Also known as: we need your prayers.
Well, since I last updated we have just been waiting. USCIS had supposedly sent our file to the US Embassy in ET, and we were waiting for them to start processing our case. We still hadn’t heard anything from them as of last week, so we and our agency called & emailed demanding an update since things were stuck.
We finally heard back yesterday, but it was just more bad news. USCIS had indeed sent our file, but due to a computer glitch, the Embassy never received it. So it feels like the last few weeks were just wasted time. I know God’s timing is perfect and all, and I do trust that, but I won’t lie – it was incredibly discouraging and frustrating. It felt like getting kicked while we were down. We have been waiting since October for this PAIR process and we still aren’t near the finish line. They did re-send the file, and we’re waiting for confirmation that the Embassy has actually received it. We requested they put a high priority on it, but we will see. We’re hoping to hear that they’ve screened it by the end of the week – but friends, we need your prayers. We need things to get moving again.
If we can’t get things going by next week, we’ve been encouraged to start contacting congressmen/senators to help. Yep. That’s where we’re at. Craziness. Never would have imagined we’d get to that point. But we’ll do it. Whatever it takes to get our girl home. Pray for her too – she’s known she has a family since September but still no one has come – you can imagine what she’s thinking & feeling. We were able to send a care package & some letters/pictures with two traveling families who are going next week, so we’re hoping that will cheer her up and let her know we’re coming (and that means we’ll also get new pictures – which always lifts our spirits!).
We do have one (pretty big) positive update: Ethiopia is NOT shutting down! Whew! The prime minister announced today that they have no intention of shutting down international adoption. They want to continue to work to reform the system & eliminate bad practices (which it certainly needs, and we obviously support). Praise the Lord. We are very thankful that things will not shut down and are praying they can put in place positive changes for reform. The only hard part for us is that because everyone was so worried about it shutting down, tons of cases were submitted for PAIR at once to make sure they were in the system – which overwhelmed the staff with cases and has contributed to slowing things down in processing. We’re hoping they are able to process all the cases quickly and get these kids home with their families… especially our sweet T! :)
So yes, things have been hard lately – bad news after bad news. In all honesty we are struggling and sad – but holding on and leaning on the Lord and each other. We all know we learn & grow the most during hard times–and it’s true right now. God is stripping us down & revealing himself to us – and I really believe he’s preparing us for what’s in store. I can only imagine that the day we finally see her in person (which neither of us can really think about without getting emotional!) will be that much sweeter. She is worth the wait.
Hopefully our next update will finally be a good one! Thanks so much for your prayers, encouragement, & support! Can’t say that enough.