Thursday, December 1, 2011

Frustrated... PLEASE PRAY!

Yeah, that's just one word that describes how I am feeling today. If you've been following some of my posts on facebook, then you already know some of the drama that has been going on. If not, well, let me fill ya in a little bit.

On Tuesday when I updated about being patient, I had no idea what the next few days would hold. This whole process has been long and hard and unlike anything we have ever been through, but this week has been an entirely different trial. We *thought* that the problem was that our agency's staff in Ethiopia was just not communicating with the staff in the U.S. We kept waiting and expecting to hear one of two things: 1) The judge approved our letter of exemption and we passed court. The kids are legally ours and we can hope to travel to bring them home in 6-8 weeks! {obviously this was our first choice} OR 2) The judge denied our letter and says that we have to show up for court on December 9th. We hope for a favorable decision on the 9th and if we pass, then the kids are legally ours and we wait 6-8 weeks from that approval. {our 2nd choice, but one we were prepared to face on Monday morning}

I called and emailed our agency repeatedly Monday and Tuesday, but got nothing. So Wednesday morning, I took it into my own hands. I had heard that one of the legal reps was in the hospital (which explains why he wasn't returning emails or phone calls), so I found the # of the other one and I got up at 5am to give her a call in Ethiopia. She said she knew exactly who I was and that she knew a little about our case. She said she was sorry, but she still hadn't heard from anyone who had actually been in court and so she was going to find out the next day and her words were "I hope to get confirmation from our staff that you do not have to travel. I will let you know tomorrow." So I got off the phone Wednesday morning frustrated again that we still had no official news, and that I can't wait for the U.S. staff to find these things out for me, but somewhat hopeful because she acted like we would for sure have an answer by early Thursday morning. One more day and we would hear that we would either be going or staying.

I hardly slept last night. Tossing and turning and worrying and praying. Checking the time every 10 minutes and figuring out what time it was in Ethiopia.

I got up at 3am, knowing that it was 1pm there and sent a quick email as a reminder that as soon as she found out to please let us know.

I went back to bed for a couple of hours and woke up abruptly. I was thinking: This is it. This is the day that God is going to answer this prayer and show us how great and wonderful and big He is. This is the day He is going to blow us away and we are going to shout to the world that 2 children are no longer orphans! I really expected to open my email and have this confirmed. I so wanted it to be true.

But instead of hearing this, I opened something completely unexpected. It was an email from the same gal in Ethiopia that I had talked to the day before and it read: I am sorry to say that the news is not promising, as we do not have any record in our office of having received your letter for the court, or the photos and passport copies that are required if you do not attend. I am so sorry about this and will be checking with Susan. As well the judge has not been taking too well to families coming on a different date or not coming at all, so I think you may have to make plans to be here next Friday.

My immediate reaction was a loud WHAT??!! What in the world was she talking about? No record of anything? Not only did we send everything the day after we heard about our court date, and were assured that it would be received in plenty of time, but we had also left it all with the legal rep (who was now in the hospital) way back when we were there in April. Not to mention that I had JUST talked to this same gal yesterday about our case! We have been told for two weeks that someone was going to take all of those documents to court and represent us. All of a sudden everything was "lost" and they had never even seen it?! Oh. my. goodness.

After many emails and phone calls back and forth today, (believe me, it wasn't pretty) we think we might have figured out what happened. It seems that because the one legal rep that we left all of our paperwork with is gone to the hospital, no one actually took his place and took over our case. Which means that no one actually showed up in court for us. Or if they did, they certainly did not present our letter, pictures, etc for the judge.
>insert MAD FACE here. !!!!

Seriously, as the day unfolded and we were being told that we should plan to be in Ethiopia next week because they "think" we should- I just wanted to scream. We don't want to hear what they think we should do, we want to hear that someone saw the judge and we want to know what she said! Why in the world is it so hard to confirm that SOMEONE was there and that they heard what the judge ruled?! Oh, maybe because no one was? After this, I told our agency point blank that we wish we could trust them but that they have shown us that we simply cannot. 

These are CHILDREN we are talking about here! God's heart beats and breaks for the least of these: the poor, the widow, the ORPHAN. Don't mess around with the LORD Almighty! It is clear that God must have an amazing plan for N and M's lives as we have been faced with attack after attack these past 14 months. Satan hates to see orphans gain families, but God WILL prevail and He WILL have the victory! HE places the lonely in families! 

We have one last glimmer of hope before we have to make our travel plans tomorrow. Someone is going to go to the court without an appointment and present our case to the judge tomorrow morning in Ethiopia. It sounds like this will be the first time she will read our letter. We are praying that by some MIRACLE, the judge says that we do not have to be there on Friday morning. That she would surprise everyone and make an exception because we have proven our love and commitment to N and M and spent a significant amount of time with them. 

If she says no, we will have to make plans to leave just four days later. Ugh. My stomach is in knots just thinking about it.

If you are reading this right now: PLEASE PRAY!!!! This is an impossible situation and our agency is positive that we are going to have to go. We would love to see God show up and prove them wrong! 

But even if the answer is no, we must cling to His promises that He has not left us or forsaken us. That He will work all things (even the hard, crazy things) together for the good of those who love Him... 
I cannot even pretend to imagine why the heck this would be a part of His plan, but maybe someday we will look back and see. Or maybe not. We will just know that He meant it to happen for His purpose and for His glory.

Join us tonight in coming before the throne for these two precious children. And as my sweet friend Heather always reminds me... even though it's so hard and the wait seems unbearable- we will continue to trust  Him while we wait. 

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.   Hebrews 11:1


Jane said...

I am so very sorry that this has gotten so difficult and frustrating. I will be praying for the meeting with the judge and for all of you!


Cindy said...

OH MY!!! Prayed now and will continue to!!! i'm sorry for the 'twist'...but God can MOVE IN THE IMPOSSIBLE!!! ASKING WITH YOU! ~cindy

The Princess and the Tot said...

With God, ALL things are possible!! Praying for His provision and confirmed YES! Love you.

i'm abby said...

I know He's going to work this out. Praying they will be home. And I ask Him to give you huge trust and strength as you wait. "“All human wisdom is summed up in two words - wait and hope” (We Wait in Joyful Hope!!!)

heather said...

Praying and trusting in our all-powerful God. My heart hurts for you. I can hardly wait for the good news!

Michele said...

Praying for you now. May God pour his grace and mercy out on you now.

JW said...

Candice I am praying for you now more than ever! May God advocate for you in such a dark place... May he bring peace amidst this storm that we can't understand

GrandmaS said...

I am enjoying following your journey and seeing the pictures. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for carrying formula to our little granddaughter!! In case you are interested, here is the blog I wrote of her God-story, of which you are now apart!!

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