Home!

We are home! Yay! God is so good!

Several people I have seen this week that are not on Facebook said that they were wondering if we made it home….we did! I am sorry about that…totally should have posted something on the blog. 🙂

We were able to go to the Embassy on Friday morning and had all of the correct paperwork…well, almost…there were a few more things we had to fill out. They told us to be there by 8 AM…we were there by 7:30 AM…ready to go in. It is an interesting process to even enter the Embassy…we are very grateful for the security measures taken and did not complain.

We had our interview and….only one hour later….we had his visa!!! Praise Jesus! It was one of our shortest waits during our entire stay in Guyana. We were so happy! The consulate at the US Embassy in Guyana is awesome, and we are forever grateful for her.  I could see our Lydia working at a US Embassy one day…

We were so elated when we got back to the hotel…it was a joy to start packing.  We got to celebrate at a yummy Chinese restaurant when Brother Jai (missionary with Celebration of Love) stopped by and took us to lunch. It was so good to see him again. I am so glad that God prompted my heart to go with Brother Jai, Beth and the crew to Guyana in 2011….I would have never imagined that I would be so connected to the country a few years later.

Isaiah said his ‘good-byes’ to the hotel staff that afternoon and to the sweet lady at the gas station that we visited every day for our water. They really got to know us since we were there for two weeks in December and this latest trip. They were so happy for our little guy, and we promised to come back and visit one day.

We also received a sweet visit from the dear family that cared for our son during the two months we had to come back home. They brought Guyanese presents and sweet conversations to us that night. I can not say thank you enough to them for how they cared for our son. He was one sick, fragile, little boy when we left him in their care in December…and when we returned he was much healthier, happy boy…Thank you!! They are extended family now for sure.

After finishing packing and saying our good-byes, we all tried to get a little sleep but that didn’t really happen…we were all ready for the 1:30 AM  knock on the door that told us it was time to head to the airport and leave Guyana this time. On the hour long ride to the airport Isaiah sat on the lap of the daughter of the Pastor and said his good-byes…he is a night owl so being up at that time did not bother him at all. During the ride we just reminisced of all the great things that God had done through out this process…the Pastor reminded me that our little guy’s first birth certificate went to several different villages before it even reached the Pastor’s house….my journal is full of details of how God’s hand was moving…so many details of His guidance. We are so grateful and in awe of His wonder and grace.

We made it to the airport and the plane was there!!! Yay! I did not want another cancelled flight like our first experience here….Although, let me tell you the good that came from the first cancelled flight…we were able to get a voucher because of the  December delay and use it to buy an extra seat on the plane for our little guy. 🙂 We had three seats for an extra $23.00…God is so good!

We were armed with bottles, lollipops and Cheerios so we did okay on our first flight. It was only about 1 hour long so it wasn’t bad. Then we landed in Trinidad and had to go through security, wait and then change planes.  We got on our second flight…buckled in and we were ready to fly. Then we heard the pilot say “Ladies and Gentlemen…Engine Number one had some problems starting…we are going to have to taxi back to the gate…” So here we go…we wait. We were kind of getting used to that so we just decided that there was no reason to worry…we just waited.

Engine One started working and then we were on our way to Miami….Yay! Isaiah was ready to play on the second flight so we were very grateful for the extra seat. He played peek-a-boo with the first class curtain, ate a lot of Cheerios and even slept some during the second flight. We all were very excited to land. God even allowed us to share His story on the plane with some of the flight crew. All in all it was a good trip to Miami.

It felt so good to step off the plane into America…once his feet hit American soil our little guy became an American citizen. I may or may not have been humming…”Oh say can you see…” Ha! After some Homeland Security business and baggage pick-up, we were on our way to our rental car. It was his first time in a car seat so that was an interesting adventure. 🙂

After a couple hours, our first pit-stop was to stop by Beth and Steve’s house. They are the couple who God planted the vision to reach Guyana for Him. It was great to see them! I will be forever grateful to them and their love of Jesus and Guyana. They prayed for us, Isaiah and even his future wife…love them!

