I think we had just about the roughest, toughest week of our whole process this past week. If I ever thought I was at a “low point” in this adoption process I lied. This last week was filled with mornings where I woke up missing the fresh smell of hope wafting beneath my nostrils. We had exhausted kids, exhausted parents, tough week of parenting in general, and add to that another week of silence. On Thursday morning, on my way to and from school (my 9am daily World History class) I had it out with God. I told Him we were just about done with this whole waiting thing. I told Him that we had waited long enough and that I understood that the four-letter F-word was a bad word, but that it JUST. WASN’T. F—!
(Fair. F. A. I. R. btw. In case you’re eyebrows just shot to your hairline, that’s what I meant. For real. Fair is a bad word in our house, yet we still hear it constantly, and I really really really try so had not to use it with my BFF Jesus either.)
I was empty. Empty of joy, of hope, energy, patience, goodwill, and probably empty of Christmas too and that’s saying a lot because Christmas is my favorite holiday. I just flat out told God that either He needed to end this roadshow now, or figure out how to keep us going, because we had nothing left to give. I had no more ability to conjure joy for other families when they received referrals and we did not. I had no more energy to count the days.
After my dish-throwing, snot-running, F-word (FAIR.) throwing brawl with the Lord, I wrote this journal entry:
“898 days in IBESR. Rep says all is “in order” and just waiting for our referral to be released to the agency. Having a discouraging week as I have anticipated a referral call daily and each day ends in disappointment. Today I don’t know how much longer I can wait. Today is the first day that I saw someone post their referral news who has waited in IBESR 8.5 months LESS than us – and I didn’t even bother to pray and ask God to give me joy for that family. I’m empty, I don’t understand, and I am frustrated. I don’t know if I will be able to hang onto the “God is in control” line to feed to others. I know that He is in control, but the frustration and “invisible” feeling is overwhelming. I feel like I pray without expectation because for so long I prayed with expectation and nothing happened. I know prayer is not like a vending machine…but 898 days waiting for something that was supposed to take a few months initially…this isn’t what we signed up for!…898 days. Please, dear Jesus, Author of our lives and the lives of our Little Man, please don’t ask us to walk much further. If it is your will that we wait longer, please pick us up. Because I cannot walk any further on this road. The only way I will make it is if I am carried through to this finish line! God please end this excruciating wait for our family. Please divinely interfere in the offices of IBESR and hold their hands as they sign our referral and call the agency. God we need Your divine intervention – we need You. Above all else. God be next to me, beside me, lifting up my heart and my hands to worship You despite my fatigue and my weakness. God give me unending joy and compassion for others who travel to Haiti and bring their children home before me…God I ask that You end this wait. I am asking for the relief of a referral for our family TODAY. Not “soon” not “in the next week” but today, Lord. Lift my head so I can see You through this. My soul is weary, and my burden is heavy. God, Please take this!”
After I finished, I decided to be specific. I told God that we had waited 898 days in IBESR and I asked that He would NOT ask us to wait 900 days. I prayed specifically that God would end this wait for our family and that we would be free from this weight of waiting.
Apparently, the day I prayed, IBESR was taking a holiday and was closed. LOL this is why I’m not God. (one of many reasons, in case you thought that maybe only one was not too great of a reason to discount myself)
But this is why HE IS GOD.
We had a terrible morning, this morning, I’ll be honest! We were trying to fly out the door to a softball tournament that Logan was playing in, and all of us had to go and be ready, we were running late, no one had eaten breakfast, and the car was incessantly dinging the annoying “do you know that you’re about to be stranded on a long stretch of highway at 8:45 on a Saturday morning because you were too lazy to fill up your gas tank last night?” (YES. We KNOW. Thanks for reminding us. Again. We didn’t hear it the first 37 times you dinged.) We roll into the McDonald’s drive-thru (Don’t judge. When you’re desperate, you’re desperate), and I was looking through my email for a tournament address and my inbox pinged. The message simply asked us to call our Haiti family coordinator at the agency on her cell phone “when you get a chance”. Thinking there was yet another roadblock with our process, I immediately turned around and asked the kids to pray because I needed to call Michelle and I didn’t know what was happening with our file.
I called her back, and she proceeded to ask me if it was too early, to which I answered “not at all, we’re in the McDonald’s drive-thru!” And she responded, “Well, I guess its never too early to call when you have AN OFFICIAL REFERRAL!”
Yes. My thoughts exactly. I don’t think I said anything, until I said, “Wait, what? You’re kidding.” (OMG. of course she’s not kidding. You’ve only been waiting 30 months to get this phone call!)
Pause. Stop reading.
