Wednesday, March 31, 2010

24 Hours

In the last 24 hours I have:

shopped for supplies


taken my son to the doctor

taken my son for a haircut

went to the chiropractor

and booked my airline tickets...

with the 100% God provided money for our airfare!!!!!! The entire amount has been received and I stand in humbled awe of God's goodness. I am partly in awe because I absolutely don't deserve any of His grace that has been lavished upon me.

Thank you to everyone who has prayed for us on this journey (please don't stop now). I will leave Friday afternoon and arrive Saturday in Ghana. Our together forever begins April 3rd and I am looking forward to the joys and the challenges that come along with it.

In adoption the fearful become beloved, the scorned become adored, the nameless become cherished, the lonely become the laughing, and death becomes life abundant. In adoption, we can clearly see God taking ashes from here and ashes from there and making something truly beautiful with them.
Kerry Hasenbalg, Hope for the Journey (An Adoption Companion)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

We Interrupt this Previously Scheduled Rant.... bring you a VISA!!!!!!


The news made me fall into a big ugly crying heap on the floor. Suddenly every rotten moment, every prayer cried out, every fear, every hurt and disappointment didn't matter because I heard those sweet words..."Go get your baby".

The next few days will be an absolute whirlwind. I am going to try leaving on Friday provided we can miraculously pull the money together for the tickets. The number is a bit overwhelming, but I have to believe that after all this it will come together.

I am delighted to say, finally,
Mercy is coming

Monday, March 29, 2010

Hope Wasn't on the Agenda Today

I got some unexpected news this morning that there was still a chance we would get our visa today. I had pretty much given up hope this weekend that the escort situation would happen and was a bit relieved to not have any expectations for the day. So when hope showed up knocking at my door I was a bit surprised. Sadly, after a few agonizing hours we learned there was no visa and hope departed as quickly as she came.

I am just really struggling right now trying to understand any of this. I'm disappointed and angry. The escorting opportunity seemed like such a great answer to the financial end of this.

I am tired of every single step being hard. I am tired of not wanting to leave the house for having to tell people we are still waiting. I'm tired of agonizing over every dollar we spend and feeling guilty if we do something fun with the kids instead of saving the money to go to Ghana. I am tired of hoping, wishing, and praying for this to happen. I am tired of feeling weak or pitied. I am tired of feeling like a failure in my faith for the things that run through my head - doubts, fears, anger.

I'd love to tell you I have great peace and that I am just sitting around grinning from ear to ear waiting patiently on the Lord, but that wouldn't be true or real. I wanted so badly for this journey to inspire others to open their hearts to adoption, but I doubt this road trip would inspire anyone.

And please, oh please, don't tell me God's timing is perfect. I know it in my heart, but right now I'm trying to reconcile it in my head.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I Just Want to Hear Something...Anything...

It has been a LOOOOOOOOOOOOONG week. I feel emotionally and physically exhausted and just want this over with.

Apparently there is a new step in the process and the Embassy wants to get a letter of approval from social welfare before the visa can be issued. This is being required for all families now. It is frustrating to have to wait for one more piece of paper after jumping through all of the other hoops. We passed court in August for crying out loud!

It's especially frustrating for us because of the timing. We expected to have the appointment Monday and that the visa would be issued Friday. All of this would have worked out perfectly because we have someone traveling back to America next Tuesday that was willing to escort Mercy home.

It is a much needed financial savings for us having it done this way (less than half the cost of my airline ticket & no traveling expenses) and would be a HUGE answer to prayer. Not to mention not having to go through the physical wear and tear of such a long trip. I do have a ticket on hold for Mercy through tomorrow and I am praying by some miracle I will get to book it. Also, next week is spring break so it would have been the perfect opportunity for the kids to spend time together.

There is still a chance we will get it tomorrow and I am holding onto that hope. I know it's a long shot, but I just keep telling myself that God is able.

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Great Debaucle Continues

Today Edward went to the U.S. Embassy in Accra to attend Mercy's visa appointment. Instead of getting the long awaited good news, we received word that Homeland Security had not sent over our original paperwork (which should have been done months ago). In fact, from what I'm told the Embassy should not have even given us an appointment because of the missing paperwork. I'm not even sad about all of this...I am MAD!

I've done everything I could this afternoon to bring this matter to a quick resolve. I've e-mailed the Embassy asking for clarification on what is needed (so I am getting the real story first hand). I've e-mailed USCIS in Accra. I've e-mailed USCIS in St. Paul. I've talked to our senator's office who has contacted USCIS headquarters in Washington DC.

There is an opportunity that has arisen that makes the quick resolution of this problem very important. It would be a huge financial burden lifted. I can't share details yet, but please pray this is fixed now. We really need to get that visa THIS week and there is still hope that it will happen.

Be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power.
Put on the full armor of God so that you
can take your stand against the devil's schemes.
Ephesians 6:10-11

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Last Hurdle

My daughter will arrive at the Embassy in Ghana at 7:30 a.m. on Monday for her visa appointment!!! I am finally feeling super excited & joyful. Heck, I'm practically giddy.

