Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Standing on His Promises

Our lawyer called me two hours ago.

"Have you gone in for your visa interview yet?"

No, I told her. We go tomorrow morning.

"Okay..." she said. "I just want you to brace yourself. A family went in for an interview this morning, and they were told that the embassy is no longer issuing tourist visas for adopted children."

So. If that email I got from the embassy was a splash of cold water in the face, this was a load of bricks dropped on my stomach.

She told me to go in for the interview anyway, hoping that maybe it was an isolated case. Except that, well, the family was told it wasn't.

Twice we received tourist visas for Grace. The consular officer didn't even ask me any questions, didn't even glance at all the paperwork I had brought in to prove that yes, we had solid plans to bring her back to Tanzania. Now she finally has U.S. citizenship, so we don't have to worry about her anymore.

But I never once (until I got that email) even imagined we would have a problem getting a visa for Josiah. Which is why, once we got the adoption certificate, we went forward with our plans with such confidence.

What will it mean if his visa is denied tomorrow? I don't even want to think about it. It means we will have to go through a different process--much more expensive, and at least 6 weeks to complete. It means paying hundreds of dollars to reschedule our tickets. Rescheduling our speaking plans. But most significant is the fact that Gil's substitute teacher is set to arrive a week from today. It is unlikely she can change her plans. Because we are teachers, we can't just pick up and leave whenever we want to. And of course, there's just the plain old devastating disappointment with the thought that we will have to wait even longer to see our friends and family.

God can give us that visa tomorrow if He desires it. He is all-powerful and He is good. So if He doesn't, then I must believe that He has a reason and a plan that I don't understand.

Please pray for us tomorrow. Pray for the visa, but also pray for grace.
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