Some of you heard the shouting last week... we made a little bit of a ruckus. But when you have been waiting for over 10 months to see the words:
"I am thrilled to tell you that Sarah reported today that you have received a Presidential Dispensation!"
...you can't help but let the JOY come rushing out of you. Lots and lots of joy! It comes out in praises, in song, in tears, in whispers, in hugs, in dancing, in smiles, and every other way it can when you have been holding on to Hope for so long.
But that evening some of our joy was stolen for a little bit. Through a few conversations on Facebook we ended up searching for our daughters name in the legal journal that it needed to be published in before our paperwork can go on to the next step. We didn't think we would find it since we had just received our dispensation and it's normally a few weeks before it was published. But upon searching we found it! Dafterly LeHaut (her legal birth name) posted on May 15th.
Our hearts dropped... May 15?! It was Sept 12! How was it published that we received our dispensation nearly four months ago, on May 15th? That night and the following morning there was a lot of phone calls made and emails sent looking for an explanation. The short version of a very long and complicated explanation: someone messed up.
We, in fact, received our presidential dispensation around the end of April. But sometime after leaving the President's desk... it was left, sitting on a desk, with no inquiries as to its status or whereabouts. We don't know why and never will.
The idea that we lost four months hurts... BAD! Those were four months during which we could have been making progress. During those four months I've endured some of the hardest days I have ever had. Days I hit rock bottom, waiting for something we didn't know we already had. But because somewhere along the way someone didn't do their job, I was left to wonder... and cry.
So what did we do next? We chose to celebrate for another day! It is what it is and we can't change what happened. We can't redeem that time. But God can. I know God used those days I was in a pit of sadness. I know He used those days of longing to bond her closer to our hearts. They were not wasted. And the fact still remains... WE GOT OUR SIGNATURE!!!! So even though there were twinges of pain, there was so much more to celebrate and thank God for, and that is where we wanted our hearts to be.
Now the second part of the story is this, the other line of that email we received said this...
"She said that she will pick up your file from IBESR next week!"
For any of you that have been in these adoption shoes, you know what follows: the estimating, the planning, the what-if's, the time-tables, the dreaming! This next step averages about this long, but I knew someone who got it done in this many weeks, and I heard that... and so it goes until you head is spinning and your heart has your child home by the next major family event or holiday.
I was taking a stroll down that road this morning as I sipped my coffee.
It's a road I have walked many times these past 3 1/2 years. But the map has always been upside down, the road signs were after the exit, and it has never gone like I had planned in my head. Too many times I have fallen on the side of the road and cried because I didn't get where I wanted to go. Yet, even with that knowledge, here I was this morning blissfully ignorant to the walk I was once again taking as I looked at the time frames of other adoptions, searched blogs, and Facebook posts. Could she be here by February? Maybe everything will be done by the ministry teams trip in January? Maybe we can delay Christmas for our family so she can be a part of it? All the while my heavenly Father is shaking his head.
He knew. He knew I was go there again. He knew it was too temping. But this morning He stopped me. There was a gentle whisper in my heart that reminded me I hadn't had my quiet time yet. So I stopped my stroll, set down my coffee, quieted my heart, and picked up my devotional and read:
"You will not find my peace in excessive planning: attempting to control what will
happen to you in the future. That is a commonly practiced form of unbelief.
When your mind spins with multiple plans, Peace may sometimes seem to be in your grasp;
yet it always eludes you. Just when you think you have prepared for all possibilities,
something unexpected pops up and throws things into confusion.
I did not design the human mind to figure out the future. That is beyond your capability.
I crafted your mind for continual communication with Me. Bring me all your needs,
your hopes, and fears. Commit everything unto My care.
Turn from the path of planning to the path of Peace."
Oh Daddy, how you know this child of yours. And how you love me. Thank you for your gentle reminders. Thank you for the progress we have seen and the progress yet to come... in your perfect time!!! I look forward to each day spent with you as I try and wait, not plan or predict, for our daughter's homecoming.