Monday, September 24, 2007

WE HAVE HOPE IN HIM

“I met them. I met our kids”. These were the first words Jeff spoke to me after we hugged and cried. Tears streamed so I asked him to hold off on telling me anymore because my eyes were blurred, it was dark, and I didn’t want to run us off the road. So it wasn’t until the next day, after he got some rest that we had our conversation.

I asked him…”Jeff, be totally honest with me. Tell me…Did you know they were our kids…you know, like in marriage, when you just KNOW that this person standing before you is your husband. (at least, this is what happened to me). Like when I just knew, or at least I really believed that you were to be my husband. ??? Jeff looks me in the eyes and says. “They are ours, Katie” “They are our kids”. He said, “It’s funny you used the marriage analogy, because as I was thinking about how I would tell people about our kids, I would tell them that I know like I knew Katie was my wife”.

Originally we both agreed it would best not to meet our kids, as to not confuse them. It turned out that Jeff went to the little kid orphanage at nap time and so they were groggy, confused and probably thought it was all a dream. Patty introduced Jeff as her medical friend, not as their father.

Then I proceeded to see the pictures he took. Wow…..They are sooo little in his arms. They are our kids. Jeff told me that as much as we thought they were ours before he went to Liberia; he said it is confirmed 100 times more now. He also said he needed to see for himself if our kids were as amazing as all of our friends, who have met them have told us.Jeff said they were even more amazing, sweet,and beautiful!!!! I am happy he met them. I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.

*Here is some of Jeff’s random journal notes just thought I’d share a little, of course with his consent
Thursday

The embassy said no. I am desperate for options. Don’t even know what I can do for options. As far as I can tell they are orphans. They are definitely completely impoverished. They don’t want the kids. I can’t send them back to where they came from. Could I get a visitor visa? Keep them for 2 years? Live abroad for 2 years? Did I do everything I could have? I asked God to make a way. Is this the way?

I’m sitting here in a café. Need some hope now. I leave tomorrow; I can’t bear flying home with no hope. I will not give up this fight. What are our options? A guy just walked by holding a sign that said “Nothing can take God’s place”. Kids outside are washing the UN vehicle on their own without being asked, just to make some money. I can’t allow the picture in my mind to be Sobie and Fatu doing that. They wouldn’t even get this chance because the UN is not in their Toe Community. Whose car would they wash? The poor don’t have cars. The UN land rover looks good. My kids would have done a better job. But they’ll never get this chance if I can help it.
Final day in Liberia:
Exhausted, definitely numb. Feel like I failed, I know I did all that I could. Why????
I met our kids today. Patty introduced me as her medical friend Jeff. It was nap time at the orphanage so they were groggy and confused. I don’t know what they thought, they seemed tired and confused. Fatu was shy and Osobie was responsive to whatever I asked him. They smelled so sweet. They were so soft and they were very small—tiny actually. Fatu was almost as tall as Sobie. They were beautiful. They showed me where they slept. I didn’t want to let them go. They both sat on my lap and fit perfectly. They were beautiful. I am flying home as we speak. I miss them already. I feel depressed and miss my wife. I wish I was there, when I heard the news. I wish I was with Katie. She is taking it very hard. I have mixed feelings. I wanted to see the kids to assure myself that they were as beautiful as I thought. They are more beautiful. They were stunning and sweet and tender. I thought maybe I’d be on this flight with them, trying to figure out how to be a parent and loving it. I would have given anything to fly 30 hours with 2 crying kids with me. I am tired, I miss my wife, I want my kids. Of the 4 trips I’ve had to
Africa, this is by far the worst. My days were full, late nights. The trip was a blur and what do I have to show for it? Couple stamps on my passport. That’s it. No kids!!!

We feel His presence. We feel His peace. He is our peace. We are surrounded by such a blanket of His love. We feel your prayers. We know you are praying because the Lord is here among us. You have faithfully lifted our family for many weeks now, when I know your lives are just as busy and just as hard. We never thought we’d be on this journey this long, nor did we think it would be his hard. We said it before and we continue to say that we want to be in His will, no matter what it looks like. The Lord has been speaking in so many ways to our hearts through this all. I hope to capture it all in the days and weeks to come. It’s all still in process and marked on tear stained journal pages. Even now…we have received phone calls and emails from people all over the U.S. There is a common theme.

Do not give up hope
This is not the end
Do not give up
This is not it
God can do the impossible!
God raised Lazarus from the dead!!
Galatians 6:9- And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart
.
Hope, Hope, Hope,
GOD IS NOT DONE!!
This will bring GLORY to God!!

We are still sifting through paperwork and getting our bearings. We are planning on meeting with an immigration lawyer, writing letters to as many folks as we can, and are discussing our other options. For now we have to sit tight for a little bit while we figure out our case and how we will present it to the Senators and Congressmen. Once we have a plan, we would be so blessed, so grateful, so stoked if you all would join us in our fight! We will need each and every one of you to help us fight for our kids! You have journeyed with us, you have held us up, and you have fought for Osobie and Fatu already with us in prayer! We Thank You!!! We love you all! Your emails, your words, your love is a huge blessing...just huge…words cannot express.

