Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Forty Days

For 40 days, I held my breath.

For 40 days, I sat very still.

For 40 days, preparations ceased.


I didn't realize how completely consumed with worry and anxiety I had become until we finally received word from our agency that 'The Inconsistency' had been cleared up.  The obstacles we thought we would be facing -- the complications that would have left two precious little people in limbo and alone indefinitely -- disappeared with with a word.

And I exhaled.

And then I went shoe shopping.  Shoe shopping is hard enough {right ladies?!?}, but it's even harder when you need *the perfect* shoes.  No fewer than eight trips to four different Targets around Memphis yielded six little pairs of shoes.  Six pairs of the most perfectly pinkalicious shoes a girl could ever want.  Two of these will come home on the feet of our daughters.  The others will be left behind for daughters who wait.
{See.  I told you they were pinkalicious!!}

It took another 40 days for our agency to gather the supporting documents needed to sufficiently explain 'The Inconsistency' to the US Embassy in Ethiopia.  {The Embassy personnel handle immigration.}  We hoped this would go more quickly than it did.  When our papers were finally ready to be submitted to the Embassy, our fingerprints were one week expired -- scheduled to be updated on Friday, but on Tuesday were expired.  And expired is expired.  So our papers were rejected.  Maddening!!!  

And what gives with fingerprints "expiring" anyway?!?!?  I'm no biologist, but I've always been under the impression that the prints you were born with are the prints you die with.  Why in the world do we have to keep having those re-taken???  And they are stored electronically!!!  Seems like the gub'ment would keep those on file and just use them to re-run the criminal background checks.  But who am I to stand in the way of progress.

Anyhoo ... our biometrics appointment {that's fancy-talk for fingerprinting} went well on Friday.  I called Monday to beg USCIS to pretty please hurry it along.  I was shocked pleasantly surprised to find out that they had already processed our fingerprints and updated our file.  Did you catch that??  We made a request of the gub'ment on Friday, and it was fulfilled on Friday.  I don't mean to sound glib, but that, my friends, is no less than a miracle sent straight from heaven. 

Everything should be ready for our agency to re-submit our papers to the US Embassy in Ethiopia next Tuesday.  The Embassy will spend a few weeks reviewing every scrap of paper in our file.  They'll request interviews with the girls' closest living relatives and anyone else who might have information pertaining to our case.  They'll make our agency and/or the Ethiopian government correct even the most minute errors in our papers.  Then one day, they will send us a very simple email saying that we have been cleared to bring our daughters home.  And that will be a very happy day. 

But because of all the delays, our immigration pre-approval will almost certainly expire before we are cleared to bring the girls home.  Which means we will need to re-file our immigration pre-approval request.  Which means we will need to have our homestudy updated.  Which means more background checks, more physicals, more financial statements, more interviews, and mo' money.  But my house is clean now.  So there's that.

I took the kids to have their physicals yesterday.  Mark was thrilled to be officially declared taller than Madison.  He's grown 5+ inches in the last year.  Levi was thrilled that Sarah had to get a shot.  {because shots = a trip to Jerry's for sno cones}  Way to take one for the team, Sarah!! 

May 2010 -- Ages 12, 10, 6, 4
  Look at these babies!!  This was our first round of physicals for our original homestudy.

August 2013 -- Ages 15, 13, 9, 7
Yesterday during our 3rd round of physicals for our 2nd update.  
I probably should have taken the picture before Sarah had her shot.

Sno cones from Jerry's as promised.

So we wait.  And we do whatever we're asked to do next.  We pay whatever fee comes up.  We adjust our expectations.  Waiting is hard stuff, I won't lie.  But God is faithful.  But God is sovereign -- even over 'Inconsistencies', even over timing, even over expiring papers.  And in that, we have peace.


Memphis Bridges said...

I sure hope Sarah is feeling better today! We went to get yogurt after our shots yesterday & we've got many more to go. I'm glad to hear the update & praying for y'all in the waiting.

Memphis Bridges said...

Oh, and the shoes...precious. That makes it so real thinking these shoes will go in anticipation & come back full of life!