Thursday, July 13, 2017

Chocolate and tears.....

Well this is a post I have dreading to write since early this week.  So grab some chocolate with me and take a read.

Last post, we were ever-so-close to being submitted to passports .....or so we thought.  Without getting into the nitty-gritty, we have actually take a step backwards.  Ugh, that hits me like a punch in the gut.  No one wants to hear that you've gone backwards in a process that has taken nearly 4 years!  But since I serve an all-knowing God, I will trust in the process that has to happen to legally bring our daughters home to us.  After we repeat this step, we will be back at the Passport submission stage once again.

So the new time frame?
Go ahead - take another bite of chocolate - it will be before Christmas.
Gulp.
Yes, I have had my breakdown and realize that crying never really works.  So we hold onto to positives in a time like this.  Hang on, let me think of one of those positives.....
Just joking - we have still been seeing God's timing and His fulfilling of His promises.
We just have to see it through in a different way than what we thought it was going to look like.

A verse I have been clinging to this week - Hebrews 10:35-36 - "Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward.  For you have need of endurance, so that when  you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised."  God never promised that the road to bring our girls home would be easy - He just asked us to follow Him and hold His hand, and have faith.  So that is what we are doing.  Don't get me wrong - this news was a PUNCH to the gut and a definite faith-tester.  We want to be told "job well done my servant" when we meet Jesus face-to-face and "talk through" the adoption.  So we will hold His hand and continue to let Him lead.

Music has become a huge help to me through this process and Casting Crowns did it again with their new song "Just Be Held".  I've had this song on repeat since the night we got the news.  The lyrics speak to me greatly - listen to some of these:

And when you're tired of fighting
Chained by your control
There's freedom in surrender
Lay it down and let it go

So when you're on your knees and answers seem so far away
You're not alone, stop holding on and just be held
Your world's not falling apart, it's falling into place
I'm on the throne, stop holding on and just be held

Right???!!  Just be held Jen - that's all I keep saying this week!
Does God need to hold you today?  Let Him - it's the easiest way!

We are still accepting any and all prayers!!  We are asking for specific prayers:
-There are 4 families that are desperately wanting to fly through the courts.  Would you pray this happens for all 4 families?  7 children are waiting on this to happen to come home to their forever families!
+ChoPray that our girls continue to thrive in their current environment.
+Pray for me, I want to go and visit them one more time before homecoming, but leaving the girls once again, brings such heart-ache for all of us.  Remember that chocolate - eat more for me!!!
+Endurance for all of us - our kids here are so disappointed in this delay - so it is important that Ryan and I act in obedience.  We want to finish this four year marathon with God's grace, but we need strength and endurance.

Well - I have run out of chocolate, so I will close.  We are blessed to be lifted up by family and close friends to help us with this difficult news.  We thank God for everyone that has walked beside us in this journey!

Monday, June 26, 2017

Changes are coming!!!

So here it is .....almost July and we are still waiting on a homecoming....

However, the wait is getting closer to being over.

We are getting submitted to Passports tomorrow!  We have been waiting over a month to get to this stage!!  At the same time, we will be getting submitted to USCIS.  Both of these steps run concurrent to each other.  (Yay!!)  Both steps are taking about 6-8 weeks to complete.  Then last minute doctor appointments for the girls, some Visa printing, and then travel approval for the rest of us to buy tickets!!

Have we mentioned we are going the crazy route - and taking ALL the U.S. kiddos with us for pickup?  We have prayed and prayed about this since February and truly feel God's leading for this to happen.  So many advantages, only a few disadvantages.

At this point, we are going for an August homecoming!!  Pray with us that this happens!  You all have been so faithful in praying for us thus far and we are so glad you have teamed up with us!

In other news - the Batchelor's are on the move....
We are heading to Richmond, VA in July.  With Ryan's promotion brought a new set of orders.  I'm sure he's doing something really, really important - it just hasn't been put into long term memory for me yet.  I went to Richmond three times in the last two weeks, and the last time I traveled, I found a house!  We can't wait to host visitors after we cocoon a bit with our family!!

