Sunday, February 28, 2010

A Part of My Story

Our pastor recently challenged us to think about "our story" and the impact it can have on others who don't have a relationship with Christ.

At our small group last week we continued the study of "Just Walk Across the Room". One of our exercises was to think about our story in relation to who we were before & who we are after submitting to a life with Christ. Honestly, I had a hard time with this concept. I accepted Christ at a young age. My relationship with Him has been close at times and farther apart at others.

I finally had my "a-ha" moment the other night and decided my before and after could be summed up quite succinctly as self-reliant (before) and God-reliant (after). You see, I don't like NEEDING people.

There I said it.

I do not like depending on anyone at all. I like to think that I can do it...all by myself...without any help. People can be rather disappointing and I've felt for a very long time that I always want to WANT people around, but never NEED them.

When a friend asked me recently about what meals we would like delivered after Mercy comes home my first thought was "why in the world would I NEED people to make meals for me...I can do that for myself".

Seriously now, what kind of deranged thinking is that?

I think one of the greatest things I continue to learn through the adoption process is that I can't do this alone. I can't come up with the money. I can't find the strength. I don't have the knowledge. In this process I am utterly and completely God-reliant. I've also learned that sometimes being God-reliant actually means being people-reliant ~ which is still hard for me.

So there you have it...a teeny part of my story. I am a work in progress. Putting one foot forward every single day, relying more on God and less on myself.

Now let's just see if I have the courage to click "publish"...

Friday, February 26, 2010

A Hopeful Beginning...A Disappointing End

No signature.
No passport.
No visa appointment Monday.
God is in control.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Masks for Mercy

A friend who is a consultant for BeautiControl set up an amazing fundraiser for us today. It is cleverly titled "Masks for Mercy".

BeautiControl is a beauty company that specializes in spa treatments, personalized skin care and advanced anti-aging products. They have a huge line of products ranging from skin care to make up.

We are so grateful that Jen offered to do this fundraiser and a generous portion of sales will go to help bring Mercy home. If you or someone you know uses beauty products I am sure you can find something you like. Orders can be shipped anywhere. Please help spread the word!
Note: any purchase qualifies, not just masks!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

This is My Prayer

I took a chance and sent our e-mail to the Embassy in Accra requesting a visa appointment. I was pleasantly surprised when I received an e-mail back with a confirmed appointment for NEXT MONDAY at 7:30 a.m. (1:30 a.m. our time). I am actually starting to get excited thinking this really is going to happen!

Here is my prayer:
There is another family who's daughter should be ready to travel home around the same time. Her husband, however, is deployed overseas and she is at home caring for multiple little ones. She cannot travel, but I can. It would be a HUGE blessing for us both for me to be able to escort her daughter home. They would cover half of my airfare and pay for our hotel/meals during the trip. I cannot stress enough how much of a HUGE blessing this would be since we are about $1,000 short for our travel expenses. I have been praying for God to provide and this just might be a great answer to prayer!

Soon baby girl...soon.

Monday, February 22, 2010

A Breakthrough...At Last!

I was so excited last week. Wednesday we were told the passport would be ready Thursday or Friday so I was all set and holding off to do a post announcing the exciting news. Friday, however, came and went with no news and disappointment.

This morning I received an e-mail that Edward has indeed SEEN the hard copy of our printed passport. The only thing missing is the director's signature which he believes he will obtain tomorrow. I was given the green light to request a visa appointment from the U.S. Embassy in Accra.

It is weird to think we are moving forward. I'm pinching myself and wondering if it's true. If, by chance, (and this is best case scenario) we get the passport in the morning and have the visa appointment on Monday we could have her visa by the 5th. Then it would be time to bring her home.

I am almost scared to be excited. This afternoon I didn't know what to feel. I almost felt nothing at all because "progress" or potential progress is so foreign feeling. The reality that I could need to be able to make travel plans in two weeks is setting in. We are praying for a smooth visa process and for provision for the trip.

Lord, let it be and may you get ALL the glory!

Monday, February 15, 2010

A Great Distraction

There's nothing like some good conversation and a couple of cute little Ghanaian imports to brighten a waiting momma's day. I was blessed to be able to spend some time with another Ghanaian adoptive family this morning for a few hours. We met at the H*liday Inn for some swimming and then to McD*nald's for lunch. I would call that a perfect distraction!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Picture This!

Oh, I can't wait to be spreading sunshine & joy instead of the dismal news I always seem to be sharing lately. It seems the passport office is displeased with Mercy's passport photos and has requested new ones.

I've been told that Edward took her yesterday to get new pictures and delivered them to the passport office. They didn't tell him when it would be ready, just to come back every day and see if by chance they've gotten around to it.

It is no wonder I have been suffering from excruciating headaches lately! I am praying this is the last hold up and that her passport will be printed yet this week.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Daddy Date Night 2010

Tonight Delaney and Jeff went to Daddy Date Night at a local church. They have been going since she was just a little girl (around 4 years old, I think). Where did my little girl go???

I had a major score on her dress, paying only $14 on clearance instead of the original $70 price tag!

Love this girl! She is beautiful on the inside and out and keeps us laughing.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Ready & Waiting

On a more upbeat note, I realized I didn't share that the girls bunkbed came in and is ready and waiting.

The top bunk is occupied by Delaney and Mercy will be on the bottom once she is comfortable with that. If she wants to sleep with us or on a cot next to our bed when she first gets home that is OK too. We will let her take the lead on this one.

Overall I am quite pleased with the bunks. I think for the money we paid they are good quality and they arrived quickly. I put them together by myself and let's just say the directions were not really top notch. None of the pieces were lettered and there were no written words on the directions. I am so thankful to have the bookshelves for storage. The cloths bins work perfectly for things like socks and underwear or other items.

It will be a happy day when I have another one to tuck in at night!

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.