The Next Stage of Waiting

presented by cj: 

so you saw from our last blog that the phone call happened January 6th, yet we didn’t leave for japan until February 22nd, 6 weeks later. this was certainly not our original expectation – we thought we would get the call and pretty much leave within a few days, but yet again we entered into another (and quite painful) stage of waiting. 
so after we told our agency that we did indeed want to adopt him, the next step was for them to send some initial paperwork to the embassy, then it would be up to the embassy to tell us to come over. we spent the next few days waiting for news that all the paperwork had been sent. a week went by, nothing. i was itching to figure out what was happening, but we just both felt very strongly we needed to be patient. we would get news when we got news. another week went by and we still hadn’t heard anything, so we decided to call and see what was going on. and we did not like what we had to hear. 
paperwork hadn’t been sent yet. we didn’t fully understand why. we saw firsthand in september how incredibly busy our agency is all the time, but of course we were just so anxious to get to our boy. i got off the phone in tears of frustration and angst, tired of waiting yet again when we (thank God) had the funds ready to hop on a plane anytime. that week was full of tears and constant prayer. i have learned many, many things in this process, but by far the most important is how to pray constantly and the power of prayer. a week later, i had jonathan call because i just couldn’t emotionally handle more disappointing news. 
our paperwork still had not been sent, but we got the reason why and completely understood it was out of our agency’s control. their city hall decided to do an audit at this time, and until it was over, nothing could move forward. not our son’s paperwork, not other people’s home studies, nothing. this news however, gave us so much peace. we knew how to better pray for our agency, who was stressed and just ready to do what they love to do, place these children into forever homes! we spent the next week better tailoring our prayers. 
*its important to note that at this point (if you’ve lost track we hit the first week of february), we still didn’t know if he could officially be ours or not. remember, we are finalizing the adoption in the U.S., so he has to pass U.S. emigration, and since paperwork still had not been sent, we didn’t know if it could be official. we were praying that he would be our son, but because the situation was still so fragile, we were just praying that if we were not supposed to be his family, that God would provide him with the right one quickly, a very hard prayer to pray as we wanted him to be ours so badly. 
we called again february 5th to check in. we really weren’t expecting any news, i was just longing to hear about our boy. i just wanted to hear how he was doing, what he’s learning to do, what his little personality is like. i did get to hear all of those sweet, fun things, but the best news we heard was that the audit was finally at an end, and our paperwork would be on its way to the embassy the next day. we were one step closer to our little guy, but still knew there was a possibility it could come to a halt. that saturday, February 8th, we got 6 pictures of our boy! we have not stopped looking at them since. we could not believe how much he had grown since we first met him back in September! waiting to hear from the embassy was now torture. 
february 12th I decided to email the embassy to see if they received it yet. they responded back quickly that it wasn’t there yet. ugh. the next night as we were watching the Olympics, I nonchalantly checked my email, and to my delight and surprise, they had received it and it was under review. the next step was for them to tell us when our I-600 filing appointment was (this is the petition we file and they must approve that he meets the US legal definition of an orphan), and I immediately replied we could travel at any time. 
the weekend came and went, and we were surprised we still hadn’t heard from them. they have been awesome at responding to email within the day. Tuesday I impatiently sent them another email saying we were ready to travel, just give us an appointment. looking back at the last few emails, I realized, I think they are waiting for us to just tell them when we’re traveling. I did some more analyzing, talked to Jonathan, and we just made a travel plan, requested an appointment for  the coming Monday, February 24th, and waited to see if they would respond. within a few hours, we got an email. 
our request had been accepted, and we were to report Monday morning to the embassy! that night, we booked our flight and hotel to leave on Friday morning, and here we are, friends! 
we aren’t sure what this filing appointment is going to be like, or when they will tell us when he can be in our custody. all we know past the appointment tomorrow is we have to get his passport and special visa issued, so we don’t know exactly when we are coming home. we are at the mercy of the embassy, but hopefully no more than 2 weeks. 
please be praying for us Sunday at 6:30 pm. it will be Monday 9:30 am here in Japan, and that’s when our appointment is. we can’t stress enough how important it is that this goes well, as this approval determines whether or not we can come home with him. please pray for a smooth paperwork process, quick approval, and peace for us. we are so excited to be here and can’t wait to hold our baby boy. he does have a name, but it won’t be revealed until we get home at the airport (we’ve got to give you some suspense in this process). until then, you can continue to call him Baby J. 
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