Batchelor Academy has started once again.  We are on Week 3, plugging right along.  We (ALL) chose to start early so we can take the maximum time off when the girls come home.  We are anticipating taking our two months off when we get back to solidify bonding and attachment.  We all get to just be a family, without too many distractions and other happenings!!

With all these changes, we are praying we don't forget anything .....ok, we are really praying we don't forget anyone at this point.  We will do our best to stay in communication, however, please realize that this is going to be some serious transitioning for our family.  We have some kiddos that are dealing with all the changes superbly, however, there are those that don't want to move!  Please pray for hearts to be flexible and that they feel grounded, even though everything is changing for them!  They are anxiously awaiting to meet their new sisters, and are even talking about what they are going to do with them first when we all get HOME!

HOME - what a sweet word for us at this time.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Update!!


We’ve had a lot of questions concerning our adoption – timelines, travel, how you can help, etc
So here’s the low-down:

The update – We flew through the smaller courts.  Our latest email from our agency gave us an 8-10 week arrival time of our girls.  However, we realistically think it will be anywhere from mid-June to end of July before we will travel to get them.  This is very exciting because we had planned for September! 

What about moving??? 

Yep, we are wondering the same thing!  God hasn’t revealed His plan for that yet.  Ryan’s orders are up in November, so at the latest we would be moving then, however, it could be anytime from now until Nov.

Where are we going???

Yep, we don’t know that either. 

Timing - So will you move before or after the girls come home? 

Uhhhhh, refer to the above two answers – we don’t know!!

The last few steps of the adoption are to finish up the court processes, issue our daughters passports and visas, and a final medical exam for both our girls.  Then we get the call we have been waiting for, for over 3 ½ years!!  It’s time to travel to get our girls!!  We have to stay in Haiti for 6 days and then we fly home. 

How will you communicate with the girls?  Jenny is furiously attempting to learn as much creole as possible.  Our daughters speak no English, so sign language and “caveman” creole is what we will be doing until the girls pick up English.

So many of you have asked how you can help.  First off, thank you for always supporting and praying us through!!  We still need those prayers desperately!! 

                -Pray for the language barrier. 

-Pray for everyone’s health – as many of you know, our youngest daughter has a blood condition that we are praying stays on the sidelines until we can get her here for good medical care. 

-Pray also for our travels.  We have decided to take the whole family on this trip.  What an experience for our kids here to truly see where part of our family comes from.  What an experience that all of our kids meet on Haitian soil where it will (hopefully) be less intimidating for the girls.  What an experience for us all to bond during that precious time of doing nothing but being together as a family!  This brings up a lot of extra work for Ryan and I – however, we are up for the task, and truly feel that God is opening this door for our family.  Please pray as we continue preparations for this trip. 

-Pray for our girls.  They are losing everything they know and totally trusting their new Papa and Manman!  Our older daughter has a tough outer shell that this will be difficult for her to do.  Pray specifically for leaving their friends they will leave behind, as well as the only place they have ever called home. 

What else????

Since we aren’t sure what arrival will look like yet – we aren’t sure what other help we will need.  So many of you locals have given us clothes, shoes, coats, etc so we are set there.  I’m sure we could always use meals directly after, as we will be cocooning after getting home for a couple of months.  We treasure your prayers throughout the whole process of homecoming!!!  If you have any more questions, don’t hesitate to ask – we will do our best to answer!!

Friday, December 30, 2016

Update on a busy past two months.....

So many things have happened.  Happy, sad, traumatic, exciting times. 

