BEFORE YOU READ THIS POST, MAKE SURE YOU SCROLL DOWN AND READ PART 1 OF THIS STORY!
In order to be considered a possible family to host/adopt a Haitian orphan that may come under humanitarian parole, we were told we should be "paper ready" but that there were no promises in this journey and each family would have to decide on their own if the cost and energy involved with being paper ready was worth the risk of never bringing one of these children home. I can't explain it except to say that once we stepped out of square-dom we realized the life of amoebas is way more cool! We began updating our home study right away - a complete step of faith.
At the same time we began sending emails to our house church and immediate family to tell them what was unfolding and how they could pray. One of the first replies we received was from our dear friend Firoozeh. She is from Iran and is a beautiful woman inside and out. She attends our house church. Her and her husband are prayer warriors and full of faith. She wrote me to tell me that a couple of weeks before (a few days before the earthquake) she had a dream that Billy and I were adopting another dark skinned child. In the dream she kept assuming that we were going back to Africa, but by the time the dream was over it was clear to her that it was not Africa at all. She woke up from the dream confused. But we were out of town and she just put the dream aside and had forgotten to share it with me. As I read the email I could sense the confirmation God intended through her words.
In the following couple of weeks there were highs and lows. More lows than highs, actually, as it seemed that everything was coming to a standstill and nothing was happening. Even when all seemed more than impossible, still we felt the desire to complete our home study. To make a long story short and for the privacy of friends, the orphanage and the orphans, I will leave a lot of our journey out of this blog. But just know a whole lot took place that lead us up to February 8. By this day we had reviewed a list of waiting children and submitted a request to be matched to a particular girl. I can't share her name publicly, but she is 6 years old and beautiful! However, we had no official word that we would be matched to her and no certainty that she would ever make it to the U.S. On the evening of Feb. 8 I was attended a meeting about an entirely different group of Haitian orphans that were thought to be coming to the U.S. under medical visas. By the end of that meeting I was so discouraged and confused. The organization trying to bring these particular orphans in were taking a whole different approach than the one I had been working with. And the woman who spoke with me that night truly felt that the group of orphans I was advocating for had little to no chance of coming into the U.S. I didn't know what to do. Which group was going about it in the most effective way? Which group included the child that God had chosen for us? Was I setting our family up for a huge disappointment? etc. etc.
That night I got on my knees before the Lord and asked for some kind of direction or confirmation; some certainty that we were on the right track. I had no idea what God was about to do! The next morning God made doubly sure that I was a square-no-more and that I realized He was never a square! I received an email from a friend, Allison, with whom I had not spoken to in months. In her email she said that she had been dreaming about a dark-skinned, 6 year old girl for about two weeks. She said the dreams led her to some intense prayer times for this girl and she even began to wonder if God was calling her back to Ethiopia. That morning, however, a mutual friend, Kara, who was aware of the journey Billy and I were on, called her and shared with her our story. Right then Alli knew that she had been dreaming about the girl we were seeking. As I read the email I almost fell out of my seat (amoeba's don't sit in chairs well at all). I wrote her back and shared the one picture I had of this girl. She wrote back and said... "That's her. I know its crazy, but that's the girl I've been dreaming about." And then I knew... God was confirming in a huge way that we were walking the right road!!! R.E.L.I.E.F.!
Four days later - a BIG day! On Feb. 12 we had our completed home study in hand (done in just 3 weeks - amazing!) and scanned it in to Hope for Orphans who was then submitting it to HCRM (the orphanage/agency in Haiti). That evening we received a special, unexpected call! We were OFFICIALLY MATCHED to this precious girl by HCRM! We were also told that Rep. Hoestra had submitted a bill proposal to Congress called the HOPE Act (H.R. 4603) which, if passed, would make way for pre-quake orphans who were not matched to families before the earthquake to come to the U.S. as unaccompanied minor refugees who would then need families to take care of them and eventually adopt them. This was a huge step forward. It meant that what was an Everest mountain that needed to be moved was now Mt. Denali...still huge, but NOT Everest (and who cares anyway - Our Savior moves mountains any size!) Interesting side note: we've been working with refugees in our city for 3 years. How cool that God has been using that experience to prepare us to bring a refugee child into our own home!
For the next 2 weeks there was little news...lots of quiet. But our not-square-at-all-God was still moving. And we were putty in his hands!