Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Haiti/Ghana Connection: A Tale As Clear As Mud

I've really enjoyed having new commenters lately! Apparently my obvious desperation has prompted to you write and I cannot tell you how much your encouragement means. Of course, I am always thankful to my long-time faithful commenters. You all rock.

It made me realize that our story is probably clear as mud. I am fully steeped in all things Haiti and have lots of Haiti peeps which probably (at least in my mind) leads to confusion. I thought I'd give a quick recap of our journey just to clear things up for those of you who are new to our story. Grab your favorite beverage and settle in, cause here we go:

We said yes to adoption at the end of summer 2007. After experiencing several years of infertility and being told we would never have children we managed, quite to the surprise of my OB/GYN, to get pregnant. We had originally thought adoption would be our only option, and although we went on to have three successful pregnancies, adoption was never far from our minds.

We started out with absolutely no money in the bank, but believed with all of our hearts that this is the path we were meant for. We explored adopting from Ukraine & Guatemala, but eventually settled on Haiti after a somewhat strange encounter. We felt 100% sure that Haiti was where our daughter was. We started our homestudy and quite miraculously whenever a fee was due the money would come in.

Our original application was to adopt from Children of the Promise through Celebrate Children International. We had seen a little girl on the Three Angels website for a few months and just couldn't get her face out of our minds. We tried to ignore it since we were planning to adopt from COTP, but eventually caved. We made some calls, filled out some applications, and were overjoyed to be matched with Anchise. Finally, we had a daughter.

I traveled to Haiti in September 2008 to meet Anchise and file paperwork for the adoption. It was a trip that changed my life forever. I met new and dear friends who became instant family and fell in love with a country filled with beauty & pain. I felt "home" there and to this day it is where my heart is.

In November 2008 we received word that Anchise's mom did not wish for her to be adopted. We were devastated. It truly felt (and still feels) like the death of one of my children.

We waited a few months to see what would happen with Anchise, with the orphanage (they had no other available girls at the time), and with Haiti in general. The Haitian government wasn't looking favorably upon families with biological children and it seemed no matter where we turned the doors were closing. That was a really hard pill to swallow since we fully believed Haiti was where we were meant to be.

We learned about Ghana adoptions from another adoptive mom and ended up changing to that program in February 2009. We were matched with Mercy and officially began the process to adopt her. We were originally told it would take about six months to bring her home which was music to our ears after all we had lost in Haiti. I should have known it was too good to be true. After much turmoil within the orphanage and continually delayed court dates we finally passed court at the end of August 2009. I made an unexpected trip after the judge (on a whim) decided to require me to appear for court. We were then told it would be about six weeks before she came home.

Well, here we are almost six months later. All of our paperwork is sitting at the Embassy in Ghana waiting for her visa appointment which we cannot have without her passport.

I have been feeling like I have nothing left to give to this process. It has been mentally, physically & financially draining. It is difficult. It is beautiful. I have learned so much about myself and what my God is capable of. We continue to walk in obedience, not because it is glamorous or fun, but because we feel it is what we are meant to do.

14 comments:

Natalie said...

I came over from one of the many Haiti blogs that so many of us are following with pounding hearts and oh so many emotions. I am praying for you that you can bring your beautiful little girl home very, very soon. Natalie, Mum of 2 (one by birth one by adoption)

stephanie garcia said...

Thank you for sharing your heart and your story. I am so anxious to see the beautiful ending/beginning that God has in store when Mercy finally comes home!

Sean and Lisa said...

Oh friend this journey has been tooooooo long! You've handled all the changes, misinformation, delays and pain with such grace. We are better people from watching you walk this journey but am praying desperately your journey would be completed SOON with sweet Mercy right where she was always destined to be.....in your arms!!

Much love, hugs and prayers being sent your way....

small town girl said...

You have been faithful in what God has asked of you, and no, adoption is not easy, and we don't always understand why things happen. But sometimes we see his miracles unfold. I have no doubt you will be welcoming Mercy home, and I just hope it is soon. The waiting is horrendous.

And thank you for being a supportive blogger friend! You are the best!

Amanda said...

That time line is truly horrendous. I'm soooo sorry it's lasted this long. Praying!!!

JacciM said...

Stephanie,

I found you through Amanda (above - who I "know" from sister churches and some online contact). It is a *privilege* to pray for your sweet family and to be able to watch God do what HE WILL DO :) It took some backtracking through your blog, but I had figured out your sad loss of Anchise - and I keep praying for her. Actually, I just got in the shower, and while I was washing my hair I was asking the Lord to give you some news of her. I keep thiking of that children's song... "He's got the Mamas and the babies in His Hands." It's not trite - it's truth. Praying.

Lena Wright said...

I love you, Stephanie. Your day is coming.

Kathy C. said...

Hang in there!! It didn't seem like our adoption would ever end--three years and a long way to go!!! God sent an earthquake to get all the haiti kids home. Who knows what might bring yours home : )

Laurie said...

Hoping it happens so for you, it has been a long time coming. Keep you chin up & your eye on your daughter & I truly hope Mercy is home soon.

Anchise is in my thoughts & prayers too.

Me. Us. She. said...

I don't know why I've never commented. I don't even know how I found your blog. But I did. I found it when we started our process for Ethiopia last May or June. Maybe even before. I bookmarked it and check in about once/week. Just wanted to say I'm here, reading. Lots of us are out here with you and care.
Amanda

Kathy Eden said...

Beautifully said Stephanie! {{{Hugs}}}

Tracy said...

Stephanie...love the bunkbeds and I must say I am so impressed you put them together yourself. I am so sorry your paperwork just continues to sit and sit...I can't imagine your frustrations. The flood gates opened in Haiti and many of our children came home, I hope the gates in Ghana are next!!!!

denie heppner said...

i know exactly how you feel...it took us 2 1/2 years to adopt our little filipino daughter, and altho the adoption is finished, we still do not have citizenship for her of our home country. it's sitting in the embassy for 6 months now. i could not leave the country (well, i chose not to without her) for the whole time the adoption was in process. now she has a visa, but it will expire this year. these third-world countries have no concept of time, and to them, a year or two doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of things. so i've learned, and am learning, that there is no point in trying to hurry up the process,you just have to trust God to do it in His time. and He apparently chooses mostly to allow it to unfold in the host country's schedule. ;) i've learned a lot about myself in this process. it has been a time of learning to relax, to not be angry or impatient, and to believe that everything will turn out as God allows it to. we are captive to people's choices, but we don't have to allow that to turn us bitter. i'm praying that you will be able to relax and enjoy this excruciating time of waiting. (doesn't make sense, but yet it does...;)) HUGS.

Greg's Wife said...

Something is wrong with my feed reader. I am just now seeing this post, but I've read newer ones in the last few days! Weird... Anyway, I am grateful to have been on this journey with you for so long- and WAAAAY ready for it to be over! I still remember when you told me on the phone about Anchise's mother. Such a sad & painful shock! THIS WILL END. I promise, love. Someday. Praying that day is very, very soon.