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Sunday, August 14, 2011

Waiting on a visa

So, I know I've neglected to update here, as I promised I would.
Do you ever feel too sad to go public with all your emotions and tell cyberspace exactly how you're feeling?
That's been a lot of this summer, and I chose this time to revive my blog. Ironic.
But I know it's time to update so many who are praying for our Ella to come home, and ask you to pray specifically.
Obviously, we left our Ella in Ghana.
That was one of the hardest things we've ever done, to sum it up simply.
We tried to explain governmental bureaucracy to an eight-year-old for two days, explained where she would be going after we left...in ASL/ Ghanaian signs...but our explanations fell flat.
She didn't understand, and we don't understand it really either.
Our experiences with the U.S. Embassy have not been all pleasant. That was disappointing.
Everything I knew about U.S. Embassies was on the movies. Like everything else in movies, it's not quite the same.
We brought our little girl to the airport. She and I both had started crying about two hours before the airport.
I held her and cried with her right up to the very last minute.
I would sign things to her like "You know we love you, right?" She would shrug.
I would sign, "when you come to America, we will celebrate! We will have a party! I don't know when it will be, but we will be waiting for you!"
She would shrug.
She didn't know those things. She doesn't have a context for parental faithfulness. She doesn't really know if we're people of our word.
Right now, she waits at her school, in the care of her headmaster, but I don't know how she's feeling. I don't know if she expects us to come for her at all? Has she written us off yet?
I pray she hasn't.
I am praying that God would whisper in her ear, "They're coming back for you. They're coming. Just wait."
We are waiting too.
It felt completely wrong to come home and move on with life as usual.
It was wonderful to wrap our arms around our four little ones here at home! Wow! We missed those kids!
However, jet lagged parents should not be allowed to parent unsupervised upon arrival.
We were completely unfit parents! Rusty came down with a fever in the first hour we were home.
We both had felt sick, but I thought it was just that youth group lock-in feeling from "sleeping" on an airplane, traveling for 24 hours, and eating the airplane snacks and what was left in my disghusting backpack.
But when I saw Rusty with fever and ASLEEP when we arrived, I knew we were in trouble.
I thought for sure he'd brought the souvenir of MALARIA home with us.
He ached, had a headache, chills and fever. You know what that's called in Africa? Malaria.
But thank the Lord, his fever came down, and he assured me it was some other virus. Still a virus picked up in Africa. Not very comforting.
Rusty has since recovered, thank you dear Lord.
We have spent time with our attention starved children.
The giant pile of LIFE waiting for me has been waded through and sorted into piles, some of it accomplished.
Life is moving on in this house with our four children.
BUT WE HAVE FIVE. We have five children. One is missing. We left her on another continent across the ocean.
We are awaiting her visa, and then Rusty will be on a plane to go get her!
We don't have a way to communicate with her, so pray with us that she knows we are coming for her.
But we don't know when.
Let me try to break this down as best I know how.
There are two main parts to getting our little girl a visa.
The first falls under the Department of Homeland Security. They can take up to 60 business days to review her file. Yes friends, that is about three months.
They can interview all of her birth family, and anyone else they want. It would be about a 10 hour trip, a long bus ride, to get them from their village to Accra and the Embassy. But it happens all the time.
We have a great praise to report, in that we received our approval from the DHS on Friday!!! I sat shocked with my coffee and hardly awake at my computer Friday morning! There it was. I read it, reread it, and then called Rusty! Wow! It only took 8 business days! Praise the Lord!!!
Next, we have the Consular Dept. They should contact us soon and tell us what we need to do and when we can come for her exit visa interview.
We have heard of people getting appts. within two weeks, or two months. There's no way for us to know when.
We hope to hear from them soon!
Please pray with us for an appt. very soon, and for Rusty to be able to go and get our little girl and bring her home!!!
Friends and Family, you have no idea what is about to hit you! This girl is one BIG personality! I'm ready to introduce our world to Emmanuella Bacak.
I'm ready for her to come home!


Rachel said...

Wow! Thanks for the update and for the specific prayer requests. She's beautiful- what a smile!

The Arguellos said...

Thanks so much for sharing this with us Jenn! I was wondering how things were going with getting Ella to the states. We're praying for you guys as you are waiting on God. I agree with Rachel, her smile is beautiful! :)