Sunday morning I finally got to Skype Alethia with Zeke and Micaiah before church.
I’m not exactly sure what my expectations were, since this was the first time I got to see her face-to-face since the day Josh had to resubmit her to the babies home, but I certainly was not prepared for the few minutes that followed.
First of all, the connection was awful. It was more like still-shot photography with a few scattered words here and there, which was most likely the cause for her reaction, but when she finally walked up to the computer screen and a her big brown eyes and her bewildered blank stare at her mommy I feared the worst.
What if she had already forgotten me? Why isn’t she shouting “Mommy! Mommy!” with delight? Why isn’t she telling me how much she loved and missed me?
After we hung up Zeke came over, wrapped his arms around me and said, “Mommy, don’t cry! We’re gonna get her. Shabila is going to be able to come home soon.”
Zeke’s faith has been unshaken by the set-backs in our process. I could really learn a lot from this boy:)
By the time I got to church to meet Josh I was a mess (big surprise) (insert deepest apologies to all who tried to talk to me as I stared at the ground and kept walking…). He reassured me that it had to have been the terrible connection. I mean, I pretty much stared at the screen half the time too trying to figure it all out, but still, my heart sank.
I woke up last night in the middle of the night, mostly because I had to pee…again…but I believe the Lord has been waking me up the past few nights to have some solitude and quiet and to sit with Him and pray. Pray for other families who are “stuck” like us and just waiting for a verdict, or a ruling…or just stuck in the middle of the process trying to figure out where this Uganda program is going.
While I laid in bed I began praying over and over that God would allow us to be one of those 40% of cases who automatically get the green light to go get their baby. BTW, I have no idea where those statistics actually came from that were given to us, but hey, it gave me some numbers to work with:) I knew it was unlikely and seemed to be the easy answer to our hearts plea, but it is what I prayed…over and over and over.
This morning I made myself get up and make the beds and open the windows and prepare for the day, regardless of the tug on my heart to immediately go check my email in hopes of a message from Nairobi.
Josh was in the kitchen getting breakfast for the kids while Zeke prayed in confidence for safety for his daddy when he goes to get Shabila and bring her home, as if it were a done deal.
I walked into the office and opened up my email to see a letter from the Embassy in Kampala.
The subject title was
“Congratulations” and here is what it said:
“You couldn’t have had a better Christmas present than the approval to take Shabi home.
As I sat there staring at the screen I felt like this was a really sick joke! I couldn’t believe that someone would actually write this to us. But just to make sure, I logged out and signed Josh in. Sure enough he had the same email from the Embassy in Kampala. But he also had a document from USCIS in Nairobi.
By now I’m shouting for Josh to come in the office and figure all this out with me! This was all just too good to be true. We have had set-backs at EVERY step of the way since leaving for Uganda. Surely this wasn’t what we thought it was.
We went to open the email but it was encrypted and didn’t have any way of opening it. Those first few minutes were absolute torture as we tried everything we could to open the attached verdict. We called Josh’s super-smart brother to see if we could forward it to him and see if he could figure it out. A few minutes later he called saying that he opened it and that it was on its way back to our Inbox.
After refreshing the page 47 times while we waited, we received it…the approval notice for our I-600 and word that our case was on its way back to Kampala! No questions asked. No further investigation needed!
We cried. We jumped. We squealed. The kids went absolutely CRAZY!
Then we sat down and thanked God with everything we had for answering our prayers with a “YES” this time!
We have to wait to hear back from the Embassy with a VISA appointment before we can schedule our airline tickets to go pick up our daughter, but she is coming! She’s really coming home!
We know that we are very fortunate, as many families are getting opposite news from Nairobi, and we don’t take lightly that we are blessed to be able to bring our little girl home in the next week or two. Friends, know that we are continuing to pray for your families and your processes! We know our news is bitter sweet as you read it…
A big thank you to those of you who have continued to lift our family up! Our God is so good. He’s been so good to us all along. I still feel like the ripples will continue as He reveals all the ways the Lord has worked throughout our process.
The best is yet to come!