Monday, May 27, 2013

In the Air

We are in the air. And we appear to be making good time after a lengthy delay due to heavy rain and lightning.

If we land when we are predicted to we will have about 12 minutes to get to our connecting flight. At the Dallas/Ft Worth airport, that's not likely. We're hoping there's a flight available later in the afternoon or evening..

Please continue to pray that all goes well and we are able to arrive in Haiti as scheduled.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

12 & 96

12 - The number of hours until we get on a plane.

96 - The number of hours until our little girl gets off the plane.

And Nick as healed enough that we are not concerned about her travelling... That's a very good thing indeed. Praise God.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Joy & Prayer

We have been experiencing a whirlwind of emotions over the last week.

First the good news. Nephtali's Visa appoint is set for tomorrow and plane tickets have been purchased. If all goes as planned, we will be flying to Haiti next Monday on the 28th and will be bringing her home on the 30th.

Now the not-so-great news. Nicky is experiencing extreme sciatica and cannot not sit down for more than a few seconds without tremendous pain. As it is now, there is no way she could endure the plane rides (or even the hour-long ride to the airport). The last time she experienced sciatica, it lasted almost six weeks.

As anyone in her shoes would, Nicky wants so desperately to make the trip. And as anyone in my shoes would, I want her by my side when I make the trip. Please join me in prayer that God will heal her in time to travel.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


What words do you type to describe a feeling so long in the making that you yourself, when you hit your knees and raised you hands high, couldn't find? When the only sounds were moans and tears? 

Maybe instead of finding the words I will share the ones sent to us and you will understand. "USCIS in Port au Prince, Haiti is pleased to inform you that the I-600 petition, which you filed at this office on December 7, 2011 on behalf of Nephtali Lehaut, seeking to qualify her as your immediate relative has been approved" 

Approved....4 year and 4 months praying for those words. 

Our Butterfly is coming home.

Monday, May 13, 2013

A Daughter, a Stranger, a Blessing

Wednesday is Nephtali's 8th birthday. This is the 5th birthday spent apart from our not-so-little-now Butterfly. The years have gone by and she is not the round faced little goofy toddler that ran into my husband's arms chewing on a crayon and sashaying down a pretend runway to the laughter and clapping of the big girls around her. She is now a little lady. A spunky beautiful little lady so eager to learn new things but so stubborn when she is not interested. So quick to flash her smile and melt your heart, to act a clown to make you smile, and to stop and bow her head in prayer.

Over the years we have learned  may things about this amazing child of God. This child that we have prayed for, fought for, and have been blessed to call our daughter. But in truth, as hard it is to say... a little lady of eight. Five birthdays later... and still a stranger in so many ways.

There are so many mysteries to uncover in this bundle of curly black hair, big front teeth, and skinny little arms and legs. What is her favorite color? Will she favor chocolate or vanilla? Is she afraid of spiders like her Papa?  Will she be a book worm and soak up stories? What talents has God given her? What giants does she battle when she closes her eyes?

There is a beautiful tapestry that has been woven over the past eight years with perseverance and pain, laughter and love, caution and curiosity,  but we haven't been able to be close enough to see those individual threads that have been used in its making, just the big picture it makes when seen from afar.

May 15th, this year, will be the same as it has been the past four years in many ways. Nephtali will go to school, she will play, she will eat her rice and beans, she will be still with her thoughts and dreams, she will close her eyes and fall sleep. Will she even know it's her birthday?

Here in Kansas we'll make Haitian spaghetti, we'll hold hands and thank God for our far away butterfly and pray for her well-being, we'll make a cake and sing happy birthday in hopes that a note or two will be carried on an angel's wings across the ocean to her ears as she drifts off to sleep.

But May 15th this year will also be a little different. This year there is a seed of hope growing - a whisper in the winds from heaven - a stirring in our hearts. A whisper which says this is the last last birthday of hers we will celebrate apart.

We are almost there sweet butterfly. We are almost close enough, precious daughter, to see, to learn, to embrace the colors, the textures, the strengths and weaknesses that make up who you are. We are almost ready to stretch out our arms and hold you tight, never to let go again.

All Glory to God. He creates the most beautiful things and writes the most amazing stories.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Interview Done

Thanks for all the prayers. We do know that the interview on the 9th did happen, but we do not know how it went. We now continue to pray and wait for USCIS to send us an email to see if their confusion is cleared up with the information they were given. It could take a couple weeks to get a reply from them.

Nephtali's 8th birthday is this coming Wednesday. This will be the 5th birthday of hers we've celebrated apart. Praying hard it can be celebrated for two reasons. The first in thanksgiving because of God's goodness at bringing that precious butterfly into this world and the second for an approval to bring her HOME!

Monday, May 6, 2013

So Close

It's a little over two weeks since our final documents were submitted. We were expecting 3 or 4 weeks before we heard anything but on Tuesday of last week we received an email from USCIS (US Customs and Immigration) asking for clarification on some dates in the paperwork.

Nephtali's birth father has abandoned them and gone to the Dominic Republic years ago but had since come back to Haiti. Because he was back in the country IBESR (Haitian Social Services) wanted him to go to court to relinquish his rights. When he did so they put that paperwork in with her mother's, making it seem that the mother and father appeared together and making the previously-provided dates appear inconsistent. USCIS asked our lawyer for clarification and a written statement of what happened.

The Lawyer responded quickly with an email explaining the confusion and said she would get them the written statement and another document to support the clarification.

We received an email this morning from USCIS stating that they had scheduled an interview for the birth father and Nephtali on May 9th at 9am. The orphanage director's assistant has responded that she should be able to find the birth father and get him and Nephtali there. Later the lawyer also responded that the written statement would be delivered at that same time.

This is the same heart-wrenching interview that was done last year with Nephtali and her birth mother.

Friends, this interview is not pretty. USCIS is making 100% sure that there isn't the slightest chance the birth family can be restored. With so much trafficking and bribery in the adoption system, it's something they can't avoid. But it can be a very ugly interview. It's broken my heart several times to hear stories of children repeating the questions and answers about them in this process. Please pray for Nephtali's heart as she, again, has to sit in a room listening to one of her birth parents explain how they do not want her or anything to do with her.

Please also pray that Her birth father can be located, has his ID, and says all the right words to satisfy USCIS and that the written statement from the lawyer clarifies everything so that we can receive our final approval in the next week or two.