I am struggling with how to put into words what all happened this last week. In part because we were going so non-stop and had, on an average of two hours of interrupted and fitful sleep each night.
I know, once again, how much Heavenly Father wants us to adopt these two wonderful children. I also know, unfortunately, how much the adversary would like to prevent it. I felt this battle of good and evil so strongly this last week that if someone had just told me our story, and I hadn't experienced it myself, I truly wouldn't believe it and would chalk it up as complete over exaggeration.
Each and every day we had moments of excitement and panic that we were going to be able to go and then moments of excitement and panic that we weren't going to be able to go. The emotions were flying!
We were able to raise nearly all of the money in order to travel but we didn't raise enough funds for the plane tickets. Then, we thought we could take a loan for the plane tickets and spent time working on that avenue. After that, we realized that we had to have all of the cash in clean unmarked bills (due to the country's worry about counterfeit) and since we were transferring money from different accounts the actual funds weren't there to pull from until after our plane would leave.
It finally came down to the last few moments on Thursday when we were given a deadline of one hour to complete the rest of the tasks we needed to do. One of the last pieces of the puzzle was to rent an apartment and have the full address and rental agreement finalized. The only problem was that it was later evening in the twin's country and we couldn't get a hold of anyone.....if we only could have had one more day, we could have made it work.
So, with sadness mixed with small amounts of relief, we finally decided that it was best to wait until February. Maybe God is teaching us patience. Maybe He is ensuring that we are truly ready and prepared to bond with them. Maybe we won't ever know exactly the reason or purpose for the wait.
What I do know is that we did see miracles happen and we did see mountains moved! We had family, friends, and even strangers come to help our beautiful children finally get a family for Christmas. And, I don't feel like we failed in that endeavor at all. There is more detailed information here that I would love to share with all of you but I feel safer in saying that because of all of our and all of your efforts....and the fact that we were supposed to be traveling soon.....the twins were told that they have a mommy and a daddy and that they were coming for them!!!!!
So, you see, they are getting a family for Christmas now, because we can now send pictures and our love to them!!! Our one-sided relationship is over, and now they have a chance to get to know us through pictures, letters, and gifts until we are finally able to wrap our arms around them and bring them home!
None of this would have happened if we hadn't had the faith to go ahead and do everything we could to make it work and if all of you hadn't done so very much to help us have the hope and the encouragement to persevere and keep going forward....
We are incredibly thankful for what should be one of the best and most meaningful Christmas holidays that we have ever had. Certainly not the most materialistic by any means, but where we have finally begun to truly understand the true meaning of the birth, life, and teachings of Jesus.
In closing, let me share with you just a tiny sampling of the many miracles and blessings that we have seen:
- Our church family has surrounded us with a type of love and protection that I have never felt or experienced before. They are also doing the 12 days of Christmas for us which entails a secret delivery each night for 12 days in December. We have received the most amazing and wonderful goodies and donations.
- One of the donations that came in was by the sweetest little girl in our church congregation that is 9 years old. She had been saving money for Christmas presents and felt the promptings of the spirit to offer this money to our twins so that they could also have a family like she has. You see, she is also adopted and she has an amazing and loving family that she knows to appreciate. I was moved to tears by her sacrifice and the love that she extended towards our family. Do you think I will tell the twins about this gift of the heart...you bet!
- I heard from so many people who wanted to know how they could help and what they could do! We had many people who selflessly and freely gave their hard earned funds to help and many who offered advice and support.
- While applying for a credit card to help with the plane tickets, the bank teller was unsure if we could do anything quickly enough for us to travel on Saturday. While she stepped away from her desk, I bowed my head in sincere and fervent prayer. When she came back, she worked a bit more on the application and began to talk about how we would not find out for a minimum of 2-3 days, when she paused and stared at the screen for a minute. Then she said under her breath, "that's weird!" and looked up at me with a surprised smile and said that it was considered an instant approval and was for the exact "ideal" amount that I had just mentioned.
- Project Hopeful was additionally amazing and reached out for help on our behalf and raised over $600 to apply to our plane tickets!!! People that live nearly as far away as our twins donated to help us! They are also helping us with our upcoming local fundraiser at John's Incredible Pizza co. on 12/9(more details to follow!)
- Lastly, the day that we officially found out that we could not go, we received beautiful gifts to bring to the twins and donations from my sister and we had an anonymous very large donation that came in the mail in a cashier's check. It lifted us and encouraged us on a day that was very difficult. I hope our anonymous donor reads our blog and can hear how appreciative we are for their sacrifice and kindness!!!!