Monday, April 9, 2007

Another bump....And a Hopeful Prayer Request

All weekend long, I’ve been fighting feeling down in the dumps. I have felt a weight and a sorrow that I kept trying to brush off. Then, last night I got the phone call that brought the dread to reality.

Most of you remember that when we returned home from our amazing visit trip in February, we found out shocking news that our facilitator had been arrested for harboring a child illegally in the US and in her home. Things were rough before, but her actions and arrest have created quite a storm that has left most of us just hanging on for dear life. Even those that did not have her as a facilitator are feeling the effects.

At this point, the US Embassy has two jobs, to issue Pre-Approvals (remember we waited forever for Austins!!) and to grant pink slips or visa appointments (this is when you pick-up your child’s new passport, etc and they officially become yours!! You get to board a plane home as soon as you have this appointment).

Okay, so we know that the US Embassy is “heavily scrutinizing” cases to make sure they are legit now. Any case associated with our lovely facilitator is getting “especially heavily scrutinized.” Believe it or not, that is actually a relief to most of us. I’m sure you all can relate, nobody would want a child under any circumstances that are not totally legit and honorable. While we never had reason to believe there were any wrongdoings in our case, we were very glad our file was being gone over with a fine tooth comb. In addition, we can only hope that our efficient government system has put several additional employees in place to handle all of this extra “heavily scrutinizing” of cases. ;-)

Alright, so, we’ve finally made it through Pre-Approval (back in early March). Right now we are in PGN (Guatemala side) and once we get out of PGN, we have to go back to the US Embassy for our Pink appointment.

So, we were anticipating another delay getting Pink. Yes, logic would say, we were “heavily scrutinized” during our Pre-Approval phase, but even if we do not get “heavily scrutinized” again, there is still a major back-up at the Embassy right now.

But here’s what my phone call last night informed me – since this whole “scandal” we have not seen a case associated with our facilitator get a Pink/visa appointment. Meaning since Feb 9, the US Embassy has not issued a Pink/Visa appointment for any parents to come get their child and bring them home – if their case had our facilitator. We are all anxiously awaiting to see that first case get a pink appointment, until then we are left to wonder…..

In the meantime, I wait hourly to get my update from Guatemala to see if we have made it through the first stages of PGN. I did not hear today, as I had hoped. So, we’ll see what tomorrow brings!

In my best case scenario, we’ll continue to progress quickly through PGN over the next few weeks and by the time we are out of PGN, voile! The US Embassy will have begun to process our facilitator’s cases again and we will be spared the extra wait because we already went through the “extra scrutinizing” when we waited more than 10 weeks to get our Pre-Approval

So tonight, I offer up the following prayer:

Dear God, I never knew this journey would be so hard. You are so generous and giving and you have carried us for so long now.

Tonight, I pray for all of the souls who are hurting right now, for those trying so desperately to bring their children home, even when they are being told to give up hope. God, I ask that you also be with our facilitator. We are not here to judge, please be with her and comfort her for our sake. Please replace our anger and hurt and desperation with more love, with greater faith, and with an endless supply of hope.

Again, we ask that you please place your hand across the hearts of the many individuals involved with our files. Tonight, God, let Your Name be spoken more and be spoken louder, all in the name of Goodness and for the sake of our children.

We glorify You, God, for doing that which we are unable to do without You – for delivering our children home safely into our waiting arms.