A few weeks prior to this day we had received a translation of a letter that Sunny had a friend write for us. I had encouraged her to write a letter for me with her own thoughts...to be open with me and say what she wants to say. She can't read or write so she had her friend write it. It said,
Heart-wrenching, real words. A love letter from an orphan longing for home. Before you think bad of Billy for not visiting her more, let me explain. Two summers ago he traveled to Haiti to meet her. Billy was not what Sunny was expecting even though she had seen pictures of him. She was a tiny six year old. He was a giant, 6'3" bald headed man with a goatee. She was slightly terrified. He made some progress with her that week and it ended well, but we both decided from that point on it might be best if I was the one to visit her. Besides - I wanted to see her. You couldn't hold this mama back! We had no idea then how long the journey would be. And we had no idea - NO IDEA - she was wondering why he hadn't come back....crying for him. Daughters love their fathers. So she longs for him. Why are we so surprised!?
That letter changed things. For one, Billy is headed to Haiti on July 2-6 to see her. She has been given a message that he is coming and she is very excited! For me, her letter sent me into a deeper longing to see her come home....
Back to Bible Study. I am crying so hard I have to leave the room. I'm jealous that everyone has tapped into this joy so easily. I'm mad that I am so single-minded that I can't pull out of the trench of sadness to express the gratitude I know I have inside of me. I have to leave the room to get my composure.
I go back to worship and still can't really keep it together. I need to go. I pick up Gracie from childcare and she is mad at me for picking her up before she can have snack time. She cries and pitches a fit in the car as I calmly try to tell her I'm sorry...through my own tears. Jesus says, "This is what you are doing to me. Throwing a fit because you're not getting what you want when you want it...holding my love at a distance as you whine." Ouch.
We pick Libby up from art camp and head home to make lunch. As I'm making sandwiches I ask the girls to tell me how God has been good to them. I tell them Mommy needs to have a grateful, joyful heart and I need reminders. Libby answers first. "God's been good to me because he made me be born." Gracie answers second. "God's been so great to me, he fed me." Right then the Spirit speaks to my heart saying, "Both of your daughters just referred to the time when they were orphans as they spoke of my goodness. I gave Libby life...which is a big deal in China where the lives of baby girls are not often valued. I fed Gracie....which is a big deal in Ethiopia where many die of starvation. She almost died, you remember. These 2 girls didn't refer to their lives with you when asked about my goodness...not that their lives with you are not good. Even though they were only orphans for a short time until the ages of 10 months and 4.5 months...what they know best about my goodness comes from that time before you came along. Do you not think that Sunny will be able to say the same? She has had me as her only Father for 8.5 years. She will look back on these days and remember my goodness. Now be sure I am a Father to the fatherless and be grateful. Have joy. I am good to Sunny."
.....Speechless. Just tears rolling down my face as deep speaks to deep. Let me not forget his goodness. Let me be like one who says, "But as for me, I will hope continually. And will praise You yet more and more."
The latest is this.
We are in the final Haitian office where the Ministry of Interior (MOI) and Immigrations shares a building. We have been there for 8 weeks. MOI is asking for 5 IDs (long story). The person in charge of obtaining these IDs has been trying for over a week. We need those IDs to move on to next step. This is the last correction needed before MOI can give Immigration permission to print Sunny's passport! Once we have that passport our papers go to the US Embassy and then we are in the final stages....which takes approximately 2 months (give or take a little). We are ever so close, but much prayer is needed. Pray for Billy's trip to Haiti. Pray for Sunny to receive him well with hugs as he dotes on her with dresses and food! And pray that his prayerful, worshipful presence there makes for a turnaround and our process begins to move quickly to its end. I dream of the day I will hold Sunny's hand as we enter our first plane to go home...a day in which I will have NO doubt in God's powerful goodness!