In case you're a little rusty on your adoption lingo, a referral = a match! We are so excited to have received a referral for a brother and sister!!! Words cannot express the joy we feel seeing the precious faces of the children we've prayed for. We can't stop looking at their sweet smiles!
Once we pass court (officially adopt them in Ethiopia during our first trip), we'll be able to share their photos with you. When? You ask. That's the question on all of our minds. There is paperwork to process in both countries before we are given a court date in Ethiopia. Considering the average time, we hope to make our first trip in late January. Airfare doubles during the holiday season and peaks during the week of epiphany. We had planned for all four of us to travel together; however, if we receive an earlier court date, it would likely only be Osvaldo and myself. We're praying that we can stick with the original plan.
In the meantime, we covet your prayers.
Immediate: Meg's hands.Most of you know that I have an autoimmune form of eczema. It complicates fingerprinting. My last set of fingerprints were "unable to be processed", so I'm heading back to the USCIS office tomorrow to have my fingerprints retaken. These prints are critical to have so the kids' VISA applications can be processed. My skin is in terrible shape this week, and I need a small miracle to heal up and produce prints.
Intermediate: Paperwork processing. Since implementing the PAIR process, the US government has become increasingly particular during the paperwork process. This is a good thing by nature- requiring strong evidence of orphan status, thorough background checks, and identification triple checks to protect children. But, it leaves little to no room for cultural differences and under-resourced personnel in a third world country. We are waiting on medical forms to be updated. The US Embassy won't approve our VISA petition with our little ones' names having letters transposed. It could have been a simple clerical error, but seems to be a phonetic letter change that occurred during translation. Either way, the documents are required to be corrected and consistent. Please pray for the hearts of those involved in both countries. We pray they would easily overlook offense and remain focused on the welfare of the children involved.
Long-term: Hearts and healing.
I sobbed as I read of the loss our children have experienced. We pray for all of our hearts to be prepared to be joined as a family and for healing and hope to wash over us. In advance, please join us in thanking our Creator for the story being written in each one of our lives.
We have so much to be thankful for. Friends, we want you to know that you are loved! Thank you for being part of our story. Thank you for your prayers and support over the past thirty months. You all have been a powerful source of encouragement and blessing. We love you!
You, who began a good work, sees it through to completion. We trust in your truth and faithfulness.
We thank you for your unfailing love. You place the lonely in families and answer our prayers. We praise your Holy Name!