We hit the road and introduced Isaiah to Chick-Fil-A. I am not sure he was too impressed, but Ben and I did enjoy the chicken goodness. We decided that a night stop in Jacksonville was the best option for us. We were all pretty tired. So we pulled into the Holiday Inn and….they were having a huge party. It was like 11:00ish at night and the party was just getting started. We laughed and thought about our adventure at the WindJammer with the Jamaican soccer team. We just rolled with it and went to our room. It was such a HUGE blessing to have a hot shower and comfy bed. We started out early the next morning…it was Ben’s bday and we were all ready to be home.

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We made it! Home Sweet Home!

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It was so great to see Jay and Lydia. They love their new brother so much! It was such a wonderful day!

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I know it was one of Ben’s favorite bdays!

So within the first week of being of family of five…Isaiah has been busy…haircut, grocery store, doctor visit, shoe shopping, church, visits from friends, etc. He had an eventful first week in NC. He also celebrated his brother’s eighth birthday and brought Jay’s class some Krispy Kreme doughnuts. I pretty sure we are not doing things like the adoption books tell us to do when you first get home, but we did have 4 weeks with him in a small hotel room so we do not feel too bad about venturing out. It is for our own sanity. 🙂

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Jay had a great bday. Much thanks to the Grandparents! We are so grateful for them. I know that over four weeks of grandkid care was not easy. We are so thankful!

Our hearts are so full of gratitude for everyone who had a part of this journey of bringing number five home. We can not say thank you enough for ALL that you guys did. We are still enjoying your kindness through the meals being brought to our house. We are so thankful! Please grant us grace if you see us walking around looking kind of sleepy…we are adjusting to our new normal. 🙂

Thank you all for walking with us through out this journey…we can’t wait for you to meet our little guy in person.

Guess this might be the last entry for a while….we are no longer looking for number five…praise God!

Although we know the real adventure/journey is just now beginning with our little guy…we can’t wait to share with him one day how God is the one who rescues…

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With Lots of Love,

The Crawfords

 

 

 

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His Timing…

Image Yay! On March 14, we received his passport. We were so excited and overjoyed.  Little did we know that March 14th was also the date that our fingerprints expired (yes, apparently fingerprints can expire) for our I-600…more on that later.

Then March 15th happened…

Image We got to help hand out Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes!

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The Pastor that kept our little guy for 2 months works with OCC and passes out boxes through out Guyana.  It was so much fun to be on this side of the shoebox ministry.

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After we passed out shoeboxes, the church was transformed into a farewell party for our little guy. There was plenty of food and great fellowship.  It was such a kind gesture of their love and generosity. Several church members came and said their good-byes.  A song was even written and performed for him. We were able to video the ceremony so he can enjoy it when he is older and awake (it was a long day…and Ben’s shoulder was a perfect place to take a nap)

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Then we had two more days before our interview at the Embassy.

photo-3  We spent those two days hanging out by the pool at the hotel and talking with some of the guests. Being at the hotel for over a month, we have met several groups passing through from a very LOUD Jamaican soccer team to some Peace Corps volunteers. Each time we meet people at the hotel we are able to share God’s story working in our lives…We also have gotten to know the hotel staff. They have come to love our Isaiah. And we are often told that we are spoiling him…oh well. 🙂 I am going to miss the weather. We hear that some cold weather is still hanging around NC…I am personally not looking forward to that (Ben would not say the same…he likes the cold…weird, I know.)

photo-5 We also got some surprise visits from some new sweet friends. They brought us some yummy treats often.

Then the greatly anticipated date of the 18th was approaching…but not before Ben got really sick the night before. It was a long night. I am 100% sure that I have never seen Ben so sick and 3AM internet diagnosis is never a good thing. All we could do was pray…and then morning came and Ben felt better. Praise God!

