i can't describe the ache in my chest.

it's strongest this Advent season as the process of waiting

is talked about around our table and while we snuggle on the sofa at night.

the ache is felt as i wrap gifts for three kids and know she's not with us yet.

as i see her stocking among ours for the first time.

to know we've been longing for her for 21 months now.

it's an ache that i've wanted though.

to want an ache?

it comes from a love that God is continually giving me for her.

this ache is for a child i've yet to meet and hold and touch.

you've probably felt an ache like this before too.

to hold something immediately, yet is far from reach.

it's an aching waiting.

my pastor husband voiced sunday,

"waiting reveals our helplessness. waiting shows it's out of one's control."

so as i wait, i think of Apostle Paul's words, "but when the fullness of time had come, God…." {Galatians 4.4}

Just as God knew when His Son would enter the earthly scene, He knows when K will enter my arms.

i still ache helplessly, yet hopefully.

for remember, this ache, these aches,

are what keep us dependent upon the God of all.

they keep us calling on Him

and He responds with exceeding joy, peace, hope, and love.

here's what we wait for...

the state committee reviews our file. it's unknown when this committee meets as they have day jobs and to serve on this committee is a civil service which meets occasionally. this committee is called SARA and looks intently at our dossier and K's file and determines approval for us to move forward. if so, they issue the ARC. we do know that our paperwork has been filed with this committee. pray they meet this month and approve us favorably.

the federal committee reviews our file next. our orphanage director has already filed our dossier with this committee too. this is good news. this committee called CARA meets weekly. however, they must have the ARC (above) to complete approval. this approval is called the NOC.

upon both committees' approvals, the orphanage director and lawyer file our paperwork with local court. supposedly, there can be 3-4 court dates with just as many judges reviewing our case. we hope this takes 4 weeks or less once filed.

once our written orders are given by the judge and received by the orphanage director, our paperwork is taken to the passport office. this should take less than 6 weeks and even that seems too long.

so much of this entire process has to do with the heart and advocacy of each official and judge.

once her passport is received by the orphanage, we can travel.

so in mine and ben's minds, we hope we receive ARC & NOC this month. 

{believing God for this miracle}

we hope court completes in one month.

{believing God for this miracle}

we hope passport is issued within 6 weeks after court.

{believing God for this miracle}

this miraculous timeline would have us traveling by april!

as you have graciously done so through this waiting, pray boldly with us this season of Advent.

that the long-awaited orphaned girl of ours

will be united with her forever family and will be our forever daughter, forever sister.