Tuesday - Day 17.
Starting with last night. Sometimes you meet someone ... very beautiful. That would be Michelle. I've spelled her name differently every time I've talked about her :) She is very sweet. And last night when I needed an ear-- she was a good one. I sat down and told her all about my day. There were at least 3 times her eyes filled completely with tears.The best part was when I ended my story of my day of gifts I said "and the best for last...the gift of Grace". I felt very compelled to use the word GRACE and I had to really think about how that was the right word. She looked at me and said "I went to bed last night and prayed specifically that you would receive Grace today". It was very cool to see how God answered her prayer so specifically. While I thought yesterdays gifts were for me...it was very clear last night...they were also for many of you. Michelle left me a note this morning as she flew to SA before I got to say goodbye...and she said "I now think I know why God had me stay one more day" (she thought she was leaving Monday). The gift....that keeps on giving.
I went to bed reading... yes... again... Come Thirsty. I started another Lucado book...but I knew I needed to go back and start Come Thirsty again. I did. This time, slowly. Learning from each page what I missed the first time...because I was so thirsty.
I woke this morning to loud little boys and a squeeling Mika. Was that this morning? I think so. It becomes a bit of a blur. Every morning starts the same way, really. Jacob was here pretty quickly and I was out of here. Said good bye to the boys.
We went right to the passport office. I walked in to the head lady Mrs Banda (that Megan introd us to yesterday). She said "ok take your file up to room #8 and tell her I said to expedite". So we did. Oh..the lady in #8 was NOT having a good morning. She said "where are the boys??" I told her they were with my sister in law. She said " Bring them to me and we will proceed!" I said Mrs Banda did not say that and she was offended. "this is procedure, madam!!!Bring me the boys". She insisted on keeping my file...but I refused. Finally I won. That file contains everything we have done so far, I was not leaving it behind.
I surprised Jacob by going back to Mrs Banda. He's like "what are you doing? We must go get the boys!" I said "no... we are going to Mrs Banda". So I did. She askedwhat was wrong. I told her #8 told us we had to go home and get the boys. That would have wasted well over an hour. She was not happy. Mrs Banda said "WHAT?! that is rediculous and NOT necessary. Ok nevermind, go pay at room #2 and come back to me". So I did. I came back and she said "go stand in line at the interview line, I will tell the man your story". So I did. That took long. Perhaps an hour of standing in a line that for a long time, did not move.
Finally it was my turn. The man was trying to be very tough and official. Finally he signed everything. I went back to Mrs Banda with my receipts. She said " I will go get the file now" so she did. Then she said "ok, Thursday afternoon". I said "Noon?" she said "ahhhh I don't think so" I told her I'm trying to do visa medicals thursday afternoon so she said "no guarantees for noon, but try". :) Oh ... then she said " I called the lady down from #8 and she says you got mad at her and walked out and that she said NO such thing about bringing the children" I looked her in the eye and repeated exactly what #8 had said. MrsBanda looked at Jacob, he was definite. She was mad. She was like "she lied to me". yah. She did.
The gift that keeps on giving. This is all because we met Megan yesterday.
We left and headed straight to the Embassy. No we stopped at a cafe on the way. We both wanted a cappuccino. Oh sorry madam, no take away cups today! Seriously. Ok forget it. We went to the embassy. They wouldnt' let me in today! "no, call and make an appt". I was a little stubborn. They finally let me speak on the phone to Agrippa, the man I spoke with last week. He finally determined I needed to come.
As I was crossing the courtyard the guard freaked out. "MADAM!!!! Get on the sidewalk!!" thankfully I quickly noticed the sidewalk...was currently being well watered with a sprinkler so I quickly said "i'm so sorry sir....the sidewalk ... is....very wet" he quickly apologized and gave me permission to walk on the road. Wow.
The waiting room was packed today. It was Visa day I was told. Agrippa called me to the window and told me to wait for Kate, the Consular.
She came and called me. We spoke for quite some time. The concern is... drum roll.... a big one. Basically Chrissy should NOT have told us that only I was required to come. In order for the children to go home on IR-3 visas (where they are instantly US citizens)...both adoptive parents are required to have seen the children before any legal proceedings. When that is NOT the case...then I sign for both of us with Power of Attorney (something like that). Ok...this was so emphatic by Chrissy and since we knew no better, and God did...He obviously wanted it this way.
Kate said I would need legal documentation from WA stating that Dean could adopt the children in the states. fantastic.
She also expressed concern about the documentation proving the children are indeed orphans. We have the father's relinquishment letter from court which is perfect. But we only have hospital notifications of the children's birth and the mother's death. Instead of official birth and death certificates. This may be a problem I am told.
The Consulate appt is for Monday at 2pm. Oh there is MUCH prayer needed. Much.
Here is the run down of events:
-pick up passports- hopefully--Thursday noon.
-Thursday afternoon go to Visa Medicals.
-Attempt to pick up medicals late friday or first thing Monday morning.
-Monday at 2pm go to consulate appointment and PRAY we get IR-4 visas for children and I600 approval.
Wednesday at 1:40pm we fly to Johannesburg, SA then a 17 hour flight (with 1 hour stop in Daqar (we are not allowed to leave the plane though) and through to WA D.C...then D.C to Seattle.
Everything has to go perfectly for the above list for us all to get on the flights together. Kate was quick to say "you may not be able to take the boys home with you". Ok... I just do not believe God brought us this far, with all He has shown along the way...for us to leave the boys here in the end. We definitely need you to pray.
The good news is Dean was able to contact an adoption attorney in Spokane that quickly wrote us a letter, very professionally, which will suffice for the adoption / readoption of Chazano and Zunduka in the states by Dean. So that is done.
I was home very early...1ish today. The afternoon has been somewhat lazy and actually quite fun.
Tanis and I just finished a game of scrabble .. our first this trip...and we were tight the entire game with her winning by ONE point in the end. :) It is almost midnight..usually we are all in bed by 9 pm around here. Craziness!
I was sad to see today that Bethel's mission trip to Zambia was cancelled due to the European flight issues. So sorry for all that have been planning this trip for months.
Tomorrow is a down day. We are just waiting for Thursday.
We added up our costs of accomodation and we are at about $2000!! There are so many costs that we never counted in our originals....and definitely did not even think of accomodations! Thats more than a mortgage payment...at a guest house!!
To my friend Amy who again is watching our children today....thank you friend. I spoke to the kids this morning and they were excited to be going with you. What I would do to trade places with you.
To my most favorite people in the whole world... I am so blessed to really actually be in this family:
Dean--I. Cannot. Wait.
Tirzah--I can picture your sweet smile that goes up crooked as you just watch me. Mama is longing to hug you my girl.
Zion--Mama is coming to be 'the bear' :) I love when you "just sit" with me because you just want to be close.
Azlan--I keep looking for orange and thinking of you. Mama prays you'll have happy dreams, my boy.
Azahria Peace--you sweet sweet girl. I cannot wait to hear "mama mama mama" in the airport when you see me. I love you.
I'm going to bed...with your names going up to Heaven. I love you all.
8 more days til we are on the plane. 9 more days til we are in WA.
The countdown is on.