I got to go and see my girls in November.  As many of you know, W was in the hospital the whole time I was there, so I didn't get much quality time with her.  I didn't find out she was in the hospital until my flight was getting ready to take off to PAP.  God worked out the timing for this trip, as well as how everything went down.  I'm not sure she even knew who I was because she was a on serious meds.  Necessary, but meds so powerful, the person looks as though they don't have life behind the eyes.  Yeah, heart-wrenching for this mama to see her baby look like this, when I've only ever seen her smiling.  She ended up being in the hospital a day shy of 3 weeks.  I got to see her twice for about 15 min each.  I have pictures with her, but I'm pretty sure that she won't remember me being there.  So much of that trip was very, very difficult and honestly, it's quite hard to talk about even to this day.  So I will keep the details to a minimum. 

My trip with D was FANTASTIC.  I will NEVER forget that moment when she saw me for the first time.  She was in school and I came into the room.  She turned to look at who it was, and that smile, oh that big smile of hers, forever ingrained into my heart!  She recognized me, she knew I was back to see her.  The first break she got she ran over and told me immediately that her sister was in the hospital.  I told her I knew and that I was hoping to go and see her that day.  She loved on me, crawled into my lap and held my hands.  My heart was about burst.  She knew I was her mama.  I quickly told her this wasn't the homecoming trip so as to not add to the confusion.  I told her we were getting closer, but to keep having faith that we would come back for her and W.  I enjoyed that recess more than any other of the time with her!!  She wouldn't let me go - I felt treasured!! 

We were in country for 4 days with the girls and that time flew by.  The goodbyes were just as difficult - I was hoping for some ease in my heart, nope.  I still wanted to bundle them into my bags and just leave with them.  I am very grateful for that time with my girls, but it makes me want to be their mama even more. 

So here we are almost 2 months have passed since I let their hands go down from a hug.  I'm already yearning to get back to them, to tell them we are on the next step, to have them tell me what they want to play next, to pick out their clothes, to learn more about them, to share more of our lives with them.  So much....  Ryan and I are planning another trip for their birthdays.  We were hoping to get them off the crèche property to just have time with them, but it looks like that isn't going to happen.  We are still working on the details for a trip in Feb.  We are really hoping to tell them they have a new last name and that it matches our last name. 

Today is a sad day.  I've got my "adoption playlist" rolling along with the tears.  Please Lord, let Your timing be quick on this decree.  Sometimes I feel my heart is going to burst and that my lungs can't get a full breath because I want to be with them.  But You know this, You know the exact date.  So I will do my best to rest.....I'm not good at that, so I will need Your help! 
Lord I need you, every hour I need you. 
My one defense, my righteousness
Oh God how I need you. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Another HUGE Step Closer

We got the email about 5:30pm that we had exited this long stage we have been waiting in.....6 months of silence! 

We had a huge party here - Ice Cream Sundae's all around!!  We called and told all our immediate family of the good news!!!  Squeals of delight, tears of joy, mixed in with whooping and hollering like you've never heard!!  We haven't shared the news with everyone yet, because we want to share it with our church family first!  They have been praying for this day since we got back from first meeting you! 


So what does this mean???  The waiting still continues, you aren't coming home....YET!  But, the best news is that I get to see you in November!!!  It's just Mama that gets to come.  Papa desperately wants to, but as he said, it's not his role right now.  He will stay home with the other kids and run the house, as well as earn money for our family.  He is a great provider and you will feel the security it provides when you get HOME!! 

So the next several steps are smaller, and hopefully less of a wait.  But there are a bunch of steps.  We all have to keep praying and having faith in God to get us speedily through the last part of our journey to bringing you girls home! 

We can't share you picture yet with everyone, until you get our last name, which hopefully will be in the next 2 months!  After that we have some more waiting in the courts to do and then Passports and approval from the government on both sides.  We are hoping for a Spring/Summer arrival of two beautiful girlies that we will complete our family!  It will be three years tomorrow that we started our long journey to finding you.  We knew God had something special in this whole process, we just didn't know the details, the who.... the when....  the process....  But God has made it abundantly clear you two girls are made to be Batchelor's babies!! 

