We rejoiced a couple of weeks ago when we made fools of ourselves in FedEx and sent our dossier off to AGCI! I was so excited to be done with paperwork! But that excitement only last a few days. :(
Our caseworker called to let me know that we had to re-do one of our documents. Bleh. Most families evidently have to re-do things and usually more than just one, so our situation wasn't bad at all.
The depressing part is that our caseworker also let me know that we couldn't actually get on the waitlist until our re-do was submitted. I'd actually be told differently by another caseworker so I was ready and expecting our number . . . our place in line on the waitlist that we will hopefully watch drop each month as we get closer to our boy. I really wanted our number. It is a big step in the process and one I was definitely ready for. So I tried to be encouraged even as discouragement quickly rose because of this delay.
Our re-do is really simple. Our local criminal checks are supposed to be notarized, which the nice lady at the office assured me they would be. She lied. They signed and put a seal on them so I saw that and just stuck them in my folder (what should have taken 20 minutes turned out to be a 2 hour process with both kids so by that time I was just ready to get home!). I should have caught the mistake and realized they weren't actually notarized, but I missed it.
So I called the police station and was informed that they never notarize these papers because they don't have a notary. Great. They didn't just forget, they never could have done it right in the first place!
That turn of events leaves us with having to ask our sweet friend Larry to take time out of his busy lawyer life and meet us at the police station. We were so hoping to get it done last week (as soon as it is in my caseworker's hands we get that number!), but no luck. The office is only open MWF, but the only day Larry could meet us was Thursday. And now Chad is in Guatemala for a week (dang mission trip) so we are delayed yet another week. (Please know I'm being sarcastic . . . I'm so thankful He is serving little ones and sharing the Gospel!)
So next week we'll hopefully get it done and I'll finally have that number. (If you are already starting to have a conversation with me in your head about how I'm focusing too much on the number and not enough on God's perfect plan, don't worry because Someone has already had that talk and I'll get to that in a bit!)
In the midst of all this, we received our FDL (Favorable Determination Letter) from Immigration (USCIS). This letter is super important and summarizes what the US approves for our adoption. I was so excited to have gotten it so soon and ready to send it to AGCI.
Only one problem . . . under Special Needs they wrote "NO." HIV is most definitely considered a special need so this would have to be changed. Bleh again.
I called USCIS to let them know of the mistake. The lady was very helpful and just asked that I fax her my homestudy so she could verify the info and get it fixed. Easy peasy right? Wrong.
She called yesterday to let me know that our homestudy was wrong and therefore she couldn't change our FDL until our homestudy was changed. What??? Our social worker, case worker, and another person from AGCI all double checked our homestudy before it was finalized . . . there is no way it could it be wrong.
But it is. Our social worker, Ashley, had our homestudy finished when we felt God speak to us about adopting a positive child. She went back in and added the info about HIV, but forgot to change one little sentence. That sentence just so happens to be the most important one as it is the recommendation for our adoption parameters and the one that USCIS bases their approval on.
It won't be that big of a deal to change . . . just take out "healthy male child" and change it to "HIV positive male child." Once we send the new copy in, they will send us a new FDL. Done.
But another delay just kind of had me a little down yesterday. I talked about it with Chad, shed a couple of tears, and prayed as I drove with the kiddos to Arkansas.
Because I was still a little bummed, I did what any girl would do . . . called my best friend! Lisa can encourage my heart more than anyone other than Chad and she didn't fail!
I poured out the story of all these delays and issues and then God spoke right to my heart through her words. She reminded me of what I already know . . . that God is Sovereign, that God knows Easton, that God's timing is always perfect, and that I might not understand, but still need to trust.
And Lisa pointed out something amazing as I shared about the homestudy mistake. Three people who have the job of making sure there are no mistakes all missed the mistake in the most important sentence in the 20 page document.
Could it be that God blinded their eyes in order to set things in the right time for His perfect plan?!
Maybe because of these delays, when we finally get our number, it will be #124 instead of the #122 we would have gotten last week if all was in order. And if so, then it is because God wants us to be #124 because He knows that at just the right time he will bring our family to the precious son He has prepared for our hearts. Do I trust this sovereignty? Or do I just want a number, any number, as soon as possible? Ouch.
So I hung up with my bff and praised the One who is in control . . . of us, of Easton, and of every detail that will bring us together!
We'll hopefully have that number soon (I'm still excited to watch it drop . . . so shoot me!), but that doesn't matter as much as the confidence I can have in the plan of the "Father to the fatherless" who "sets the lonely in families."