We truly are a family redefined. We are husband, wife, son, daughter, step children, biological and adopted children and most importantly, Children of God.

A friend pointed out that I needed to update my blog header. After our adoption from Ethiopia, I had updated it stating how the adoption of Sara Joy completed our family. Well... the journey continues. After much prayer, we have decided to follow what we feel is God's calling for us...we went to Ghana with the intention of adopting a four year old girl, Isabella Hope. Little did we know that she would be the catalyst to bringing home not only her, but her half brother and sister. We will now be adding not only Isabella Hope to our family, but also Mary Grace (9) and Gilbert (6) who we will transition to the name Nathaniel Timothy. The shock is wearing off and the JOY and EXCITEMENT are overwhelming. Now truly, our family is complete. The great part of journeying with God, is that it's always an adventure. He knows where we are going, and for us it is all a marvelous surprise. Looking forward to sharing our family adventures as we walk daily through life and as we venture off to Ghana to bring home Mary, Nate and Isabella! It's always an adventure redefining our family!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Hand-Off

Psalm 94:19 - When anxiety (doubt) was great within me, your consolation brought me joy.

Yesterday was a pretty exciting day at our house.  We had been waiting EXACTLY 81 days for our court decree to be printed and signed.  Well, I take that back... during that 81 day time frame, we got some "teasers".  First the document was printed and signed and it was so wrong that the agency did not even send it to me for review.  Back to court it went.  The second time it was printed and signed it was sent to me by our agency and it had Isabella's birthdate incorrect.  She was given the exact same birth date as Mary - same year and everything.  Apparently they were twins... maybe Mary is just super tall and Isabella is tiny.  I could have been ok with that :)  But, it had to go back to court to be fixed.  This time, the courts decided to take FOREVER!  And I do mean F-O-R-E-V-E-R!!!  Tears were shed along the way.  I threatened to go over to Ghana myself and sit outside the court house until I could get the documentation that was required.  I begged.  I pleaded.  Finally, yesterday, the court decree came!

A whirlwind of paperwork began.  I thought I was fully prepared with my I600's (all three of them), and I was, I just needed to go over each of them with a fine tooth comb and then again with a finer toothed comb and finally with something similar to a microscope :)  I had all of the documentation I needed, but each I600, when we got done with it, had 15 pages of supporting documents.  I had Cameron sit down with me, once I assembled Mary's I600 and I would do Nate's.  Cameron would tell me each document that followed, in order, and I would find the corresponding document that represented Nate's case.  Then we moved onto Isabella's.  Each step of the process I would tell Cameron how he could NOT remove the paperclip.  He needed to keep EVERYTHING in order.  Don't drop a SINGLE piece of paper because if it's not right our case will be delayed or denied.

After getting all of the documents assembled, I sent Tim to make copies of everything (with explicit instructions on how exactly to make copies...).  I know, you are probably thinking "he's an engineer... I think he would know how to make copies".  Well, being the paper manager that I am in this household, it was VERY difficult for me to hand over the documents and let him make copies at all.  The originals couldn't touch the copies - at any point in time for fear of getting mixed up and me sending the wrong thing or something that I didn't need to and eliminating something that I needed.  There were folders... purple for originals, red for the copies.  When he got home, I went through the packets AGAIN, drafted a cover letter to USCIS, filled out the e-notification form, binder clipped everything together and then went to the butcher block in the kitchen, called Cameron downstairs and asked him to count pages of the I600 packets.  

He counted his, I counted mine and then I asked him how many pages he got. 19.... GREAT, so did I.  Our packages, if not complete, were consistent!  But I think that they are actually complete AND consistent.

Today I confirmed a few last minute things and at lunch Tim came and took them from my sweaty hands (gasp) and delivered them to FedEx.  It was like he was taking away a fragile child... text me when you drop them off.... fax me a copy of the receipt and tracking number.  Yes, I know.  Control freak is written ALL OVER ME!  I'm ok with that.  This is THE LAST TIME I'm going through this process and I'm going to do it right!  (yes, the last time unless God says differently)

I sent our cover letter to our case manager just to make sure we had included everything that we needed to in each package and told her if it needed anything additional to let me know.  She said she could not think of anything other than to pray over it before I sent it off.

I prayed OVER it. I prayed ON it.  I prayed NEXT to it.  Prayed with my hands UNDER it.  I prayed with it NEAR and I prayed with it FAR.  I prayed while it was in TRANSPORT.  Believe me, I prayed.  I moved it from my controlling self, to God's infinitely more capable hands.  Believe me when I say I would have liked to make that hand-off long ago, but God had it slated for today.  

Isn't that interesting?  It is to me... that all along, for the past 81 days God probably thought (not that I claim to know God's thoughts, figuratively speaking of-course) "what are you so anxious about?  The time is not even near."  He knew all would come together today.  He knew I would make the hand-off today and He knew the sense of relief that would come over me today.  It's now out of my hands.  I can't do anything else.  I can worry, which I'm sure I will, but it will do no good.  God knows the day our I600 will be approved (because it WILL be approved) and He even knows the day my babies will come home.  I find that fascinating.

I pray today that the FedEx people handle our package as if they are holding three precious lives in their hands, because technically, they are.  Deliver our package in a timely fashion and please DO NOT LOSE IT!!!  

I think I will rest easier tonight.....

In Christ,

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