A friend, Andrea, has been faithfully praying with us about the children and for months has been praying that they would make it home by Thanksgiving. As she told me she was still praying for this, I laughed and thought it is in no way possible, but God can do anything. Andrea organized a meeting of our friends to pray for every step of the process and for all of us as we make this transition. This time was such an encouragement and I believe that God put that on Andrea's heart because He was ready to move. They won't be here by Thanksgiving, BUT it does seem that they could be legally ours by Thanksgiving!! Thank you Andrea for pulling this prayer time together.
Our case should be heard in court next week and it is expected that we should receive the final judgment by then as well. The judge said his docket is really full Monday through Wednesday so we are hoping and praying that he can still get our hearing in this week! Once the judgment is received, we will begin our second and final 30 day waiting period. Once the adoption certificate is signed after these 30 days, they will legally be our children. Hetzlers! Then we will still have to wade through the immigration process, which could take another 2-3 months. Then we can finally travel to get them.
The children received our package yesterday! We have pictures of their enormous smiles as they were handed their packages. We have seen some sweet smiles from them both but we saw Nicodemu's biggest smiles today! We even noticed that they have a matching dimple under their left eye when they are smiling really big. They tried on their new clothes and were very happy to be wearing them it seemed. Nicodemu and Anouarite are both smaller than Annalise, based on the size clothes we sent. Though Nicodemu especially is small for his age this is very understandable considering the years of malnutrition during their formative childhood years. They are now eating well and look much stronger and bright eyed. Chuck was joking with me that he just knows as soon as they get here I'm going to be pumping them with protein until I give them gout. You better believe it! We also sent some small toys, some snacks (protein packed Cliff bars, Lara bars, and almonds of course), some English/Swahili children's books, pictures drawn by Nathanael and Annalise, bead bracelets spelling their names, and even got to see pictures today of them looking at pictures of us in a family photo album! Gilbert reported that they said in Swahili of course, "we can't wait to live with our parents". My parents are in town and got to join in on all the good news and tell Gilbert to tell them hello from their Mimi and Daddy G too.
|Pastor Gilbert, on his way in to visit the kids and deliver our package|
As if that's not enough kindness from the Lord, a dear friend of ours and recent graduate of Princeton, Trent, just took a job in Musanze, Rwanda. We prayed for him and commissioned him to Africa just a few weeks ago right here in our living room. He is fluent in Swahili, and is the one who gave us his Swahili textbooks. He is now living about an hour away from Goma (REALLY?!) He shared with us that he had a dream that we came to visit him. Though he has been living in Africa for less than a month, he has already met up with Gilbert in Rwanda (Gilbert is the one who takes food in to the orphanage every two weeks and the one who told Nicodemu and Anouarite about their adoption, read them a letter from us, delivered our package, got them an English tutor, and takes new pictures of them every time he goes). Trent is working to get his travel visa to travel into the Congo and visit the kids himself! He plans to make videos AND we will call him while he is there and talk with the kids for the first time while Trent translates!!! What an unlikely and extravagant gift from our Heavenly Father!
I am sure there is more, as so many good things have piled up. Once the children y are legally ours, we can post all their pictures here. There is no denying that they are brother and sister. They look so much alike! We hope they will love us as much as we love them. From what God has unfolded so far, we believe He wouldn't have it any other way. This must be His plan and when His hand is in something, you better reach out and grab on. He remains the God who loves to give good gifts to His children. Feels like Christmas in October around here.