We had great opportunities to visit Mathieu this past month. Peyton went down at the first of the month to take our pastor and our mission’s coach to see Haiti and what’s going on down there. We recently had a family, and close friends- Josh, Brittany, and Sharles, from our church to move to Haiti as long-term missionaries so it was a good time to see them and support their ministries there. Peyton was able to spend a few days with Mathieu.
Then Peyton and I led a team of 12 down for a week at the end of June. It was great for the three of us to be together again! It had been over a year since that has happened. Brittany has been working hard on teaching all the kids at Mathieu’s Home English. I could tell a huge difference. He can count to 10 in English and say other words too like “I’m hungry or I’m thirsty!” We could tell such a huge difference, and it made it so much easier to bond and communicate. We also were refreshed on our very basic Creole. The parts we couldn’t understand, we had our good friend Flore to translate. I had the privilege to help teach one of the English classes to the kids one day. Mathieu was such a good listener and was taking notes. You could tell he was really paying attention. It made us so proud.
No, unfortunately, we don’t have any updates on the actual adoption process. There have been several people to say to us that they will help us. They will see what they can do to speed things along. In each situation the communication goes dim, and then we never hear from them again. This has been our sign that for some reason God wants us to go this alone. So here we are, trucking along a path that we’re not even sure we’re on. The only thing we do know, is that if God wants Mathieu home, he’ll bring him home. If that was never God’s intention for Mathieu to live here, then we will faithfully be his parents from here. We are still a family no matter what. While in Haiti, we studied Genesis 12 which is where God tells Abram to leave his country, his people, and his father’s household. Abram obeys and leaves as God commanded. But only a few verses away, Abram starts to doubt God and feels that he needs to take matters into his own hands when they enter Egypt. Abram tells his wife to lie and say she is his sister so they won’t kill him. God spares him in the end of the chapter. We have found ourselves so many times doubting God in this process. We were quick to obey and depend on God as we started the grueling adoption process, but now we sometimes feel we need to take matters into our own hands. We want to pitch a fit and say God, we obeyed you on something that was never in “our plan” now why is it so hard? We pray that God’s plan is for Mathieu to be here with us, but for now, we will be patient and wait which is just so hard. It breaks our heart each time we have to leave him, each family hug we give as we all 3 cry, and each prayer where we beg God to bring him home. We know this is not outside of God’s control, and he is teaching us through all of this. May we never forget these lessons!
Last week was Mathieu’s 6th birthday! We wish we could have celebrated with him, but we weren’t able to this year. Never in a million years did we ever think God would call us to adopt. After He did, never in a million years did we think we would be in the process for two years with no progress. After my last post, most of you know that we have made no progress at all in the last two years. We are at the very beginning of the process since our paperwork wasn’t turned in until November 2012. A lot of people have still been asking for updates. Well, we don’t really have any updates. They told us that 3 documents were missing from our dossier (paperwork packet). We have spent two months now going around in a BIG OLE circle to be right back at the beginning with 3 missing documents. We are praying, and hope you will too, that we are able to get duplicate copies of those 3 documents quickly. After that, who knows. I will no longer try to predict anything because I really have no clue.
We try to keep our faith each day, but some days are really hard. We know we are to glorify God even in these hard times. We try to do so, but some days we fail- miserably. We get so frustrated that we do and say things that definitely aren’t glorifying to God, and we really don’t mean them. A dear friend had to recently check us on this. He told us to stop feeling like we are in control. Give it to God. He will be faithful in His promises. Our friend told us that this is not a battle between us and other people. This is a spiritual warfare. The enemy is attacking. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10 “Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8 We are refusing to let the devil steal our joy. There were a few weeks when Peyton and I were starting to go against each other, but we have since regrouped and prayed a lot. We know this is all part of our growing process. People are quick to say how “lucky” Mathieu is to be getting a family. We disagree in so many different ways. First, he had to lose his own family in order for this to even be possible. That doesn’t seem lucky to me. But also, we know God could have chosen many different ways to care for Mathieu. He is God. He could have chosen anything really, but he chose US. God chose US to care for Mathieu. God chose US to use this process to completely change our lives. We went from being totally set on material “things” like houses, cars, beach trips, and even the aspiration of a yacht (that was Peyton haha) to now being totally satisfied, and excited, to take our vacation to Haiti spending time in 90 degree plus weather with no air conditioner, no hot water to shower, and mosquitos galore sharing the news with other people what God has done to change our life. Telling others how great our God is and how to follow Him. And one day… one day… Mathieu will be home with us, and we can live life as a family sharing with Him all that God did to bring us together. It sounds to me like WE are the “lucky” ones.
