Thursday, November 10, 2011

Fed Ex Didn't Know What Hit Em

When we began adoption paperwork, I was one of those "oh man, we'll get this dossier sent in like 2 months! We'll set a new record! It will be so fast our family coordinator will be shocked!" sort of people.  And then God had a good belly laugh.

Circumstance after circumstance beyond our control kept us on the slow track.  In fact, the average family takes 4-6 months to complete their dossier. We've taken eight.

So, I kind of got used to moving slow, taking my time.  God gave me peace about it. I've been learning patience. After all, we know our wait for a child will be a long one. I got so "patient" that I almost got nervous in the other direction.  Yes, I've known we pretty much had our documents finished for a while. But I also knew the money wasn't quite there. And I thought I knew how it was going to show up. So, even though we had all of our documents, I was waiting to notarize the last document (our official request for a child). After all, the money wasn't there. Why get my hopes up we could submit when the money would still keep us waiting? I might as well procrastinate. I might as well rest in the fact that I know what I'm doing --you know, don't get my hopes up.  For the record, anytime I utter the words "I know what I'm doing" (or even think those words) God just laughs at me. And proves that I have no idea what I am doing.

At. all.

I waited. And waited. And then, we changed our mind on that document. We changed our age range. We decided to pursue an adoption of 0-36 months (that is three years for those who don't like division) and we re-wrote our final document to reflect that. And then, we knew there was no need to wait. We'd just get it notarized and wait for the money to arrive, as we hoped it would, within the next 20 days.  We received a check in the mail the night before we planned to notarize, confirming that the gap was narrowing and we decided to just go for it.

So yesterday, Hubs and I decided to have a romantic date to our favorite notary's office over lunch. Hubs picked me up (not literally--in a car) and off we went. We had lunch. I talked about how we still didn't know the time frame and how I knew I needed to trust more.  And how I was terrified. And we smiled and hugged--me still being terrified--and Hubs took me back to the office.

Where an email was waiting.

An email that asked me how much we needed to submit.  I responded as kindly as I knew how. And literally 10 minutes later, it was done.

I burst into tears in my office, shut the door, and cried and prayed. Until my poor, unassuming student worker walked in. She quickly closed the door, afraid she had entered into my mental breakdown.  You're only half correct, Student.

Minutes after I resigned to having no idea how this would work, God smiled, and nudged a family who doesn't know us all too well. And He made it happen.

And it's not about the family. It's about God working through individuals. And families. And people who know us. And people who don't. To make his purpose happen--not because of us. Or them. But because of Him.

I have a dear friend who prays often for us and she often reminds me of a beautiful verse in 1 John

"And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests we have asked of him." 1 John 5:14-15

I don't think it's a coincidence that my 4th graders and I went over Mark last night and discussed how we need to approach God with confidence and humility, letting our will match his.  

All of that is to say, God is so good to us. And yesterday, we were able to do something we'd been waiting eight months to do: we sent all the paperwork and the money to Virginia to our agency. We submitted our dossier. Funny word: submit.  We submitted some paperwork. We also submitted our will, our plan, our timeframe. We just let it go. In an envelope.

Before we could head off, we needed to teach our fourth graders. We had a little brownie celebration at the house before heading to Bible study. Here's our brownie "cheers."

I don't know if the ten year olds could tell but I was pretty antsy to get myself to the FexEx. I'm just sayin.
So, we got to Fed Ex, read the directions, re read the directions. 

Made the copies. Counted the copies. Re-checked the copies.


And then we marched our giggling selves up to the shipping part of the store. I kept saying things like "this is really happening." And "please be very careful with that mailer." I am certain the Fed Ex guy thought I was nuts. He asked me if I needed to declare something of value in our mailer and I just looked at him with wide eyes.  "I mean, it's just papers, right?" He said. 

Um yes. Just papers.

Papers that took us eight months. Papers that are one more step down in the eventual trip to bring home our son.

But as far as Fed Ex is concerned, yes, they are just papers. No value. To them.

To me, they were of enough value that I made said Fex Ex guy take a picture.  See?

Yeah, we were pumped. The Fed Ex guy finally goes, "Um, are you adopting?" To which we just smiled and sheepishly said, "Yup!" And to our surprise, even the Fed Ex guy said, "That is so cool!"  Why thank you, Fed Ex guy. We think so, too.

We left and prayed.  And celebrated with TV. And time together. And with champagne.  It was Champagne Wednesday, after all.

With all this excitement, you may be wondering what happens next. Well, the documents will arrive no later than 10:30 a.m. in Virgina (Fed Ex Guy promised). Our family coordinator will check them for accuracy (Please, God!) and then someone else will check them.  And then, they will be translated and sent on their way in an aeroplane to Ethiopia. We are hoping that this all happens before Thanksgiving. Then we are given a date. A DTE date. That stands for Dossier to Ethiopia and that's the date we officially go on the wait list.

We believe this list will have us waiting for anywhere from 10+ months to more than 2 years.  Then, on some unexpected day, we'll get a phone call and a picture. And we'll go from there.  In the meantime, we've got more funds to raise. Oh yes, way more:).

Today, though, we celebrate and rest in the goodness of our Father.

Celebrate with us, will you? After all, we couldn't have done it without you.


  1. Such an exciting post! I am thrilled for you!!! God is SO AMAZING!

    God has so got this in control and already knows the date and time you will hold your precious one in your arms!


  2. Cheers!
    Awesome post!
    So amazing to see God's work in this adoption process and how He is helping you to handle it.
    Great pictures!
    I am in awe of your patience.

  3. So fun! I am SO GLAD that you made the FedEx guy take your photo! That one is my favorite!

  4. I seriously got goosebumps reading this! Very, very cool. I love the FedEx guy's reaction too. We're praying for you guys!!

  5. Our Fedex night was one of my favorites of our experience! I still get all sentimental driving by it! =)

  6. Hooray! We're thankful to God for this process and the way he's using it to form you into exactly the wonderful parents he's designed you to be! SO excited for the Soetes, present and future!