The Countdown Begins!



It seems as though I have been saying “one year” until the boys come home for the past two years!  Since we originally thought they were going to be home in that time and then all the changes in the adoption system in Haiti delayed that.  We were then waiting to exit IEBSR, which took about 6 months.  So the official wait time from exiting IEBSR is quoted as being 9-12 months.  We are assuming the 12 months, since we are adopting four. (But, I continue to be thankful for those who have faith to pray for sooner!)  So, today is our first time of being able to say a timeframe of under one year!  We exited IEBSR officially on January 15th, so now today marks 11 MONTHS UNTIL THEY ARE HOME!  Every month we will change our number on our chalkboard wall.

There is a lot to be done and considered in this last 11 months.  Ron and I both have to finish several online trainings.  We need to switch rooms and bring up the bunk beds and dressers and fill them! We are praying about putting in a toilet and sink in our finished basement.  We need to work BIG time on our Creole!  I have ordered several more resources to help me and Ron has been learning some during their silent reading time at school.  Please pray we can focus on the above things as the Lord permits.

A few things to consider:  It is highly recommended that when the boys first come home, aside from a welcome at the airport, that we restrict visitors for the first 6 weeks.  We are to do what is called cocooning in adoption.  I am still looking in to what this means for us as a family and will give you more information as we work out our family plan with re; to this.  I am also praying as I realize there are some ways we will need help and trying to figure out the best ways for others to help.

On the financial front we are working hard to get $10,000 in the savings.  The reason for this is that USCIS requires a certain income per family member.  When Ron is teaching an extra hour, which he has for the past 3 years, we meet it.  When he is not, we don’t. We don’t feel a peace about him trying to teach 7 hours next year in anticipation of the boys being home.  But, if we can have a good savings, this can make up for that.  While Luke is for the most part financially independent, providing for all his own schooling and housing costs, when a home study is done he is still on our “dependents”, even though he filed his own taxes.  We are also anticipating paying for the boys’ schooling one more time this fall, which is about $2,000.   I need to sit down and figure out exactly what our remaining costs are as close as I can estimate with flights .  Thankfully, we do have the Abba Fund, which has approved us for a 0% interest loan if we need it at the very end of the adoption.

On a spiritual note, it honestly feels like we have been fighting a war.  Sicknesses, injuries, surgeries, flat tires, vehicle repairs etc. have threatened to discourage us.  But, somehow it seems like as we battle these difficulties, we are growing stronger spiritually and interceding for the boys and that God does something with that.  He does something with our crying out to Him when we are at our wits end and need His help.  I am in a place of just needing to take each day as it comes.  I was reminded on one of the colder days when I was running in the cold with a scarf on my face.  I mistakenly wore my glasses instead of my contacts on this day and basically my glasses were of no use because they kept getting fogged up.  Eventually, I just took them off, which means I couldn’t see but a few feet in front of me clearly.  And as I plodded along, the Lord said, this is what you are to do every day. Don’t look too far ahead.  Don’t try to do tomorrow without me.  Just take the next step, and the next and the next.  Because in all honesty, in some ways, I am scared to death!  This is a BIG step of faith on every front possible.  But, because He is leading, and He is guiding, then we are to have no fear. Perfect love drives out fear.  It really feels like he is training me to walk in His spirit and to pray for priority so that I can do that when the boys are home too.

A family update:  Luke will be having surgery on his meniscus, torn ACL and cartilage repair on Friday, February 19th in Toledo.  Please pray for his surgery to go well and for his recovery.  He injured it playing basketball.  Abi is proceeding to the week long interview in Philadelphia with a missionary organization called Serge.  She is also nannying and signing up to sub teacher aide.  Please pray for the little girl she is supposed to nanny for, Emilia, as she has been in the hospital for several weeks.  Ally had hernia surgery and is recovering well.

We cannot tell you how wonderful it feels to believe this is getting closer.  About 4 families are traveling in the next few weeks to go pick up their children in Haiti.  It is amazing as this gives us Hope that it really does happen eventually!

May you be encouraged today by His Great love that is lavished on us so rich and full.  It somehow puts me in such great awe of God to think all along He knew he would put these sons in our family.  Each miscarriage that brought such pain, He knew.  And it seems like it is the fulfillment of His plan for our lives…..for them to be here and complete our family and for us to complete theirs.  He is so good, so faithful, so kind to so gently show us the way.  I loved this quote I found in a little book, entitledIn the Midst of Winter, by Louise Hagemen and  with it I close:

“For Francis of Assis this liberation occurred in one grateful happy moment. “Alan Paton tells us that when Francis of Assisi got down from his horse and embraced the leper, he solved the problem of suffering for himself. In that moment Francis shed all doubt, anxiety and grief over the unsolvable mystery of pain, evil and sorrow; and his whole life was changed. He put himself and his life into God’s hands to be made the instrument of God’s peace so that he might ease pain, conquer evil and give comfort and strength to the sorrowful. Having detached himself from his suffering-ladened life, Francis was no longer one to suffer and endure, but rather he was one to love and to do.”

Blessings In Christ and Thank you for your prayers!

The Schaffners


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