Here I go as I try and update you on the past year since we started this process in June 2010:
As we started this process we knew we were stepping out on faith and taking a risk that we could jump through all the hoops and still not be able to bring our girls home. Each phase of the process has come with much prayer and has taken the Lord's hand to move us forward in the process. The risk in this process of adopting Esmeralda & Jada are as follows:
1st they are not registered orphans with the Government Adoption Agency (CONANI), Conani has to approve every adoption that takes place in the DR. So the situation is that the lady who runs the orphanage the girls stay in, does not register any of them with the country so they are unadoptable in a sense as far as the government is concerned. The other issue is that the Dominican has become a Hague Convention Country in the last 6 years which means by law they do not allow you to pre-identify children to adopt them. Because of child trafficing in past years they put this law into effect to protect the children. Now, we were told Conani could make acceptions to these things if we presented a strong case and so that is what have been trying to do over the past year.
Along the way God has provided and met us at every turn. As you all know adoption is not cheap even so when you are trying to adopt 2:) But, as for us over the last 4 years in full time ministry, we have had to trust God to provide for us every step and this situation is no different for us. We believed God wanted us to move forward and expect the miracle even if the odds were against us. So that is what we have tried to do! We have had some amazing People of God contribute to get us this far down the path financially. Without those who have given sacrificially and the PRAYERS of SOO many that God would see this through, we would not have been able to get this far. God HAS PROVIDED through His Children!!
Another provision along the way, of God, has been a new home for us. We considered looking for something a little bigger with enough room for 5 children plus all the friends we love to have spend the night:)) We found a foreclosure that was more house than we would have ever asked for! We knew that without a miracle we would never be able to own a home as wonderful as the one we found. God showed up big as we prayed that He KNEW what we needed and when we needed it. If we needed to stay where we were than we would be content to do so, and if we needed the room to be able to provide for 5 children and anyone else the Lord would bring across our path then we would be obedient in that as well! God saw the purchase of this home,we now have, through in 3 months start to finish and sold our house in 8 days!! As a friend said "God is the best real estate agent...lol!" I do not know why God has shown us favor in this move, when I know there are so many other faithful People who need to sell their homes, but in ALL things God is sovereign!! We have been humbled beyond comprehension and are extremely grateful for His blessings!
We completed our final packet of paperwork in May, and they were sent off to the Dominican for translation and presentation to Conani. We received a denial email June 23rd. It was a devastating blow to say the least but not a final say for me or Tommy. We knew we would have to go to battle for my precious girls and that is what we are prepared to do. I compare our battle as though we are David going against Goliath! It seems to most as the impossible but we Believe ANYTHING is possible with God! As we have told the Lord from day one of this journey, if He chooses to not allow this adoption to take place at this time then we will accept His Will and know He knows what is best for our family. Our alternative plan is that, when they are of age we will work to bring them over on an exchange student status and when they turn 18 we can put them in college over here and work to get their green card. So, either way we do believe God wants them to be a part of our family!
We ask for your prayers as our whole family will travel over to the Dominican this Friday August 5. We will be having face to face meetings with our lawyers and the government adoption officials to try and get the denail overturned and to see what our options are. We pray that you ask God to soften the hearts of these officials and go before us! Also, Tommy found out today that a hurricane could hit the DR this Friday the day we are suppose to arrive and so please pray that God will redirect the storm:) We have asked to have the girls stay with us for the week when we are there and we are excited to spend some time together with our WHOLE Family!!
Thank you all for loving us, supporting us and praying for us as we try to be faithful to God's Call on our lives! I will update you as we are in the Dominican on the meetings! Much love to all of you and God Bless!