Footprints in the Jungle
Updated: Jun 28
The path towards adoption is laborious. The beginning holds much to get done, running around and gathering all kinds of documents and paperwork. Then you wait to be matched and begin another trek of document approvals. I always knew that God would have to be in it for me to make this journey, because I'm too selfish to keep pressing forward on my own fuel tank! And He has been there directing in each decision and affirming when I'm in doubt. I keep a prayer journal specifically for this journey, and it has been amazing to look back and see how God has answered us so many times and in so many ways. It has been a faith building experience for sure!
Recently, we hit a roadblock. Honestly, we are still sitting at it as I write this. At the beginning of March, 2020, it was time for us to apply for our I800. It's the application for our daughters to immigrate into the U.S. once we adopt them. We had a planned spring break trip to visit family, so I wanted to get this done before leaving town, knowing it was supposed to take a couple of weeks to go through the approval process. It took me a solid week to make a doctor's appointment, get our address updated on our license, get documents notarized proving we moved, getting it all photocopied 6 times and then driving to our State Capitol for a day to get it all apostilled! That was a stressful week, and I about lost it when I realized I had mistakenly photocopied and apostilled multiple copies of my home study together! I had to carefully take each set apart and reassemble it all, which sounds like no biggie until you actually do it and you're on the floor for 5 hours!
I saw God's provision in these circumstances later. While we were on our trip, our Nation began to shut down state by state! We drove all the way home in a day, did some grocery shopping, and then our state was on a lock down until the end of May! As you all know, NOTHING was open at that time! If I had not done all of that work in a week's time, I would not have been able to get it done until after May. Even then, it would have been more complicated. I felt sure God was watching out for me and that our approval would be on its way. Instead, I received a pink slip saying I did not fill out my form correctly. After going over it again with my Family Coordinator, we identified the issue. I quickly mailed it, and waited. And waited. I finally called and was told they will notify me if there is a problem. I understood there were fewer staff members working during this time, so I tried to not think about it. I painted my kitchen and started setting up the girls room. Anything else. Finally on the last Friday of May a letter came! This one was a bigger envelope, so my hopes were up! When I opened it, I found 2 more pink slips! Needing more evidence, it said. After I cried to my Family Coordinator, I gathered myself together to get back on task. We had to make some updates to our Home Study. It took a week to do the work, and then I was told my Home Study was mailed the following Monday. I checked my mailbox everyday! Our mail carrier usually arrives before noon. By Friday at noon it still had not arrived!
Throughout this process, even in the hard times when I just want to sit and cry, I have always felt an inner voice in my spirit that God is in control and that His timing is perfect. But on that Friday, when I checked the mail one more time, I did not feel that voice. I felt mad. I cried out to God aloud, "Where are you? This one step has taken 3 months when it should have been two weeks! Where are you in this God?" My husband heard me and realized I truly was not ok and sat to pray with me. I left the house to run some errands and get it off my mind. While out, I received a text from him that said, "Guess what arrived!" By the time I got home, and gathered my pink slips and study, it was 4:25 p.m. I rushed to FedEx and was able to get it sent before their 5 p.m. pick up, so it would arrive the following Tuesday. One more step done and out of my hands. I sent out prayer requests to my friends to plead for my application to finally get approval. I'm hoping by next week I will get the envelope I've been waiting so long for!
On that Tuesday morning, the day I knew my updated information should arrive to my Hague officer, I attended a Bible study for my first visit. I knew the teacher from years past, but no one else. After the worship and praise time, a woman who was sitting a few seats from me, leaned over and said she wanted to tell me something. She looked hesitant as she said, "I don't normally share these kinds of visions with people when I don't understand it, but I keep hearing the Lord telling me to just share, so here it goes." She said, "I see you sitting on the back of an elephant while walking through a jungle. Leaves keep coming and hitting your face, but you easily move them out of your way as the elephant keeps walking you through the jungle. Does this make any sense to you?" Like I mentioned before, I was new. No one knew anything about me! When I told her I'm adopting from India, she gasped and flung her hand over her mouth. Tears welled up in her eyes as she said, "I kept asking the Lord where were you in this vision, and I heard India, but too unsure to say it."
This is my God! This is OUR God! He didn't have to answer my cry when the mail carrier didn't make it in the timeframe I expected. But He delights in letting us in on who He is when we seek to know Him better! He let me know that while I might have big leaves coming at my face, I have no idea what He is carrying me through! He is carrying me to my girls and I CAN TRUST HIM! And not only that, He also strengthened the faith of someone else I don't know by helping her learn to trust in His voice!
So while this "step" is not yet completed from my viewpoint, I trust that from God's view, it is!