Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Finding peace in the midst of chaos

Our 4 year old son, Isaac was asked to draw a picture to express his thoughts towards everything that took place the night we were detained. Sol and I remember watching how quickly his careful and detailed drawing suddenly became crazy red scribbles all over the paper.
He tried to make sense of everything...but it was all chaos to him.

I never fail to compliment my children's artwork, but this time I had nothing to say.  My heart sank as I felt the frustration and confusion that our 4 year old son and the rest of our children were trying so hard to define.

As the days passed by and our children began to display more anger and insecurities, it became harder to maintain the positive outlook and hold on to the peace that God had given us.
It was heart breaking enough to say our good-byes and squeeze all the love we could into our 4 adopted children let alone leave them to deal with all the abuse and pain they had experienced.  We were left to believe that God would bring healing and comfort to each one during our time apart.

18 hours later when our plane finally landed at the LAX airport, Ethan and Isaac finally breathed a sigh of relief.  All they could think of was their buddies, legoes and the security of being in their own home.  We welcomed ourselves home, stepped off the airplane and trekked down to the baggage claim.  Unfortunately, the US Immigration stopped us and we were taken to a small seated area to wait.  We were EXHAUSTED and not ready to be questioned again.

Even though there wasn't a problem with our passports, Sol was bullied and mistreated by a few of the immigration officers. Halfway through, I closed my eyes as it hurt too much to watch my husband, a US citizen himself, be ill treated by US immigration officers.  Once again, we were ALL traumatized and fearful of what they were going to do with us.  Ethan and Isaac were shaking with fear and worried that their parents would be taken away... again.  Sol felt betrayed.  Betrayed by our own people that we thought would be the ones to welcome us home.  I felt helpless because this time I couldn't fight for my husband.  Instead, I had to sit there quietly at the mercy of the other officers. We tried to explain to them that the Ghana Police never placed any charges on us and the media had it all wrong...we were never arrested at the airport in Accra. 

With a couple cuts and bruises on Sol's leg, 2 traumatized children and all of our luggage, we were finally released to go. I don't know how we made it home... but we did... and when we finally entered into our home, we were warmly welcomed with flowers and a welcome home banner from friends and family.  There was nothing more comforting and assuring than to know how much we were loved and supported. 
In that moment... I was reminded again that God's presence had not left us.
He was still there.
Nothing made sense that night....I put my head to my pillow and pleaded with God to shower His healing on our family and bring an end to this chaos. 
We had experienced enough.

The next morning, God gave me comfort through Psalm 27 and reminded me that He is the One who is fighting this battle for us. 
I'll admit, finding peace and remaining in His peace is very difficult these days...
but every morning we wake up, God never fails to show up and remind us that He is still in control and we are on the right path. 

Psalm 27 
"The Lord is my light and my salvation
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?
When the wicked advance against me
to devour me,
it is my enemies and my foes
who will stumble and fall. 
Though an army besiege me,
my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me,
even then I will be confident.
One thing I ask from the Lord,
this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the Lord
all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the Lord
and to seek him in his temple.
 For in the day of trouble
he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his sacred tent
and set me high upon a rock. 

 I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the Lord
in the land of the living. 
Wait for the Lord;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the Lord."

Saturday, July 7, 2012

An Update

It still amazes me how quickly news can spread like wildfire. It's been humbling to experience so much love and support from thousands of people worldwide.
A million thank you's to all of you!!

I have been hesitant to post an update due to the fact that there isn't much of one. But since we have been receiving comments from a rumor that was posted on another blog stating that "All 8 of us are home," I thought I should clarify that "All 8 of us are NOT home!"
We are still waiting for our investigation/I-600 and visas to be processed.

PLEASE continue to pray!!!

For Ghana adoptions, it is normal procedure to take 2 trips. The US embassy is allowed up to 60+ days from the date of 1-600 filing to process visas. We filed on June 20th. Due to our circumstances, we are thankful that our agency has requested that our children's visas be expedited.

As we have found time to reflect on the nightmare that we experienced, we realize that even though none of this made sense, more good than harm came out of it. It is evident God has never left our side.
For waiting adoptive families, I pray that as you have journeyed with us you will not let doubt and fear creep into your own adoption journeys. With any adoption comes a great cost but we all have to remain strong and believe that through whatever obstacle or heartache, God never fails to equip each one of us with His supernatural strength. We are all in this together!!

As we wait, would you continue to pray for the remaining part of our process to be expedited and that all 8 of us would remain physically and emotionally strong.

Until then...