Monday, October 28, 2013

We're on a Roll....for now

I have been waiting for so long to say this: Our US Embassy orphan investigation is complete! I am so accustomed to delays and procedure changes that I am a little amazed whenever anything gets done. (It may also have something to do with the information I receive not always being up- to- date, so there is always the "surprise factor".) Roland has his visa appointment at the beginning of November, which he will attend with our agency's in- country lawyer. Once his visa is issued, we are basically at the end of the process. Under normal conditions, he would be home by Christmas. However, our rolling ball of progress will soon crash into a concrete wall, known as the exit permit suspension. We will have gone as far as we can go without actually travelling to Congo and bringing our baby home. We are very grateful for the recent progress that has been made and we are praying that the exit permit situation does not hold us (and everyone else) up for too long. We are SO CLOSE!!

16 But I will sing of your strength,
    in the morning I will sing of your love;
for you are my fortress,
    my refuge in times of trouble.

17 You are my strength, I sing praise to you;
    you, God, are my fortress,
    my God on whom I can rely.
Psalm 59: 16-17

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Embassy Investigation

We have finally seen some progress with our US Embassy investigation, which we have been waiting on since July. The person who dropped Roland off at the orphanage has been located and he is willing to fly to Kinshasa for an interview. Yay!! I was having doubts that they would ever find this person. We are hoping this interview will satisfy the Embassy and they will then consider our investigation complete. This investigation has been looming over us for so long; it will be a huge relief to have it over with. Then we can apply for Roland's visa and wait in line for exit permits to be issued again. We're hoping the exit permit suspension will be lifted by the time we are ready to travel so we won't have any other significant delays.

We are happy things are moving forward again, but that is when I find it is harder to be patient. When things are stagnant, I can send my emotions to a kind of hibernation. Right or wrong, I have emotionally disengaged myself from Roland the past couple of months. Mellow sadness is easier to live through than the heart- wrenching reality of being separated from my son. Now my excitement and hope has been renewed and I'm praying things keep progressing so we can finally get this kid home.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

18 month recap

The past year and a half of our lives have been spent pursuing an adoption from the Democratic Republic of the Congo. We have been at this for the length of two pregnancies now (not to mention the two whole years we spent planning and preparing to begin the adoption and the four years we spent trying to conceive). Our home study was completed one year ago, which means it is about time to have it updated. Eight months ago we saw a picture of Roland for the first time and we accepted his referral. Six months ago our adoption case passed court in Congo. Three months ago our I-600 was approved. No more progress has been made since then. We have not received any more information on the status of our Embassy orphan investigation. Also, exit permits are still not being issued, which basically means that, for most of us, adoptions are not being allowed to advance to completion. After 18 months of waiting, praying and hoping we still do not have any idea when Roland will join our family.

 A few good verses to meditate on:
Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus....11 I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. 12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
Phillipians 4:4-13 

Saturday, October 12, 2013

A Week in Autumn

Autumn is my favorite season and this past week it was made even better because my dad came out to visit us from North Carolina. Before he flew out I realized that we have not spent any time together in the fall months since 2002. He has always come to visit in the Summer and we always have visited him in the Spring or Christmastime. We made the most of our short time together, enjoying beautiful scenery, the crisp fall air and the changing colors. We drove and hiked through mountains and canyons, forests and rolling prairie. We indulged in mochas, chai tea and hot chocolate, homemade apple- craisin bread and pumpkin spice cake, and of course fall- hued M&Ms. In the evenings we retreated to warm blankets on the couch and watched most of season 3 of The Walking Dead. It was nice to just have a break from our daily routine. All in all it was a wonderful week celebrating family and the beauty of autumn and we all wished Roland could be a part of it. Here are some pictures of our good times:

 Our first glimpse of snow on the distant mountains

My dad taking a stroll at the beach on our way to Riggins

 Hiking the Rapid River trail
 Matt enjoying some fall colors
 My dad hiking through some gorgeous canyon scenery

 Whew! We made it to the bridge.

All three of us on our last day together