After that approval, a cable is sent to to the US Embassy in Manlia informing them that he can be scheduled for his visa interview. If everything goes without a hitch, we are expecting to be in Manila the first week of JUNE!!
I would, of course, love to leave tomorrow, even if it meant throwing my toothbrush in my purse and paying the enormous "you didn't book this two weeks out" fare but rules are rules.
We have never before adopted an older child who can grasp what is happening. I think that is the difference in my ability to maintain some sanity during this wait. I believe these final weeks will be important to Francis as he says goodbye to the people who have loved him the most for the longest. He will have to be our son until he's 25 years old before we have had him as long as his current placement. He has been there a LONG time! I have some lingering fears that after the initial "thrill" of being adopted and coming to the states, his grief over missing his loved ones in The Philippines will be something to be reckoned with. That is something only time will tell and only prayer will cover.
I have prayed more in the last couple of months than the previous two years combined, I think. God has amazed us with His infinite provision during this adoption. It seems just weeks ago I was crying out to Him and asking if He would make a way for this adoption and now, we wait for the final approval to bring Francis home. My stomach literally does flips when I think of how close I came to giving up on this one. The mountains looked too tall to move and too steep to climb. The finances were not in our account and the rules were clear that we could NOT adopt until Ezekiel had been home for two years. In the midst of the feelings of defeat, I heard that still small voice saying to press on. It confused me and I often thought "oh, that's just my mother's heart wanting to adopt again. It can't be the Lord. Hasn't He seen the obstacles?" Oh, me of little faith! Not only had my Heavenly Father seen the obstacles, He created them!
He then moved them and showed Himself faithful, as always. If I ever have another crisis of faith, I only need get out my private journal and read the story of Francis' adoption. I am reminded when I read that God does not submit to man and He does whatever He pleases. How great and merciful and altogether loving is my Savior who pours out on me every blessing, never holding back except for the sake of teaching me to trust.
"Great is Thy faithfulness oh God, my father
There is no shadow or turning with Thee.
Thou changest not, Thy compassions they fail not.
As Thou hast been, Thou forever will be.
Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning, new mercies I see.
All I have needed, Thy hand hath provided.
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me!"