Destination: Smyrna

We have been home over a week now and are starting to figure out our new routine. We are still in disbelief each morning when he is actually here, but yet it seems so normal all at the same time.

Two weeks ago Monday, Mathieu’s US Visa was printed. Peyton and I booked our flights to arrive in Haiti on Thursday and come home on Saturday. Peyton and I were the only ones who could pick the visa up from the US Embassy. We did so on Thursday as soon as we landed in Haiti, of course, not without a few bumps. Security did not want to let us in the Embassy even though we had an appointment. (I printed the email on Wednesday before we left, so he tried to tell me our appointment was for Wednesday.) The credit card machine was not working to take our money for the visa. No worries. I told Peyton to make sure to bring cash in case that very thing happened. Well, they could not take our cash money either because there was a tiny tear in one of the $20 bills. (I received this money straight from a US bank before we left.) Then the credit card machine miraculously started working, Praise the Lord, and we paid and left.

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We then headed over to the children’s home to get Mathieu. They were having a party for him.

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We ate some good Haitian food, and they had him a cake that said Au Revoir “Good Bye”. It was so very nice. The kids were crying and some even stood and said a few nice things about Mathieu. Mathieu said he wanted to say something. He thanked the Pastors, the staff, and all the kids for loving him and taking care of him. It was so very sweet, and Peyton and I were just a mess. The ladies at the home were crying as well. We’re just really going to miss everyone so much. They have been Mathieu’s family for the last 8 years.

I had already sent a message for Mathieu to pack what he wanted to take. He had a great big bag ready. We told him only the things he really wants. He happily picked three things out of the bag and was ready to go.

We arrived at the hotel that evening and just relaxed. Is this really happening? We had everything but one “Exit Letter” from our attorney. She had it in her hand; she sent us a picture of it and was set to bring it to us at the hotel the next day.

The next day our attorney came with the Exit Letter, and we talked for a while. We know she was ready to be finished with our case, too. She describes herself as a Warrior, Fighter, Fixer, and Problem Solver. We are so glad that God made her that way and sent her to us. She said, “I knew it could happen. You just needed to have patience.” We are so forever grateful for her.

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That was it. We had everything we needed to depart the next morning. Our hotel was across the street from the airport, so Mathieu was able to see the planes taking off. He was smiling and so ready. That night, I think he started getting giddy. He was walking around the pool pretending to jump in. We said go! He started to take his shoes off. Peyton said, do you think he’s going to do it? I said, oh no. Definitely not. Then he did it. He jumped in the pool with all his clothes on! It was hilarious.

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Our travel home was flawless, and Mathieu looked as if he had flown many times. We landed in Miami and made it through immigration, and his first food in America was sushi. He wasn’t a huge fan, but he did like the spicy tuna taco. We landed in a very cold Nashville to lots of friends and family waiting to finally be able to welcome him home.

Mathieu just smiled the whole ride home from the airport. It was so surreal to all of us. Our sweet friends had placed Welcome Home signs in the yard and his room. We gave Mathieu a tour of our home, and he loved it all especially our dog Abby. He has been waiting so long to meet and play with Abby. He went out even in the cold to play with her.

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We had pizza for dinner. Peyton introduced him to ranch dressing which he loved. He showered and went to bed. We were still so shocked that he was home. It was so weird seeing him walk around our house. We have longed for this for such a long time. Thank you God for your perfect plans.

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Travel Plans

We booked our travel today and will land back in Nashville on Saturday at 5pm. Come welcome Mathieu home! He’ll be excited to see everyone. We still can’t believe this is actually happening!

All Glory to God

IMG_0478-2Friday we were able to get the blood work dropped off at the Embassy, but it was too late in the afternoon for them to review and print a visa. But…we got it today!!!!!!!!! We give all glory to God for His faithfulness. We are still in disbelief. Mathieu’s actually really coming home!

We will let everyone know of our travel plans as soon as we book our flights. We will most likely be arriving back home in the USA either Friday or Saturday evening. I’ve asked Mathieu multiple times if he wants everyone to come greet him at the airport in Nashville, and he always says yes! He wants everyone to come welcome him, bring signs, and lots of excitement.

We will come home from the airport just the 3 of us and spend time together as a family to bond and figure out what our new normal looks like. We know so many people are excited to meet Mathieu, and we are very excited for you to meet him as well. We will let everyone know when we are ready for visitors.