We got all of our paperwork together and headed to the Embassy for our 1PM appointment. Everything seemed to be going great and then…it was told to us that our fingerprints for our I-600 (one of the many, many forms you have to fill out in order to bring your adopted child back to the US) had expired on the 14th of March. What?! We were told not to come until the 18th…should we have pushed more and just shown up every day at the Embassy? we asked ourselves… then we thought it was not the time to play the blame game or beat ourselves up over not knowing when exactly our fingerprints expired…it was time to pray and figure out what we needed to do. One thing that we have experienced time and time again here is that there is no one holding your hand telling you exactly what to do next…you have to take many leaps of faith and trust in Him.

So we got our fingerprints taken again for I believe the 3rd time in this whole adoption process. Ironically we were getting paper fingerprints done next to an electronic fingerprint scanner. The USCIS Adoption department would not accept the electronic fingerprints from the US Embassy…oh well. We were told that the last FedEx delivery leaves Guyana at 2PM…and it was 1:50 when we began what seemed like eternity for the fingerprint guy to roll our fingers in ink. It was quite the scene trying to keep Isaiah occupied while we got two sets each of our fingerprints…good times. Then the biometrics specialist looks at us and says, “What address would you like me to put on the envelope?” What?! We don’t know…so we scramble through our mountain of paperwork and find a UCSIS office address in Missouri so we just go with that. We put our birth certificates, home study, etc. into the envelope and rush to the FedEx office. We totally missed the 2PM deadline and there is no overnight package option here. We sent the package, got the tracking number and prayed.

We woke up Wednesday morning and saw that it was shipped on Wednesday morning, and it should arrive on Friday morning. Our ticket to leave Guyana is for 5:45 AM on Saturday. The Embassy told us that it was not looking good if our package did not get there until Friday. Ben called the USCIS office and talked with a kind Officer. She told us that she would look for the package and do the best that she could. She told us that once the prints get there it could be up to three days before they are scanned and processed. Our hearts sank a little…okay they sank a lot.

We decided to get on our knees and pray. We prayed and prayed. We know that God can bend time and that He is above time. So we prayed that He would move…and He did!!! God is so awesome.

Our package got to MO today (Thursday)! It made it into the right hands, and it was quickly scanned and processed. So what should have taken 3 days happened in an afternoon. Praise God!

Also we were able to get our little guy’s 2nd physical exam today (another piece of the puzzle that has to be completed)

photo-7  He only had to get 1 shot. And the doctor was so kind and gentle with him. She is from India originally, and so I was talking to her about how our Lydia loves India, etc. And you know what this doctor did? She gave me several books on India that I can take home to give to Lydia. I can’t wait to tell her about this doctor and give her the books.

We got an email from the Embassy asking if we could come in first thing in the morning (Friday) for a visa interview!!! Yay! They told us that they do not typically do visa interviews on Friday, but that they will let us come in…Thank you, God!

So here we are…tomorrow morning (8AM) we will go in for our visa interview and pray that we can receive his visa by 4:00PM. They told us that they can not promise us that it will happen, but they will try their best.

Please pray that we have all the forms that we need for the interview…and that it will go smoothly. We are praying that we get a visa for Isaiah tomorrow so that we can be on our Saturday morning flight.

 

photo-12 We will always have a deep love for Guyana and will be back one day. We are so glad that we are no longer looking for number five… we are so ready to bring him home. I miss Jay and Lydia lots!

Thanks again for your prayers!

 

 

 

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Making Progress

Image We got the call that this little guy’s new birth certificate was ready! So Ben headed over to the Records Building to pick it up on Monday. Yay! Yes, it involved waiting and some miscommunication about it being still at Court, but in the end Ben returned with the Crawford birth certificate in hand.

We are so thankful for phones and communication while we are here…No, it doesn’t always work (we have missed a few calls being placed to our room) and the power is sometimes turned off but all in all it has been so great to actual see Jay and Lydia. We are so grateful for Skype. Whew…I sure do miss those guys.

