|Latest photo of Nora--October 12th|
Did you know we serve an amazing God? We do. I am continually reminded throughout this adoption
that God is in control and is always working the details out behind the scenes. He is also a God who nudges our spirits in a way I am so incredibly thankful for. Let me just say it PAYS to listen and obey those nudges!!!! I know the fact we are traveling to Haiti in October now instead of November is a miracle. I know the back-story to how that came to be is even more miraculous and I just HAD to share it so God could get so much of the credit here.
We had been sent an email by our orphanage director several weeks back (before we got the IBESR director's signature) that gave us some details of things that needed to happen before we could travel to Haiti. She had said once we got the IBESR director's signature, we could schedule our Embassy appointment, but that other things needed to happen in Parquet before our other appointment to see the Dean so we should just wait to hear from her before scheduling. So, we waited. We heard about the IBESR director's signature and waited some more. Nothing. There are moments when it is very difficult to hear nothing. Even a "no, don't schedule anything yet" feels better than '"nothing". Despite that, there are moments in this adoption where I've felt the need to fight this battle by inquiring and inquiring and inquiring about more information while there are other times where I have felt the need to fight this battle by staying quiet, at peace, and with the control in God's hands. There was something about that time frame of a few weeks where I was okay with just not asking more questions even though we felt as if we were completely confused and knew nothing.
Then came this past Sunday morning. I was simply sitting in church when I had this momentary thought/panic race through my brain: "What if our director is waiting for us to schedule the appointment while I'm waiting for her email to tell me it's okay to schedule the appointment? What if all along, she meant for me to ask the Embassy for the appointment time since we got the last signature we needed, but I never understood her email to say that and have been waiting this whole time for nothing? Ahhh!" That thought really came out of the blue...I hadn't been thinking of our adoption in those moments or anything. So, when I got home from church I decided to risk sounding "nagging" and emailed our director just to double check that we were indeed supposed to still be waiting on her to give us the green light. At 10:30 Sunday night, I finally got a response back from her. It read, "Angie, I think you did not receive my e-mail yesterday telling you to write USCIS for the appointment. You can now."
What!?! Can you even believe it!?! No, we never got an email from Rachel the day before and would have never even known she sent one. If God had not put that thought in my head at church we would have never known we had the green light to ask for our appointment and could have wasted days and days for nothing. Thank You, Jesus, for Your ever-present care in our lives. Thank You for knowing the details we are unaware of and using Your power to make us aware of them. Thank You for putting a spirit inside of us that is connected to You. Who knows how long our process would have been delayed if I would not have sent that email, but because of the thought God put in my head, we were only delayed one day. He is so faithful!
The story just gets better as I sent the email on Monday morning around 8 a.m. to the US Embassy in Haiti. They send an automated email back to you right away saying it could take up to 7 days for a response. I had heard from many the response typically comes back within 2-3 days and that some had even gotten a response by the end of the day. I wasn't holding my breath for that. I went on with my day and wouldn't you know it, by NOON I had a response from them! I had put in my "hopeful" request for the dates of October 29, 30 or 31 knowing full well that some are getting scheduled a month out from the dates they request, but my appointment was granted for Monday, October 29th at 7:30 a.m. WooHoo!!! God is so good! It is critical to get this trip in as soon as possible because our adoption process is basically held up until the appointments of this trip are done. Having this happen so quickly is such a God-send! It keeps us moving in the right direction at the quickest speed possible.
Just for the icing on the cake...God made it possible for us to fly to Haiti while the flight prices were AWESOME! The very next week they jumped up so we will be flying without the huge extra burden of high ticket prices...hallelujah!
So, friends, in EVERY detail of our lives, there is a God who cares about us and desires to give us good things. There is a God who is one step (or ten thousand steps for all we know) ahead of us and He is crafting the amazing story of our lives. There is a God who uses everything--whether delays or quickness--to bring Him glory and to bring us back to Him. There is a God who even speaks to us so we can be aware of what He already knows. It is awesome to be a part of it all. And with that, friends, I need to sign off of here and get packing! I've got 11 days to figure out how to fit all the supplies I want to bring into one 40 pound suitcase...eek!
Please be praying for Lily, Judi, and myself as we prepare to head to Haiti. This is Lily and Judi's first trip to Haiti and I have no doubt that God is wanting to speak to their hearts in ways we haven''t even thought of yet. Pray also for Nora's heart to be prepared for our time together. Of course I want my own bonding with Nora to go smoothly while we are there, but my heart's desire on this trip is for the incredible bond of sisterhood to begin in amazing ways for Lily and Nora. I get choked up just thinking of the two of them together. I will update again (hopefully) as we get even closer to our fly date and then will (again, hopefully) be able to blog a bit from Haiti to share how things are going. Thank you, friends, for all your support and prayers!