Thanks for all your prayers and support of getting Mathieu home. God is so very good.

Still Praying for Haiti

Things have calmed a bit in Haiti this week. Businesses have opened, and people are back out on the streets. It is still a very uncertain situation each day. Because of this calm, Mathieu was able to have his blood drawn yesterday. Praise God! He is scheduled to go back on Friday to get the results. We are praying that:

The results are good and no further tests are required. The results can be dropped off with the Embassy on Friday. The visa printed that same day.

That is a lot to happen in one day, but that is our prayer. We are also continuing to pray for Haiti. We appreciate your prayers, too.

Praying for Haiti

A week ago yesterday we received news that the US had approved Mathieu’s adoption, and we could progress into the final visa stage to bring him home. We have had several people ask what is going on now and when will we travel. The short answer is, we just don’t know.

Last Thursday a planned protest/demonstration began by the Haitian people. They are calling for their current president to step down. There are many reasons surrounding this protest, but to summarize the protesters, government corruption and high inflation. The protesters have threatened to continue each day until the president steps down. The demonstrations escalated over the weekend and are continuing even today. There are thousands of protesters in the streets, burning tires, burning barricades, looting, and violence. It is being named “Operation lock down Haiti.” Businesses have closed. Roads are blocked. The US Embassy closed and sent all non-essential employees back to the US.

Even through all the chaos, by the grace of God, we were able to have a successful visa interview. This means that everything looked good in our file and with Mathieu’s visa application. They are only waiting on his final medical results. Mathieu has been able to have most of his medical exam completed but not all of it, and unfortunately, the doctor offices and labs are not open. Even if they were open, it’s not safe for Mathieu to be out on the roads.

So, we wait. We are so close and can see the finish line, but we just can’t get there. We are doing everything we can on this side to push and be able to bring him home. We are also praying for Haiti. Praying for a resolution. For the Haitian people to have a voice and be cared for by their government. And maybe even pray for rain so the protesters go home.

Of course this isn’t the adoption ending we dreamed of or ever imagined would happen, but we trust God is still in control and even this is a part of His divine plan.

Please pray for Haiti.

 

American Approved

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We received the most incredible news today that US immigration approved our adoption file!! Praise God! Now on to the US Visa. The visa appointment is on Tuesday, February 12 which by the way is 8 years to the day when we met Mathieu for the first time. This is a picture from that day.

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Mathieu was so excited when he heard the news today that he couldn’t eat. He sent us a video saying he didn’t know what to say, but thank you. I say thank you to everyone who has prayed us through this process and supported us all the way. We thank you so much. We are still praying for a fast and seamless visa printing and will definitely post when we have travel plans.

 

Still Waiting

We are still waiting for USCIS (US immigration) to approve Mathieu’s file so that he can come to the United States. During this wait, Mathieu’s room remodel was completed, and we love it! It is perfect.

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There were a few things that were really important to us to incorporate into his new room. Some Haitian art that we bought in Haiti last year that looks really lovely.

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We also really wanted the Creole phrase Bondye Fidel in his room which means God is Faithful because He is!

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Mathieu’s room is amazing, and we are so thankful to @bloomfamilydesigns @allathome.llc and @shopsolsisters who donated their time, talents, ideas, artwork, and materials to put this very special room together for a very special boy. You should all follow them on Instagram and show some love to a great ministry for foster and adopted children and their families.

While we were cleaning out Mathieu’s room in preparation for the remodel, I found this note tucked away in his nightstand written by a dear friend of ours that I never knew was there. It read…

“Mathieu

I thanked God for bringing you home today in your room. You’re not here at this point, but Jesus is faithful to keep His promises and for that I know you will read this very soon.

2/20/2014”

Almost 5 years ago when we were already 3 years into the process he wrote this letter to Mathieu. Jesus is faithful to keep His promises. We have been confident that Mathieu was coming home in December of this year. We had hoped that he would be here for Christmas, but December isn’t over yet. Mathieu has asked us when he is coming to the United States, and our answer to him is to pray. We have great anticipation of what God can do. There is no earthly way that Mathieu will come home before 2019. There is still so much approval and paperwork that has to happen, and oh, our government is on the brink of shutting down, but God. He is in control of everything, and we believe He can do anything. We pray that He provides another Christmas miracle and brings Mathieu home next week. We are praying for that and hope that you will pray with us.

Merry Christmas!