Battle Cry: Part 3
“A battle cry is a yell or chant taken up in battle, usually by members of the same combatant group.” Suit up with us as we battle in prayer for our little boy.
Things are still moving along VERY quickly! It’s causing us to dream big dreams and pray big prayers of being a family of 5 early THIS SUMMER! Here is what God orchestrated this month:
Our 11.8 lb (not an exaggeration, guys) box of paperwork went to India this month! It arrived around Valentine’s Day, which is pretty cool since so much love & hope (and sweat & tears & maybe even blood- paper cuts count, right?) went into those documents.
A sweet friend had a Noonday fundraiser for us. People purchased fair trade jewelry, and we got 20% of the proceeds. It was a win-win-win situation! Plus, it gave us almost the exact amount needed to resubmit our I800a application, which comes with a pretty hefty fee for something we were JUST approved for in January. (More details about the I800a below.)
We received our I800 Approval on February 15, which cleared our little one to come and live with us! So we were able to apply for his Visa (DS-260) and request our Article 5 letter on February 16.
We received our Article 5 Letter from the US Embassy in New Delhi within 5 total days (including the weekend)....when it “should have” taken 3-4 weeks! This was the fastest we’ve seen anyone receive it lately. We even got ours before some people who have been (and are still) waiting much longer. (Sorry, people who we cut in front of somehow.) That step marked the end of the US side of our adoption process....until it’s time to bring him into the US!
Our big, crazy, impossible prayer since the moment we saw our son’s face has been that we would be granted our No Objection Certificate (NOC) before our son’s birthday on April 6. We really wanted him to know by his first birthday that he has a family. Well, it turns out that our God is even bigger than big, crazy, impossible prayers. We were granted NOC on March 1! (The 5 year anniversary of when we started the adoption process. God, in His goodness, redeemed another difficult anniversary for us!)
1. Now, we are fervently praying for a court date. Pray that we would be assigned a legal advocate who will be proactive and move things along quickly. Pray that our judge will be pro-International adoption and will not delay our process. The courts in this region also close for the entire month of May. So our next big, crazy, seemingly impossible prayer is that we would get a court date before court closes. This seems like a long shot, but God has moved bigger mountains than this recently. If you pray over nothing else on this list, please pray with us over THIS request specifically!
2. We applied for our Visas to India. (Oh my goodness- that makes it seem SO real! We are going to India SOON!) Most people are granted 10 YEAR, multiple entry Visas to India. Because of Marcus's occupation, we’ve been told that we will *probably* get 6 month Visas and that Marcus “most likely” won’t be denied entry if we go through a 3rd party Visa Service. Reassuring, right!? Pray that we would be granted longer Visas OR that both of our trips to India will be within this 6 month window. Actually, I like that second prayer request much better- let us bring our baby HOME in less than 6 months!
We will most likely make 1 trip to India for court, then leave our LEGALLY recognized SON in India, and return back to India once he has been issued a passport, which is typically about 60 days later. Oh y’all, start praying for me now. How can I leave him once I meet him, hold him, and once he’s officially a Mackey?!
Also, India’s Visa application process required us to mail our passports off with a whole lot of paperwork so that our Visas can be stamped directly inside them. Something about sending our passports to someone else is a little unsettling. Lol. Pray that our passports come back to us quickly...with those stamps inside!
3. Pray that we would get an update about our son soon. Now that we have NOC, our agency has requested an update, a new photo, and new measurements, but we’ve heard his orphanage doesn’t really like to give updates. It’s so hard being on the other side of the world, wondering if he’s doing okay. Pray for his health, his development, and that he is loved by his caretakers. I often ask God for someone to hold him, play with him, sing to him, or talk to him when I long to do it myself.
Pray for my heart as we wait. Sometimes it feels like we are so close, and sometimes it feels like we will never hold him in our arms. Marcus is a little better at compartmentalizing than I am, so the waiting is not quite as difficult for him. Our little one is now 11 months old, and I already know that our April 6 update will be a difficult one. You guys, I can’t even fathom missing our child’s first birthday. We are praying and believing that it is the last birthday that he will spend without a family though, praise Jesus!.
4. Less Exciting Part Alert:
Because we had to amend our home study (as mentioned last month + one more time since last month - goodness gracious, I’ll spare you the drama!) we have to update our previously granted approval, the I800a. Any changes- even 1 teeny tiny paragraph in your home study that restates that you are psychologically sound enough to adopt a child - has to be reported to the United States Citizenship & Immigration Services. As much as we didn’t want to redo it, we are thankful that we can keep the rest of our process moving forward while we are still waiting on this update. We have already resubmitted it, but we want to be re-approved quickly so we can check it off our list. (It just feels nice to check things off [again], right?)
Thank you so much for praying for our son and our process. We believe that your prayers and our good, good Father are the reason that these mountains are moving. I mean, just look at this checklist! We checked FOUR things off that list in TWO WEEKS....when it should have taken months. Only God can move like that, my friends.