Our Blessed Life

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Glitches, Gifts, and Mysteries Solved

Sorry, this is a long one, but quite a story!

What a roller coaster ride it's been the past 24 hours.

We are asked on almost a daily basis how things are progressing with the adoption. It's so encouraging to know we are not alone in this journey. There have been ups and downs to the process... I've said before it's a 'hurry up and wait' cycle. We've had some hurdles along the way, but no major glitches... until yesterday...

There were two things we had been waiting for, and I had been watching the mailbox daily. One, was my State Police Clearance from the crime records office in Austin, TX. We received Jeff's last week, but not mine, and we had been fingerprinted on the same day.

The other thing we were waiting on- our passports. Of course, we're not traveling anytime soon, but we need our passport numbers to fill out at least a dozen documents to be notarized and included in our dossier.

Yesterday, when the mail came and still there was nothing, I had a feeling I needed to address each issue by calling and talking to someone, instead of waiting for another mail day to come and go.

The kind woman at the crime records office took just a moment looking at my account and said she didn't know what happened, but there had been a 'glitch.' I didn't know what that meant, but she apologized and said they would mail my clearance to me the following day.

That was easy. Whew! {Did I mention I really don't like talking on the phone?}

Now to find out what was going on with our passports. I had received an email stating that they would be mailed to us via overnight shipping 'on or around' the 22nd. Since yesterday was the 26th, I sensed something was wrong.

Over an hour later, after some tracking online, and two phone calls to the Passport Service Center, I was loading up the kids into the car to head to the post office. Our passports had been delivered.... somewhere, last Wednesday, but not to our house. We were headed to the post office in hopes that they had either been left there, or sent back there after wrong delivery.

Upon arriving at the post office, I prayed aloud for our situation, gave the girls the usual talk (stay right by Mommy; don't touch anything, etc...) climbed over the console to get out the passenger side door (remember our driver-side door has been broken for almost 2 years) and decided not to use the stroller for Carson, and just carry him on my hip instead.

At the door, a nice young man held open the door for us, and smiled. I thought, I know him from somewhere, but then the thought was lost as I guided the girls past the post office boxes and into the mailroom without too much twirling and dancing around, as they are want to do.

Within a moment, it was our turn at the counter, and I explained the situation to the mail clerk. She whisked off to the back with our tracking number, in search of our lost passports. I waited. It seemed like such a long wait. I'm pretty sure I didn't hold my breath the whole time, or I would have fainted.

The girls tried to be still. They started fidgeting, twirling, hanging on the counter. Maggie spelled out words she saw on signs everywhere and asked me what different signs said. They oo'ed and ah'ed over pictures of postage stamps.

I became aware of the long line of people quietly waiting behind us. We waited and I prayed. And I held my breath some more. I adjusted Carson on my arm, who was also starting to fidget, and realized that my arm was damp. I regretted carting him off in just a onesie, as now his soiled diaper was leaking, ever-so-slightly on to my arm. Are you kidding me? I hoped no one noticed.

I also hoped no one noticed that I had failed to brush my girls' hair after they got up from their naps. Furthermore, I hoped they didn't notice that I left the house in a T-shirt and shorts that didn't match. I decided to pretend that the line of people behind me wasn't there. We continued to wait.

Finally, the clerk emerged from the back... empty-handed. The package had been delivered and that was that. Albeit, delivered to the wrong house, but there was nothing they could do. She took my cell number and promised to talk to the mail carrier who delivers express mail. Maybe she would remember where she left the packages.

I arrived home feeling defeated, and wanting to cry. I made the kids a snack, and as they sat down to eat, there was a knock on the door.

I opened the door to find the same familiar-looking guy who held the door for us at the post office. He handed me a sealed, un-addressed mailer and said, "I'm supposed to give this to you." My head was lost in a cloud of confusion, and I could hardly muster a "thank you" before he was walking away.

I closed the door and opened the mailer.

Inside was.... not our passports.... but around $100 in cash.

What a crazy afternoon. I was definitely confused, but the unexpected visit left a smile on my face, where moments earlier I was holding back tears...

This morning, the express mail delivery woman was on my doorstep, and cheerfully ready to help. She remembered exactly where the passports were delivered... to my neighbor two-doors down... and by early afternoon, I had our passports in hand! Praise the Lord!

Me, thrilled to pieces after getting our passports.

Oh, and I finally realized who the familiar-looking mystery visitor was - a friend of ours from our former church. He was in our home group and has visited in our home, for goodness sakes - I felt like such a dork for not recognizing him immediately! Their sweet family has always been such a blessing to us, and yesterday was no exception. I guess he watched us at the mail counter and had pity on us - haha! It's more likely that the Lord just laid it on his heart to bless us, especially since I have been praying for the Lord to lay on individual hearts to give towards our adoption when it's the right time.

Maybe if our passports hadn't been mis-delivered, causing me to visit the post office at that very hour - maybe our friend wouldn't have had the opportunity to bless us. I don't know. But I do know what I always say - God is sovereign. And He has control over all things, great and small.

Sometimes it's the little trials in life that test whether we really believe what we say.


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