This Sunday I am looking forward to services at 9:00 and 10:45am at New Life CityChurch. Pastor Dave will be sharing a sermon from John 1:35-42 in our Discovering God series.
A relationship with God through Jesus is truly incredible. After the death and resurrection of Jesus, Christianity spread quickly through the known world. As more lives were changed, more people shared about Jesus.
For Leigh-Ann and I, our relationship with Jesus has sustained us through good and very difficult times. Today, we have a difficult time to share with regard to our adoption proceedings in Liberia.
We have heavy hearts because we will not be able to bring Titus to America. We have satisfied everything required by the Liberian Government and to date have a finalized adoption, birth certificate and passport for Titus.
Unfortunately, during a process of discovery for his visa, we learned that apart from the death of one of his parents, he likely will never meet the American criteria for an orphan. Even though his father is not involved at all in his life, his mother had abandoned him to his grandmother who then abandoned him to an orphanage, the Consular Section Chief for the U.S. Embassy Monrovia has told us that it is highly unlikely she would ever sign off on him coming to America.
From what we have learned, much of the case comes down to whether or not his father abandoned him. In addition to this, we have learned that in order for an American to adopt from Liberia, our legal work for the adoption must be sponsored by one of five approved US agencies. We likely could have overcome this obstacle if the orphan status was clear. According to the Embassy representative our only viable option at this point is to move to Liberia for two years to prove residency, then we would be eligible to bring him to America.
So where do we go from here?
Leigh-Ann is going to fly home on Wednesday of this next week and I will not be going to Liberia at this time. I have held my ticket and may go visit Titus at a later date. We are committed to using all of the money that has been donated online through our giving site for the future care of Titus. Leigh-Ann and I have decided that we will not use the money raised online for any of the adoption expenses we have incurred to date.
In the face of this discouragement, we find the Apostle Paul’s writing in 2 Corinthians 4:8-10 to be a great source of comfort, “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10 always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.”
Here is what we know:
- We are incredibly grateful for our family and friends that have shown support throughout this process, we are disappointed and at times, even feel like we have disappointed you, however, we are choosing to keep our eyes focused on Jesus.
- From the beginning of our marriage we have committed to a life of radical, faith-filled obedience. This will not change.
- We are confident that God’s plan is larger than our comprehension and look forward to learning more of it either now or in eternity.
- We are grateful for God’s presence during this time, although we wish at the core of our being we would have been able to bring Titus home, we have no regrets.
We thank you for your presence with us on the journey and hope to someday return the prayers, encouragement and sacrifices you have already shown us.
Troy, Leigh-Ann, Alexa, Sophia, Dallas, Isaiah, Ian (and Titus).