Saturday, March 11, 2017

Why we're still not coming home yet.

I feel like I should share more about life here and why we are still not home yet. I think about writing blog entries and then I put it off because I spend 100% of my time here trying to distract myself from looming frustration and anxiety by focusing on working, physical therapy, spending time with new friends here, climbing volcanoes and stuff like that.

The reality is that when we got the call to come to Nicaragua to get our baby in December, I was told it was very likely I'd be home by the end of February. Now it's mid-March and the end is still not in sight. A lot of people want to know why, so here's the reason - The Ministry of Family here was working to expedite our case. Our baby has a disability and they wanted to get us home quickly. One of our last steps was to have a court date. Just before the ministry gave us their official approval, the judge that handles adoption cases quickly (within a week or so) was moved, and we had to go through the general family court. There are only 12 judges that handle family-related cases for the whole country, so we essentially had to step into a long line of cases. For weeks I've been told "you'll get your court date assigned next week," only to wait by my phone all week, and it doesn't happen. Week after week.

We didn't foresee this happening, but it's the reality we are in right now.

It's not all bad, there are quite a few really nice aspects about being here; if we have to be stuck here for the time-being, we're in a really good situation! I'm staying in a house with three other people that have been really good friends to us. I have a lot of fun spending time with them, and even get to go to church with them... I have pretty consistent internet access, and I am able to continue doing most of my work remotely. I have also had time to scope out potential opportunities for UTST to operate in partnership here in the future, if we were to choose to do so. We're in a beautiful country with a language and culture I love and am familiar with, there are beaches and lakes and volcanoes... and really good smoothies. Valley is extremely flexible and easy-going; I can hike volcanoes, kayak lakes, jump in ocean waves, walk for miles, ride hours in crowded busses, all with her as happy and content as can be. My mom, dad, and brother have all been able to visit and help distract me, so that's been really nice.

The down-side: I can't accomplish all of the work that I need to from here. I struggle with guilt that I can't make everything happen for UTST right now, and fear that funding and progress will fall behind what we need for the coming year. I miss everyone at home. I haven't seen David in two months.. we never expected to be apart this long. This aspect has been the hardest of all. But compared to all of the time that we have had and will have together, it's a relatively short amount of time. It's still hard. Our relationship is remarkably strong.. in my opinion. Valley is making so much progress, but I am very anxious to have her evaluated in the US and started in consistent physical therapy. I still don't even know how much she weighs.

I probably won't be back by the end of March, even though for a while I was so sure that we would be.

So, that's my best update for you. Now, I need to get back to keeping my mind completely distracted from all of these things. We're going to get through this, smiling. And I'll keep looking at this baby girl and telling her how much she is worth it.

Thank you all so much, once again, for all of your notes of encouragement and your prayers.