We have been struggling the past few days about whether to not to GO or stay. If we GO to Thailand, we could be poised and ready to take custody of our daughter just as soon as the approval comes through. But we could also be "stuck" there for longer than we expected (or budgeted for). Our agency strongly suggested that we stay home until we had this approval in hand. They said it could still take weeks. And our experience and logic told us that there's a good chance we won't make the December 1st date. After all... in our (almost 5 year long) process, we've had more delays and setbacks than I can even keep up with. In my head it completely makes sense to expect the worst and to wait.
But in my heart, there is an ache for a little girl half way around the world. And as much as my faith is bruised and beaten... there's still a little bit left, deep inside, that wants desperately to HOPE and pray and prepare for a miracle.
I've been repeating the Serenity Prayer to myself a lot in the past week. The truth is, the day that this approval comes is completely out of our control. When we come home is completely out of our control. We cannot change those things. But we have the power to decide when we will go to Thailand. And I truly believe that the most courageous thing we can do right now, is to GO!
And so, after days of thinking, praying, crying, and talking - Rusty and I decided to take a chance. We decided to go for it! To muster up our last little bit of faith and hope, and to hop on a plane to Thailand - just praying for a miracle for this approval to come before December 1st. On Monday we contacted Adoption Airfare (an incredible nonprofit that has helped us tremendously with finding less expensive flights) and we booked ONE WAY TICKETS TO THAILAND!!!
Friends - we don't know when we're coming home, but we leave in 1 week! Early Friday morning, November 18th, we will get on a plane with hope in our hearts and an extra suitcase packed for Kate. And we will hope and pray the whole way there that our Article 5 approval comes quickly, so that our return flight is booked before Christmas. But if it doesn't - we've been told that we're now allowed to visit our daughter! I squealed and cried when I heard that news!!! It was the BEST email I've read in a really long time. So even if we can't take custody, we can spend some time each day with our little girl until our Article 5 approval comes. And whether or not we can take custody, the plan right now is to meet our sweet Kate on Thanksgiving Day! (I can't think of anything I could possible be more thankful for than that!)
"Wade through the fire and jump the fences, for the light we create is so much bigger than the darkness we've come through. Let the clothes burn and rip on the wire. Nothing will stop us. Nothing." - Tyler Knott Gregson -
In exactly 2 weeks, we will have our daughter in our arms. That is still completely surreal to me. A few minutes after we booked our flights, this bracelet arrived in the mail for me. (A gift from a friend's company that I adore.) The quote inside is the one I've shared above. As soon as I read it, I burst into tears! It couldn't have been more perfect timing. We have certainly waded through fire and jumped quite a few fences to get to our daughter. We have walked through the deepest darkest places just to get to this point. But I truly believe that the love and light our little girl will bring to our lives is going to be so much bigger and brighter than anything we've ever experienced before. And nothing will stop us from getting to her now!
Please pray for us as we continue to prepare our hearts and home for our daughter! The "to do" list is long and the time is short, and I'm sure some things will be left undone.... but we'd appreciate your prayers as we work to finish up everything that we need to do before we leave. Pray too for our approval to come in quickly! We'd still love to be home for Christmas. That would truly be a dream come true. And of course, pray for Kate's heart. She is about to experience a very difficult transition, and she will need all the prayers, love, and patience we can give her.
Baby girl, we cannot wait to meet you!
You have been in our hearts for almost 5 years, but you'll be in our arms in just 14 days! ♥