This is about our precious boy that we met on the streets of Ethiopia in January of 2011. This is about Habtamu. My heart knew the moment that our eyes locked, on that dusty street, that he was mine, and I was his. I think my heart knew as soon as he shoved his bracelet into my hand through the van window, that he was my son. Looking back I can now see how God was preparing me for the moment that I met him. Even the day before, as I witnessed families meeting their older children for their meetcha day. Something bruised in my heart, as I watched these older children, run into the arms of their new parents with tears streaking their brown faces and sobs catching in their throats. These were children who knew what they had been missing out on, children who longed for a family. I knew that Jamesy was God-ordained for our family, but I knew even then, that we would not be bringing home an infant for our next adoption.
I've chronicled much of our story with Habi here, but what I have not come out and said clearly is that we have been pursuing an adoption of him for a long time. It started last June, and then God slammed the door, only to reopen it this January/February. Someday I may write more on how that came to be and perhaps some of what transpired, but not now. The past four months have been a roller coaster ride of emotion. One day we would find out that an adoption was nearly impossible and the next that it looked probable, and it bounced back and forth this way for months. We kept in almost daily contact with Habi, thanks to internet cafes, facebook, and skpe. On some days he would use the last little bit of money he had from working all day to skype with us, rather than eat - because seeing the faces of people who loved him was more important to him. We've prayed for him, cried over him, and longed to bring him into our family. We have feared his safety and heard his cries for food, shelter, but above all for a family. I cannot even count how many nights I have cried myself to sleep, selfishly asking God why He put such a love for Habi in my heart if he would never be my son, and if we could not do more to help him. I have awoken from nightmares about Habi sleeping on the street - only I awake from these nightmares while they are Habi's reality a lot of times.
This week our Habi was only one clearance away from becoming paper ready to be adopted, and God slammed the door. Permanently.
My heart is crushed.
But even despite the sadness, we have a glimmer of hope. To some it may seem strange why we would fight so hard for a street boy - a teenage boy nonetheless, who we have only spent little time with, know very little of his story, or what kind of horrors he has experienced. I am sure only a few years ago this would have seemed strange to me. I know this makes us weird. I am getting used to that. But every time we pray over this situation, because to do nothing is not an option when God so clearly placed him in our life, we feel as if Jesus would fight for this fatherless boy. So in turn we fight. We pursue. We move forward, and we do not give up hope. I think every child should be in a loving family, and every child should have someone who is fighting for them - who is for them. Habtamu is that child for us. We are for Habi.
So now we pursue something that is very difficult in Ethiopia with a boy like Habi. We pursue an F-1 student visa. Many times thse visas are denied - especially for poor people like Habtamu who have nothing to make them want to come back to Ethiopia. But this is our final attempt to bring him into our family. We have found a SEVIS approved school (a school that has the legal certification to accept students with F-1 visas) that has told us they will accept him. It is over an hour drive both ways, but we are so thankful to have found a school. We will fill out paperwork for them and wait for the I-20 approval. Paperwork will be done on Habtamu's end, and then a visa interview at the embassy will be requested. Typically this all takes several months, but we are praying to a big God. We are asking God to bring the paperwork together quickly and to give Habi a quick interview date, and then we will ask every believer we know to get on their knees and pray that Habi gets granted that visa. We are also praying that this can all happen by the time we go over for our mission trip in July, and that God would orchestrate the details for Habi to have his visa and be able to fly home with us.
According to man's thinking this is impossible.
But with God it's possible, so I am clinging to that and looking forward to the moment that Habi is in our home.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us. Ephesians 3:20