Sunday, February 12, 2017

Many of you already know that we are about to head back the the U.S. for our first furlough in 5 years as a family.  To say we are excited is an understatement.  We have had a few gatherings with our friends here in the village over the last few days and just hearing them reminisce about all the God has done has made these last 5 years such a wonderful blessing and honor to be a small part of.  

This was shortly after Colin and I moved to UG.  We might have been here 5 or 6 months when we took this picture.  Given by how rested we look, this was pre-children.

Our first car in UG.  This was the best thing that we could have driven starting off.  It was a tank and somewhat reliable.  I am glad we had it and we sort of miss it!

One of the things that I am most excited about, when we finally land on U.S. soil, is that family and friends that have been watching our family grow over Skype or FaceTime, will finally get to meet our kids.  Meeting their nieces and nephew, granddaughters and grandson for the first time in their lives.  I get a little teary eyed just thinking about it! 

My BEST (and I do mean best) friend in the whole world,  Marissa.  I love her and can not wait for our reunion.  

Colin and his Siblings.  5 years is a long time to go without hugging your brother.  
Aunt Beans and Silas.  5 years of watching this little dude grow through a computer/phone screen is about to be over!!!
We have had some family visitors!  My mom (the grands call her Kammy) has been here twice to visit....  

....and also last year we had our Pops and Uncle Toot swing over  for a visit as well.  We are always so thankful for the visitors that we have.  We know the sacrifice it is to travel here just to see us or our ministry.  It is humbling.

This is the old sign for our church.  It has been replaced with a new one, and this one hangs in our living room.  We are so thankful for the folks that attend this little church and we look forward to sharing more about our village once we are back in the U.S.

We are wrapping up our last few days in the village before we head to the city to fly out.  Please pray for us as we travel.  We have a very very very long flight and I am preparing myself for traveling with a 1 year old.  The older two are going to do great, its just the baby that I am worried about, because she is a whrilling dervish monster child most of the time (I mean that in the most loving way possible...But her first word was a growl, so.....).  I really hope we all make it out alive... ;-)  But we are so ready to see you all and can't wait to be in the U.S. very soon!!


  1. Somehow I stumbled upon your which is crazy because our stories are so similar. My husband and I moved to Haiti back in 2011 without children. Then we adopted two. Then had a baby in 2014 in country. We finished our adoption in December and applied to USCIS for certificates of citizenship in January. I was trying to look through your posts to follow your timeline. Did you guys receive appointments yet or did you just visas to go visit and wait?

    1. Hey Jillian! Glad you "stumbled in". That is really neat how our stories are so similar.
      We did receive appointments in the states, but I contacted a local congressmen and his office got things moving for us at the USCIS office. (My understanding is that normally it can take up to 6 months from when you file, until you get an appointment.) But we filed our paperwork (sent to AZ lockbox) in the early part of November, got notice it was received mid November, then in early December again we got notice that it had been sent to our local office, and that is when I contacted our congressmen. We waited until we had the appointment letter from USCIS before we went to get their B1/B2 visas. We just wanted to make sure that we had everything, giving us a better chance to get their visas. You can try to get a visitors visa without an appointment letter. I really think, because it had been 5 years since we had been back, that even if we didn't have that letter we still would have gotten visas. It is just a 50/50 shot. The embassy there might be different. We had an appointment scheduled for late December at the embassy here, but we just pushed it until we got the letters. Do you have a DS-160 on file yet? I am happy to help any way that I can. This process can be unclear at times, and finding a person to help you though it is nice. Please let me know if you have any other questions, and I hope this was helpful!

  2. That is great about the congressman. That may be something I need to look into. I'm assuming this person would need to be in the same state as the USCIS office we requested? We haven't started with the DS-160 yet because I would like to wait for an appointment date. It is tricky to get visas here as well and I would like to go to the interview with proof of an appointment in hand already. We have yet to receive notice that our case has arrived at our local office. Just a notice that it was received January 31. I anxiously check the site everyday for movement but nothing yet. After 6 years I am just so anxious to finally be able to travel with them. I know you understand!