Homecoming Photo from Matt ThedeOur. Boys. Are. Home. It’s been a journey, and not a particularly easy one. Let me start off by saying THANK YOU to all of you who have been following our story, praying and/or providing encouraging words as the days (and years) went by. We have felt (and are still feelin’) the love!

Very briefly, this is an adoption summary of the last 4 years.

July 2012 – John goes to Haiti, meets two crazy-adorable Haitian boys.

August 2012 – We look into adopting these boys. We are told ‘This won’t be easy and it might not even be possible.’ (Possible Schmossible!)

September 2012 – I start working on our dossier (adoption paperwork) because I have this little thing called ‘Mother’s Instinct’ that I have really learned to trust over the years.

April 2013 – Just 3 weeks after John’s dad passes away (maybe he had a hand in this?), we get word that we CAN adopt our two boys. God moments everywhere… Starting to realize that ‘Mother’s Instinct’ is really just one of the ways that He uses to guide me.

June 2013 – After getting our dossier completed in record time (seriously… RECORD time!), John and I travel to Haiti and hand-deliver ALL. THAT. PAPERWORK. Whew. And…. I meet the boys for the first time. Love at first sight. Gosh, I’ll never, ever forget that moment.

June 2013: Hey – this trip home from Haiti  is where the concept behind One Mission popped into our heads.

September 2013: John sells his business and we work on One Mission full time. I mean really… why not start a business in the middle of a complicated adoption?

January 2014 – Our paperwork is finally submitted to IBESR (Haitian Social Services). Don’t even ask why that look so long. No clue. Adoptive families call this the ‘black hole’ of the process because you just never know how long you’ll be stuck in this office. *Took our two girls to Haiti to meet the boys.

April 2014 – I travel to Haiti to visit the boys with my friend Pam, another adoptive mama who I met on Facebook. *Learned that the other adoptive mamas on this journey are LIFE SAVERS and will become life-long friends.

The rest of 2014:  We wait… because we are told that our official referral will come very soon, which means we have to go to Haiti for our mandatory 15 day trip.  We waited… and waited some more. (But hey – July 2014 we officially launch our website: www.onemission.fund)

February 2015:  Another friend, Christina, is visiting her boys at the crèche. (Her boys are our boys’ roommates). Mama-to-Mama, she lets me know that our boys are really needing us to come. I spend the day in tears and book immediate tickets leaving the next week. Still no referral, but off we go. It was a long overdue visit… but like I said, we kept thinking that referral would be coming.

May 2015: Woo! Hoo! We got our referral… It was right as school was nearing an end. We didn’t want to miss Annie’s 8th grade graduation, so we waited until the first week of June to travel to Haiti.

June 2015: Haiti bound – 15 days! We took our two youngest boys. They were rock stars.

August 2015:  I go visit the boys with my friend Pam, again. *The boys are getting older, the process is taking way longer than any of us ever dreamed, and I can so easily SEE and FEEL the need for at least one of us to keep visiting every few months.  It keeps us connected, it strengthens our bond, it helps them to keep the hope that we WILL bring them home one day.

September 2015:  We exit IBESR. Whew…. That only took 20 months… 20 MONTHS. That should be considered a crime, really. I am quite certain much of that time our paperwork sat on desks, collecting dust. *Renewed hope now, though… because the process gets much more ‘predictable’, they tell us.

November 2015: I go again to see our boys, this time with Pam and Monica, yet another adoptive mama.

January 2016: Hey guess what? My parents AND my brother want to go to Haiti… so I take them with me! SO wonderful to share Haiti (and our very special boys) with them.

March 2016: We should be getting close to Homecoming Day, but we are stuck in the court system. My friends Pam and Christina are wanting to go visit their kids this month…. So, we make it work and I spend Easter in Haiti with the boys.

May 2016: Boys passports are printed (after a lot of other complicated court system stuff). It was supposed to take 1 week, but it took 6.  This is Haiti.

July 15, 2016:  Nelson’s 15th birthday.  It’s a Friday.  At 4:58pm, I hit ‘send/receive’ on my email just ONE MORE TIME before the weekend.  FINAL USCIS approval delivered right to my inbox! Happy tears!

July 22, 2016: Visa Interview for both boys.  We make arrangements to fly to Haiti to arrive that next Monday!  Eeeeeeek!  This is so real, and we are SO excited… and yes, I’m freaking out a bit.

July 28, 2016: Exit letter in the hands of our Haitian agency representative. (Emmanuel, you ‘da MAN!)

July 29th, 2016:  Nelson and Jackson fly home with us and become U.S. Citizens.  GOD IS SO GOOD!

Okay, so maybe that wasn’t so brief?

Anyway… if you’ve been wondering why there have been almost zero One Mission social media posts this past month… Well, it’s because I do most of those.  And… I’ve been a lot preoccupied nurturing two not-so-little hearts, nurturing 4 other little (and some not-so-little) hearts who have been with us since birth, integrating the 2 with our 4 children at home, showing them the ropes, teaching them how to make scrambled eggs and trying to break the habit of putting sugar in their milk, getting them settled, shopping for things they need, getting them registered for school, introducing them to friends, going on bike rides, visiting the doctor, and the dentist, doing about 84 gazillion loads of laundry and maybe 43 gazillion trips to the grocery store, and really just LOVING. THEM. TO. PIECES.

It’s GOOD.  It’s really, really good.  Is it challenging?  Absolutely, positively YES. Do John and I lay in bed and night and think ‘OH. MY. WORD… Are we qualified for this?’ Yes, we do that sometimes… But through it all, how it all came to be, we look at all six of these precious ‘Littles’ and are immediately and constantly reminded of GOD’S CREATIVE BRILLIANCE in bringing us all together, under one roof, as one, big, (a-bit-loud), colorful family.

HE is Good.

All my very best,

Amanda

PS: If you’re interested in seeing the SUPER COOL video our good friend, Matt Thede, made for us from Homecoming Day, click here: