As of right now, our daughters have been legally ours, according to Congolese law, for 14 months. Most of you know, the Congolese government issued a suspension of all Exit Letters for orphans seeking to leave the Congo on September 25, 2013; one day after our daughters received their US Visas. The suspension is said to last up to one year while DRC officials investigate and reevaluate their adoption procedures and practices. Ultimately, their goal is to best ensure safety and well being for their country’s children; a noble and worthy goal.
Recently, we received an email from our agency director. She is just returning from the Congo where she spent two weeks with our children. Her update was heartbreaking. Our children have grown weary, they want to come home, and they long for us to visit them. Their cry for help is almost more than we can bear. These are our daughters. They aren’t just three beautiful children in a photograph. I’ve kissed their faces, wiped away their tears, and sung them to sleep. Sometimes I wonder if this excruciating wait would’ve been easier on them if they had not yet met me; if “Mommy and Daddy” were just an idea in their heads and we were still just two faces in a photograph that sent them clothes and gifts. We pray that our week together last summer has continued to give them hope as they wait. We pray every day that God would fill them with joy and peace that passes their understanding. And of course, we pray for their protection.
This adoption has brought us to the very end of ourselves. We have lived on the mountain tops as God has continued to provide for our every need over the past 18 months; opening impossible doors and moving immovable mountains to get our girls home. We have also experienced the depths of dark valleys as our plans crumbled and we are once again face to face with God’s sovereign hand as we wait for His next move. He is a gracious and merciful God. Surely He has not brought us this far to leave us where we stand. Our finite minds have gone down every road of possibility. If God said go we would sell everything we have and move to the Congo to be together as a family. If we have to wait another year, two years, three years; our daughters are worth every tear, every sleepless night, every sacrifice we could possibly make to bring them home. Right now we are empty. We have exhausted every resource, we are working extra jobs, and we are bringing our petitions daily before our Father who owns the cattle on a thousand hills.
We cannot explain why, after nearly seven years of infertility, the Lord chose to bless us with a baby girl during this difficult time in our lives. This new life has surely been a blessed distraction and a reminder of the hope that is within us. Annie Rose will arrive sometime around the first of August. According to my doctor, I have 4-6 weeks left to safely travel to Africa. We are praying earnestly and asking for any help available to allow us to go visit our girls. Obviously it is our prayer that this would be the last “visit” before their homecoming, but that of course is unknown. What we do know is this: we would never ever consider going this long without seeing our biological children so why should our daughters be any different? We are praying that the Lord will provide what we need to go see them next month. The last thing we want to do is ask for more help, but this is not about us so until the Lord closes the door we will continue to pray and hope.
If you or anyone you know may be able to help us get to our daughters, will you please contact us? Would you prayerfully consider bringing our need before your church or Sunday school class? We would be happy to share our story (long as it may be) with anyone wanting to listen. Any donations made out to our church will be tax deductible. Our remaining needs, as we can currently foresee are below:
May fees for all three girls (orphanage, food, security, medical): $1500
June fees for all three girls (orphanage, food, security, medical): $1500
July fees for all three girls (orphanage, food, security, medical): $1500
August fees for all three girls (orphanage, food, security, medical): $1500
September fees for all three girls (orphanage, food, security, medical) $1500
One week trip for Josh and Audrey to visit their daughters: $5,000
Josh’s return trip to DRC to bring the girls home: $10,000
Total remaining needs: $22,500
Fees and expenses paid in full up to this point: ($76,883.32) TO GOD BE THE GLORY FOR GREAT THINGS HE HAS DONE!!!