Merry Christmas, dear ones!
This time last year we were home for a quiet Christmas snuggling our 9 day old Lydia. At the end of a lazy day of gift opening and napping my mom snapped this quick picture of us in front of the tree. (I have loved looking at this little time stamp throughout the year! 🙂
I remember thinking as she took it, this will be our last Christmas without our other kid(s)! …I was so certain!
Yet God had other plans, and that’s ok too. While my heart so desperately longs to bring home our son, to watch him play on the floor with his sisters or decorate Christmas cookies with us, I will continue to trust that our kind, loving Father knows best. And that He WILL bring this adoption to completion in his own timing.
Since I haven’t done an awesome job of posting regularly, there are updates to be shared!
In September, while Josue and I were out of the country (eeek!) he got a call from our immigration officer that the last set of paperwork (per their request for more details after our I-800 was submitted) was missing a few things. (sidenote; they were all things we had actually already sent but somehow papers often disppear into the abyss at USCIS ;). This man was a total answer to prayer, because at USCIS, the case officer is supposed to immediately deny any form sent with insufficient information the second time. So when our papers hit his desk, instead of putting an ugly red “denied” stamp and moving on, he called us. And told us that if we could send those things over as quickly as possible he would move forward as if it had all arrived together. Praise Jesus for answering our prayers for favor with government officials…y’all that is one very real way your prayers have impacted this process.
Soon after everything had been sent, we received an approval from USCIS, and in October the National Visa Center sent us a notice that our paperwork had been passed on to the U.S. Embassy in El Salvador. That’s a big deal! That means on the U.S. side everything has been approved for this to move forward!
Once our case is in El Salvador, the Embassy compiles another packed of our paperwork (surprise, more papers!) called the Article 5 and sends it over to OPA (Office of Adoptions in the El Salvador government). Once OPA receives the completed Article 5 they double check everything and set us a court / interview date …
AND THEN WE TRAVEL TO EL SALVADOR!
Last week the embassy reached out to me for a few bits of paperwork they were missing to complete the Art 5, so we worked on that this week and were able to get that sent. They told us that once they have everything it should take them less than a week to send it to OPA. Once OPA receives it, it can be anywhere from 4 (not likely) to 12 months to get a court date.
quick interlude for a family photo update 😉
Oh, another big hiccup to update you about…! In August we received notice that our adoption agency had lost their license. It was hard, stressful news, especially since it came one week after we had pulled together and sent them our final payment. In following months we waited for more details as we transitioned to a new agency. It finally came to light that they would not be transferring any money to the new agency and that we would need to come up with it again to pay the new agency.
We waited for six weeks and, to be honest, I struggled with God as to why he allowed this to happen. It came at time that for us, financially, was different than any other. Our former “safety net” had been removed and we couldn’t see a way that we would be able to make the payment. I could sense even then that it was no coincidence that God allowed us to be in this position. We’ve been down this road enough times, and have seen God use these situations over and over to teach us about who He is and his heart for adoption.
And like He always does, over Thanksgiving He provided. A dear friend gave us an incredibly unexpected donation that covered most of the payment. Glory to God.
There have been so many tears and prayers throughout this process, and God has been filling our catalog of His faithfulness one story at a time.
Thank you for partnering with us in prayer and financially through this journey…it brings me to my knees in gratitude to the Father. Please continue to join us in prayer…
-Praise God for providing for the most recent payment
-Praise God for that immigration officer who helped us
-Praise God for His perfect plan and faithful hand throughout this process
-continued favor with US and ES governments
-speedy processing of paperwork
-continued financial provision
-that God would prepare our family and our son for one another
-that God would be glorified in this adoption story