. These trials are part of our growth in Him. And he will, yet again, overcome this challenge.
I don’t know how much longer it will take to bring you home and knowing you are waiting on us breaks my heart. But I do know this…God is with you, loving you more than I’ll ever be able to imagine, so I have peace in the waiting. I pray that you are covered in God's peace and that you feel his presence and comfort as well my precious child, until He says "It's time."
“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4