(its another long one, so bare with us)
Our last day in Haiti had officially come and gone. It was Saturday and we were on the plane headed home.
My trip humbled me. It broke my heart. It opened my eyes. It blessed me. It moved me. It changed me. But, most importantly, as I sat on the plane from Port-au-Prince to Miami, reading the Word and spending some quality time with the Lord, I knew my trip had started a pursuit for Heather and I! It didn't all make sense and I had my doubts, but I knew we were to pursue. So, thats what we did.
On July 9th, after being home a few days and filling Heather in on the whole situation, we began to fast and pray. We committed to fast and pray for one month. From July 9th to August 9th. I would fast from coffee.(which those who know me, know that this is a biggie) And Heather would fast from Diet Coke. (those who know her, know that is a biggie)
FYI Disclaimer: We are fully aware that to some a fast in this sense may seem lame. "Yall really gave up a lot, ha, NOT." We are also fully aware that some reading this may get the impression that we are trying to boast about how "spiritual" we are. "NOT", as well.
The truth is, we see fasting as a tool used throughout scripture to better enable God's people to hear and see Him more clearly. By the grace of God, we are His. Therefore, this was what we felt led to fast from. This was how WE were faithful to pursue. Giving these things up led US to more prayer and more pursuit of His will regarding the issue. And He was faithful!
During our time of fasting and prayer, we discovered the reality of how hard it is to adopt from Haiti. We uncovered minimal contacts of people adopting from Haiti. We were steadfast in our commitment, but truly felt like it just may not be God's will. To be precise, this is the actual excerpt from the government issued information website on adoptions around the country...
AGE REQUIREMENTS: Under Haitian law, the prospective adoptive parent must be 35 or older. For married couples, one prospective adoptive parent may be under age 35, provided the couple has been married for ten years and has no biological children. The adoptive parent must be at least 19 years older than the child they intend to adopt.
Supposed to be married 10 years, at this time we had been married 4 months. Supposed to be 35, we are both 9 years away from that wise age. Its early August and our "pursuit" is looking more and more like its "pur-not gonna happen!"
Sunday August 7th my prayer went something like this, "Lord we have been fasting and pursuing and praying and we still don't feel like we have an answer. Jesus, either way, please just supernaturally show us if we are to continue to pursue the adoption or not." Simple, non emotional prayer.
On Monday, August 8th I received a phone call from my parents. They had just gotten out of a meeting with an investor that they do business with in Birmingham. Haiti had come up. As I listened to my mom tell me about the connection with Haiti that was made through their investor friend, I also couldn't help but hear the Lord speaking loud and clear. It was evident through what she told me that we were indeed to continue to pursue!
We left this sentence out when I shared with you the government excerpt above, concerning Haiti adoption....
"These restrictions can be waived with permission from the President of Haiti."
The connection that was made through my parents investor friend was a connection to the President of Haiti! The investor's boss that my parents met with knows the President of Haiti personally!
So, WOW, do we serve an awesome God or what!? We spent August 9th(the last day of our fast) writing an email to the "friend of the president" of this investment company that may potentially end up helping us make the adoption happen.
To add to the faithfulness of the Lord spoken above, while I was in Haiti the Lord kept impressing upon my heart to read the book of Esther. Come to find out, Rowens haitian name Mardochee is a derivative from Mordecai. Mordecai was the adoptive father of Esther. So, how does all of this relate!!??
Well in the book of Esther, their is a scene in which Esther must take a step of faith. She must put herself in deaths scope and step into the King's court to plead her case. Here is what could potentially happen....
“All the king’s officials and the people of the royal provinces know that for any man or woman who approaches the king in the inner court without being summoned the king has but one law: that they be put to death unless the king extends the gold scepter to them and spares their lives." Esther 4:11
And here is what happened to Esther...
"On the third day Esther put on her royal robes and stood in the inner court of the palace, in front of the king’s hall. The king was sitting on his royal throne in the hall, facing the entrance.2 When he saw Queen Esther standing in the court, he was pleased with her and held out to her the gold scepter that was in his hand. So Esther approached and touched the tip of the scepter." Esther 5:1-2
Long story short, we feel making this contact with the friend of the president was the Lord's way of extending the gold scepter to us. Our since of feeling drawn to the book of Esther mixed with the contents of the story and what happened on the day after we prayed for clarity to be made....Was undoubtedly the Lord saying to us, PURSUE!!!! So we did......
And so we continue.....
In the days that followed......
- we reconnected with Pastor Francky who was more than willing to assist us. He has been a God send through this whole process. He has communicated with Rowen's caregiver and passed all information along promptly
- we made contact with Children of Hope in Fairhope, Alabama who will do our home study and help us prepare our dossier (for those who are not familiar with that term, because we weren't, it is a fancy word for A LOT of paper work).
- found out a group from Montgomery were flying down to Haiti October 6-10, so we took a leap of faith and booked 2 tickets to travel with this group
- the rest of the month was spent organizing our trip and spending more time researching
As we mention in Part One, Rowen's current caregiver is pregnant and is due at the end of October. Due to these circumstances, we felt it was imperative to find somewhere for him to go until our adoption process was complete. She mentioned to me this Summer that she would not be able to take care of him when her baby arrived.
A few weeks ago, Heather received a text from a great friend in our church informing us of a couple that she heard about that was adopting from Haiti. She gave us their information and we quickly made contact with them. They are from Cullman, Alabama and are adopting twin boys. Their twin boys are currently in a Children's Home started and ran by two American missionaries. The Children's Home takes care of children who are in the process of being adoptive. Therefore, these missionaries, along with volunteers, work with the children on their English, teach Bible Lessons, and work on their learning skills according to their age.
We obviously immediately got a hold of the couple over the Children's Home to see if they would be willing to take care of Rowen. And once again, because of the faithfulness of God, they had an opening and were more than willing to take care of our baby boy until we are able to bring him home.
So......as most of you know, we begin our journey to Haiti at a whoppin' 2AM in the morning. Tomorrow we will pick up Rowen from his current caregiver and Sunday night and Monday we will have the privilege of moving him into the Children's Home.
We stand in awe of God's hand in this process. Things haven't been easy, but God is putting the pieces of the puzzle together and we give Him ALL the glory. HE is and has been the one making things happen.
"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen."
Sorry for the length......this should conclude our novels. Get ready for LOTS of pics of the Row-man!!!!