Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Okay, here's the update.

Well, girls, I hope I don't disappoint you with this blog update : )

Mike and I have been throwing around travel dates, airlines to travel with, and it's been so hard as to know when to leave. We had been praying we could take the girls with us and if we could this would all be so much easier. I'm tired of having my kids be on opposite sides of the globe. But we don't have enough $ and so just Mike & I are going back. We have some friends that are coming back to Maine and they will be staying with the girls the entire time we're gone.

I think most of you know how much I dislike flying. The strange thing is I can talk about going back, and I say all the time..."If I could bring the girls, I'd jump on a plane tomorrow and go over...." Well, talking is one thing, purchasing tickets is another. Last night after looking at several flying options we settled on our flight. That is why I'm feeling happy, excited and sick all at the same time. Girls, I'm just saying that once we made that final decision and I knew when I'd be flying my stomach started turning...for real...it makes me sick. My body just responds in a weird way and it's completely out of my control. It's the weirdest thing. I wish my body would stop behaving in such a manner...I mean good grief. Fear is an awful thing. Especially when we are fearing something that hasn't happened. This morning I decided it was time to dig out one of my books again. I took it with me last time we traveled to Nepal. This is one of the first entries....

When fear shapes our lives, safety becomes our god. When safety becomes our god, we worship the risk-free life. Can the safety-lover do anything great? Can the risk-averse accomplish noble deeds? for God? for others? No.

The fear-filled cannot love deeply. Love is risky.

They cannot give to the poor. Benevolence has no guarantee of return.

The fear-filled cannot dream wildly. What if their dreams sputter and fall from the sky?

The worship of safety emasculates greatness. No wonder Jesus wages such a war against fear.

So with that we are flying Qatar and are leaving on March 6 at 10:50PM from JFK and we'll have one stop in Doha. We'll arrive in Kathmandu on March 8 at 11:45AM. Our return flight....leaving KTM on March 28 and with a stop in Doha, Washington D.C., and will land in Boston on March 29 at 8:30PM. I'll start picturing this photo in my mind and listen to her words of wisdom : )....

Did a little research and wanted to share it with you.

Your chances of being involved in an aircraft accident are about 1 in 11 million. On the other hand, your chances of being killed in an automobile accident are 1 in 5000. Statistically, you are at far greater risk driving to the airport than getting on an airplane. However, the perception is that you have more control over your fate when you are in your car than as a passenger traveling on an airplane. Experience shows otherwise, considering that over 50,000 people are killed on the highways every year.”

So, Miss Tonya… I want you to know that I will be ESPECIALLY praying for you on your DRIVE TO THE AIRPORT… but once you’re seated ON the plane, my mind will be at ease, knowing that you’re safe and sound!!!!!!!!!!!!

Also, I wanted to share a mental picture with you that really helped me on my 1st flight…I just kept envisioning the ENORMITY of the ALMIGHTY GOD compared to our teeny little plane and even our WORLD (which He holds in the palm of His hand)…. And I pictured Him gently gliding our plane along its path (which HE IS! Because He alone is in control of all weather, all gravitational forces, all EVERYTHING!!!!!) and it calmed me to just imagine His mighty hand lifting us along through the air towards our child. (kinda like this picture I’m attaching)

I think one of my biggest reasons for being a bit unsettled, besides the flying and leaving the girls again is the fact that we still don't have his visa. So this is again another step of faith for us. Some probably are wondering why we would we go before we get it. Well.....because as soon as we do get it we want to be there so we can bring him home and ticket prices are high already. If we wait and purchase within a couple of days it will be LOTS more. There is a blog for all the Nepal pipeline families and it has lists of all the families and where they all are in the process. So far everyone who received an RFE (request for further evidence) and has submitted their rebuttal has gotten their child's visa approved. Well there is one family who didn't get approval, but didn't get denied either. USCIS needs some more info from them. The lawyer and investigator team we are using has won every case to date! We are just trusting and believing Trek's will be approved once it's reviewed.

Originally we thought our rebuttal would be sent the 21 of Feb. well, the investigator got his work done quickly and our first draft of our brief has been written and it's in the hands of our attorney now. We have been told they plan to mail it out by the end of this week or first of next week. Praying for this week! Every day counts!

Once our brief leaves her office it takes about a week to get to New Delhi and then possibly another day or two to be assigned to an adjudicator for review. There are a handful of officers and most cases are being approved at day 13,17 a couple at 23 days and one as early as 8 and one at 10 days. So it's really hard to know just when we'll hear. But based on that information we are thinking we may hear something by the week of March 7th. Wouldn't it be wild if we hear before we even leave?! That's what I'm praying for!

So you can imagine all the emotions running through my body.

We got another picture of Trek the other day with a message from Mary saying that he "LOVES being silly!" Here's the picture of him soaking in the sun :) His cheeks are looking chubby! Oh, I can't wait to squeeze him and kiss him!
Keep those prayers coming!

Oh yes, one more thing. We've had people wondering if we are collecting items to bring back to the orphanage or what our plans are. It's too hard to bring items with us. While we were over there last time we saw the huge need the children's home had. If anyone wants to help them with practical needs such as clothes, shoes, a sink for the home, etc. please use the Chip In on the top left side of the blog. We need all the money by Feb. 28 so we have time to get the cash to bring with us.


Monday, February 7, 2011

You girls are too funny!

