This Little Light of Mine

Friday, July 29, 2011

The Eve of the "Big Visit"

Once again I sit her and blog when my butt should be in bed.  As I prepared to try to sleep in the cozy bed here at the Holiday Inn I realized I needed to update things.

We FINALLY, after another round of unsuccessful attempts with the Miami Consulate, learned why they couldn't help us.  Jack's birth certificate is from New Jersey.
Why is that important?
Well for 2 weeks I had no idea.  As it turns out because it was a NJ document, it had to go to the Consulate of Haiti in New York. 

ARGH! *sigh*

So, we send it off to NY and our last piece to Miami.  I then get a call from the NY consulate that they couldn't legalize it either because they needed this stamp and that stamp on it.  WHAT?

This would've been a week ago Thursday and I'll admit I was bawling uncontrollably.  Of course, this call comes as I am to start seeing my patients for the morning.  A long trip to the bathroom and God sized prayers on my knees in the bathroom and I began pleading the consulates for help.
(And for those wondering, YES I did wash my hands! ;) )

Well, God was gracious and merciful on my weary heart.  A sweet assistant of the main consule listened and took time to understand my confusion.  She called back and the letter was sent.

Now, in the mean time, we had sent our last document to the Miami consulate with an easy week to spare.  They had sent back our 17 documents in 5 days so I really wasn't worried. 

To make this short, we are headed down in a few hours without that document.  No idea where it is, but it will have to be sent down after we get back.

The last 8 months of my life for this stack of stamped and re-stamped documents
Along with THREE copies makes for some heavy carryon luggage even for me.

We did finally complete our I-600A form which is the application to the US immigration department where they will say we are approved to adopt in the US's eyes.  (I know this story sounds unreal).  That whole process was wrought with delays unclear, claims of unpaid fees though I had receipts from them in hand, and general hassling.  We received our appointment for fingerprinting (again) and I chuckled.

It was the day before we were looking to fly down and take our dossier to Haiti and it was in Birmingham.  Ah...perfect timing. 

Immigration office in Birmingham
(No phones, cameras, etc will allowed in.)


So, today Jack and I without our kiddos trekked down to Birmingham.  Fingerprints were done painlessly.  We spent the afternoon in a low key manner walking the mall and eating.  We are both in a weird place mentally.  This is Jack's first trip to Hait and he'll be the first to admit that going has been full of uncertainty.  For me, I too am full again of anxiety and uncertainty. 

I'll admit now to you all that there are days that I have wondered where I lost my focus in all of this. 

The focus should actually not be Melissa.

It's true.

I love this little girl with all of my heart, but my focus has been being obedient to what I felt  feel is His call for us and Melissa.  But, the struggles and emotional roller coaster of it all has worn me down.  I am weary of the fight tonight as I lie my head on my pillow.  What if this isn't the plan HE wanted for us after all?
What if...
what if...
what if...

For those willing to help us, pray! Pray for strength and discernment.  Pray for peace of heart and mind.  Pray that we will be still and hear His plan for both Jack and I. 
My hope tonight is that if it is the Lord's will He will gift Jack with either a passion for this country as I have or at least an understanding of my heart.


But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
Isaiah 40:31 KJV

Friday, July 8, 2011

Yay....Ahhhhhhh....

YAY!!!   Packet of documents back from the Consulate of Haiti in Miami!

Ahhhhh....They refused to "legalize" (yet another stamp in a long list of stamps we need for each piece of paper proving we are okay to adopt Melissa) Jack's birth certificate.  The only explanation we got was a yellow post it note stuck to it:



Um.  Okay.  I double checked the birth certificate and it matched  everything, seal present, watermark present. 

So, I guess I'll resend it with the other document redo due to notary expiration being in September.

With all due respect....

ARE YOU KIDDING ME??  I keep waiting for Ashton Kutcher to come in and say "You've been punked!" 

They can stamp a post it but not a watermarked embossed birth certificate.  Grrrr.....

So, we will lose another 1-2 weeks getting this "fixed".  Prayerfully though that will be quickly followed with a trip down to take the documents. 

Now is where I will make a confession.

If I was Catholic I'm sure some rosary beads and "Hail Mary"s would be involved...
there are recurring moments that I become convinced this ain't never going to happen.  What happened to faith in God to move mountains?  It wavers and cowers in the darkness of the despair of uncertainty.  I hate that I feel this but trust in the grace of God's mercies. 

