Y’all….my baby girl is coming home!
I’m not sure where I left off with our updates, but the short of it is we received a copy of her passport on January 28. Our completed paperwork was submitted to USCIS for final I-600 approval on February 5 and we were told approval had been granted on March 4. On March 5, we received notice of our Visa appointment, scheduled for March 20. We will bring our girl home on March 29 – what a Good Friday it will be!
And are we excited? Yes! To have this season of waiting come to a close, to have her here, bonding and connecting and growing with us, to have her meet all her sisters and aunts and uncles and cousins and all our wonderful friends….yes, I am beyond ecstatic for this transition.
But I am also absolutely terrified. Terrified that this could go horribly wrong as we have known some adoptions to do. Terrified for the toll this could take on our marriage or our other girls. Terrified of sleepless nights (I’m not a nice nighttime mama). Terrified of how we will communicate until she learns English and how I will care for her hair (I’m not much of a hair mama either) and what kind of a history will she bring with her and what will it mean for all of us. I’m walking through each day, my heart and mind half paralyzed.
But as I lay in bed last night, tears rolling down, God reminded me…..If He has called us, He has also equipped us. And that truth rolls around this morning, mobilizing frozen neurons and softening hard places in my heart, freeing it all up to move again. I’m still afraid, but walking in truth today.
So what will it look like when she comes home? Honestly, we have absolutely no idea. 🙂 We have read books and blogs and talked to others, but we have never done this before, so we are planning loosely and trusting the Lord to lead us. For those that are curious, here is what we know…
We will arrive in Kansas City on Friday night, March 29. Details are available and friends and family are welcome to come welcome us home. It will be late and we will be fresh off a looong day of travel and we have no expectations of folks being there, but this is a special time and we will welcome anyone who wants to celebrate with us.
There will be a party on Saturday, March 30. Details are still up in the air on this and we know the wisdom of this is questionable, but have talked and prayed about it and feel this is what we want to do. Yes, Amania will most likely be confused and overwhelmed. She’s going to be confused and overwhelmed anyway, and when we look back with her, we want her to remember and see in pictures all the people that rejoiced with us for her home coming. And we know there are many people who have met our Haiti girl and are eager to see her with her new family and there are countless others who have prayed with us and supported us in myriad ways through this process who want to meet her as well. And we are proud new parents who want to celebrate the arrival of our newest daughter. So we will gather and celebrate and rejoice. Details are still pending but will be made available via Facebook once we have them nailed down.
There will be a time of adjustment. And this is where we fly blind. I am thankful to the Lord that His timing is perfect (as always). He is bringing her home in March, as I jokingly predicted to a friend months ago. But He is gracious enough to let it be the end of March, after all of the crazy has passed, and we can settle into April and just. slow. down. We have read about “cocooning” and some say to do it for one month for every year the child has lived outside your home. That’s six months and all spring and summer and a recipe for crazy around here. So we will take it one day or one week at a time and, again, trust the Lord to show us when we are all ready for more. But we ask for grace and patience as we try to bond with Amania and help her fully bond with us. We may be more protective of her and our relationship with her than we have ever been with our other girls. She has no concept of what a forever family is, having been abandoned at an orphanage by her biological parents at age 3; her only “truth” right now is that Mommy and Daddy will leave you and any one of 60 other “big people” can care for you. We will have to teach her to trust and teach her whom she can trust and that has to start with us, her parents. And in real world terms that means we will need to be the ones to get her food and comfort her and discipline her until her ability to trust us is more concrete. Other than at the airport and the party, we may limit how much we allow others to hold her for a while and we will most likely limit our social interactions after those first couple of days to allow her a time to begin to understand who her family is.
We will need LOTS of prayer. And grace and patience as we find our way through this. As this season of waiting finally comes to a close, we know full well we are only beginning the real adventure with Amania. We have no idea what lies ahead, what kind of story she brings with her, what she will add to our family in love, laughter, or tears. As with all our children, the future is completely unknown, but our ignorance is more keenly felt right now. We covet the prayers of our friends and family as we go through this time of transition. We appreciate thoughtful questions as we go through this process, but be prepared for honest answers.
We are, of course, looking forward with great anticipation to her arrival. We can’t wait to have her here in our home, her home, to watch her play with her sisters, make new friends, learn our language as we learn more about her. But we also know this will be a time of major adjustments, for all of us. And we ask for grace as we find our way through this.
It’s hard to believe that in just fifteen days we will (Lord willing) be on the other side of all of this, my dark-skinned daughter safe in my arms, our family all under one roof. It’s glorious and mysterious (and terrifying) to think about. But God is good and He who has called us has also equipped us and He will walk by our side each and every day and see us through.
For His Glory ~