WE GOT OUR REFERRAL!!!!!!! ITS THE REAL DEAL, FOR REAL, FOR REAL, I HAD A DREAM ABOUT THIS THE OTHER NIGHT AND ITS CRAZY AND THIS IS ABOUT HOW FAST MY BRAIN WAS REELING IN THAT MOMENT I COULDN’T EVEN BREATHE OR THINK MUCH PAST WAIT REALLY? A REFERRAL? OUR REFERRAL. YOU MEAN THIS IS WHAT IT FEELS LIKE? I’VE ALWAYS WONDERED. ITS SATURDAY WE ARE ALL IN THE CAR TOGETHER I HAVE TO CALL MY PARENTS AND AND KRIS’ PARENTS AND EVERYONE ELSE AND WHAT IN THE WORLD WE ARE SUPPOSED TO UP AND LEAVE AND WE’RE GOING TO THE MARINERS GAME ON TUESDAY AND WHAT ARE WE GOING TO DO WITH THE DOGS?
I’ll spare you the rest of our brains and chatter, because really the only piece in there that matters is REFERRAL!
Yeah, so after you shed your tears (add them to the lake in my car, we already shed most of ours) you can read on – for the details we don’t have!
We have a name, and an age. I can’t share the name, but our Little Man is just barely 6 years old. Lucky for us, there’s a huge tropical storm in Haiti today, and the internet connections are shot. So the Agency rep has our referral in-hand, but can’t email it over to our stateside coordinator until the connection is back up – so we have NOTHING. No photo, no medicals, no info, no nothing…so we count the hours or days until its fixed and it can be emailed over, then sent to a translator ASAP because its all in French! 🙂 When we receive it, we will have at least one photo, and medical and family history, as much as is known.
On Monday we will be checking in with our coordinator to get the lowdown on traveling, when, where, how, etc. etc. But we are expecting to need for Kris and I to fly out later this week to Port-au-Prince, Haiti for the two-week bonding trip.
Yes. Its crazy.
But you know what’s even more crazy? Today, this morning, is our 900th day just waiting for that referral call. However, as I found out this morning on that call, the agency actually received our referral YESTERDAY – which was day 899. Which means that our file was not in IBESR for 900 days, and God answered every single one of the details of my prayer on Thursday (seeing as how the office was closed and empty on Thursday, haha).
I know this is getting super long, and you all have things to do, people to see, and prayers of thanks to offer up on our behalf. 🙂
Please know that as soon as we have more information, we will post it here – however, there are a few things we cannot post on the internet. We cannot post any photos of his face nor his name until he is legally ours (possibly not even until he is home, that is a minor detail we’re not sure of). If you are in our area, we can show you a pic, but we cannot send anything out mass mailing, etc. with his face or name due to legal laws within the country of Haiti. If we do, we risk sabotaging our entire process, losing the child, and losing our right to adopt within Haiti. (needless to say, we aren’t risking it)
From here, we get to wait (YAY!!) until the official referral is able to be emailed, and translated, they are hoping by tomorrow or Monday morning. Then, Monday, we will talk with the coordinator to firm up travel plans. Kris and I will travel to Haiti and stay for 2 weeks to bond with Little Man, and then return home without him. We will be attempting to return with our other three kids as soon as possible, so that they can meet him as well. After that point, we wait for IBESR exit (a sign-off on the match, the observed bonding process, etc.) and move on to the next few processes of a few courts and visa stages, etc. before we can fly over to bring him home. I know that description only took one sentence, however the process of time between bonding trip and homecoming can be 8-12 months, sometimes longer. So we still have a long road ahead.
Things you can pray for at the moment: Our last-minute travel. Flights are super weird, timing-wise, and this is probably the most inconvenient timeframe to have to travel…LOL…but I really don’t want to admit that to God, after all He’s done to turn our world upside down because He loves us so darn much! We need to get dates set, kids taken care of, dogs taken care of, and hotel/airfare set up.
Another anxiety for me, is that this 2-week travel happens to fall upon FINALS week for me (for which I have a few online finals I can take, but one in-class final that I’m frantically trying to find an alternative (and good graces with my Professor) for.) and the last two weeks of school for our kids, in addition to the last two weeks of baseball and softball season, along with the first week of “All Stars” practices (baseball), which Kris was hoping to coach with his team of amazing friends/coaches and has a team of kids all counting on playing!
Its all a bit of a FREAK OUT EXCITEDLY straight to FREAK OUT ANXIETY – okay, in all honesty, that’s probably just me, haha. Kris is very matter-of-fact and even-keeled about the whole thing, and I’ve been bouncing off the walls.
I think that everyone’s eyes are about bleeding right now from all these letters so I’ll sign off with this.
THANK YOU. To all of you who have prayed and battled with us until this point, and to all of you who will continue to pray and race with us to the finish line. We could not do this or love this Little Man without our world of friends and family supporting us and checking in, praying for us and sharing their encouragement. We love you all!
Laura, Kris, Braeden, Logan & Abby