I am nearing the end of our adoption story. If you'd like to read the whole thing, please go back to Part 1. Thank you for reading about the humbling journey that God called us to, in order to bring Rebekah into our family.
I closed my last post by sharing one of the saddest periods of our lives. We were deeply saddened by Mark's mom's diagnosis and also feeling hopeless and helpless to get our daughter out of Thailand and into our home.
We prayed that God would show us what to do and we told Him that we would do anything. John 14:18 became our banner verse, "I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you." Just as Christ did not abandon us, we did not want to abandon Rebekah. We began to sense the Lord calling the five of us to temporarily relocate to Thailand. If Rebekah couldn't come to us, we would go to her.
We also knew that once we had Rebekah home in Japan, she would not yet be allowed to freely travel to and from the US. Because of strict immigration laws, we knew Rebekah would have to live with us overseas for a full two years before she could become an American. During that two years, she would likely not even be allowed to visit the US. With Mark's mom's health declining, we felt like we had better get that two years started and we sensed that it was more urgent than ever to get Rebekah into our home.
We began to dialogue with our mission, Cadence, to see if they would be able to provide fill-in staff for the Harbor and if they would allow us to live in Thailand for up to possibly 6-months--however long it might take to secure a passport for Rebekah. The Cadence staff had been laboring in prayer for our adoption over the past two years and everyone within our headquarters was very supportive. We did indeed secure fill-in staff and we began to set things in motion to relocate to Thailand for as long as it took to bring Rebekah home.
We bought open-ended plane tickets, friends in Chiang Mai rented a house for us, fellow Cadence missionaries offered us a loaner vehicle, friends and family began giving us gifts of money to help defray the cost of "Project Bring Deer Home." It was humbling to see the Lord provide in myriad ways. We stepped out in faith and He lavished us with provisions.
This sad season turned into an adventure. We five cleaned up our house and left it in the hands of faithful fill-in staff, packed our bags, packed up our homeschool supplies and set off for who-knows-how-long. It was crazy. It was God's idea. It was thrilling, actually.
We landed in Chiang Mai on February 27, 2010, moved into our sweet, little Thai home, unpacked our bags and went to bed knowing that Gotcha Day would be tomorrow. We didn't know when we'd go back home to Japan, but we finally knew our daughter was coming home to us in Thailand.
Hannah is ready to move to Thailand to get her big sis.
Zoe, Abby Grace, and Mark are also ready for takeoff.
Here we are during our layover and transfer in Tokyo. Oshman adventures ahead!