For those following along on our journey to bring Ian home...
We mailed our I800 (The follow up to the form approving us to adopt internationally that approves Ian to become a citizen) on 2/21 and yesterday received the receipt that it was logged in on the 27th. I had also called yesterday morning and spoke with our officer, but he had not received any thing yet. He told me to expect at least 10 business days for the I800 to make it to him, but that once it did he would process it within 24 hours.
Once it is approved its sent to the National Visa Center to be processed and then sent to the embassy in our boy's country.
Once it is there we will have what is called an Article 5 interview which our attorney in country attends on our behalf.
Last week we mailed all of our last documents needed for this interview off to be apostilled in Richmond. I'm praying they arrived and have been done and will be sent back to our Social Worker this week to be sent ahead to country.
So basically, nothing real newsworthy to report, we're just waiting. We've done all that we can do and now its out of our hands.
After every thing above happens there are a few more steps then we'll have court in country, which again is attended by our attorney on our behalf. All of these steps can take anywhere 2-4 weeks each. If every thing goes smoothly and we don't hit any more snags or delays we are hopeful for a pick up date in June!
Please pray with us for favor over this last part of our process and that our boy is home by June!
The last of our paperwork, right before I mailed it off!
This morning I saw this and it stepped on my toes
When we first got home from meeting our son I was in a good place mentally and emotionally. I had minor surgery the Monday after we returned then I got right onto finishing our paperwork. We have a big fundraiser in the works that I've been working on daily and we attended a fundraiser for our family and another family this past weekend in NC.
I was busy.
I'm still busy, but ,somewhere along the way the peace I had after meeting our son and finding out that he was in a good place now with people who care about him has started to ebb away.
The glow and excitement from meeting our son has faded into the reality that we still have months left to bring him home and still need $10,000 to make that happen.
Throughout this process (which we've been in now since 1/08/13) I've learned to trust in His timing, but it hasn't been easy. I've been on my knees with tears pouring down my face praying angry and hurting prayers. In the beginning I felt like it was wrong to pray like that so either didn't pray or I prayed route prayers of half hearted thanks, asking for things we needed while doubting whether God was actually going to provide them. It didn't take long for me to realize that there wasn't much point in praying like that, God knows our hearts better than we do. So, I let myself pray when I was angry, hurt, and confused. Time and again I've had to ask for my peace to be restored and it always is.
There are plenty of people who will say that we never should have started an adoption with nothing saved, that there's no way to raise $30,000 and if we've struggled its our own faults.
My plan was to save for an adoption ~ one day after God finally broke my husband's heart and he agreed to adopt, we'd save up the money for our upfront costs and we'd have a plan for coming up with the rest.
Then God asked us to go get this boy, to make this one our son.
So, I ask you, look at our son's face. Should we have left him waiting for another 2 years after we found him and God asked us to go?
He's waited 8 years for someone to make him a son. I knew the moment I saw his outdated picture, shared on a friend's facebook wall, that he was meant to be our son.
It may be hard for you to imagine, but having this son across the ocean for the last 14 months, meeting him and then leaving him there was no easier than if Nicholas had been taken from us and held for ransom.
Leaving Ian broke my heart. I think I was ok for a while because I was still processing every thing. Then we went to church and shared our video and I tried to speak, and broke down. You know it was bad because Steve did most of the talking. But, that's ok. I want to share my heart with people, I need them to know that we love this son of ours as much as we love his brother who I carried under my heart.
If I've ever given you the impression that any of this has been easy then I'm sorry. I do try not to constantly be a weeping mess so sometimes when talking about our process or our boy maybe I seem detached to you.
It's a coping mechanism I think. In the beginning of this process I was consumed with thinking about Ian to the point that I could barely function, I felt like my heart had been ripped and it physically hurt. I believe that God shows mercy to us because if I had lived like that, with my heart so raw and on the surface I believe I would be a basket case now.
Plus it would have been unfair to Nicholas. One of the best pieces of advice I got from one of my best friends (who has now been through this process twice herself) was to still be in the moment with Nicholas. Sometimes this meant that I spent time on holidays crying in the bathroom but then came out and put on a happy face because I still wanted Nick to enjoy his birthday, Christmas, Mother's Day, Father's Day etc.
Sorry that this turned into a rambling mess! Things have been a little tough the past few days, I have bronchitis that is not letting me get any sleep for coughing. Our dryer's heating element went out and since the dryer is 20 years old and we've worked on it twice before we've decided it would be best to replace it. Our heat pump is messing up again. Right before we left for first trip we had to pay to have plumbing fixed that had messed up during all the snow that we've gotten this year, more than probably the last 10 years combined in our corner of VA.
These are just minor things but they drain our finances, they add to our stress and they chip away at the peace I was talking about having.
With all of that being said, I trust our God. On this journey so far the money has been there when we needed it to be, whether from a tax refund, over time, fundraising, donations, gifts, etc.
Yes, I'm tired.
Yes, it is so much harder than I ever thought it would be.
I've lost count of the number of fundraisers we've done, I think the last time I tried to make a list it was over 25 and that was before Christmas. Almost 14 months of back to back, constant fundraising and we still need $10,000. Some people would take this as proof that we got in over our heads.
I trust that the God who took my husband from saying that an international, special needs adoption was something we would never do to having a complete change of heart in 4 Days will provide.
That is not the face of a reluctant husband, that's the love and pride of a Daddy.
I believe in a sovereign, all knowing, all powerful God.
I'm willing to keep doing the work until He tells me to be still.
Our family picture isn't complete yet, but it will be soon.
THANK YOU to everyone who has come alongside us on this journey. For praying, for encouraging, for giving, often out of your own need, for every thing you do.