There are two kinds of good news. The kind that makes you jump for joy and squeal and the kind that makes you fall to your knees and weep. Yesterday we got the latter. I’m still crying.
For 27 months we’ve been trying to convince two governments that a boy named Danilo is our son. We got a phone call yesterday that the Guatemalan government recognizes and approves what God ordained since the beginning of time.
This is nothing short of a miracle. There have been so many times over the past 2+ years that made it look like this adoption would never happen. From problems with paperwork, to hearings needed, to watching the Hague Convention door close only to find out we were standing on the wrong side.
Even our recent good news of finding out we were finally in family court was followed by an announcement that the Guatemalan courts would be starting Christmas holidays on Monday . . . half of them. We had just gotten in yet there was a 50/50 chance that our court would be taking a break from Nov. 9 to Dec. 4 OR we might be fortunate enough to get one breaking from Dec. 14 to Jan. 14. We knew that if our court was taking the earlier break, there was no chance for our son to be home by Christmas and if we got the later break, the chance was still very slim.
We had a very Pepto weekend waiting and hoping and praying. Monday we got good news that our court would be taking the later break. But we knew that our file had to be perfect. If there were any problems with our paperwork, if just one document needed correcting, then a Christmas homecoming just wouldn’t be possible. From what we’ve seen the past several months, it usually takes 2 to 3 months to get through family court. But we were hoping and praying for a miracle anyway.
And to add more pressure to this mama with an ulcer, when I was visiting D. a couple weeks ago, we went shopping. I took him down the toy aisle to get ideas and asked what he wanted for Christmas. He looked longingly at the bikes and studied a remote control car. And then he looked at me with those big eyes and said, “Christmas at home in Georgia . . . Yes?” My eyes welled up with tears. I wished my answer could have been “absolutely” but as we approached November, Christmas didn’t look possible. I answered with, “We are doing everything we can to get you home, buddy.”
So Brad gets on a plane yesterday to visit Danilo. We’ve been trading off since June, spending a week per month with him so he wouldn’t think we had forgotten about him. Yesterday I decided to pray and fast--for our adoption, for my husband flying through a tropical storm, and for the adoptions of many precious children and their families who are also trying to get their gifts of life home. We were hoping to get a meeting with our family court judge--if he could see our son (D. has a face that’s hard to say no to) then perhaps he would show grace when reviewing our file.
Our attorney called yesterday afternoon. I thought it was to tell us that he wasn’t able to get Brad a meeting. Instead he said, “I have good news. Your file has been approved.” I think I asked, “For what?” (Cut me some slack. I haven’t slept all week and hadn’t eaten all day.)
He continued, “I talked with the secretary and the judge, they reviewed your file and we discussed it at length. . . . They approved your adoption. You’re done! He is legally yours!”
I just sat there stunned. It was too wonderful to even believe. Everything about our case has been so hard, yet this one step, the step that decided whether or not our son would finally get to spend Christmas with a family after 9 years . . . was miraculously done in 3 days instead of 3 months. The tears began to flow.
I told Olivia, Ava and Brady that their brother was finally coming home. There was much rejoicing--we all did our happy dance. Brad got to tell Danilo that he is forever our son. He said it was such a sweet and emotional moment. He was grateful that he was able to be there to tell him in person and see his precious smile.
So what this means is that we have another 4 to 6 weeks of final paperwork and certifications to get his new birth certificate, US Visa, and passport. It’s not a sure thing until he walks off that plane, but it is very possible he’ll be home by Christmas.
Thanks to all of you for your prayers and encouragement throughout this journey. Please keep them coming till he is finally home. Thanks to an angel attorney named Marco, to many in Guatemala who have worked so hard on our case, and to a family court judge who just granted us one of the best Christmas gifts ever.
(I just had to add a new song to the playlist in celebration of this news. After 27 months of waiting for many signatures, we finally got the only one that really matters, God’s miraculous “Signature of the Divine.” We have certainly seen His mighty hand throughout our adoption. Our victory song is by Need to Breathe and we’ve been singing it around here to the top of our lungs.)
Overwhelmed with Joy,