We just recently got back from a visit to Haiti to see Mathieu. We didn’t have any courts to see, papers to sign, or any “business” to handle. We just wanted to go see him and let him know we are still trying and we still love him so much. It had been almost a year since we saw him. Yes, another year. The years seem to pass by like months now. It’s hard to believe that in February, we will have been walking this path for 5 years. This adoption wasn’t in our plan, and it hasn’t gone like we would have chosen it to go. But while we were in Haiti, I told Peyton that how much more fun is God’s plan for us than what we plan ourselves. We wouldn’t have been making multiple trips to a 3rd world country, renting a car (yes, I drove this time!), “trying” to learn a new language, and buying street food if Mathieu wasn’t part of God’s plan for us. We would probably still be trying to work our way up the corporate ladder to see how much money we could make. And for what? A bigger house, a newer car, and more stuff?
The adoption process in Haiti has recently gotten even more complicated. Laws have changed on both the Haitian and US side, and now the US is causing delays and scrutinizing paperwork. Many families have made it through years of struggle and paperwork in Haiti to only be told at the very end that the US won’t issue a visa for the child to come home due to one word in their paperwork. Adoptions have been done this way for years, but now the US decides it can’t work that way any longer and they gave no warning of the change. We met with our attorney early in our trip, who I believe is probably one of the best attorneys in Haiti and is doing everything she can to get Mathieu home. Basically, we are still and have been waiting 6 months for one document to be signed. She had to correct this document when she took over our file last year. Apparently the only person who can sign has been out of the office lately. We are praying he signs when he is back tomorrow. Once we have this document, she can then go to court to see what we can do so that our paperwork won’t be denied a visa at the end of the process. She was very frustrated with the process and the way the system works and isn’t even sure how we are going to work this out. She is so perplexed herself. But she is confident we will still get this adoption completed; it’s just going to take more and more time.
Of course after this meeting, I had a breakdown. I told Peyton that this is all it’s ever going to be, us going to visit Mathieu, but he’ll never be home. He said even if that is the case, it’s more than Mathieu had before. Which is true. Since the point of our trip was to spend time with Mathieu, we were determined not to let the process get us down. We wanted to enjoy our time there.
We had an absolute fabulous time in Haiti and spending very special quality time with Mathieu. We were able to be at the Children’s Home when he would get home from school, help him with his homework, play with the other kids he lives with, give them a pizza party, and go to church with him. We are so thankful for that time. We even were able to work on teaching him to swim! We wouldn’t trade this precious time for anything. He was also able to FaceTime with some of our friends and family. He told us multiple times, “Thank you for loving me.” What do you say to that? On the last day, we took him to meet our attorney so that she could see who she’s fighting for. We explained to him that we are working so hard on the papers so that he can come home with us. We promised him we would be back soon for him and that we aren’t going to leave him. We told him to pray everyday that God will bring us together. We pray for that everyday, and He will bring us together. Bondye bon tout tan. (God is good all the time.) He just kept shaking his head, “yes.”
God is good all the time. We don’t understand this story, and maybe we never will. But we know He is good. He is faithful. So whatever the next chapters hold for us as a family, we are believing that nothing is out of God’s control, and everything is working together for our good and His glory. Yes, it’s hard. Yes, it just honestly sucks most days to continue life as normal without Mathieu, to miss out on him growing up, to not be able to hold him and kiss him and tell him good night, to walk by his empty bedroom that’s been waiting on him, and to feel our heart being ripped out every time we have to leave. And yes, it even feels like God has forgotten us at times. But we know that’s not true and for now we wait and trust Him. Because isn’t His story so much better for us than the one we plan ourselves?