Tuesday, February 5, 2013

A Calendar and God's Creativeness

We live life in light of the calendar, don't we?  For example, our weeks are composed of 7 days but the calendar is what tells us which of those days are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  Our appointments for the doctor, hair cut, or meeting are scheduled for certain times of certain days and we mark them on our calendar so we don't miss them.  Birthdays would not really be kept track of if it wasn't for calendars to help us know when 365 days had past since the last one.  A calendar has become important to our every day life.

One of the down-sides of a calendar is that we also know how long something is taking when it might be better to simply not know.  This adoption would be one of those examples.  Because we have the ability to track things, we also can become very disappointed when something does not happen within the calendar time frame we have stamped on it.  Just because the calendar says it should have happened, we become annoyed that it has not even though the calendar was a human invention and not how God determines the timing on anything.

Two different things come to my mind when contemplating my own "calendar issues".  First of all comes on the Haiti side of this adoption process.  Our adoption decree is still in the National Archives waiting for a signature of approval so we can move forward to the next office/step in our process.  This last signature is one of 4 we needed in our current "stage" in the legalizations of our decree.  These four signatures are typically obtained, according to the calendar, in 4-8 weeks of time after leaving Parquet court.  We have been given several different emails from our director letting us know her hopes to have our decree in her hand by the end of the week so she could prepare it for MOI (the next stage).  The problem is this has not happened yet despite the various emails...
  • November 25th email from our director: "They are preparing the adoption decree now, hope to have it next week to prepare the paper for MOI. Let's pray."
  • December 18th email from our director: "The lawyer said at the end of this week, we will have the adoption decree. Hope everything will work well to continue the process and send it to MOI."
  • January 11th email from our director: "I am waiting for the attestation of the signature in the Archives.  I hope to have good news next week."
So, here it is February 5th and we still don't have the decree signed by the 4 people and ready to send to MOI.  It is our understanding that most likely our director meant in the first email sent on November 25th that the decree came out of Parquet court to begin the process of getting the four signatures on or around November 30th.  If we mark out on the calendar 4-8 weeks from Nov. 30, we hit anywhere from December 28th-January 25th.  We are now a week and a half past that 8 week date.  But then there is this email sent on December 18th that we do not understand.  Perhaps our decree was not obtained from Parquet court around the Nov. 30th mark as originally told to us in the previous email and so we didn't get out of Parquet until Dec. 21.  If that is the case our 4-8 week mark would be anywhere between January 18th-February 15th, which means we are still within the given typical time frame.  But what really matters is the last email sent on January 11th.  We know according to that email it was in Archives at that point waiting for the last signature.  This signature "should" take 1-2 weeks to obtain.  That would be why our director said she hoped to have it the following week for us.  However, now it is Feb. 5th, 2 1/2 weeks later, and we are still in Archives.  Can you see where calendars make this process all the more complicated and frustrating?  It is something we use to stay sane, but yet when things don't go according to them, it drives us insane!  Ugh.  At any rate, for the Haitian side of our process, we are praying TODAY that the lawyer's heart would be stirred to check in at Archives and find a signed decree ready to be picked up and taken back to our director so she can prepare the rest of the paperwork and get it to MOI as soon as possible!

As frustrating as the calendar is in this journey, it has also been a cool way to see God's Creativeness.  If you remember, there are two sides to this adoption--the Haitian side and the American side--that are happening alongside each other.  So, as mentioned above, on the Haitian side we are currently stuck in Archives.  On the US side, we are waiting for our birth parent interview to be completed.  This birth parent interview was originally scheduled for December 5th.  Nora's birth mom DID come for that interview, but she forgot her ID card so they would not interview her and rescheduled the appointment for February 12th.  I was so disappointed the appointment was scheduled so far out.  I even tried to email them requesting an earlier interview date, but it was denied.  Again I found myself in disappointment, however, as our director said in an email response to my sadness, "God knows why, but we do not. Let's give Him the Glory and be patient as He always asks us. Every time you think about this inconvenience, please Angie, Praise Him because He is in control of this situation."  Yes, God is in control and deserves our Praise no matter what the situation is--He has a plan we do not know!

And now for the Creativeness of our God...

I am a part of a private facebook group of around 600 members connected to a Haitian adoption.  A few weeks ago one woman posted a question that red-flagged me instantly.  She was asking if anyone knew if offices around Haiti would be closed on February 12th due to the Mardi Gras holiday (which is highly celebrated in Haiti).  What!?!?!  I had not even thought of Mardi Gras being a holiday the very day the US Embassy scheduled our interview.  I knew the Embassy honored both American and Haitian holidays so I immediately sent our director an email asking if she thought the office would be closed and if I should be contacting them for a reschedule of our appointment yet again.  She replied that, yes, it would be a good idea to ask them because she assumed they would be closed.  So, I sent off the email asking if they would be open for the scheduled interview on the 12th and if they were going to indeed be closed, if they could give us an earlier appointment time instead.  A few days later they replied with their sincere apologies for scheduling the appointment on a day they were closed for Mardi Gras and rescheduled our appointment for Thursday, February 7th.  Wow!

I was first of all elated we got an earlier appointment date instead of being pushed back another potential 2 months like before.  Secondly, I was amazed at how creative God was in moving our appointment date up earlier when we could not get this to happen on our own.  He loves us so much and is working for our good, friends, even when we do not understand His ways.  He used another person in our group to open my eyes to the holiday issue and used it to show me HE can move the mountains--HE can move the appointments--HE is the One in control of each and every step of this journey and HE will see us through this to the very end.  Praise HIM!

So, even when we think a calendar has everything orderly and under control, God shows up and proves once again He does not work on a calendar type schedule, but He can use it for our good when we give it up and rely on Him instead.  As I take this example on the US side of our adoption and apply it to the Haitian side, I have to remember the same Truth.  Even though we seem "stuck" according to the calendar time line, God is in control and can use anything and everything--even a setback--as a tool to bring about His goodness.

Will you pray for us as we continue to place our adoption in the hands of our loving God whom we TRUST is always in control?  Will you pray that our focus will remain more on trusting Him than on the calendar dates that keep passing by without Nora in our arms?  Will you pray for Nora's birth mom interview to go well this Thursday resulting in one more required part of the process being checked off the list?  Will you pray for our decree to be released from Archives today and picked up to move on in the process?  Will you pray for Nora to be protected and strengthened physically, mentally, and spiritually while we are apart?  We would be grateful for all these prayers.  Thank you, friends, thank you!

One thing that helps when the calendar days pass by is an email with photos of Nora included.  These are the ones we got last night--so sweet and yet so longing, huh.

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