This is our prayer:
That all of her paperwork will be in order and that her visa will be approved.

That her visa will be printed in a timely manner.

That they won't run out of ink or paper, the printer won't jam, the electricity won't go out, or that the person who prints the visas won't become violently ill and call in sick on the day Mercy's is to be printed.

I hope to be posting about firm travel plans very soon!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Where Do We Go From Here?

Just hanging out waiting to hear back from the Embassy. I've requested an appointment for next Monday so we'll see if they can squeek us in. I won't be able to make any firm plans until we know what's happening with this appointment.

I've also decided I absolutely won't make any travel plans until the visa is printed and has been picked up by Edward. I am not taking any chances since I can't stay in Ghana for an indefinite amount of time.

Best case scenario is that she would have her appointment on the 22nd and it would be printed and picked up by the 26th. I would probably then try to depart on the 31st and return on the 4th or 5th...alot depends on ticket prices and what they would cost on such short notice. If they are too high I may have to wait a week (which I'm guessing would be the longest of my life). If we don't get the visa appointment by next week and we end up running into the following week there may be a whole different plan.

I have to admit when I actually laid my eyes on the scan of her passport it was the most glorious moment! I wanted to print it out and frame it. I'm certain it was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen.

I wonder what it will be like to see her again? How much has she grown? Will she be as excited as I am? Will it be difficult for her to say goodbye? I can't wait to wrap my arms around her and tell her how much I have missed her and that she will be loved forever.

Monday, March 15, 2010

How Do You Spell Relief?


Thank you Jesus! I've already e-mailed the Embassy requesting an appointment for next Monday.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A Capricious Situation

Capricious: [kuh-prish-us] - adjective - characterized by, or subject to whim; impulsive and unpredictable

Isn't that just the perfect word to describe our situation! Well, by golly, today we are getting a totally new and improved story about the passport. This particular story doesn't involve the police (or corporate espionage...ha ha). Supposedly her passport was accidentally mixed in with a stack of passports going to another region and when they discovered they had it they were concerned that someone had been waiting for it.

Yeah...that would be me.

Anywho, supposedly someone will be bringing it back to Accra next week. It is about three hours away from where it needs to be so let's just hope it doesn't end up on Gilligan's Island after making it's "three hour tour".

To be continued...

Monday, March 8, 2010

Sunday, March 7, 2010

A Flair for the Dramatic

I am SO not attracted to drama. And yet, as I find myself soul searching this journey, it truly sounds like a bad soap opera that goes something like this:

Girl wants to adopt.

Girl plans to adopt baby girl from Haiti.

Girl travels to Haiti on an amazing adventure to meet her daughter.

Baby girl removed from orphanage and returned to birth family.

Girl heartbroken.

Girl picks up the pieces and moves forward to adopt baby girl 2 from Ghana.

Girl thrilled with ease and speed of Ghana program.

Girl in turmoil when baby girl 2's orphanage closes and baby girl 2 is returned to birth family.

Still proceeding with adoption, girl finally gets a court date for baby girl 2 only to be told she has one week to get to fly to Africa to appear on a whim for court.

Girl travels to Africa on an amazing adventure, falling more in love with baby girl 2.

Girl told to expect baby girl 2 to be ready to come home in about six weeks.

Six months later girl is still waiting for baby girl 2's passport only to be told the person at the passport office was arrested because he gave baby girl 2's passport to someone else.

Two and a half years later and girl is still waiting...the phrase "next week" becomes meaningless.

Girl wonders if she just seriously got it all wrong.

My motto for the week: "NO MORE DRAMA". I am so ready for a happy ending.

Thursday, March 4, 2010


Keaton got his first pair of glasses today after failing his eye exam quite miserably last week. He asked me what he should do if someone told him he looked like a nerd. I told him to look at the kid and say, "if you want to see a nerd just look in the mirror". Just kidding. Or am I?

I must say I think he looks rather snazzy in his new spectacles. Don't you?

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Now You See It...Now You Don't

I was feeling particularly defeated today after learning the passport that Edward laid eyes on last week has mysteriously disappeared. Gone.

Quite honestly, if I hadn't met Mercy in person or didn't know other families that have brought their children home through our agency I would most certainly think we were being scammed.

I spent a lot of time this afternoon re-reading a devotional I received from Shaohannah's Hope. My heart is ministered to each and every time I read the words included in this small booklet. It confirms and re-confirms my desire to press on, even when I feel too tired to do so. It's not about me or what I have to go through, it's about offering hope and family to a precious girl who needs it.

The adoption journey is not easy, but every hour of toil, every obstacle encountered, every tear shed, every sleepless night - all are but a shadow of the price that God paid for us. Jesus came to be a ransom for many, and if God was willing to pay that ransom for us, how much more will He be willing to lead us in ransoming His beloved children from their state as orphans? And it is His love that compels us onward in obedience, whatever the cost, for He who calls us is faithful.