Now, I'm not a total flake...well...at least I'd like to think I'm not.  Those who know me know I've traveled a challenging road or two including changing from a career with NASA in Aerospace Engineering to becoming a doctor at a more "mature" age compared to my collegues as I followed God's call for my life.  I've juggled breastfeeding an infant child while an intern.  Generally speaking I don't shy away from a challenge.

This walk of faith in the adoption of Melissa has been more emotionally and spiritually challenging to me than ANYTHING I have EVER done.  I'm thankful for the person it is changing me into but to borrow something a patient shared about her own struggles, "each inch of my spiritual growth is covered in bruises".  Every day without her I struggle as I know that these days are potentially her most healthiest times as her heart will continue to weaken as she grows.  I must have FAITH...Faith...

faith...

faith...
You can relax now...

~End of pity party #321~

Hear my cry, O God; listen to my prayer. From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the foe. I long to dwell in your tent forever and take refuge in the shelter of your wings. (Psalm 61:1-4)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Getting closer...

Well, I wanted to post a short note about our progress so far.  We have made some progress.  The majority of the documents are sitting at the Haitian Consulate in Miami hopefully about to be express mailed back to us this week with all the stamps and legalization they need. For those who don't know the process, and let's be serious here NO ONE does, all documents, letters and such are notarized, county certified and state authenticated.  Then, when that is done, it is sent for translation.

But no...you aren't done yet.  Tell the lucky contestants what they win Johnny...

You win another round of stamps and fees at the Haitian Consulate.
Woo hoo!  I know you are jealous.

We had a panic moment when we got to translation. The most popular translator was "booked" until mid July. This led to yet another "oh crap" moment, panic and then faithfulness in the Lord. We were led to another tranlator who cost us a little more than the first but she was so compassionate to our case. She had adopted from Haiti herself several years ago. Isabelle completed our stuff in 3 days which was incredible. I'm so thankful.


We finally also received a letter of medical need as well to include in the Dossier.  So, if all goes well, I will be headed down to Port-au-Prince in the next 2 wks to take it all and prayerfully meet with the lawyer. 


Work is going to be a challenge to reschedule on short notice but I am faithful that the Lord will somehow work out that detail.  With the months of work to get this far, you'd think that we were close.  Wished that was the case but we now have to circumnavigate the Haitian side next.

There has been a lot of stress with the uncertainty of certain changes being proposed for the adoption system in Haiti.  I suspect in time they may be good changes, but if they are implemented before our case is established in the Haitian courts, there is a chance we'd have to start over. 

*Shudder*

At some point, I do want to post some about the last trip down with the team.  It was a God led group and was a real blessing.  My time with Melissa was precious.  It really clicked this time.  She and I bonded deeper than we had to date.  It was good but made things even more emotional and harder for me.  There was so much I wanted for her and so little I could do.  I am completely dependent on others for her daily care.  So, without going into details of my crazy mind, it was hard...very hard.

While we were there, Melissa developed some diarrhea which made for some creative "Code Brown" moments as we jaunted about Port-au-Prince.  At one point, I found myself in a hallway of clinic waiting for her ECHO and the ECHO of 2 other children as she proceeded to pollute fill her diaper.  Noting an empty small table, we pitted there and made a quick change of the situation.  It must have been quite a show for the 10 or so Haitians waiting in the hallway to see the doctor. 


It was a good week over all to learn about this sweet child who the Lord has blessed us with.  Little things like how she enjoys having her feet rubbed.  She just melts when you rub those tiny feet.  Her amazing interest in her surroundings.  How she still sleeps a lot likely due to her heart issues.  It is so hard to get so close only to have to leave ... AGAIN ...

I won't delve into the pain of leaving her this trip and the subsequent melt down and "beheading" of a Chadasha board member who was anxious for us to leave for the airport that last day.  I'll share that for another post and apology. 

What I will boldly ask for this post is PRAYER!
More PRAYER!
More PRAYER!
Unceasing, pleading PRAYER!

We are still so close and yet so far away.  Please pray for the rapid return of documents from the consulate.  Pray for the means to carry the Dossier down this month.  Pray for the focus and spirit to move our Haitian advocates to process our stuff in a timely and organzied fashion.  Pray for Melissa's health to continue to remain stable.  Pray for peace in my spirit to know she is wrapped in the love of our Father who loves her even more than I do.

To keep the post on a happy note, here is a video clip from one night while we were decompressing from the day.  Miss 'Lissa cracks me up...

video

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