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Believe He Goes Before You {USCIS fingerprints…DONE!}

This is gonna be QUICK–this momma has little time to blog in this season of crazy…getting a dossier ready, homeschooling, preschoolers…but THIS story has to be documented for our sweet boy’s journey. YESTERDAY…

…began just as a normal day. Kind of. We had 3 extra dears at our house–so 7 little children running around. In between homeschool crazy, I worked on Christmas cards (hope to get those out before Christmas!). Around lunch time, I decided to take the 25 cards that were ready to go out (while the rest of the stack still sits waiting to be stuffed and addressed) to the mailbox. I opened the mailbox to see two official looking envelopes inside…and my heart LEAPT. Could it be our anxiously awaited for USCIS fingerprint appointment letter with the date for our fingerprints. IT WAS!!!

My heart was beating–and right there in the culdesac I did my best Kevin Bacon impression. My hands were shaking with excitement, and I ran in to shout to the children, “WE GOT IT!!!” Only I wasn’t so graceful and slipped on the hardwoods in my socks as I turned the corner from the hallway to the kitchen. THIS is a true picture my friends of what we adoption mommas look like. There is nothing that brings us more JOY than to be another step closer to our children. I rip open both envelopes–one for Rich and one for me and both have the official government fingerprint appointment dates of 12/20/2012 at 12:00. I read through everything 3 times. “Please appear at your designated time…” Yadda, yadda, yadda. I get on Facebook to quickly share our NEWS–and a few dear adoption parents share their experiences of attempting to go early.

“Okay,” I think to myself, “I’ll totally go on Thursday–just to try.” I just so happened to have my babysitter Karissa here so I could focus on the big kids schooling while she plays with the littles. I tell her my plan to go–and she asked me if I wanted to go NOW. Hmmmm…now? And leave you with 7 littles??? I finished up the big kids lessons in the next hour–and called Rich to meet me up at the government office in 30 minutes (thank goodness we live near the office)…it’s worth a TRY where our sweet boy is concerned:).

I didn’t want to be gone for more than 1 hour–and I remembered it taking HOURS for our last adoption–and THAT was on our designated appointment day and time. I prayed the entire way down–that the Lord would go before us–that we would have His favor with the front door official who would determine whether to let us in early or not. I pull up to see Richard waiting outside on the phone finishing up a business call. The official sees he is about to try and enter the building and remind him no cell phone or electronic devices are permitted in the building. EEK. He is serious–so I PRAY while he runs to the car–just before he tells me this is probably not going to work. We both step in and the official asks for our appointment letter…BIG, DEEP BREATH…

Keep in mind he sees hundreds of people EVERY day for many different things–and he looks me in the eye and smiles and says, “Ma’am, what are you going to do? Are you just gonna adopt 8 children before this is all over?

Richard makes a CONFUSED face. Do y’all know each other? (We don’t by the way! The Lord truly just went before us!)

And I say, “Maybe. But sir–if you will allow us in today–we will be so much closer to that.”

The officier laughed and said, “Of course! Y’all come on in.”

I grab his elbows and without thinking jump and say, “PRAISE JESUS! PRAISE THE LORD! PRAISE JESUS!

The officer looks right back at me and says, “Yes ma’am. I will praise Him every day!

Richard is standing there with his jaw DROPPED–and I grab Rich’s hand and pull him into the building. We are given clipboards to fill out basic information as we hold our passports and appointment letter to who the next official. BUT just before we make it to the next official–the officer at the door comes to man the post we are about to get to. Richard keeps asking me HOW I know him–and I keep insisting that I don’t–reminding Him that God is faithful and I prayed for God to go before us–that God loves our boy and He is simply making a way for us to get him home sooner. Every day counts.

Richard isn’t satisfied with my answer and wants to know HOW he knew we were adopting. I assure him I’ve never seen the officer a day in my life–and if it was 3 years ago when we were at this stage bringing Isaac home–we certainly wouldn’t remember each other. At that, Rich insists on going to ask him HOW he knew we were adopting…so he goes up to him and asks, “Sir, how did you know we were adopting? What made you say that about adopting 8 kids?”

He looked at Rich and smiled, “I just knew. And your wife totally gives it away. Walking up with a big ole smile like she is all desperate to get in the door with her hands shaking with her letter in it. Y’all have that happy to be parents again look. I just knew.”

And the 8 kids part??

Y’all just look like y’all are people that love kids.”