17 comments:

Dani said...

I can't even imagine what you are going through. And I am so sorry you are. Your children are beautiful. I have been praying for your family as well. I can't understand this new consular, but I know she is not the be all and end all. Be encouraged that God can move mountains and even small things like legalities and visas. I will continue to pray for your family.
Blessings,
Danielle
www.xanga.com/mylifeinashoe

Scott and Katy said...

Katie and Jeff,
We will stand and fight with you. I couldn't stop crying through this post.
I have to tell you that the gleam in Jeff's eye and the pride that beams from his face as he holds your children is just one other piece of confirmation that those children are yours!
You're right, he is a great daddy!
Scott and I are so proud of you. You are incredible parents.
We are praying constantly for you!
Love,
Katy

Donna Barber said...

You are incredible parents and I stand with you! I believe this is not the end but the beginning. Keep up the good fight as we all keep you in prayer.

Scott and Katy said...

Jeff and Katie,
Your faith is inspiring. Just like the parable ... It's past midnight, you have guests at the house who need bread, keep knocking on your neighbors door. Our heavenly Father loves us more than this. We will pray that God gives you wisdom on the next course of action. He who calls is faithful to see this to completion. Do not doubt God's voice because of the challenges or the difficulties. He is able.
Hold fast,
Scott

Rachel said...

praying fervently for you jeff and katie. so earnestly, please Lord help them find a way to bring their children home. In Jesus name amen. love, rachel and ryan

Dono & Laurie said...

OK- I'm dying over this picture of Jeff and F&O!!!!! We love you all! What can we say...we are desperately crying out for God to bring them home...what will this look like? All we know is that we will walk through it with you! What a joyous day for Jeff to have his little Liberian babies in his arms!! It is not over...I truly believe God is working on their behalf(and yours!)Can't wait to see you both-
BIG BIG LOVE~
Laurie

Bekah Mommy to 3 said...

You have prayer warriors praying for your family, your children, for the completion of this birth into your family. If you need signatures our church family would be willing to sign and we would be proud to add a letter too. Our adoptions have been from China, but we understand the pain and wainting pains of paper pregnancies. Please take peace in knowlede that God has you, and your children in his hands. And we will not stop praying til the break through comes.
Yours in Christ,
Bekah Vincent
Madsionville KY

the Isaacs said...

I so deeply believe those kids are yours, Katie. I don't know why you are having to fight so hard for them - I don't understand it at all. But I want you to keep fighting! I'm praying that God gives you and Jeff the strength, wisdom, peace, hope, and determination that you will need!

adopting lady said...

Shivers ran down my back as I read your post. The Johnsons are standing next to you, ready for battle.

Way to go Jeff!

Heather said...

I found your blog through the McBride's blog and wanted you to know I am praying with you for a miracle. God will be glorified in this!!

Tasha said...

My heart cries with you. You are in my prayers.

Michelle said...

Thank you for the update. We will continue to pray.

Brandi said...

We are praying. Praying and crying and seeking the Lord with you. Asking Him to give you wisdom. James says that if anyone lacks wisdom, he can ask and get it! Oh LORD, give Jeff and Katie your wisdom and discernment to know what to do next. May they listen and follow you. Protect their children. Love on them with the same arms you are using to hold Jeff and Katie. May they sit in your lap together. Thank you Jesus

Brandi

amber said...

Wow, Your hearts of hope are beautiful. We are awed by the level of faith and trust you are walking in... It is truly incredible to hear you share the struggle and the faith in the Lord through it all. Thank you for your vulnerability so we know better how to pray.
May the Lord go with you as you stand so solidly in faith.
We are standing solidly with you. We have not given up on your kids, either! Just let us know what to do and we will fight with you for them!!!
Praying and trusting,
Amber and Peter G.

Carolyn said...

We just wanted you both to know we are praying for you and your children.

Dan Borchert said...

Katie and Jeff,
Now before you get too confused, let me explain. My last name happens to be "Borchert". As I was looking for something about me, I saw that there was theborcherts.blogspot.com. So naturally I checked it out. Well I dont know if somehow we are related or not. what I do know is that I am praying for you guys in this awsome quest. keep up the good work.

Dan Borchert

thebeginningofsomethinglegendary.blogspot.com

Lisa G said...

Katie and Jeff,

we were honored to meet you both recently, and our hearts have been swept up in your journey. We will be praying for you and your beautiful children. A verse I heard this morning prompted prayers for you - "Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be barren is in her sixth month. For nothing is impossible with God." (Luke 1:36-37)We call on the God of impossiblities to break down barriers and make a way.

Blessings,
Lisa and Mike - Fort Collins