These past two years, God has taught us much. This past Sunday at Arrowbrook, our pastor, who is preaching through Jeremiah, said, "The Lord wounds before he heals. He afflicts us before He comforts us. We're not meant to be comforted before first the Lord has afflicted our soul and saved us and then He comforts us. First the Lord must wound with the preaching of sin and repentance which wounds and cuts the conscience and then the cross is the healing balm for the soul...." Though he was applying this to salvation, it was very applicable to the past two years of our lives. He afflicted us much and as a result, taught us much about our own arrogance and thinking too highly of ourselves. He taught us much on what is shakeable and what is not. He taught us much on faith that He gives, not thatnwe muster up, apart from Him.
God gives and He takes away. He is good. Whatever blessing and whatever challenge He gives to us is for our good and His glory. It has not come from anyone else, but Him. He is good. He is for us. Therefore, we can believe whatever hardship, however severe it might be, it is right for us to go through, because it is from our good God who is in control of all and for His children. Our hearts are anchored in that Truth. If any of those factors were not true, there would be reason to panic, be angry, full of fear, bitterness, rage, despair, and force. Two choices. That's it. No gray. Am I wrong?
Upcoming decisions; The here and now.
We are facing another challenge. Another decision to be made. We need prayer.
We are so excited about Keano's adoption to be finalized. So excited.
We heard from Namibia this morning. Our social worker asked for a range of dates we would be in Namibia so she could set a court date. We gave her a range of 7 days. She wrote back and said that though going before the magistrate (judge) is a one time thing, the adoption itself can take up to five weeks to be processed.
We also heard from S. Africa this morning. We have to get a brief interview at the US embassy and a medical check up for Keano. The email said that if Keano has ever had TB (he has not) then it could take up to 6 weeks to get the results for the medical check up done. I don't know if they will take our word for it, or not. Keano does not have many medical records. We have a few ideas to try and prove that he has not had TB, but it comes down to their decision.
We had planned to spend 7 days in Namibia and 5 days in S. Africa. We thought it would be more than sufficient. We have not planned for 11 weeks.
I called yesterday (before we knew these details) to reserve (not purchase) tickets for Todd, myself, Keano, and Felicity. My parents and in-laws are willing to watch Gloria and Faith. Felicity's ticket is only 10% of the adult ticket, so we thought we'd make it easier on our parents and take her with.
When I reserved the tickets, the travel agent told me that fuel taxes were up to about $480/ticket. The cost for T, K, and myself to fly is right at about $6000 total. Felicity is 10% of an adult size tickets.
We need to decide if: we:
A.) Fly back after a week in Namibia and wait here in America - flying back again (buying new tickets for T, K and myself) when it is approved, taking just a day or two in Namibia to go to the embassy and then going to South Africa (Keano's US visa is good until June.)
B.) Fly the whole family over to Namibia, and waiting there for paperwork, Todd flies back after a week and rejoins once paperwork is received. I wait in Namibia until it is processed with the children.
Please pray for us tonight if we come to mind. We need to make our decision tonight, because we must finalize our tickets tomorrow. There is no way we could leave our girls for the potential duration of this process.
Please, would you pray that the Lord would give us clarity as we talk and decide what to do this evening? Pray that we would be grounded on all that is true of God... all that He has taught us, and what His Word says is right.
PS. 2 more things that didn't fit anywhere else.
1. Keano's all time favorite song is "Lead Me." (Sanctus Real) He keeps singing all the time "Lead me with strong hands... stand up when I cant...." (Totally random.. Rather ironic. Don't even think he realizes it's implications....yet.)
2. This trip would mark almost exactly 2 years since the Lord brought us back. It would be Felicity's first time in Africa.