Thursday, February 28, 2013

Holding our breath!

Jacob has purchased his tickets to fly over for the visa appointment!

I thought having a plan would get me excited, but instead I felt, all of the sudden, very frustrated and angry. I couldn't bear counting down the days, I wanted this whole ordeal done now.  I guess my patience and optomism ran completely out with this last complication. For a couple of days I just felt like I was under a dark cloud.

But earlier this week the sweet care of my family and friends softened my heart. Then I read the boys Lenten devotional: first about Jesus walking on water (Matthew 14:22-36), and then the scripture about faith as small as a mustard seed moving mountains (Matthew 17:20). As I first read to the boys about Peter stepping out of the boat and getting frightened by the wind, I got emotional. I saw myself in Peter, how sure I felt stepping out of this metaphoric boat, exercising great faith at first. But now, like Peter, I felt afraid of harm, I was weak, yet Jesus reaches out for us nonetheless and has compassion and mercy to keep us from sinking. Then the next devotional reminding us what even a little faith can see because the one we trust is so great.

Last night, as I was about to fall asleep, I thought to myself, "I'm going to have faith that good WILL happen on this trip." I tend to protect myself by being pessimistic, generally. I've jokingly said in the past that I'd rather be suprised than dissapointed. What actually happens is that I expect God to give me just enough to get by, or something that will require me to work really hard to get it to eventually be something good.  But over and over, God blesses me way beyond my expectations.  It is not a pleasant suprise so much as it is a humbling realization of my small faith.

So this time I am hopeful and having faith that God will bless our family, and care for my heart if it does not look exactly like I expect. I'm turning my eyes back to Jesus to be reminded of his great love and power, and I know all will be well with my soul (love that hymn) if I keep my eyes on Jesus. (Sounds kinda of religiously corny I guess, but I mean it from the deepest, truest part of myself.)

Continue to pray for us and the Embassy officials deciding his visa case. Thanks for your support again.

Monday, February 25, 2013

We could be close!?

And the saga continues...

The good news is that we have even more documentation for the visa interview, the only concern is that the bio mother could not be located, so the social welfare office had to write up a report instead of being able to present the mom for the visa interview.

Now our agency contact is encouraging us to show up for the interview to hopefully encourage things to move along. The tentative plan is for Jacob to go in a couple of weeks for the next visa interview.  If they say it all looks good, I'll book a flight and meet him there to help bring Enam home. If they do not accept the documentation we have, then Jacob will probably come home and we'll keep trying.

Those are the facts. I can't speak for Jacob, but I am feeling weary. I feel like I'm in the labor phase. We are close, but here comes the hardest part of the waiting. We are so close, but its so painful it seems unbearable. But if 2 natural childbirths have taught me anything, its that however hard and difficult and inconceivable the experience of birthing a child seems at the time, it really is paled in comparison to the beauty and joy in the child that it produces.  Maybe this is part of the reason God provided me the 2 natural childbirths, to prepare me for this difficult and frustrating process.

Obviously, I am struggling to remain hopeful and grateful. But just like in the birthing of my first 2 boys, when I am weak, God is strong. If I can do some deep breathing, relax, trust God's orchestration of events, lean on my husband, and keep sight of the end, I just may be able to bear the unbearable to the glorious end, whatever that end may be. Thanks again for all you prayers and support.

Picture time: My act of love as I wait is this blanket! I have a few embellishments left, but its done enough to cuddle him in.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Kid and Kitchen

   Last Tuesday was the visa interview. The report back is that it went well, but the Embassy wants to interview the bio mom and wants a copy of the police report she filed against the bio dad for not paying child support. Our agency told us this is a routine request, but we were still a bit disappointed to have yet another hold up.
   Our in-country contact is supposed to be getting the police report this week and the social welfare worker locating mom for the interview. We are praying for progress this week. The visa is the LAST thing we need approved to be able to travel and bring him home.

We are keeping distracted from the wait with home renovations! This weekend, my parents came up to hang out with the boys and help us put up a backsplash. We still need to grout, but its close enough for some before and after pictures. Here is a list of all we've done over the last couple of months:
- demolition (so happy to tear out the ugly, old countertops!)
- Replaced ceiling fans
- removed old heating unit and replaced paneling
- painted EVERYTHING
- striped old metal mesh on the under sink doors
- new hardware and striped old hardware to reuse as well
- cabinets and drawers constructed (hired out)
- new light fixture above the sink
- new faux wood blinds
- replaced light switches and outlets as well as covers
- new COUNTERTOPS! (hired out of coarse)
- new sink
- new faucet (became a necessity as I broke our old one during painting)
- tiled backsplash

BEFORE: (really an "after". We replaced the gold dishwasher and half-broken gold stove as soon as we moved in about a year and a half ago)

Next, we will grout the backsplash, debate spending the time and money to extend the backsplash around behind the stove, and make a bulletin board to put above the desk and thereby clean off the fridge. I've been so eager to show it off, though, I wanted to go ahead and post the pictures. We are so excited to have a nice kitchen! Especially those of you who saw how tiny our kitchen was at our last house, can appreciate what a huge blessing this is for our growing family. The sink is really deep on one side and I can't wait for Enam to enjoy sink baths while he's still small enough (well, it may be a stretch, but we'll do it just for fun).

So if you pray for and with us, thank God for his blessing our family with this beautiful home and how he provides for us through it and ask for good news soon on bringing Enam home to "make our family complete," in Keiran's words.