We got some bad news yesterday. We woke up to an email from our in-country adoption facilitator notifying us that our dossier had never actually been submitted like we all thought. She was incredibly apologetic and embarrassed, and even used words like "devastated, crushed."
How it Happened:
Our facilitator trusted a translator that she has used for years to do his job properly, and he failed her. Rather than submitting our dossier after it had been translated, he went on vacation (for a month!) and didn't alert her to some documents that were about to expire until he returned from vacation. Now, several of our documents have already expired since it didn't get submitted back in September when we sent it over.
What this Means to our Timeline:
We are essentially 2 months (or more) behind where we thought we were. So, rather than potentially traveling in late-December or early-January, we are now looking at March at the earliest. It takes the wind out of me just typing that! We selfishly want our boys home NOW!
When I read the first two sentences in the email that contained words like "this has never happened to me before," "I don't even know where to start," and "with a heavy heart, I need to inform you..." I honestly thought that we had lost our boys. I thought that a mistake had been made, and that another family had adopted them, or that they actually weren't "adoptable." So when I finished reading it and realized that it was only a paperwork issue, I was actually extremely relieved.
We have close friends who currently have kiddos STUCK in other countries because of governments deciding to close their doors for at least a year. We have close friends who have experienced failed birthmom matches, infertility, miscarriages, and other devastating losses. We have friends who have lost their kiddos to illness before they could even meet them in person. So, in the grand scheme of things, this is not THAT BAD. Perspective is nice to have.
We were understandably upset when we read the email. I reached out to my mom and sisters for strength, encouragement, prayer, etc. Their words were perfect for me, and because I know that their words can help some of you, I want to share some excerpts...
"Fume a little, cry a little, and run to Jesus"
"God is so good and there MUST be a reason for this. We may never know. But there is purpose in this, so really your only choice is to relent, relinquish control, release it to God, and just keep moving forward. Doing the next thing you know to do one step at a time - like the ant."
"Never, never, never give up hope!"
"Breathe. It's God's breath. He's got this. Process the justified anger. But don't waste energy in anger. You need to keep your energy for your boys. Your love for them covers ALL of this. It will be okay. In fact, actually it already is. God's got this."
"I pray that God is getting ready to show you how faithful He is."
"I'm so sorry that this is catching you off guard--that's the part that really gets us. When things don't go as we've expected or been told they'd go. And it's natural for us to build expectations around rules, precedence, protocol, sequence....but really it's all so unreliable. And sometimes that's the best message to receive when the ground is moved right under our feet. The only thing we can truly plan around and rely on is God's love. And it's there, wrapped around you and Ben--and wrapped around His boys. And where there is Love, there is mercy and blessing and truth. You know what's real--your calling and leading to them. Hang on to that. While the agencies and governments are a necessary part of the process...they are NOT what will make this real. God spun a web of energy between y'all and these boys and that is the calling, the dream, the instant Love you followed and felt. Trust it. Know it.
As you do all of the things that must be done, keep your eyes focused on that web...that real connection...and not focused on the process and the people because they will fail you. Pray for them of course; and as they fail you know that all things work for the good of those who Love...Him, your boys, your girls, your calling. He will not fail you...and He will take the failures of others and turn them into great blessings."
Our Next Steps:
We are rushing to update 8 documents (yes, 8!) that have "expired" (a ludicrous idea that defies logic...so don't even ask how a marriage license or fingerprints can "expire!"). We are under a very tight time crunch now because the Ukraine doesn't accept new dossiers from December 10 - mid-January. So, we HAVE to get our updated documents to the Ukraine before that December 10th closure or we'll have to wait for yet another month or two--not happening if we have any say in it!
We know that God is faithful and that He has NOT forgotten our boys (or us!). We want to do nothing but glorify God with our response. One of the challenges that my mom gave us is that we can use this experience to truly show Jesus' love, compassion, and graciousness to our facilitator who feels horrible about what has happened. Yes, that's the least we can do! We are all human and we all make mistakes. God has forgiven us for much more, so of course we should extend forgiveness to her! When we responded to her email with our forgiveness and understanding, she replied back with appreciation and thanks for "being tolerant." I pray that when we meet her in person, we can show her even more of that.
How You Can Pray:
Please pray for swiftness in our re-do's of these documents. Specifically, our criminal background check in the state of Texas is meant to take 2 weeks to process--can you pray with us that the timeframe for that is cut in half? Also, please pray for our boys' hearts. Our middle son told someone recently that he would meet his family in 2 months. My heart aches that it will now be longer than that, and I pray that they can understand that it's not for lack of us trying. They are loved and they are wanted--pray that they know that.
Thank you SO much for walking this journey with us!