Mama is busy, busy, busy making a list and checking it 900 times!  We get to come with your friends' mama as well, so that will be fun!!  We are talking about all that we are going to do together!  I will admit, I am a bit nervous about it:
     -Will you remember me?
     -How will you respond to me? 
     -Will you feel joy?  Or sorrow, knowing I am not going to be able to take you home yet? 
     -Will you remember our family sugars? 
     -How will you respond when I tell you, "Not yet baby girl, not yet?"
     -Will you trust that we will come back for you? 
     -Will this harden your heart towards us? 
     -Will you be even more sad when I leave again? 
So many questions, that I won't be able to answer until I see your sweet faces.  So for now, I will put the questions aside, be excited for our reuniting, and enjoy E.V.E.R.Y. S.I.N.G.L.E. moment I get to spend with you! 

Keep trusting, keep praying, keep hoping, but most of all, keep the faith that God designed our family this way and He will see it through - Promise Maker, Promise Keeper!

Monday, October 10, 2016

Too many months....

To my girlies:

It's been 6 months since I have seen you, or had any kind of communication with you!  Mama's heart is aching to see you and laugh with you!  But guess what....I am coming to see you!  We need one more signature for you to have our last name, and then I can get on a plane and come visit you.  It doesn't mean you are coming home then (I wish!!!), but it does mean that I get to connect with you a little more!  I am sad that Papa can't come, and he is too!  We need lots of faith for this trip to be pulled off, but we serve a God that can do it! 

Today we are celebrating your oldest sister's bday!  Any kind of tradition/celebration/holiday/etc gets harder and harder to celebrate.  We want you here, you are already part of our family, and we feel part of us is missing without you!  We want you to come spend the day with grandparents that are here visiting, we want you to sing with us as we wake Sister up, we want you to be jumping on the trampoline with the kids on this beautiful day, and we want you to eat a special dessert with us for E's birthday!  Like I said, each day gets harder and harder to spend without you in our house and part of our family! 

Last week was especially difficult for Papa and I.  Hurricane Matthew was heading for you and we couldn't do anything to keep you safe.  God protected you, thankfully, as He promises to do.  We got to see a picture of you after announcing that everyone was safe and Mama burst into tears when I saw your faces.  D, you are getting so tall!  W, your sweet smile melts mama's heart still!  I am glad all the nannies and staff were there to help you through what was probably a very scary time in your lives.  We were wishing we could be there to do that.  Hopefully soon we can comfort you and help you to feel safe.  There were many, many people praying for you! 

Only 24 more days until I lay my eyes on you - have faith girls, have faith....


Saturday, September 3, 2016

Tonight....

August has been quiet, which we knew it would be - lots of vacationing going on in Haiti.  I get it, people vacation, people need breaks, people have lives of their own....

But man, my life feels like it has stopped tonight.  The ache down deep in my heart tonight is FOR.REAL.  The desire to hug my girls, to know they are safe, to give them their baths, to kiss them good night and double air-kiss like I do with my kids here - all that deep down is aching.

I know, I know - in Gods timing and I will obey that, but tonight it hurts....

So I turn to my worship music to help me remember that.
"Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders, let me walk upon the waters wherever You would call me.  Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander, and my faith will be made stronger, in the presence of my Savior."

I am trying to have that faith that goes so deep I can't falter, that I can't doubt, that I keep my eyes totally on God.  But tonight, that seems impossible.  If I put my music on repeat, maybe that will help??

When that failed, I had a chat with God.
Reassuring: "God you know the absolute perfect time to bring them home."
Claiming promises: "You will never leave me and won't give me more than I can handle."
Praying in faith: "This plan you started in motion, You will finish."
Somehow the tears still come tonight.....

I know eventually I will fall asleep with tears on my pillow and wake up to a new day feeling closer to God and truly lying in His hands....but tonight.....tonight is just.plain.hard!!