Well, I don't really know where to start. I guess I'll go back to my last post, which was in June (oh my, time flies!!!). We have been very busy on our adoption path and have news we need to share.
The adoption auction we had at our church in June went very well. It was a complete "God thing"...we really felt His presence, peace, and blessings. We raised over $4,000 towards our adoption!
In July, we had our home study. We enjoyed the whole process and really liked our social worker. In talking with her, she shared that she was adopted, her husband was adopted, and then together they adopted a little girl. So cool! Everything went very smoothly. After waiting for all of our referral letters to come in, we received our notarized home study in early September. We held a softball tournament for a fundraiser, and were touched by how many people helped with it. We also worked on our passports, our state clearances and criminal background checks, our adoption education, financial statements, and completed our health evaluations and forms at that time. We both did our psychological evaluations required by our agency, which was a meeting with a psychologist and a 300plus question computerized test. We both passed (phew...heehee!), and received our notarized evaluations quite quickly. We sent in our USCIS application to the government, and received our appointment to get fingerprinted. The fingerprinting was fun, we went through what seemed like airport security, they went through everything! The fingerprinting was computerized, I was disappointed because I was looking forward to getting the ink like you see on tv. :) Again, everything went very smoothly. We are ready to send our dossier to Ghana, just need the funds to be able to do so. Our next step is to apply for grants and do more fundraising. This aspect has not been going smoothly, and I kept praying for God to give us time and energy to put into the grants and fundraising, but never found it. Now that we are so far into our adoption process, our agency coordinator told us she would get more information and updates on our little Noel. She also mentioned it may be what we need to get "re-energized" into getting the funds we need so we can get our dossier over to Ghana so we can bring our little boy home. We were so excited to hear how he is, how he had grown, how his health is, if he even knew about us, how many words can he say, is he potty trained, etc., etc., etc.!!! We were told their internet connection in Ghana was not good and they were trying to fix the problem. After three weeks, we had found out through a weekly mailing that the internet problem had been fixed, so Robert and I were anticipating hearing from our agency. Finally, on a Tuesday afternoon, my phone rang while I was in school. I noticed it was our agency, so I ran out for a quick second to hear the voicemail...it didn't sound as exciting as I had imagined...she had just said she heard from the orphanage and to call her. I quickly checked my email, thinking maybe our coordinator had forwarded documents. All it said was, "We need to talk, call me as soon as you can." I felt nauseas, I tried to keep telling myself everything is fine, I'm just "reading into it too much." As soon as my students were dismissed, I ran out to call Robert and told him about the voicemail and email, then I returned the phone call to our agency. That's when I got some hard news.
Our agency coordinator told me that Noel is not in the orphanage anymore. He's not there, and they are not getting answers of why. My heart broke. She told me she'd call the next day, and let me go. I called Robert, barely able to get out words. I think we were just silent for a while. It's been four weeks now, and we are still shaken. It was difficult telling the kids. We haven't told many people, I haven't wanted to speak about it and don't have answers. I remember after the phone call that day, crying out to God, telling Him I'm giving Him a white flag because I give up. Still today, I don't know what to do. Why would He put us on this path, then take it away? Why did it feel so clear that Noel was the one God had chosen for us, then have him ripped away? Why was everything going so smoothly, then all of a sudden this happens? What do we do now?
I don't know the answers to these questions, but I do know...
As far as the adoption...I know God called us to adopt, and we are going to continue. There's a few options we can do now, we have all of our paperwork and everything needed to adopt a child. We can continue with our adoption through Ghana, and adopt a different child. We could go through another country to adopt. We could adopt here in the US. We just don't know and are praying for God's guidance, wisdom, and clear direction.
As far as Noel...we are praying that he is safe and in a loving environment, that he comes to know that there is a mighty, loving God that cares so much about him, that he grows up to be a man with godly characteristics, and that he has overflowing love and joy in his heart.
As far as why did this happen...God is God, He doesn't need to explain, His plans are always perfect and best for us. Maybe we will know one day and it will all make sense, maybe we won't. Even though it's been hard, we find rest knowing that He is our Shelter, our Stronghold, our Savior.
Over the last few weeks, I've asked myself how do people go through anything rough in their lives without Jesus. I've found myself asking this many times when I see things on tv like earthquakes or people living in the middle of war or people living is severe poverty or seeing people lose homes or loved ones in a fire or natural disaster or murders. Even here in my little part of the world, hearing people having financial troubles, foreclosures, losing loved ones, going through cancer, sicknesses, job losses, relationship troubles...how do people do it without knowing Jesus? Where do they go? Who do they turn to? Who do they trust? How do they get help? How do they find peace and joy again?
Some verses from God's Word that have helped me:
"The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble." Psalm 9:9
"The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged." Deuteronomy 31:8
"In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety." Psalm 4:8
"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30
"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever your go." Joshua 1:9
"Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you." 1 Peter 5:7
I am so thankful to know God's peace and comfort. I don't know what the future holds, but I do know God loves me, my husband, and my kids. His timing and plans are perfect, even though I may not understand it.
Would you please pray for us and our adoption journey? Please pray we follow God's direction and that another child will be revealed, please continue to pray for Noel, and please pray for our finances and adoption funds.
I would love to pray for you also. If you don't know God's peace or if you have something on your heart that you would like prayer for, please contact me on here on this blog, or by emailing me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for your continued prayer and support!
"He replied, Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there', and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you." Matthew 17:20
"Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours." Mark 11:24
"And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord's people." Ephesians 6:18