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Thursday, February 4, 2010

"Mary" Moments, Part One

I mentioned in a previous post that in the days after our boys arrived I felt like Mary who "treasured all these things in her heart." I found myself wondering if she felt awed by so many people who blessed and honored the child she had (physically) brought into the world. I wondered if she felt humbled knowing that her child was so very special not because of anything she had done, but because of what God had done.

Because I know I did.

There are several stories I would like to share and I am calling them my "Mary" moments. They are stories of miracles and blessings we experienced in those first days after our sons were evacuated from Haiti and placed in our arms. The following story took place in the Miami Passport Office on Thursday, January 21, 2010.

In the midst of the crisis of the Haiti earthquake, we unexpectedly discovered that we had overlooked a very important fact: our Haitian sons would need visas to enter Chile on their Haitian passports, and they did not and could not obtain them prior to being evacuated. Our only alternative was to immediately obtain their US passports on the basis of their becoming automatic US citizens upon arriving in the States; however - as our adoption coordinator explained that night when our sons arrived on US soil - we would first need our children's Certificate of Citizenship and Social Security cards. Both of these would take weeks, if not months, to obtain.

Around 8:30 a.m. on the morning of the 21st I called the toll-free number to schedule a passport appointment. Long story short, the two earliest available appointments were that same day at 11:30 a.m. in Miami (about an hour from where we were staying) or the 26th of January, which was the day we were scheduled to leave for Chile. Needless to say, I quickly took the 11:30 appointment; rushed to wake Pedro; called my parents (who had flown in the night before and were staying about 40 minutes away) with directions to the passport office; dressed and fed the boys with Pedro's help; and sped out the door. I was biting my nails the entire way but we made it with just minutes to spare, meeting my parents in the parking garage and hurrying through security and directly to the clerk at the check-in window.

They could have said no.

They could have said too much was lacking, translations were needed, etc. etc. ... but instead the clerk spoke to another staff person and we were told that they would "work with us" to get this done because of the circumstances. Only God!

Pedro and my mom rushed off for passport photos while I filled out application documents. In the corner of the room a television flashed pictures of the earthquake in Haiti. It seemed so surreal. I felt both fortunate and yet almost guilty for having come this far in so little time. Only God!

We were called to the window and then told to wait for the agent to our left. We believe she must have understood Creole and perhaps was Haitian American herself, although throughout the long minutes of her reviewing our documents and entering information into the computer she said very little to us at all. She was quite serious and professional. Finally, she had us raise our right hands and swear that all the information was true to the best of our knowledge before informing us that the passports would be ready the next day at 2 p.m.

And then the "Mary" moment ... She looked us straight in the eye and softly but sincerely said, "Thank you. Thank you for what you are doing."

I wanted to cry. I wanted to thank God. I'm sure I did a little of both, but I know that I walked out of that room almost speechless at what had just happened. Thankful, humbled, amazed.

Only God!


Rebekah Hubley said...

Only God Stephanie, and I am bawling!!!!!!!!!! Well, not balwing...but I have tears... Only God!!!!!!

Lisa said...

I don't think that I have cried more in the last 10 years of my life than I have cried in the last few weeks. Between watching the devestation in Haiti and crying tears of despair to crying tears of utter joy when I read your stories and those like yours. It brings my heart hope that there is a light at the end of the dark tunnel for all of these beautiful innocent children. The Rosenlof's (Lori and Brent) live here in Utah (I'm sure you know of them) and I have been following them as well. They brought Nathan home on Monday and had to leave Jessica behind (due to her birth father showing up out of nowhere and taking her) and then I was watching Fabrice step off the plane on the morning news after all of the delays that he and his family faced. I was watching as I was reading your "Mary" stories and I already had tears welled up...needless to say they all broke loose then. I want to thank you for sharing your story with all of us...I so look forward to all of the updates and pictures!