Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Speechless?

Seems a lot of my recent posts begin with not knowing where to begin. It's tough to blog when you feel nearly speechless at how INSANE life has become! However... so much to share at the same time.

So here's the current deal, I am back home with our children that are already home but not with Jacques. I'll pick up from where I left off. Remember my very excited post about Jacques coming home? Well, that was Friday. We had received a call from Department of State telling us that Jacques had been approved to travel and was ready depart. They did not know yet what flight he would be on but said they would be calling us back with those details. That night we were up late taking care of last minute paper work and then tried to get in bed in case we got the call in the middle of the night and had to rush to the airport. We also got an exciting phone call from very close friends of ours, Jim and Debbie, that they too got the same call. They had made the decision to jump on the first plane to Miami in hopes of being there when their daughter arrived. We had talked often about how amazing it would be to one day pick up our children together, and were just blown away that it was really happening! The next day, Saturday, we were sure since he hadn't come in the night before that it would be THE DAY we would receive our son. Each minute of wait for that call felt like HOURS. By 4PM our friends arrived and it was a wonderful reunion. They, however, had only had 2 hours of sleep and little food so were starving.

We excitedly headed over to an airport restaurant to share a meal together. Just as we were giving our waitress our orders security came running through telling everyone to "Drop your food and evacuate the building". We grabbed our carry on's and nearly ran with everyone else out the front door and then were told to cross the street away from the building. It was crazy! We had no clue what was going on, and still do not know what happened. After a while of standing around outside watching the show of the search dogs and security, we were allowed back into the airport. Also, that weekend was the Pro Bowl in Miami so nearly every hotel room was booked and the few that were available were so because they were a small fortune to get into! While finally getting our meal we discussed the hotel situation and decided that we would all likely be having a bit of a pajama party at the airport together! However, we made some calls and found a room that normally would have been way more then we would pay but decided we could share the room and split the cost. This was great as we ended up with a nice room AND got a lot of time with our dear friends that we see far too rarely. So off to the hotel we went where we waited, and waited, and waited for the call that our kids were on a flight. That call never came.

Instead we received an email from the Director of the Orphanage who had spent the entire day at the Embassy and was told that our children WERE NOT approved to travel! WHAT??? But, the Department of State themselves were saying they wanted to make 100% sure we knew we were approved and that our kids would be traveling. We assumed it was some big misunderstand between the offices and were disappointed and confused. That night before going to bed Jim G. (my husband is Jim L.) had the brilliant idea of sending out a desperate plea to every government email we had a contact with, including DOS (department of state). We were once again encouraged the next morning when we woke up to an email from DOS saying that they checked and reconfirmed that our children were indeed CONFIRMED that they were approved to travel. We passed this email on to the director and he promised to return again right away to the Embassy. This was now Sunday. We waited, and waited, and waited. When we did reach the director on the phone he said the kids were waiting to have an identifying photo taken. Certainly this was a great sign! We continued to wait, feeling certain that this day really was THE DAY! It wasn't until late that night that we received a disappointing email from the director. He said he had spent the entire day at the embassy with children with him and they had accomplished nothing more then a one minute photo of the kids. :-( Not only did we feel totally deflated but we felt so badly for him as that has to be so very frustrating! The rest of his email really crushed us! He said he was sincerely sorry for the misunderstanding and for our time and travels but told us our children would not be traveling right away... maybe by next weekend. We could not hang on that long. We realized we needed to go ahead and book flights for the next day and return home without our children. We felt totally defeated. There were quite a few tears until we gathered together in prayer. We knew for sure that there was a reason God had us there, that it had not all happened for nothing. After that we had received another email that had us very excited again! One of those emails that we had blasted out to every government office we had access to was the Department of Homeland Security. They responded and told us that they were contacting the embassy to attempt to get ALL the New life Link and Hope for the children of Haiti processed to leave the country. This was the answer to our big prayer! Not, just bring OUR children home but bring ALL the children home!!! We were renewed with hope and excitement, and a new focus!
We then began to excitedly discuss the possibility of getting into Port-au-Prince, Haiti so that if they do get the appointment we would be there to help with all the children. We prayed and prayed asking God to make it clear if that was HIS plan and not just ours. We prayed for a clear sign of what we were to do... hang on in Miami, try to get into Haiti, or go home and wait from there (because it could also drag way out).

