Monday, February 14, 2011


So last post we really didn't know what the heck was going on. In terms of the Sibley's, nothing has changed; however, elsewhere in the system things are moving along. A good batch of families were submitted to the Embassy under the new system on the 1st and 3rd of the month (or close to that..) and some of them have received clearance and are leaving in the next few days or have already left to pick up their children. The rest are still being investigated. At least now we are seeing documents submitted under the new system and people are being approved some quickly and some longer. Referrals are happening for families far behind us in process and court dates are being given out. All progress is good.

We received a picture of our sweet boy sleeping last week. His curls are coming in so beautifully. I needed that.

SO... I preface everything I'm about to say by letting you know that we COULD be submitted to the Embassy this week.. or next week.. or some day.. we just don't know when. Under this new system our agency can submit whoever is "paper ready" every week and there is no limit to how many families they can submit at a time like there use to be. Basically, we are waiting for that magical email that says "we turned in your stuff" and then we wait through the investigation that could take 2 days, 2 weeks, or months. We just don't know.

I traveled to Nashville to see some dear people to me from both high school and last year's Haiti trip last week. It was a great choice. It was pretty much a whole week with minimal email stalking because I was just enjoying them and the city so much.

But I came home. We are back to the grind. We have no idea when we are going back to get Ben. I have no plans...

So we will set the scene for today. Ted is now at Children's Mercy running the ER, but this afternoon he was home which allowed me to run some errands sans Lucas. Errands included an oil change that took quite a bit longer than usual. I spent some time reading.. and here are some insights into my soul of what God gave me during that time.

From "Ashes to Africa" by Josh and Amy Bottomly... regarding being open to God's heart while we walk through this and learning of the orphan and HIV crisis in Africa through film, books, etc...

"Any time art touches your life with tears, whether through a story, song, film, or painting, it was wise to pay attention to those tears because your tears could help you find your heart. And if you found your heart, you found what was dear to God. If you found what was dear to God, you found the answer to how you should live your life".

So THAT'S why I've been crying about this child....

Also.. let's have a little chat about being real about what we are feeling.. rather than covering it with classic Christian cliche's. When we write and express the pain in our lives, we connect ourselves with the rest of God's children intimately and united in prayer under our God.

Also from "Ashes to Africa"..

"When we tell the truth on this level, we not only connect to our own deepest humanity, but we also connect to one anothers deepest humanity. At this level, we form a connective tissue of friendship not through our mutual sense of wholeness, but our mutual sense of brokenness."

Thank you Lord.

I am so thankful for other Christians who have suffered the pangs of infertility, and can join Ted and I on the other side after walking through it and continuing to face it.

I chatted back and forth with a friend for awhile, and went to review the lesson I was going to facilitate on Wednesday night with our worship team. Ironically, it was about waiting.

I have read through this book in its entirety, however somehow I missed these two pages. This is taken from "Satisfy my Thirsty Soul" by Linda Dillow.

And then the tears started.

"Desperately helplessly, longingly, I cried
Quietly, patiently, lovingly God replied.
I pled and I wept for a clue to my fate.
And the Master so gently said, "Child you must wait"

"Wait? You say, wait?!" my indignant reply.
"Lord, I need answers, I need to know why!
Is your hand shortened? Or have you not heart?
By FAITH I have asked, and am claiming Your Word.

"My future and all to which I can relate
Hangs in the balance, and you tell me to WAIT?
I'm needing a yes, a go-ahead sign.
Or even a no to which I an resign.

And Lord, you promised that if we believe
We need but to ask, and we shall receive.
And Lord, I've been asking, and this is my cry.
I'm weary of asking! I need a reply!

Then quietly, softly, I learned of my fate
As my Master replied once again, "You must wait".
So I slumped in my chair, defeated and taut
And grumbled to God, "So, I'm waiting... for what?"

He seemed then to kneel and His eyes wept with mine.
And he tenderly said, "I could give you a sign.
I could shake the heavens, and darken the sun.
I could raise the dead, and cause mountains to run.

"All you seek, I could give, and pleased you would be.
You would have what you want- but you wouldn't know ME.
You'd not know the depth of my love for each saint,
You'd not know the power that I give to the faint.

You'd not learn to see through the clouds of despair;
You'd not learn to trust just by knowing I'm there.
You'd not know the joy of resting in me
When darkness and silence were all you could see.

You'd never experience that fullness of love
As the peace of my Spirit descends like a dove;
You'd know that I give and I save.. (for a start),
But you'd not know the depth of the beat of my heart.

"The glow of my comfort late into the night,
The faith that I give when when you walk without sight,
The depth that's beyond getting just what you asked
Of an infinite God, who makes what you have LAST.

"You'd never know, should your pain quickly flee,
What it means that 'My grace is sufficient for thee.'
Yes, your dreams for your loved ones overnight would come true,
But oh, the loss! if I lost what I'm doing in YOU!

"So, be silent, my child, and in time you will see
And though oft may my answers seem terribly late,
My wisest of answers is still but to WAIT."

and so friends, and family, I will. And then I cried at oil change guy.



Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Story Changes.... Again

So in all of these weeks since we have been home from court, we have watched and waited every 2 weeks for the announcement of the next travel group to be announced. In the beginning, this was not much of an issue because it's standard for your papers to take 6 weeks or so to be fully collected over there. At the 6 week mark, we didn't expect to get to go, because there were so many people with court ahead of us that were still waiting to travel due to other setbacks in December and Ethiopian Christmas closing things down. Since then...

1) the group of people who DID get to go got stuck at the Embassy to do a last minute paper change that has to do with an additional document proving rightful relinquishment from non-parents such as an aunt or uncle or something. It got resolved, but freaked us all out. Since it all got resolved, we all kinda moved on.

2) They announced right around then that they weren't really going to be going in order according to when people went to court. It would be somewhat close to that, but not really a science like it used to be.

3) They did not go in order and some people that really should have gotten to go didn't, and people behind us did get to go instead.

4) Those poor people that were lucky enough to get to go on the Feb 8th embassy date, were informed TODAY before they were going to leave TOMORROW that they shouldn't go. Heart. Breaking. Yet again, the US embassy invoked some last minute changes that need to be remedied before these peoples cases can be heard.

Lastly, our agency sent out an official notice today ALSO letting us know that the US Embassy has thrown the every other week meetings out the window, and will now summon families on a case by case basis as their stuff is complete. For our sakes, this could be a good thing, since enough time (almost 8 weeks) has passed that our papers should be completely done or near done. The difficult part is that it will be difficult to plan because we have no idea when or if we have been submitted, and we don't know how much notice the embassy will give us before we have to appear. For those of you who have been around for awhile, kinda sounds like waiting for Lucas yes? Go nearly insane, and then, surprise!!! You have a baby you can actually go get.

We will see what happens in the weeks to come, we really have no idea :-)

In the meantime, pray for God's intercession for those families waiting to get their children. Thank God for giving me "peace that surpasses all understanding" because I am much more calm right now than I thought I would be. Pray for endurance for me and for the other families in the process with me. Pray for Ben's continued health. Pray for the wisdom of our staff and also those investigating visa's at the embassy.

To close, a little idea for you to chew on. In Bible study this week, one of my amazing girls (also an international adoptive mama)described the story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the Fiery furnace. They came out WITHOUT smelling like smoke after such a crazy and emotional trial.

That is my prayer... that I will come out of this experience with a little boy, loving my God more, and as a more mature woman than when I entered. I don't want to smell like the smoke of the fire I was in. I wanna smell like roses baby.