We've been in the process of finalizing Joelle's citizenship, getting a social security number, finishing taxes for our adoption, and most importantly, trying to get Joelle a passport before next Friday! We knew when Joelle came home that we planned to take her to Honduras for a mission trip this Summer and so we immediately began the process of trying to get her passport. Just a side note for those of you who think it's too easy to become a US citizen....it's not! We've been trying to get Joelle's US passport since February. They don't let you travel many places with a Congolese passport. It takes court documents, translations, new adoption papers in the US, birth certificates from our state, parent info, and tons of other stuff I've probably missed. So for the past few months we've been frantically trying to finalize everything so she can travel with us.
Joelle is doing really well....but we definitely aren't at a point where we could leave her for a week while we travel....especially out of the country. So Sunday morning we ventured into some new waters for Joelle. I had a feeling everything would work out fine with her passport, but let's be honest....we leave next week so time is short! We have a 'prayer time' each week at the church, and usually folks flood our altars and spend time in prayer. It's a great time of worship for our church every week. We haven't really taken Joelle down to pray. She still has a lot of eyes on her around here so we try not to be a distraction. She has a good grasp of who God is and what church is about, but definitely isn't an all-knowing follower of Christ yet. But this past weekend I just kind of felt a nudge....you know the one you get when you least expect it....when you least want it?
So we took Joelle down to pray at the front of church....explained in 3-yr old terms what we needed God to do this week, and then we spent a little time in prayer. After church she talked about her passport a little more. She knew that if it didn't come in Papa was going to have to go to Honduras alone and Joelle and Mommy would stay home. So she prayed a few times for it throughout the week. She didn't fully understand it, but over and over we heard, 'Jesus please give me passport so I go with friend in Honduras.' There really was an innocence about it all. After all of that, wanna guess what came in the mail today?
Here's a picture of Joelle in our team's mission trip shirt:
The prayer was pretty cool. That moment of explaining to Joelle that we desperately needed the Lord to work on our behalf was a fun moment for me. But the moment I'm looking forward to most is coming in just a few hours when she gets out of school. I brought her passport to work with me so she can't see it until I get home. And when I walk in the door of our home, I get to show her what God did this week! I get to remind her of the prayer she prayed...and I get to show her that God is not only real, but He is good. I get to show her that prayers are heard, and more than that, they're answered. It was a teaching moment....one I almost let slip by because, after all, she's only 3.
We aren't the perfect parents. Joelle realizes that and we've only been together a few months. But I thought this might encourage someone today to step out in faith and walk your children towards Jesus. Every moment is a teachable moment. Every opportunity with your kids is a chance to glorify God. I was about 95% certain everything was going to work out fine on Sunday morning....God took care of the 5%. And He gave me an amazing opportunity to show my daughter that He is real. It's an opportunity I almost let slip by because I knew I was taking a big step in faith believing God would work this all out.
Maybe this will mean something to you today....maybe not. It's been a huge blessing to me though and I had to share what God did this week. He gets the glory....and I hope you'll join me in praying that this will be the smallest part of our trip to Honduras. We're praying He'll do big things for the Kingdom where we're going. And I'm praying the next chance I get to show my kid how amazing He is....I'll jump on it quickly!
Here are a few other things we've been up to lately. First...we went to our first 3-D movie with Joelle! Needless to say the movie was good, but not nearly as great as watching Joelle! She ducked and dived, tried to grab the characters, held us constantly because she thought she was going into the movie....it was awesome!
After that we spent some time out at the lake...beautiful night....beautiful girls!