The will of God will never take you to where the grace of God will not protect you. To gain that which is worth having, it may be necessary to lose everything else.
We have many people ask us about adopting from Haiti. We have tried to help many people who are already doing so in various ways over the past two years. A few times people have asked me, "If you could tell someone wanting to adopt from Haiti one thing, what would it be"? I am tempted to say "Please. Just. Don't." But I don't say that. I don't say that because I believe in taking risks for good reasons and am a junky for cheering on the impossible. I just try to warn anyone adopting (especially from Haiti) to be prepared for a long hard journey...and a fight. You are guaranteed a fight. You are not guaranteed a win. Battlegrounds are not pleasant places to hang out. You will most surely lose something dear along the way.
Some people say we gave up a lot to move to Haiti. We didn't move to Haiti because of our adoptions though that has clearly been the impression that has stuck with the majority. We chose to leave our life in the U.S. to live among the Haitian people as full time missionaries. There is so much that is stripped away when you leave your own culture and embrace another. Sometimes, it is hard to remember who you used to be, but it isn't easy to forget the people who you left behind. It isn't out of sight out of mind... for us. Some days we survive believing that someone is remembering us and praying for us. Sometimes we feel like our old friends think we live this crazy life they cannot possibly understand so they don't share theirs anymore. We don't want to move on from you. We still want to hear about your growing kids and little league and the new family pet. We want to hear about how God is using you where you are. When we were busy taking trips back and forth to Haiti and working through paperwork and adoption fundraising for a year and 1/2 before moving to Haiti, I don't think there were many people who knew about anything else going on in our lives other than the adoptions during that time. That time seems a blurry world away now but I know it's possible we didn't do a good job of keeping in touch with much else going on either. I think this played a big part in the disconnect of the perception about why we were moving to Haiti. We didn't get a chance to reconnect. We feel like we lost some friends during that time. During that time we made some new friends through adoption who were going through the same thing as us. I always dreamed we would cross the finish line with them. That hasn't and probably isn't going to happen. These are my "something dear" that I feel like I have lost along the way. I pray one day we will get another chance though I know it may not be this side of heaven.
God's will led us to pursue the adoptions of our girls and then to move to Haiti as missionaries. We have experienced His grace and protection beyond what we could ask or think. I blog to help myself (and maybe someone else) remember God's faithfulness. Reading through my previous two blog post about praying for specific things in Esmée's adoption process, I am once again reminded of His faithfulness to us. God does not always answer prayers in the time and way we ask, but He does always answer. Our Embassy meeting with Esmée's grandmother on July 2nd, did not exactly go as scheduled. The grandmother came, but there were some big unanswered questions and concerns. We chose to leave the Embassy and not put her or Esmée in the interview that day. We felt God's protection over that situation and went on to "courts" which we have done before and is always an interesting experience. Thankfully the experience was much less eventful this time around. No problems there. Praise the Lord! Esmée's adoption paperwork moves on!
We still needed to figure out the situation with the interview at the Embassy that we up and left. Our facilitator communicated with us well through that issue the following week and a new interview was scheduled for Thursday, July 10th. The Embassy closed unexpectedly on July 10th, due to a storm that was scheduled to hit Haiti, but never actually did. The lawyer and grandmother went to the Embassy not knowing it was closed. We asked if it was possible to detain the grandmother from her long trip home to try for the next day. We were able to get into the Embassy the next morning and all parties showed up in good form. The 30 minutes I waited for them to come out of the waiting/interview room were some of the longest of my life. I was SO nervous because Esmée was nervous and the lawyer was nervous because grandmother made us all nervous by giving different answers for the same questions over and over. She is called the same name as Esmée's birth mother, but says she is the father's mother. She says both of Esmée's Haitian parents died a very long time ago (when Esmée was very little and before she went to the orphanage). But she also identifies the man that came to the Embassy last year as the father (who wasn't) as her son. Yeah. Um. We were all more than a little confused. She looks like an old lady version of Esmée. She is precious. We believe this is the "grandmother"/legal guardian that raised Esmée before she went to the first orphanage though we are not 100% sure (not even close) that she is the biological grandmother. I was worried all this would come out in the interview along with the interviewer asking Esmée how old she is. It did. I was called up to the window to talk to the interviewer along with the lawyer though I'm not even supposed to be at this appointment. I was ready for her to tell me a DNA test was in order or a long list of items we needed to prove this was the grandmother. She didn't. Insert huge sigh of relief. She asked me some questions we had not figured out the answers to and probably never will. I looked at the lawyer and back at the interviewer, and shrugged saying, "grandmother also told us she is 30 years old". The lawyer laughed and nodded. The interviewer (who knows our case well) paused (a very long pause for me) and asked me where we were now in the adoption process. I told her we were just waiting for the paperwork after the adoption was finalized in Haiti to the passport being issued. She said, "well then file your extension before August and I will see you back here in a few months when you hand in the completed dossier." Oh. Yeaaaah. We are moving on!
We still need $1,400 of a $2,000 payment for our adoption fees that are due right now. Then, only one more payment when all is said and done. Thank you to those who have helped so far! Our family is very excited to finish Esmée's immigration process! I pray we will be able to meet and reconnect with many of our old and new friends whenever we bring her to the states for immigration. We are most excited to move on with this huge event in our lives and move on with just being international missionaries in Haiti...which is eventful enough. :)