"God places the solitary in families and gives the desolate a home in which to dwell" Psalm 68:6

Thursday, October 4, 2012

I am not sure if you think we fell off the face of the earth or not. We intentionally disconnected from the blog for while. It became too much to keep up with and honestly what we were going through over the last 9 months I am not sure we had the words to express all that was afoot. To catch you up as quickly as I can....

August 2010 we began the adoption process of 2 yet to be identified children from DR Congo. Early 2011 we accepted a referral for S and T and were excited about the journey God had led us on as well as the prospects of bring S and T home forever. We had hoped to travel early that summer and experienced some paperwork issues that continued to grow and between governments here and there that date was pushed to early 2012 which then got pushed further. Also at this time Laura was pregnant with our fourth birth child. (We had another miscarriage between A an J.) Anyway the first week of April we miscarried, heartbroken we coped with what then the expectation was to travel Easter 2012. We were close to buying plane tickets and all left was Visa interviews for S an T at the US Embassy. Then we got the call, the Embassy requested more information (DNA testing) that turned into a 3 month delay with document travel between continents several times coupled with a lot of turnover at the Embassy. We finally got the call early July 2012 that all was finally in order only to find out it wasn't! The embassy had lost some of our information, wouldn't you know there was another Robert Davis adopting in Congo and a critical file for me was save under his file by USCIS.

We were borderline basket cases by now. All of the ups and downs, hope come to light only to be ripped from our fingertips, 2012 has a lot I almost wish to forget. Yet I cant forget, for all of the heartache it was also some of the greatest growth of my life. I learned I was not in control, I was helpless in the situation and God used these challenges like fire to steel to grow my faith in Him beyond what I could control. He has been so faithful in providing all of the finances...sometimes at the last minute, moving mountains...slower than I would have preferred, yet in the end we can see his plan and feel His love for us. He placed us in a situation where the only explanation we had was God did it, no one else!

Now on to DR Congo! We left on July 22,2012 about 2 in the afternoon, after connections in Newark, Brussels and Angola we arrived in Congo shortly after 8PM local time on July 23rd. After getting our bags and meeting our liaison, we got in to the car and had quite a surprise...our children! S and T were in the car waiting for us. We were not sure what to do, it was dark and they had never met us. I found myself pulling out my smart phone and thanks to our 18yr old back home I had about a 1000 pictures of our family complete with videos. The hour ride to the mission seemed to pass fairly well from there on. We arrived to our room, exhausted with 2 hours sleep in 2 days, an proceeded to bathe the children, treat their skin and prepare for bed. We survived the next week by Gods grace. Overall we enjoyed the country and the people. We felt safe most of the time with the exception of a couple of instances where police had the day off. We had several challenges with S an T which is understandable given what they were experiencing but compounded by our lack of rest which never we caught up.

Now we arrive back home on August 1,2012 to our family and other children at the airport. We were so exhausted but very happy to be home with all of our children, and desperately craving a warm bath. We get home around 10pm or so to find out our dogs got fleas while we were away and the house was infested! After 2.5 hours of cleaning and treatment we finally went to bed. From then each day had its own set of challenges. We all had to adjust to what our family dynamic was shifting to. We had to learn to communicate as S and T did not speak much English and didn't understand most of what they spoke. Anything from sibling rivalries to their place in the family had to be worked through. To be honest it found like one extremely long day for about the first 6 weeks or so. Then we had a good family day at Stone Mountain Park, followed in the weeks to come by more "peace" than conflict.

Things are not perfect now but they are night and day from what they were. S and T are adjusting well as are our other children. We feel more like a family, complete, fulfilled. We feel so blessed for all God has done to call us to our children, provide the way, and grow us in the process. We are very thankful for all of our friends and family that supported us through prayer, gifts, finances, and provided a shoulder to cry on with all we experienced.Thank you to our church family,Crossroads, and our community group! You saw God at work in us and have been His hands and feet throughout this whole process, even after coming home.