Just so you can all sleep tonight, I can tell you we did not get his visa yet. So be praying about that still! Okay, I'll post tomorrow and get you all up to speed.

Love you....good night!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

May God hold you in His hand until We can be with you

I'm glad most of you are able to still follow our journey to Trek. It probably seems weird to go private just weeks before this part of the journey is over, but we felt it was the right thing to do until we have his visa in our hands. I usually don't get too many comments, so I was kind of surprised to see so many requests for invitations we got. I'm happy you're here :)

So last Saturday we had our benefit dinner and auction. We were just amazed, humbled and blessed by all those who came, baked yummies, and donated auction items and food! We could have never done it without all of you! So thank you!!!! We were so blessed to have Mike's cousin and wife do the emcee & auction for the evening. If you guys read this....you're amazing....we love you....thank you! Kathy, a sweet lady at church, offered to do all the cooking! She wanted to help take some stress off of me and thought by preparing the food and having it served would help.....it DID!!! Thank you! I talked with her on Sunday and she thinks we served about 280 people! We had families coming an hour after we started. We had to ask people to give up their tables after they finished eating to make more room for others. What a blessing. The Lord is so awesome in that He is in every detail. We had been given 60 pounds of spaghetti and had about 13 gallons of sauce and we used every last drop with none left over, but had enough to feed everyone! We ended up with about 1200 roll, bread sticks and enough salad to feed 400!!! Crazy! Okay, I know you all want to know what we raised...some of you already know but for those who don't....once all the money is in we will have raised........$6200.00!!!!! Praise God!!!!

Now you're probably wondering what does this mean for us and what's next. Good question. We had been praying for 10,000 which I know is a HUGE number, but the reason was so we could pay for the attorney, investigator, replace our travel money we needed to use to secure the A&I and bring our two girls with us to Nepal and wait there until Trek's visa is issued. Here's what we know now.....
1. The Lord abundantly blessed us with 6200.00 to work with!
2. Yesterday we mail the final pymt to our attorney. As far as we know she is PAID IN FULL!!!!!
3. We found out Sunday morning that our investigation is 100% complete and will be on our attorney's desk Tuesday morning (TODAY)!!! He had quoted us $3500.00 and he told us our investigation would only cost....$2600.00!!! Praise the Lord again!! I just have to say how blessed I am by this mans honesty and integrity. I'm just saying that he is a local Nepali and Nepal is one of the world poorest countries and he gave us a quote that we agreed upon and he rightfully could have charged us that amount, but is doing it for less. That impresses me. We wired his payment in full yesterday!!!
3. We have begun pricing tickets and with needing to pay for Trek's visa, medical appointment, our visas, Trek's plane ticket home we have just enough money almost to the penny for just two people to go. There are 4 of us. So know the conversations begin as to what two go. It's either Mike and I or Mike and Robin (our 16 year old daughter).

We had been praying all along to have the opportunity to go over as a family and serve in the orphanage until his visa was approved at which time we'd come home. We think the only way Robin can be away from school for 5 weeks or so would be for her to home school the remainder of the year. She not digging that at all! She wants to go, but does not remotely like the sounds of home schooling. Noelle wants to go, but if Robin stays home, would it be easier for her to stay with her. We have some wonderful friends who have offered to stay with our girls the entire time we would be gone whether it is two weeks or five weeks.

Unless the Lord provides in a way that we are not expecting it is looking like Mike and I will be the ones returning to Nepal, just not sure as to how soon to leave and what date our return date should be. One thing is final....we are no longer 'fund-raising' for this adoption anymore. Period. The Lord has been so gracious and faithful and we feel it's time to be done. If he lays it on someones heart to do something, that is between them and the Lord.

So please be praying with Mike & I as we seek the Lord in making our travel plans.

Trek is doing great! We got another update yesterday and he is doing wonderful. We can't wait to hold him in our arms again! We are so excited to have our family complete, all living together! What a ride this has been! We are thankful and excited to see another rebuttal approved yesterday! I really believe it won't be long now! Here's praying to a speedy rebuttal and approval!

KISSES IN THE WIND (The Waiting Child's Lullabye)

I hold you in my heart and touch you in my dreams.
You are here each day with me, at least that's how it seems.

I know you wonder where we are... what's taking us so long.
But remember child, I love you so and God will keep you strong.

Now go outside and feel the breeze and let it touch your skin...
Because tonight, just as always, I blow you kisses in the wind.

May God hold you in His hand until I can be with you.
I promise you, my darling, I'm doing all that I can do.

Very soon, you'll have a family for real, not just pretend.
But for tonight, just as always, I blow you kisses in the wind.

May God wrap you in His arms and hold you very tight.
And let the angels bring the kisses that I send to you each night.

--- © Pamela Durkota, written for Josh

I'm not a fan of Dixie Chicks, but I do like this song and it seems appropriate.

By Jill Work

A half a world away
Sometimes it seems we’re so far apart
But a half a world away
Is not too far for a journey of the heart

My little one, my bundle of joy
I’m waiting for you
My precious son, my baby boy
I know you’re waiting too

A half a world away
A child waits for a family of his own
While a half a world away
A family waits to come bring him home

My little one, my bundle of joy
I’m whispering a prayer
My precious son, my baby boy
I hope to soon be there

I hope that we
will no longer be
a half a world away.

I think he likes ice cream :)

Brain Freeze