Speaking of phones, we had a few hours on Friday when we could not find Ben’s phone. He tried everything from find my phone app to throughly searching our little hotel room. Sure, he was sad about the phone itself, but really he was sad about all of the pictures and videos on the phone.(PSA…take time now to back up your phone) And he didn’t want pics of our kids going around Guyana so he decided to press the ERASE button on the Apple website…I was inside the hotel room and I thought, “I can’t believe that I haven’t really prayed about finding his phone…I mean, in everything and in every situation we should pray, right?” So I got down on my knees and started praying…looked up which was under the bed and guess what was there? His phone!!  (And yes, I had looked earlier in that same spot) So I run out of the room and yell to him ” I found it!” as he had just pressed the ERASE button on the computer. All ended well because somehow my tech-savy guy managed to back up the phone onto his computer before connecting it to the internet so all of his pics/videos were saved! I love how God is in every detail of our lives. I love Him so.

Image  So we pack up some snacks, and head to the Passport Office to….wait.

It was like a game of musical chairs in there. We couldn’t take any pictures because no cameras were allowed. But basically we moved literally from one chair to another for over two hours. We were able to talk with an immigration officer, and he was very kind and patient with us. Isaiah was ready to leave by the time we had our Passport interview. They had to take another picture of him, and it will be interesting to see how it turns out. He is becoming more and more active each day, which is a good thing. It is so wild to think about how still and sick he was when we first met him in December. He is definitely becoming more and more vocal each day and…night. We are bonding in all hours of the night. 🙂

Image Hotel Living… No kitchen. I do not like to cook, but even I am ready to mix something up and put it in the oven. I am not sure Ben and I will eat another protein bar in our lives. These four walls can sometimes close in on you…then I remember my first trip to Guyana and how I visited prisons here…then my thoughts turn to Paul and how he was under ‘house arrest’ and even today fellow brothers and sisters in Christ are stuck in 100% worse prisons than this hotel room just because of their faith in Jesus. It has caused us to pray hard for the prisoner regardless of why they are imprisoned.

Image Praise God for this water tub! We got this the other day, and it has been such a blessing. It is a toy, washing machine and a bath tub all in one. It has been wonderful to have!

Image We are falling in love with this guy more and more each day.

Image We are literally counting down the days until we can (hopefully) bring him home.

Image We love Isaiah and we love his birth country. Although there are many problems here in Guyana, there are people who want to make a change for Christ. This is how the coastline looks here…not somewhere you want to hang out and vacation and we have witnessed things at our hotel that are not beautiful, but we believe that God does make beautiful things out of our wreckage and trash.

Image Guyana is forever stamped on our hearts. And we commit to pray for this Caribbean nation on the coast of South America.

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Day 16 of our Guyanese Adventure

Yesterday was a good day here in Guyana. We headed out early in the morning to the Govt. Records Building to start the process for our little guy’s new Guyanese birth certificate. We were told that it should be ready by Monday morning…a lot sooner than the four months we waited for his first birth certificate. We are praying that it does come by Monday. We found out that it will not have his name “Isaiah” on it but it will say “Crawford”…minor detail that we are not going to worry too much about. There is no way we want to send our files back to High Court. We will worry about an official name change when we make it to the States. 🙂  We also had to get a matter fixed on another certificate while we were there…someone in the records department had written the date 2003 vs. 2013…Praise God I found the mistake before our Embassy interview. Thankfully we were able to fix that problem yesterday.

Image Hard to remember to walk on the left side of the stairs at the Records Bldg.

Next we were off to get a Passport Picture made. He did awesome while getting his picture made. We had a couple hours before we could pick up the picture so we decided to go to the grocery store. It is called Survival Store here. It is always interesting shopping for groceries in another country. The cost of living here is high if you buy the American imports on the shelf. We decided to stick with the basics of diapers, formula and water… knowing that we will be able to enjoy the familiar foods in a few weeks.  (We would be lying if we told you we were not talking and dreaming about our first meals back home and being able to brush our teeth with tap water) But since we are in Guyana we eat spicy, hot food on hot, spicy days. 

Image Ben, Pastor Narine, and Raymond enjoying curry chicken. It was SPICY!

