Wednesday, June 25, 2014

7 Months of More Waiting

It has now been 7 months since Justin traveled to get the boys (or so we thought). I cannot believe it has been 7 months. Our adoption had already taken MUCH longer than anticipated. Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined we would still not have them. I'm trying to enjoy the time with Carson and Justin as best I can but to be honest I feel like my entire life is on pause. Carson turned 7 months old today. She's crawling backwards and pulling up on everything. I wish her brothers were here to play with her. They would be such good big brothers.

I'll try to update as best I can on what's been happening the last few months. At the beginning of June Justin and I traveled to South Carolina to be re-fingerprinted. As we were traveling our phone kept getting flooded with information that exit letters would be issued to Americans soon. 27 Italians had been issued exit letters and we had heard some Belgians had gotten exits too. People in DRC told us to be ready that Americans would be next. There were only a handful of files that were submitted to the DGM (including ours) so we knew we had to be one of them. This was the first time we had gotten our hopes up in MONTHS. We even started to think out plans for our travel. The United States Embassy issued a notice that day that 15 (American) children would be issued exit letters and the families would be notified by the next day. I woke up several times that night to check my email. The next day I continually checked my phone waiting for an email. Justin call several times to see if the notification had come. NOTHING. Our lawyer, our agency, even the Embassy couldn't give us a reason as to why we weren't one of the families to get an exit letter. The families that were stuck with Justin didn't get exit letters either and they are STILL in Africa. I still don't know how the DGM decided which 15 children could get exit letters, but I am truly happy for them, even if we weren't one of them. 15 more children are HOME with their families.

So after being beyond disappointed Justin and I continued to work on getting our visas and the boys' U.S. visas updated so that we can be ready when it is time to go. Even though our hearts were crushed it is positive that there has been movement at the DGM, and that hasn't happened in MONTHS. They (DGM) have also agreed to review cases of the families who met their requirements they issued back in October. We don't know when or how long it will take them to review these cases or even if they will do anything about it. So as of now we are PRAYING that they will review our case (and all the other families) and issue exit letters. And above all else we are praying that the suspension will be lifted and all the families who have completed adoptions can go get their children. 

Even though it's extremely hard to be separated from the boys I am incredibly thankful for the family that is caring for Canaan and Neema. Esther is beyond amazing. She cares for our 2 little guys AND a 1 year old little boy and 7 month old little girl. She has her hands full to say the least. Justin's trip was not in vain because now the boys are with a FAMILY and they are being taken care of. No more sitting in an orphanage and drinking dirty water. The boys are loved and hugged on everyday. I talk with Esther almost every day and she sends me pictures and videos of the boys all the time. Justin and I will forever be connected to Glenn and Esther. I can't praise these couple enough.

Esther said today that the boys have grown almost a centimeter per month since Justin has left (4 months ago). It makes me sad because they are growing up so fast and I'm missing it.  It's been 16 months since our adoption was COMPLETED. Insane.  I've been a mother for 16 months to 2 little boys I've never met. I don't understand why and I'm still questioning God as to why He's doing this but we trust that He is good. He is ALWAYS good and His plans are ALWAYS best. I know He has chosen us to walk this road and be the parents to these two little guys, but man has it been hard. Continue to pray for us. I will not stop begging God until Canaan and Neema are home.

As I was reading the other day I came across these verses in Isaiah (55:8-9). I felt like the Lord was shouting this to me:

 For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord.
 pFor as the heavens are higher than the earth,
so are my ways higher than your ways
and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Return Home...but only for a little while.

I should have updated a long time ago but it's just been hard to face the reality that has been happening. Justin has fought for the last 3 months in DRC to get our boys. He pursued every ethical and legal way he could think of. After spending 90 days in Kinshasa we made the very, very hard decision for him to return home. Justin met a wonderful couple who are from Belgium that will keep Canaan and Neema until we can return for them. They are missionaries in Kinshasa working with the orphans there. Their passion is the Gospel and we could not ask for a better family to care for our boys. Glenn and Esther treat them as if they were their own children. I know the boys are being well cared for and loved. Esther has been great to send videos and pictures of them almost every day. She keeps all of their drawings for me. She is being the momma that I can't be right now and I'm truly grateful for her.

The DGM is still not issuing exit letters. We have heard several different rumors but are not putting much hope in what we hear because we have been down that road before.  At this point we will just continue to wait. Justin and I are going to be ready to leave if and when we hear that exit letters will be issued. I plan on traveling with him, which I am very excited about. It's going to be hard to leave Carson but hopefully it will only be for just a little while. I am glad I will get to experience the boys' culture and see where they have been.

Meanwhile, here in America, Justin has been enjoying his daughter and trying to catch up on the 3 months that he has missed. I asked him if he regretted being gone for so long and he said that he wouldn't trade 1 minute that he had with the boys. He said that they are different children. They have experienced love to the fullest and they are changed. They now have someone to call father. 

Please continue to pray for us. I don't understand why God is allowing all of this to happen. Maybe I won't ever understand. I know He is not absent from my hurting. He is not absent from this process. I know His hand is continuing to guide us and He will continue to watch over Canaan and Neema. We are trying to trust Him with everything that we have even though things seems out of control.

Thank you for not forgetting us. Thank you for continuing to play a part in our adoption as you faithfully pray for our family and provide for our financial needs. Here are some ways you can specifically pray for our family:
Canaan and Neema:
-Pray they will understand that Mama and Papa are coming back. We have not left them forever. 
-Pray that they would continue to thrive in health and emotional well-being. 
-Pray for Esther and Glenn as they have so much on their plate. They not only care for our two sons but a 2 month old beautiful baby girl and a 9 month old little boy, along with their full-time ministry. 

Justin and I: 
-Pray for Justin and I as we try to live life without our sons.( I have finally went a few days without breaking down and crying on Justin.) 
-Pray that God will continue to mold us into the mom and dad that he wants us to be. -----Pray that He will be glorified in all of this and our lives will give evidence of His grace.

And especially PRAY that exit letters will be issued SOON so our sons can come home to their family!!!!

Canaan and Neema we are coming back for you!