It is so hard for other people (and us) to understand why God won’t bring Mathieu home now, but we know God is still using this time. “And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast.” 1 Peter 5:10
Tomorrow will be our two year “anniversary” of meeting Mathieu. We have found out that unfortunately, our dossier wasn’t turned in to the courts in Haiti until November 2012. We thought all along it was submitted in September 2011, but it wasn’t. It was a bit of disappointment, but we are so glad to have real answers now. Yes, we are still at the very beginning of the process even though we’ve been fighting this battle for two years. We keep going back to trusting God’s timing. Even through all the disappointment, we have seen God in even the smallest moments. These small reminders are what keeps us going. We miss Mathieu like crazy and wish he could be here, but we know God loves him more than we can and is in control of this process. To be honest, it is hard to wrap our small minds around why God would want Mathieu in Haiti without parents when we are here waiting on his arrival. But we will stand firm in His faithfulness!
There’s not much adoption progress to update, but God has been working like crazy in our life introducing us to wonderful people. The small things are just so amazing to me. First of all, we were introduced to Payton and Heather Junkin through Jon, the gentleman who took our Dossier to Haiti. They are adopting a one year old boy who is also living with Mathieu in the Children’s Home. So for those who don’t know, my best friend since kindergarten is named Heather and of course Peyton is my husband. It was really cool to meet a couple with so much in common right off the bat. We are so excited and honored to be going through this process with them. Welcome to this crazy journey!
Peyton and I lead a small group at our church. We have 7 couples who get together every 2 weeks and talk about God, learn from each other, and “do life together”. One of the newest couples is Haitian! We are so excited to have Carl and Flore (and their children) in our life. Their daughter is 8 months, and their son is 7 so I’m sure he and Mathieu will be good buddies! They are going to help us with any translation needs we have when Mathieu gets here. We also eat lunch together a lot during small group so we are excited to try Flore’s favorite Haitian dishes.
A couple of weekends ago we had a yard sale to really clean our house out of mix-matched furniture, etc. Our yard sale did really well so we were really happy about that, but there was a big surprise we had. We were trying to sell office furniture (2 desks and a printer stand). We had lots of people comment during the yard sale about how nice they were and at a great price, but no one bought them. We were surprised. We decided to post on Craigslist after the yard sale. We received NO inquiries… until the next Friday. Her name was Renee. She wanted the desks and printer stand. She wanted to come the next day to pick them up. Renee and Victor came over with their little guy who is almost 2. He has the same birthday as my niece AND they have a dog named Noah- which is my nephew’s name. As we were loading the desks in the truck we were talking and realized they are in the process of adopting, too! They started the process in February as well, and they are waiting to be matched with a child(ren). And one more thing, Victor is originally from Louisiana. His dad speaks Creole! I am so serious and could never make this up. No wonder we didn’t sell those desks at the yard sale. Victor also told us his dad would help with translating. We can’t wait to get to know them better and join their adoption journey!
Mathieu lost his first tooth a couple of weeks ago and then started Kindergarten the next week. So he’s been a busy little boy. He’s been taking great care of all the babies and little boys and girls in the Children’s Home. His best friends Kiki and Love went back to live with their family so I’m sure Mathieu is adjusting once again to new faces! His birthday is coming up in less than 2 weeks. We are trying to get some things together to send down to him. We want his birthday to be so happy!
First Day of Kindergarten.
Look! I lost my first tooth!