Monday morning I woke up before everyone else and decided to head to the hotel business center and search for tickets to Haiti. I saw breakfast being served and decided to stop and grab a hot tea to take with me. On the way to get my tea I spotted a group of people and nearly froze in place. I couldn't believe what I was seeing! We had asked for a sign and I thought this could very well be it! However, I was tired, a mess, emotionally worn out, etc. and suddenly felt very shy (YES, me shy!). I didn't feel up to approaching this group of people but felt God was leading this. I struggled in my mind arguing in prayer that it was a crazy thought to approach them but God kept urging me on and assuring me that HE placed this group of people there and it would be wrong for me to miss out on what He had for me. So I made myself walk up and begin talking to these strangers. The results were some somewhat inside information regarding the adoption situation in Haiti that was coming from an extremely reliable source! Information that implied things were happening to speed things up that most people would not have been aware of. Information that there is NO WAY I would have learned of it had it not been for this source!!! Sorry to be vague but there is a reason I won't share the exact details. I rushed back to the room to share the news with Jim, Jim, and Debbie. This just sent us spiraling right back into the "WHAT do we do now???". I really felt strongly that this was the sign we had prayed for, but as a group we decided that it just wasn't enough to warrant us hanging out in Miami longer without more solid and certain information. We looked and looked for a way into Port-au-Prince, Haiti and just couldn't find one. It was settled. We would return home. I had ZERO peace that this was what we should do and continued for hours campaigning for us all to hang on longer in Miami! I really believed something was about to happen!

It did get to the point though that it seemed clear that I would need to return home that evening to take over with our children at home. I was WAY bummed to be returning home without Jacques. The original plan was for all 4 of us to head home but as we talked it through more we decide that Jim L. (my husband) was going to go ahead and stay behind in Miami. He was all prepared to live in the airport for as long as it took to receive our son! I was SO proud of him. We headed off to the airport and said sad goodbyes to Jim and Debbie as they headed to catch their flight. While in line to get my ticket I was constantly holding back the tears. Not only was I leaving without Jacques but I was also now leaving without my best friend/husband. The idea of him living in the airport without a safe place to sleep was no big deal to him, but I hated the idea of it. I did, though, believe we were doing the right thing. Despite being told that Jacques would not likely travel this week, I just KNEW it would happen very soon! We stood in line to get my ticket for about 45 min. Just as there was only one person left in front of us Jim G. called and told us that they had JUST received the phone call that their daughter was FOR SURE ready for travel! We were so excited for them and so torn about what to do, because our son was likely going to travel with her. Then as we became the first in line, our phone rang and sure enough... Jacques too was for sure approved to travel!!! So Jim was still on the phone with DOS when I went to the counter. The agent asked me where I was headed and I could only respond "I don't know!!!". Should I get on the plane? After waiting all those days for Jacques could I just go home and miss his arrival? Was there someone else that might take over with watching our kids so I could be there? So for the next hour we threw around ideas about what to do. Jim and Debbie had made their decisions and canceled their flight and rejoined us. They now planned to stay until they received their daughter. After much debate we decided that our children had been in the care of others for too long (even if those who were caring for them were amazing) and the right thing to do would be for me to return home. Minutes later I was saying my goodbyes to Jim, Jim and Debbie. I was torn between great joy over the good news and heavy sorrow over having to leave and not be there when he came.
So now it is Tuesday. While at first I was so sad to have to leave I am now happy to be home. I missed our kids so much after 8 long days away from them! However, the wait continued. As of this morning we had heard that 3 other HFC kids were confirmed to travel out of Haiti tonight but our kids were still waiting to be confirmed. It was while I was writing this novel of a post that Jim called me and told me that our son will be flying to the US tonight!!!! Along with our friends daughter, 2 of the children of another one of my closest friends, and 5 other children from the same orphanage!!!!!

So MUCH celebration tonight!!! Hours from now our son will be in the care of my husband and, Lord willing... tomorrow he will be in my arms!!!!!

1 comment:

Twinsplusthree said...

What a wonderful story! I have been praying for your family as well as many other families adopting Haitian children. Can't wait to hear the update.