We waited maybe five minutes–and then we were individually called back for the biometric official fingerprints–the LAST hoop we have to jump. (We just have to get all our dossier documents authenticated next–including this clearance that we would receive in the mail from today’s fingerprints). This is really the last hoop though so to speak.

An asian lady called my number for my fingerprints. She looked at my letter and saw my actual fingerprint date and said, “Well, it looks like today is someone’s lucky day!”

Yes ma’am. God is so good! We have a son to bring home. Do y’all ever turn early folks away?”

She replied, “Yes–if we are busy we have to–but you came on one of the slowest days of the year looks like.”

In and out–and home in about an hour. We are praying big that we will have our clearance BEFORE our actual fingerprint date–and that our dossier can be off to Washington to be authenticated at the Chinese consulate. THEN–it will be time to ship it off to China! That’s when we will get a log-in date and our LOA wait (any where from 30 to 200 days) can begin…then our travel dates. We still have a VERY long road–but we are believing and know the Lord is going before us…JUST like He did yesterday.

In all that you do–ask Him to go BEFORE you. He can and will and WANTS to. Expect to see Him work–and give Him glory when He does. I always say that I have never seen so much spiritual warfare and hard stuff happen in any other thing than the adoption journey…the enemy would want nothing more than for orphans to remain orphans without hope and love. BUT I also have to say I have never seen the Lord work so greatly than through adoption as well—and HE ALWAYS WINS. The battle is there–the battle is real–but He always wins. There will be mountains and hurdles ahead…but He goes before us and we can trust Him to pave the way.

On your journey–whether it’s adoption or raising godly children or following Him in ministry or maintaining a strong marriage…whatever your particular journey is you will not only have to face hard things the enemy puts in your way–but you will ALSO have friends/acquaintances/others on similar journeys who breath negativity and play the devil’s advocate near and around you. GUARD yourself from those who discourage and play this role in your life. LIMIT your time around them–and acknowledge them for what they are. Know the role they play–so when you hear their negativity and voice of being the devil’s advocate you can call a spade a spade…hold your head high and keep your eyes on Jesus. We are called to LOVE every person–but we do not have to like what they do…or even like the role they choose to play. Do not carry their words–but instead get on the horse that Your King rides–and stay focused on being on the journey He has called you to. And find others with similar callings to ride beside (that are NOT the negative voices–because they will be the loudest of all)–find others who are dreaming big through the Spirit to dream big with and lift one another up…imagine putting your hands together and helping them up to sit on their journey right behind Jesus as He goes in front of them navigating their journey before them–REMIND them who they are riding with and to keep your eyes UP and FOCUSED on His call.

HE IS WITH YOU and HE GOES BEFORE YOU…trust Him for big things!

Amy - December 5, 2012 - 11:31 am

Thank you for this post! We too are in the early process. We have identified a child and trying to get all the paperwork done, before her file has to go back. Our hang up as been funds. This has all happened so fast we can’t seem to raise it fast enough. Your post is encouragement to my heart for something my head already knows, God is faithful and will go before us. Thank you!

Corinne - December 5, 2012 - 1:19 pm

Powerful!! Thanks for sharing as always….encouraging for me.

Kelly Brown - December 5, 2012 - 1:28 pm

That is soooooo awesome!!!! I loved hearing the story! It made me tear up about the official’s response to you guys. God is so good, praising the Lord with you as He prepares the way!

Kelley - December 5, 2012 - 1:31 pm

How awesome! You always share so well and leave us all hungry to walk closer with the Lord! Thank you!! We’re up to our eyeballs in paperwork too and appreciate the reminder to be asking that God goes before us with every form and signature. 🙂

Gretchen - December 5, 2012 - 2:02 pm

That is awesome! Praise the Lord! It’s so fun to hear good news! Praying your son home quickly.

Corinne Cline - December 6, 2012 - 3:05 am

You are always such an encouragement to me, even though I have never met you. And the timing of my reading your posts always seems to be straight from the Lord. We got an important call today in our adoption process, and once again, I needed to read your post!

Natasha - December 6, 2012 - 10:52 am

Yaaay! Praise God!!! So excited for you. We are currently awaiting our biometrics appt, too, anyway now… I keep checking our mailbox….

Jenny - December 11, 2012 - 10:50 pm

Oh Andrea! I LOVE this post! Praise Jesus indeed!!! Love seeing Him at work and going before us to get our kiddos home! Truly worthy of praise!