Today Priscilla turns 3 years old.
Three years ago Priscilla was born to a first time mother, 4 weeks premature, via C-Section. That day her mother found out that her baby girl had special needs and a medical condition - that her baby's heart had a defect. I often picture her mother as being hard-hearted. That upon hearing that her child had Down Syndrome that she just walked away. But we do not know that. In Priscilla's country most of the people are poor, and most women work to make ends meet. Facing the difficulty of raising a child with special needs and ongoing medical needs is difficult even in the best of situations, but in Priscilla's country this is nearly impossible for most people. I'm sure that Priscilla's biological mother remembers the day Priscilla was born, and the day she said goodbye to Priscilla. I don't know her heart, but I'm sure it was not an easy thing to do. Today I pray for Priscilla's mother that she will know the love of God and He will save her soul and that someday, somehow, she will know that her precious little baby girl is so loved that we are coming from the other side of the world to bring Priscilla into our home and give her the love and care that she could not.
Today Priscilla has no idea that she has a family working so hard to adopt her. She probably doesn't even know it's her birthday. She, in all likelihood, will not get to have a cake or open presents. But, Lord Willing, this will be her last birthday that goes by without fanfare. I was also reminded today that even though we are not with her on her birthday, she is not alone. Our heavenly Father, who orchestrated all the events in her life in order to bring about her being adopted into our family, is by her side as He always is. He remembers the day she was born. He knows the hours she was conceived and He created her to be exactly as she is and determined even before she was born that she would become our child through adoption. If you haven't read it yet, please take a minute and read my blog post about how Priscilla's Story Really Started in 2008! I share there how we can see God's handi-work that dates back to before Priscilla's birth, and how He began something the month she was conceived that would ultimately lead to our reaching out to adopt her!
And God gave us a gift for her birthday - today we found out that last Thursday we had been approved to adopt a child from a Hague approved country. We were gone camping last week, so we didn't find out until today, Priscilla's birthday, that we had been approved. God knew that today would be hard for me, so He made it possible for us to get this good news today - isn't He so loving! And I just heard that this document arrived in today's mail! Yeah!
So now our I800a application has been approved. We should get the approval letter through the mail very soon - maybe even today! Once it arrives, I'll head in to town to get it notarized, and then send it off to get apostilled in Olympia. Once it returns, I send it on to join the rest of our dossier. Once it's translated, then everything is authenticated and then it our dossier is finally ready to be submitted!
Once it's submitted, it will wait it's turn to get reviewed. Then once it is approved and gets the officially signature, we will get our referral and we will be notified that we can go on our first trip to meet her!
Right now, things are a bit backlogged in her country due to a change in the government, and they also take the month of August off as a holiday. So the best we can hope is that our referral will come sometime in September, but it could be well into October before we hear anything. It's looking more and more like our trip to meet Priscilla will be in very close proximity to our son's wedding.
I just keep reminding myself that every step of this journey is in the control of my heavenly Father and that our first, and second, trip will be exactly when He has determined it to be best for us to go!