Image Isaiah’s first time in a high chair. Funny how I used to get a little stressed about taking our Lydia or Jay out to eat  when they were little because of the wait time…ha! seems kind of silly compared to all of the crazy, long waiting times we have had with this little guy. God has definitely changed our views and strengthened our trust in Him during all of this waiting.

Image During our travels, we were able to deliver some shoeboxes that were sent to Guyana. So cool, right? We hope to on the 15th be able to pass out a few alongside a local church. 

Image He does so great on taxi rides…not sure how he is going to like a car seat in the States.

So now we wait for the call that the birth certificate is ready so that we can apply for his Guyanese Passport…

Please pray that all the forms get finished and correctly written by the time of our Embassy interview. Our interview date is set for the 18th, which only leaves us a few days before our scheduled departure date of 22nd. Please pray that we get approval and a visa for Isaiah by the 22nd. We are trusting that He is in control and that He can move mountains.  We seriously are so thankful for you guys.

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Hurry, wait, hurry, wait, hurry…..

Another “hurry up and wait” kind of day.  Our final court judgement was granted on Thursday, 2/27.  With some clerical work that needed to happen, we ended up getting the final paperwork from that decree this afternoon. YAY!  Between the lawyer calling with the actual papers in her hand, and me hopping in a cab to pick them up, we called the embassy to get an appointment.  They said they would call us back.  During my adventure to law office, then to Child Care and Protection Agency, the embassy called back and asked which of the two dates would work better, March 18 or 20?  “EIGHTEEN or TWENTY?” we thought.  We told them the 18th :).  

In the mean time…

We can get his adoption birth certificate and Guyanese passport,which should put us into the middle of next week.  It’s looking like our plan to come home a little early may not work out as expected.  We’re leaning on Proverbs 19:21…”Many are the plans in the mind of man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.”

Isaiah is growing up before our eyes.  We can see it in the way he is recognizing his new name, leaning toward us when a stranger wants to say hello, and in the way he laughs and cries with us.  We’re thankful that we can spend this dedicated time with him, getting to know him as he gets to know us.

Thank you for your continued prayers.

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Moving Along in our South American Adventure

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Here’s a little bit of what Ben experienced with Pastor Narine and his family last weekend. Ben was able to video many of the family moments for them.

 

 

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Pastor Narine and his family are still gathering a week later to remember his mother. They participate in Nine Nights…a Caribbean tradition to have family gatherings to celebrate someone who has died.

So Wednesday came and we got a call that the order had made it to the Judge’s desk and he was able to sign it in time for our Adoption Board meeting. Praise God!  Much of our time here has been “hurry up and wait”…and that is what we did on Wednesday.

Image  Ben hurrying up so he can wait for a taxi. 🙂

We had our meeting with Adoption Board, and I believe that it went very well. They asked a lot of questions about our parenting style and inquired about how we are going to teach him about Guyana. I was very nervous, but God totally gave us strength. We left that meeting with their approval! Yay! I seriously could not say ‘thank you’ enough to them.

We went to bed on Wednesday night praying that the Judge would see us and that we could go to the High Court and get his approval.Early Thursday morning we got a call from Child Care and Protection telling us that they need our first order from the court if we want to go to court that afternoon. I am pretty sure I have never seen Ben move so fast. He was able to deliver the order to them in time.

Our lawyer told us to meet her at High Court in the afternoon and then we would be able to see the Judge. We waited three hours (yes, I said three) and then we were allowed to go into his chambers. The Judge granted the adoption!!!! We were so overjoyed! And still are!!!Image

On the way to the Judge’s chambers at High Court.

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View outside of the Court.

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Praise God for Cheerios and that Isaiah likes them. It was a long wait…but so worth it!

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Our hearts are full of thanksgiving. Praise be to Him from whom all blessings flow.

We are now waiting for the official decree from the court. We waited anxiously by the phone today and made several calls to our lawyer asking about the status of the decree. We were told this afternoon that it should come Monday…at the latest Tuesday. So now we wait again…

We need the official decree in order to begin the process of getting a new birth certificate and Guyanese passport for our little guy. We also need the decree so we can begin the process with the US Embassy here in Guyana. We will have to have more medicals done, interviews, forms to fill out and fees to pay. Please pray that we may get the decree soon so that we can start the process with the Embassy soon.

