We received confirmation today that our Article 5 was indeed picked up on Friday Oct 21st. Our agency is telling us that it may be 3-4 wks before travel approval. We would travel approximately 2 wks after that under normal circumstances; however, 6 weeks from now puts us traveling right before or if not during Christmas. This means: 1) We have a potential "nightmare" on our hands, and/ or 2) that we have some not so fun choices to make. We don't particularly (well at least I don't) relish the idea of being away from our 5 other children(Garrett is going with us) on Christmas; however, we don't want to have to wait even longer to get our baby home either. We want him home with his family for Christmas! I am trying not to "whine" (really I am) because I know, from past experience, that this wait is not in my control and that God's timing is always perfect. Knowing that fact doesn't make the wait any easier!
Where does the Nightmare come in?...well, if we were to choose to travel during Christmas... (getting goosebumps here) ... We wouldn't just have travel plans to deal with, but preparing a Christmas for our other kiddos would be added to travel preparations and "toddler-fying" the house. Then there is the "logistics" of it all...arrangements for child care become more difficult because of everyone's family Christmas (it is a bit difficult to ask friends to add 6 additional kiddos to their holiday/ family celebrations)... We have terrific friends and family who would willingly and lovingly care for them, but I hate to impose on anyone. ... and, there is the children to think about(they need comfort, security and stability while mom and dad are gone... it becomes harder to ask people to care for your children in their familiar surroundings when it is a holiday.)
...oh, and did I forget to mention that since we are serving as the interim Children's ministers at our church, it would be kind of a good idea for us to be around for the Christmas program etc... As I type this, something occurs to me. Is there really a need for me to worry or be anxious? After all Christmas isn't about programs, parties, and presents, it is about Jesus...his birth, his death, his resurrection. It strikes a little chord in my heart. I know that it will all work out to God's glory.
SO... I am choosing to not get anxious, but instead I am going to pray. I am going to pray that God moves that paperwork ever so quickly, and that he sends our TA within the next two weeks. I am praying that we can travel at or around Thanksgiving (not fun!... missing this day with the kiddos, but it beats missing Christmas with them). I am praying for this and that we can all be together, with our Toby, celebrating Jesus' birth. I know that NOTHING is IMPOSSIBLE for our God! Praising Him for all that he has done as we have answered HIS CALL to adopt this precious treasure!
Will you join us in prayer over the next two weeks, please?
Some specific prayer request would be:
1) that we get our TA no later than Nov. 4th
2) that we can be traveling to China within two weeks of that date
3) that Toby is made ready, that God will prepare his heart for a loving family
4) for all the changes and transitions that must occur for Toby to join his forever family
5) for our kiddos left at home and for their caregivers
6) for safe and uneventful travels; for fair weather as we will be entering the winter season around here; thus, it will make travel more difficult
7) for the remaining finances needed for the orphanage donation