After work, I picked up Miller and headed home. My anxiety was rising because it was 6:00 and I had to pick up Lee at 7:00 from work to head out of town for Miller's birthday party weekend! I knew I was responsible for loading up all of our bags plus all the birthday party stuff!! Anxiety came in because of the timeline and a little confession... I don't pack. Long story. God just simply didn't design me to be organized, so I am thankful he partnered me with a man who is quick and efficient at packing! Anyway. As we pulled up to the driveway I realized that the mail had not been checked today! Yay! Excitement rising now. So I parked the car and immediately checked the mail. As I opened the mailbox I saw one... white... letter sitting in it. I flipped it over and saw the return label "United States Citizenship and Immigration Services." I smiled. Could this be IT? Our FINAL piece of paperwork?? Of course... I opened it standing in the road at the mailbox. As I was opening the letter something didn't feel right. I could see through the white envelope that the letter was pink. PINK??? For some reason "pink" felt like bad news. It was. The letter was titled "request for evidence." The first sentence said, "The USCIS is unable to complete the processing of you Orphan Petition I-600A at this time." My heart sank. I skimmed through it in the street and couldn't understand it. I hurried into the house and got Miller entertained with food and toys so I could focus. I read through the letter again... and again... and again. My emotions were making it difficult to focus. I was on a timeline and had so much to do. It was 6:00 p.m. and I figured that everyone was off work, but I frantically began to look up USCIS phone numbers. Of course - they were closed. I would have to wait til Monday. Basically the letter was saying that I needed to submit "original copies of our homestudy, etc with original signatures." I was confused because I was pretty sure that we had done that. The letter wasn't a friendly letter requesting the above documents. It was fairly abrupt. I called Lee. He could tell that I was emotional about it all and he just spoke sweet truth to me. He said "Abby... Malachi just isn't ready yet. God is aligning us with him." Lee reminded me of God's faithfulness in the past and encouraged me to cling to that. Although I felt like throwing a hissy fit - Lee was right. So I calmed down and decided that I wouldn't mention the letter to anyone over the weekend because it was Miller's birthday party and I wanted to enjoy it!
Forced to wait.
Desiring to pray.
Reminded that HE is in complete control of this entire journey. Not me.
There are times in this journey that I am desperate to hear from Him, to have Him move on our behalf and more than anything.... to have Him just draw near to me! This weekend was one of those times. Yesterday and today as well.
He was faithful.
My Spirit is refreshed not because He made me happy and answered my prayers, but because I stepped down from my "throne" on this journey and returned to my rightful position - my knees.
The verdict. My sweet, sweet coordinator from our home study agency contacted the appropriate people on Monday & Tuesday regarding the letter. She sent me an email today that said, "Officer M. said that it was a MISTAKE and that he would begin reviewing your file at this time. Disregard the letter."
Really?? I feel myself wanting to get sassy about it! I will refrain.
Truth is. It wasn't a mistake from a spiritual sense.
1) the slow down will align us with our son.
2) God wanted to get my attention and I NEEDED Him to get my attention. I needed to return to complete dependency on Him and Him alone. To claim that this is HIS story... not mine.
Tonight... I am thankful.
In case I didn't word it well... the letter that USCIS sent us was a mistake and our file is currently under review.
Please pray that we will receive this approval soon!
On a happy note - Miller's party went so well! It was a joint birthday party with his twin cousins, Mia and Chord! Everyone had a lot of fun! Below is a picture of Miller LOVING swimming at his party!!