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In the meantime, we will just hang with this little guy and love on him.

Thanks for your prayers! We appreciate them so much!

 

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Welcome Back to Georgetown

Hi! So I just spent the last hour typing a new post with pictures and all…the power went out, and I lost everything. So this is going to be a non-picture post. I am sorry!

We left Wednesday (19th) from Charlotte, had a wonderful pit stop with the Puckett’s and then headed to Miami. We made it to Guyana on Thursday (20th). Our luggage made it. Yay! Our fun started when I left my book bag on the plane when we landed in Guyana. Did I mention it had all of our adoption papers in it? Praise God that there is usually only one flight landing in Guyana at a time so I was reunited with my book bag without too much trouble. 🙂

We arrived late on Thursday night so we did not see Isaiah on Thursday, but he came (along with all of Pastor Narine’s family) very early on Friday morning. It was so great to see him! I have missed him so! We are forever grateful for Pastor Narine and his family because they took great care of him while we were gone. The sores on his head and feet are healed! He still has a way to go in his development, but he seems much healthier than the last time we were with him. Yay!

It was a blessing that we arrived when we did. Pastor Narine lost his mom earlier in the week and had many things to do with the funeral arrangements, etc. I am glad that the family did not have to worry about Isaiah Rondell’s care during the funeral events. Pastor Narine’s heart is understandably heavy during this time. It is good that God gifted Ben in the tech world because Ben was able to be there for Pastor Narine’s family. Ben was sound/video man for much of the funeral events. Ben spent three full days with Pastor Narine’s family and learned much about Guyanese Indian culture. I am sure he would love to share some stories with you… and pics.

While Ben was eating lots of curry and serving through technology, I got to hang out with our little guy at the hotel. I am so glad that the doors open to the outside. Being in a small hotel room with a toddler is quite the adventure. I can’t say that this is the easiest thing that I have ever done (in fact, this is probably the hardest thing we have done), but God is giving me strength daily.

Isaiah is cruising around while holding onto things and making a few sounds. Yay! We still have a ways to go, but God is good and today has enough worry so we are not worrying about tomorrow.

On Friday we went to the lawyer’s office and the US Embassy. We left both places with some disappointment. Paperwork was not completed at the lawyer’s office, and we were told that we really can’t do anything at the Embassy without our court documents. We were told to come back on Tuesday because Monday all the offices would be closed for a holiday. Happy 44th Republic Day, Guyana.

On Monday, Ben was finally able to spend some time with Isaiah. We celebrated Republic Day by eating peanut butter and nutella sandwiches. Ha! There were many parades and all through out town, but we decided to just hang with our little guy at the hotel.

Today we were supposed to be at the lawyer’s office at 8:30 AM because she was headed to court by 9:45 and we had to sign the papers…so our ride was going to be here at 8:00. Well, 8:00 came and went…we know that Guyanese time is a little different from our fast-paced American lifestyle so we decided to wait. Then 8:30 came and went…so Ben decided to call our ride. We found out that he was very sick and that he said he would be here by 9:00. We decided to find another way to to the lawyer’s office so we called for another cab. We waited a while and then the taxi shows up. Yay! We get in the car and this woman starts yelling to the driver, “give me my car! I want my car, son!” She comes and takes the keys out of the ignition…Ben and I just sit there. I am literally sweating and praying at this moment. Finally he gets the keys, jumps in the car and we take off. Okay, so off to the lawyer’s office we go…but wait, there is another passenger in the car so he gets dropped off first. We make it to the lawyer’s office just as she is leaving to go to court…within seconds. We sign the documents and then there are no staples in the building to put the documents together. We pray…staples come from another building and then our lawyer rushes out the door. We are praying that it went well this morning.

