Saturday, March 24, 2012

Going on Safari

We are not...but our paperwork is.  Our legal response is en route to Nairobi.  I am tracking it, cross the world.  Silly, I know.  I feel like I am getting closer to Efa.

I have marveled that, for us, life seems to have been on hold, that the journey has gotten rocky, that we have had to change a few tires due to puncture wounds, that detours and road blocks have delayed our journey....but for Efa, none of this is true.  Part of the dis-synchronicity (is that even a word?) of adoption.  We fall in love with this little guy a world away, yet he has fallen in love with his care givers.  We have his picture up all over the house, and have studied his face.  He will not know who we are.   It will take pain and healing for synchronicity to begin to grow.  Unfortunately, it is Efa who will be in pain.

Efa celebrated his second birthday last weekend.  Never has the sensation of his babyhood slipping through my fingers been so strong.  Never has my prayer life been so vibrant.  However, I was so sad, that I actually posted a comment on Scott Brown's (our unresponsive senator) fb page.  After seeing Sen Brown on TV, on Efa's birthday (also, St. Patrick's day, a big day in Boston) yucking it up with his daughters and other politicians....I needed to do something.  This is the comment I posted.

We pleaded with your office three times to help us get a visa for our little boy who is till waiting in an orphanage in ET (months later). Other than the initial response, your office has not responded or helped at all. Sen Kerry's office and Rep Keating have been compassionate and responsive. I did get a call from your re-election campaign asking for money though. Again, I said...I would welcome a call or a response to our email...but until then, I will no longer support you with my vote or my money. Nothing like NEEDING help to see the fabric of our politicians. So disappointed with you.

Two days later, Jason received a call at his office from a staffer.  They talked for 45 minutes.  Jason only yelled when she said...if Efa had an injury or a disease that Scott Brown would get him out, but he was healthy enough and fine in an orphanage.  Jason said, "Healthy, by whose standard?"  He said, we had a healthy child adoption two years ago and she still is dealing with the remnants of being in care (very good care).  Have I mentioned we have had our 5th bought of pneumonia in 2 years?   He said that she would be hard pressed to find any doctor the would agree with her, and he wasn't even going to touch the emotional cost the children pay.  I know Efa is doing well.  He is loved.  He is in great care, as good as you get.  But Efa has a family.  Children should have families.  The disconnect was unbelievable.  Needless to say, the call ended without the staffer convincing us that not answering our emails was okay.  I guess Jason hit a nerve because he received a call after hours from the head of the office last night asking him to call them back on Monday.  At this point what can they do?  Fire Evan Elliot (hmmm tempting)?  Why?  So they can replace him with someone like him?  No way....we want changes.  USE should have a drop dead date....USCIS has thirty days to make a determination, so should USE.  USE needs to drop the sham of investigation.  There is no reason a phone call should take 7 weeks.  At any point we have been able to get in touch with the officers within hours. The only corruption I have seen is the intimidation used by the USE.  They are like a bully on the playground.  Only problem, the kiddos are the ones taking the hit.

I do feel like this part of the journey is coming to an end.  I feel like the real work is about to start.  One of the great joys of this adoption (yes there have been several) has been the friendships formed or grown.  The prayers, the texts, the phone calls, sweet gifts, comments.  I have been blessed by so many.  More news next week.  Praying it is good news, finally.

Friday, March 9, 2012

When God's Plan is Different than Your Own

We received an RFE.  Request for more evidence.  Yesterday after seeing other people clear in a day from Nairobi, I was in tears.  Really unusual for me.  Jason never sees me in tears.  But I was fatigued by the obstacles and the fighting to bring this beautiful boy home.  I think I have said this countless times...I am an experienced adoptive parent.  Yeah right!  So he went to work, and talked to the attorney who had just found out that we would be receiving an RFE.  His first response apparently..."How am I going to tell Jen, she is already in tears."  Truly it hit me like a ton of bricks.  I felt like I was a 6 year old child, sobbing every moment I was alone.  I just could not see out of this hole...what other evidence could we present?  We had already presented supplementary evidence.  The grief was/is at times physical.  My heart hurt.  I could not get a coherent thought together and could not pray anything other than, "Help me."  Wow, writing this even sounds overly dramatic.  See, that calendar math is devastating and I am convinced, a trap.  Efa's birthday is next week.  Why has that become such an important deadline to me?  It is clear that my plan and God's plan are a little different.  Month's ago in my bible study, there was something that hit me hard.  Are we proclaiming to be Christian but living as atheists, not trusting in God's plan for our life.  It made such an impact I quoted it at a very safe time.  I said, "when things don't go the way you want them to is where the rubber meets the road in faith."  Jenn and Tom, you may remember me even saying it.  Ohh, am I regretting saying that?   

I don't know what this week will hold.  I imagine I will have some more hard sad moments.  My heart is not hurting as much, though.  I have hope.  He has met me where I am, angry, hurt, sad, and heartbroken.  Ironic that in bible study the kids are learning about the days before Easter.  The ugliness, pain, and sadness.  But the story does not end there.  That is the beauty.  Easter came.  Jesus conquered all of that.  He rose.  So with that same hope, I meet each day.  This story will end with an amazing blessing.  Efa.  A child chosen for us.  How can I be so lucky?  So blessed?  So again, we wait.  I think when I am done, I will have a PhD in patience.  

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Just when the "radio silence" was deafening.....

Anyone who has been sent to Nairobi knows that the days after being sent are excruciatingly quiet.  For so many weeks and days while your file is at USE, you become so connected to your emails.  You check at 11:30pm and then again at 6am and then by 9am you are looking forward to the next day.  This is the craziness that creeps out of us PAP, wishing away a day-CRAZY.  Forgetting that each day is a gift.

So we were sent on Tuesday, or so we thought.  After being sent, Jason sent several emails out.  One to USCIS with a copy of our cover letter identifying our supplementary submissions of our extra investigation.  After our experience with the embassy, we could not trust our file would be sent in its entirety. He also asked USCIS to check that it had in fact been sent, as we were aware of a family that had been told that they were sent but were in fact not sent for another week.

Sweet boy with his big boy haircut....
Well, this morning the silence was, again, deafening.  I had a supernatural sense of peace about me.  I did ask Him to continue to give me peace about the wait and His role in the wait.  And then the email came through.... an email from USE giving us our tracking number and confirmation that our file had been delivered.  On checking the tracking number....the file had not left on Tuesday, it left after the close of business on Wednesday and was overnighted and courier serviced to USCIS.  Hmmmm.  Did not know that they could overnight it?  Did someone call and check on it and discover it had not been sent on Tuesday as we were told?  We will never know.  But I do know that things are moving.  Now we wait for clearance or an RFE (request for evidence).

Truly, today my heart was full.  There have been blessings throughout this hard hard process.  I have learned so much more about God.  I have truly wrestled and screamed at Him.  I have been furious with Him.  After all, what good will come from making Efa wait?  Perhaps I will never know.  But I do know that He has got this covered, and that He is okay with my not getting my way.  And that somehow He has planned this too.  In it all, I have grown closer to Him.