Thursday, December 17, 2009

Filled with Anticipation

If you happen to run in to me you will probably find me smiling. I am filled to the brim with anticipation. Nesting has been kicked into high gear and the realization that we should be just a few weeks away from Mercy's homecoming makes me down right giddy.

I laid in bed last night wide awake until after 1 a.m. running through the scenarios in my mind...playing the "guess the date of Mercy's homecoming" game in my head...thinking of all the things I want to do before she comes home. You know, like paint the walls in the stairwell to the downstairs playroom. Yeah, important stuff that she will really care about (insert sarcasm here). I'm just crazy happy or maybe just crazy. Who knows! Who cares!

Winter clothes for our sweetie are definitely in order. I've done some clearance shopping the last few weeks so she won't freeze. I also bought a heated blanket for the girls bunk bed, which I am planning to order tomorrow. I can't wait to get it all set up and ready to go. Their room is small so the bookcase headboard will be essential for extra storage. I dream of the night I get to tuck her in for the first time, pray with her, and check on her 20 times.

I got the official paper copy of our approval in the mail yesterday and it said our papers were forwarded to the National Visa Center on the 11th. Our adoption agency said we should e-mail the embassy to request a visa appointment on the 28th provided we have that passport.

I keep praying and believing that we are just a few weeks away from Mercy coming home. Excitement abounds. We are praising God for all he has done and continues to do!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

So Close I Can Taste It

I received the following e-mail today regarding our I-600 approval:
Case approved! The notice is in the mail to you and on its way to the National Visa Center. It can take about 5 days for the approval notice to get to the NVC and then 24-48 hours for it to be uploaded into the system. They will then schedule an interview in Accra. Please let me know if you do not hear from the NVC in this time frame.

"Approved" is just about the nicest word I could hear. We are soooooooooooo close.

I was told we have the death letter for Mercy's father (although I haven't seen a copy), but she still doesn't have her passport. They actually ran out of passport books to print them on, which seems so "Haiti" to me.

Airline tickets are crazy high right now because of the holidays. I hate the thought of getting the OK and then not having the money to buy the tickets, but as a friend reminded me, God has already gone ahead of me and made the way for it to happen. I don't know how, but He does, and that is what I am counting on.

Keep praying! Lord willing, I believe it won't be long now!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Chance to Serve

On Wednesday our life group served a meal at the St. Vincent de Paul Outreach and Food Pantry. We made the decision that both Delaney and Keaton were old enough to help and brought them along too.

On the way there we talked about what kind of people we might encounter and that no matter what their outward appearance might be that they should be treated with love and respect. Smile, be friendly and most of all serve them as if you were waiting on a very special guest.

From my perspective, we live in a community where the disadvantaged are mostly invisible. A small town in the midwest with lovely parks, nice places to eat, and good schools. You generally don't see people who resemble the homeless and I don't think I've ever seen anyone hanging out in the streets begging. You can generally go about your business and not be made to feel "uncomfortable" by the less fortunate. I think that might be a bad thing.

You see there are people who society deems the have nots or disadvantaged living in every community. To pretend they don't exist in the places we live is wrong. When I looked at the room filled with hungry people who had waited outside in the freezing weather, I did not see statistics. I saw worn and weathered faces of sisters, brothers, grandparents, sons, daughters, fathers and mothers. Each of them children of God. Each with a story uniquely theirs.

The reality is that any one of us is one job loss, one medical diagnosis, one bad decision or one tragedy away from being THAT person.

I don't know that a bowl of soup and a friendly smile made a difference to anyone going through our line, but I do know that I was blessed by serving. My children were blessed by serving. We will do it again and I hope you will think about doing it to.

There will always be poor people in the land.
Therefore I command you to be openhanded
toward your brothers and toward the
poor and needy in your land.
Deuteronomy 15:11

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Wait...It Isn't Getting Any Easier

Yep, still waiting. Only it's starting to feel different. A little more painful. A little more longing in my heart for this girl (if that's possible).

In ways it is similar to the month or so before you deliver a newborn baby. You start to get a little more uncomfortable. You don't sleep as well. You dream about what it will be like to walk through the door for the first time with your child.

Earlier in the week we received our I-797C (notice of action) for our I-600. Basically it's a letter they send to pacify you and let you know they received your application and it is in process. I've also been in touch with our senators office to see if they can assist us with an expedited approval because of her living situation.

I also found out that the new process for filing the I-600 through the central location in Texas has an interesting twist. After you send them to Texas (instead of your local office), they forward them back to your local office. Hmmm...

So where are we at?

Praying for I-600 approval.
Praying for Mercy's passport (they ran out of booklets to print them on).
Praying for her father's death letter we will need for her visa.
Praying for continued provision.
Praying for Mercy's heart.
Praying that we will have peace as we wait on God's perfect timing.

He has made everything beautiful in its time.
He has also set eternity in the hearts of men;
yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.
Ecclesiastes 3:11