Then we decide to get another taxi to go visit with Child Care and Protection Agency just to make sure everything is set for the meeting on Thursday. We are so glad we went there today because we found out the meeting is tomorrow not Thursday! Oh wow…if we would have missed that meeting we would have to wait until the end of March because they only meet once a month. So tomorrow at 2:15 (1:15 PM eastern) we have a meeting with the Adoption Board. Please pray! I am so nervous!

We also found out that the birth mother is supposed to be at the meeting. We had no idea. Please pray that she will come…she has not seen Isaiah Rondell many times since December. Please pray for her during this time. We just want to do His will. I get so nervous when I am interviewed…all tongue-tied and jittery…please pray for calmness and clarity in speech for us. We are just going into the meeting relying on His strength and not ours. Thank you for your prayers!

We will post more tomorrow (provided we have power).

Much Love! Thank you for your prayers!

 

 

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Happy Love Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day! We rejoiced on Thanksgiving Day when we first got the word to travel to Guyana and now we are rejoicing on Valentine’s Day because we finally got a case number!!! Yay! Our file was delivered to the lawyer’s office yesterday. Praise God! This is one step closer to bringing Isaiah home.

Meanwhile in Indian Trail…

Image We saw The LEGO Movie. It was awesome.

Image Jay got the Christlike Star in Upward Basketball…twice. 🙂 So proud of our dude.

Image  We got to hang with Sir Purr at the stadium for a cousin’s birthday.

Image  The snow started coming down and Snowman Steve was born.

Image  It kept on snowing and snowing…

Image and snowing and snowing…

Image and snowing.

Image So we decided to get out of the house and make a trek for some snacks.

I will admit we have come down with some cabin fever since we have been off our schedules with work and school. We have at least one child praying at night that school will start again…I will let you guess which schedule-loving, book-loving one it is. 🙂 Honestly, I am so glad that schedules have halted, and we got to spend some time together before Ben and I leave for a month. We are by no means perfect, we have our arguments, but we really do like being with one another. Basically we just like one another…

So one of the things we do on Valentine’s Day is write clues for the kids so that they can find their valentines.

We are Crawfords so it involves maps and clues…

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Image Image Happy Valentine’s Day!!

Ben and I leave out on Wednesday to begin our 2nd adventure to Guyana…we are so ready to hold Isaiah in our arms, and I am looking forward to the 80 degree weather. We were told that there is a chance that Isaiah will not be cleared to travel home with us after we are there a month. We are on our knees praying that the paperwork will move through swiftly and that we would find favor among the Guyanese government and the US Embassy. Thank you for joining with us in prayer. I know that I keep saying this, but I am so sure we could not walk this journey alone. You guys are the best! Thank you for your prayers!

 

 

 

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Joy And Sorrow

This February is beginning with feelings of joy and sorrow.

We had a beautiful funeral service for my grandmother yesterday. Conversations were filled with sweet memories of Maw Maw Ruby. She was such a strong, independent woman and truly loved Jesus. I am so thankful for her legacy of faith that she left. She lived 95 years on this earth surviving breast cancer, debilitating arthritis and many other hardships. Yet we never heard her complain…she just pressed on until the end. I will miss her, but I am so comforted in the fact that she is with Jesus now.

Image I will never forget all of the Saturdays spent on this farm with Maw Maw and Paw Paw Black.  I truly believe my love for the outdoors began here.

Image We will miss you, Maw Maw. I can’t imagine the pain that my Paw Paw feels right now. I am praying that God will wrap His loving arms around him and comfort him.

During our reminiscing about Maw Maw one of my cousins reminded me of a conversation that we had with Maw Maw several years ago. Ben and I were praying at that time about adoption, but we didn’t really tell anyone about those prayers. And one day Maw Maw said to me and  to others who visited her that I was going to have a baby…I quickly laughed and said, “No, Maw Maw, I am done with babies…Jay is almost 6 years old so we are done. :)” Then she proceeded to tell me that I was going to have a dark-skinned baby…I had totally forgotten about that conversation until now. And here we are today…(and as side note, my dad found a baby changing table last week that appeared in the old chicken house that is on my Paw Paw’s farm…it matches the crib we were given…yeah, I realize that sounds crazy, but we have no idea where this nice changing table/dresser came from…all I have to say is God is good.)

