Thursday, May 4, 2017

We are coming home!!!

We are coming home!!!  This morning, we had our last appointment at the U.S. Embassy where we had to present some more paperwork along with the medical records, and then had an interview about the process.  We were informed that the visa, which allows Noah to enter the U.S., would be finished either tomorrow or at the latest, Monday.  After our appointment, we travelled to Picacho Park so that Lin Lin could see the huge statue of Jesus.  It was really beautiful, and we even noticed a rainbow circle around the sun (apparently called a solar halo) once we got to the top of the mountain!  It was an incredible sight for sure.  After leaving there we went to a Honduran restaurant for lunch called, El Patio, which is Spanish for…The Patio.  Haha.  The food was great and as soon as we got done our incredible attorney, Marta, got a phone call from the Embassy that Noah’s visa was ready!  So Ricardo whipped the truck around, and we headed to the Embassy, after a stop for some afternoon coffee, of course.  Daddy went in by himself and picked up the visa and some other paperwork.  And just like that we were all done and ready to come home!  

As we got to the hotel, Mama got right on the phone with the airline, and in record time (an hour and ten minutes) we had our flights changed.  We will land in Jackson, MS at 11:00pm this Saturday night!!!  Very late, but it was the best they could do with such short notice.  We are ready to be home and can't wait to see everyone!  

We are sorry that Lin Lin’s trip will be cut short but are so glad that she was able to come and meet Noah here.  She was just a little excited to see her grandson for the first time.  Haha!  It didn’t take Noah long to warm up to her.  Once she got down on the floor and played cars with him, it was all good.  Also, she will be a huge help as we travel home as a family of three.  

This time away has made us so grateful for everyone's prayers, support, help, encouragement, etc. It's really humbling to know that we have amazing family, friends, and co-workers that are behind us 100%. Included, of course, are our Honduran friends and "family" at the Humuya Inn and Ricardo and Marta! They and our adoption and home study agencies, America World and Bethany Christian Services, have worked so hard on our behalf to finish this adoption process. There is no way we can thank everyone enough or thank everyone without leaving someone out. Just know that we genuinely appreciate each and every one of you and pray that God blesses you for all your help. 

Finally coming to the end of this part of our journey has also made us more aware of how good and faithful our Heavenly Father is! He is the One who has made all of this possible. Without Him it would have been impossible. I say this because I, Clint, have not been as patient or as faithful through the process as God has. I have doubted it would ever happen. I've been angry at the cancer diagnosis and treatment Amanda had to go through. I've been worried, frustrated, impatient, and imperfect. But, thankfully, we have a perfect God that is for us and working for our good, no matter what! Seeing Him finish what He started six years ago has been so incredible!  And because of that He gets all the glory. The good deeds you see from us are God's grace and mercy. He uses us in spite of our failures. I'm so grateful for that. My prayer and desire is that the light of Jesus shines through us so that people will see and glorify our Father in Heaven. God is the One who deserves all the praise and glory. We're just grateful to be a part of what He is doing.  

“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father." Matthew 5:14-16 NLT

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Since our last post, Noah has gotten a negative result from the TB skin test (which is a whole story in itself - as we arrived on 2 wheels in Ricardo's big truck just moments before we had to have the test read at exactly 2:47 pm or we would have had to redo the test!) and has completed his medical exam, which was required by the US embassy.  La Doctora was a wonderful, kind, and caring lady who was very encouraging to us and excited for us and our new family.  She was very gentle and professional; however, Noah did not like having his weight or height taken nor anything else that she wanted to touch or look at.  He proceeded to exhibit his displeasure by screaming his way through the exam.  As soon as she finished, he was completely fine and enjoyed his sucker and stickers! The exam results are in a sealed envelope, which we will take to our interview at the US embassy on Thursday morning.  After that, we will wait for an undisclosed, but short, period of time to receive Noah's Visa and will then begin to search for flights back home! 

Working' out with Daddy

Watching bball with Mama

Basketball or Phone?!

A few fun tidbits about Noah recently.  He is still rapidly learning to speak English and learns new words every day.  He will hardly let us take a picture or video of him doing something cute as he purposefully stops what he is doing or refuses to look at the camera.  He enjoys racing superhero cars like his daddy, learning numbers and shapes like his Mama, and eating and playing ball like Mama and Daddy.  We are telling him that soon we will be flying home in an airplane to Mississippi; and he says "Bippi?!"  He says "Thank you" and "No" and "Good job" appropriately, and usually when telling himself  LOL!  This boy is so much fun and can get us laughing at any moment, even when it is bed time and we are trying to make him go to sleep!  We can not wait to get back and let him meet everyone!!

We wanted to take some time and share about several people we have gotten to meet up with d uring our time in Honduras, some brand new and some we have known for quite a while, but all incredible people, and whose company has helped us pass our 6+ weeks here.  At our hotel, we have seen several mission teams from the US and Canada come through.  One family (from Tennessee we think - can't remember) was here on a family mission trip.  They visited a dump in the city and fed meals to the people who live there..yes, the people who LIVE IN THE DUMP.  One group in particular, from Florida, was here building relationships with a sister church.  One of the leaders really took a big interest in our adoption journey.  Special shout out to Father Brian!  We also met a group who DROVE from California to Nicaragua to do some mission work and was on their way back when we met them.  It's been encouraging to hear about the groups coming to give their time, resources, and love of Jesus to the people in Central America.  

We have also met several individual couples or families who were in Tegucigalpa for other reasons. One of which was completing their adoption of an 8 and 5 year old brother and sister.  They were able to return home last week!  (  What a blessing to get to share experiences and parts of our stories!  Another was a couple from Canada who lives in Honduras for 5 months out of the year.  They enjoy ministering to the local people and promoting the positive aspects of life in Honduras (  We enjoyed catching up with Shane and Kerri Estes and their precious children for lunch one day. They are from our hometown in Mississippi and are missionaries in Nicaragua. They were in Tegucigalpa for a missionary retreat, and we had the joy of visiting with them.  Noah really loved playing with their children!  Also, the friendly people who work at our hotel have really made us feel at home, well as much as possible.  They are so helpful when we need anything and greet Noah every time they see him. They let him feed the fish, turn on the decorative lights, and pretty much run the place haha!   Also, we are so very thankful for our lawyer Marta and her son Ricardo.  Without them, we would have been so lost, in every possible way. Marta is an expert at adoptions in Honduras and has made sure we were prepared every step of the way. Ricardo is an expert driver and tour guide who we hope will come visit us in Mississippi. We have enjoyed spending lots of time with him, and Noah really looks forward to riding in Ricardo's big truck.  Finally, while we have been here, we have had the pleasure of being visited by family -  Aunt Ash and Momee - and we are anxiously awaiting the arrival of Lin Lin tomorrow!  Noah loves face timing with them and has learned their names already.

Overall, our time here has been wonderful and has allowed us to get a great start on bonding together as a family!