As difficult as this process was I could not imagine having to do it without the staff at One World Adoptions. Susan, Alex, Terri and Allison, we were truly blessed by your support, honesty, and prayers. Your in country staff is absolutely amazing! Thank you for allowing God to use you all to put our family together! We were blessed by ministries such as Show Hope and Promise 686 for partnering on our journey with us and being a huge part of God's story! Please continue to keep us in your prayers as we seek Holy Spirit for the direction He has for us going forward.

In His Grip,

Monday, January 16, 2012

A Renewed Perspective, God Will Provide!

      Its been a while since I have posted on our blog. To be honest this process has been grinding and taken so much longer than we anticipated. The heartache of not having our children home has been something God has sustained us through and taught us to depend on Him even more. At times its even been discouraging seeing the huge need ahead of us and knowing we had depleted all of our savings in the pursuit of both our children in DR Congo and our daughter Elizabeth from Latvia. It was an tremendous growth moment for me personally as I was officially out of control, unable to "fix" this. We has sliced our budget down, had more meatless meals than I care to count, worn clothes well beyond their prime, sold possessions, drastically slimmed Christmas, you get the idea. It nudged me to acknowledge that God was in control, this was His story, and He was writing it as He saw it best. This was God shaping us, showing us what culture said we are entitled to is not what we need to fulfilled life in Him. I will be honest I had a brief moment of panic just before Christmas when we started looking at airline tickets and realized it could be nearly 10,000 dollars for Laura and I to travel round trip and Sophie and Timothee' travel one way. More on this later...
     My father in law lent me a biography of George Mueller and I read it the Tuesday after Christmas. Outside of the Bible I have never in my life read a book that rocked my worldview the way the words jumped out at me. Its just a short book, 150 pages or so. I could not put it down. I couldn't help but compare my life, views, and fears with Mueller. How he was confronted with a personal God, how he had such faith and trust in HIM that he never asked a soul for money. He believed if God called him to it, God would provide. He would live a life in which God was in control. Yes he struggled at times, yes he suffered greatly, but in the end you get to see the beautiful picture of how God took nothing and built it into a ministry to over 2000 orphans. He knew it would take "X" dollars (pounds, this was England) for something, he would pray specifically for that amount, and it always showed up. Sometimes in the 11th hour of the need. I'm not saying its wrong to ask for money, but it convicted me for the money I had asked for. I asked out of need to be in control, to fix the problem. My heart should have been from a place where I went to God for what I needed, this was after all His calling on our lives. Why would we trust Him to cast the vision but not give us the road map to achieve it? Having said that, we resolved to pray and trust God to provide. He had done it to this point, now in the moments readying to travel, we could not believe anything less.
     Its funny how Holy Spirit brings clarity after we align our perspective with His and walk in obedience. In the couple of weeks after Christmas, our Promise 686 grant (which had stalled for months) was filled to the full matching grant! After months of our little funds thermometer on this blog stuck, its such a JOY to have watched God fill it! Not only that but several have responded with references for travel and it looks as though we will be able to procure airline tickets through Golden Rule Travel for about half what we were expecting. We were floored with how God provided the funds to travel, bring everyone home, and we believe cover most of the post placement expenses of re-adoption, home visits, and we hope medicals. I feel so humbled by His love for us and how He has wrapped His arms around us to let us know He has this, we just have to trust Him!
     Now we are diligently praying for our I-600 (currently sitting on a desk in Lee's Summit, MO) to get final approval, our biometrics appointment (fingerprints expire Feb 01), then subsequent visa appointments before we finally, after nearly 17 months, can bring our children home. We are so excited to look out in the yard and see all of our children home, together, living a life fulfilled by the promise He gave us. Thank you all so much for your encouragement and your prayers. God is a lover of His people, you have shown us more of His character through your actions.

In His Grip, Rob