So within the same week that Maw Maw died, we received an email from the Pastor in Guyana. He said that it “looks like there is a final interview on February 27th with the Adoption Board in Guyana…it is time to book your flight” There is joy within sorrow…my mind is honestly in a whirlwind with added peace.

Image  Whirlwind of traffic in Georgetown, Guyana.

Image  Peace in the beautiful countryside of Guyana.

We will begin our journey back to Guyana on February 19th to pick up our son. There is a huge possibility that Ben and I will have to stay in Guyana for four weeks.  We are praying that it doesn’t take that long, but we are trying to prepare Lydia and Jay for that possibility. So we will begin packing and getting things ready to leave.

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Hopefully we will get to bring these sweet feet to our home soon. Isaiah will turn 16 months tomorrow. I can not wait to pick him up again. I have missed him so much! Please pray that we will not be held up by bureaucracy and that we will be able to return home with him. Thank you so much! We are so thankful for all that you guys have done for us. We are humbled and grateful. Thank you!

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Living while Waiting…

So life is taking place here in the Crawford household while we are waiting for Isaiah.

IMG_3552 Here is John Quincy Adams, our 6th president. Did you know he was the first President to have his picture taken? Me neither. We learned so much about him. I love that this girl takes on a school project (or anything that she does) with all her heart. She had a blast being a part of a “wax museum” and saying her speech over 30 times.

IMG_3598 And here is Calvin with his buddy Hobbes. Jay loves a good comic strip. I love this kid and his passion for life.

IMG_3591 Did I mention this guy has a passion for life? He also has a “Mr.Defense” attitude on the court. He will not back down. He gives every second on the court his all.

IMG_3611 Try to tell Jay and Lydia that there is not enough snow to sled down this hill? No way. Ben and I totally get their tenacity and their not-giving-up spirit. We embrace it.

IMG_3616                                    IMG_3612

We will continue to live as we wait.  I will admit that some days are better than others, but I am sure that you feel the same in your life’s circumstances. There are certain things that I find more helpful than others to do during this time. Walk down the baby aisle at Target? No, thanks…I  realize that could trigger some ugly tears.  Listen to songs by Andrew Peterson, Sara Groves and J.J.Heller? Yes, although their songs can trigger  ugly tears, they also have uplifted my spirits on some pretty dark days.  As I have said before, a common theme that God has reminded me of through out these 2 years is that darkness can not overtake light. While traveling to Guyana,  I was reading God Is Able (Priscilla Shirer), and in the book she gave an example of  light bursting through darkness. She was on a long overnight flight to South Africa and as they were crossing the ocean, light broke through at 3:48 AM. It caused many of the passengers to awake from their  deep slumber. Her point was that “even the darkest hours of the night have a bright side.” She said, “I guess the way you see that hour just depends on the perspective you have when taking it in.” I had read that section during the flight over to Guyana. In December we arrived in Guyana late at night, rode about an hour with someone we had just met to an unfamiliar city/hotel…it was dark. We went to sleep that night thinking about meeting our son the next day and the darkness surrounding his circumstances. And guess what happened? In the dark of that night, the lights to the room all of the sudden came on. They were so bright. I woke up quickly…and I was kind of scared. I looked around and found my watch, 3:48 is what it said. Yes, 3:48, just like in the book I had read earlier that day.  I was filled with peace. I felt His presence all around me. He was there in the darkness. I am so thankful for a God that cares about the details of our lives.

His hand has been upon us through out this entire journey. He is so good. We are praying that our file is completed soon, and that it can be delivered to the lawyer. We long for the day that we can travel back to Guyana for him. I have no idea why it takes so long to get a signature or why things like this linger, but I do know that He is control. We are not going to be afraid of bad news, our hearts will be firm in trusting in Him. (Psalm 112:7)

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