Hopeful Expectation

Friday marked a monumental day in our family! We met with Hassan from the Catholic Charities Family Immigration office and signed the extensive pile of paperwork to submit for Audrey’s green card. When the appointment was over and we pulled out of the parking lot to head for home, I breathed a deep sigh of relief and cried tears of joy.

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For five years now, we have been trying to take this step. In many regards, our case is unique, and the counsel we received from lawyers and immigration officers have often conflicted. We lacked peace for years on how to move forward, so we prayed… and prayed… and prayed! Actually, many have prayed and fasted over these years for us, and we know without a doubt those prayers were not wasted!!! They sustained us in this season of waiting. They pushed back darkness time and time again, and they moved us to a point of action.

Last Christmas, Richard and I bought this ornament of a U.S. Passport, and we kept it on our dresser all year as a declaration that God was going to take this impossibility and turn it into a possibility! This year we hung it on our tree in hopeful expectation.

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Hassan was a God-send for our family. He’s originally from Iraq and has worked at Catholic Charities for ten years. He shared with us his love for helping people. He can deeply sympathize with those he serves because he once was an immigrant himself. He’s married to a beautiful woman from Russia and spends his days helping others sort through the difficult immigration process.

We met with him three times in this journey of working through Audrey’s case. We shared stories and laughed together. Friday, as I reflected on the long journey we’ve been on in Audrey’s adoption, he said something I’ll never forget. “You never stopped fighting for her.” Those words moved me within. No, we never did because she’s so worth it; if we had to do it all over again, we would!

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Now that the papers are signed, Hassan will have his supervisor look at them and make sure there are no red flags. If all is clear, then the packet will be mailed to USCIS, and we wait. The process could take anywhere from 9 months to 18 months. Ultimately, we are praying for success! However long is needed for a favorable response, we will wait.

We’re praying now for the immigration officer who will sort through the package of forms, fees, and pictures. We’re praying they will see without a doubt that Audrey should be granted her permanent residency. We’re trusting God will fulfill His promise to see this through to the end, for He who promised is faithful!

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Christmas is approaching, and we are excited. This year as we decorated our Christmas tree, I thoroughly enjoyed unpacking the ornaments, which represent 29 years of God’s blessings in our family. Most of our ornaments are connected to something unique and special in our lives in the year. It was fun to reflect and laugh together as we decorated.

This year, we plan to travel to the east to see our beloved friends and family. We will leave on Friday, Dec. 14th and will be in NC for a week, and then on to SC and GA to spend time with family. We’ll be traveling for 3 weeks and can’t wait. We look forward to cold weather, maybe some snow 😃, good food, and most of all sweet fellowship with others.

Please be praying for us. Our car is older, and we’ve had to put a lot of money this year into it. Please pray for traveling mercies. We need this car to keep on ticking until we can get a new one!

Pray for our time with others. May God direct our steps and be glorified in our conversations. We can’t wait to connect with many of you!! We look forward to swapping stories around dinner tables and relishing in God’s goodness in all of our lives.

We’re also especially thankful Molly will be joining us from Seattle for a few days over Christmas. Pray for her safety as she travels.

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The greatest gift we’ve all been given is Jesus. I’m so thankful to know Him and to be loved by Him. On the Magnolia’s Journal winter issue, there’s a phrase on the cover that makes me smile ~ The Thrill of Hope: Choosing to Live in Hopeful Expectation.

In this season of Advent, where the beauty of waiting is a theme, I want to live in hopeful expectation. God is good ALL the time. His mercies are new every morning. Great is His faithfulness.

Thank you for continuing to journey with us in missions. You are loved!

 

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