Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Doubt, Faith and Gracie!

Sitting in the Chicago airport watching flight after flight get canceled, I could feel my blood pressure start to rise and my attitude start to change, for the worse!  Just a few short hours before we had boarded a plane from Haiti headed home and were eager to hold our two boys in our arms and love on them.  We had just spent the past 4 days loving on our "hopefully" future daughter and saying goodbye had been tough.  Spending those fours days completely devoted to her and loving on her had been one of the most incredible experiences I have ever been a part of but saying goodbye was quickly becoming more devastating as we sat and waited for our last of three flights home.  Just one hour separated us from our boys, our bed and a schedule that would help keep us busy with the last week of school.  We needed to get home and quick!
Our time in Haiti had been amazing.  Filled will love, reassurance we were on the right track, confirmation that our "faith" in God had led us to this point and some blessed time with others on the same exact journey.  At one point I sat around the pool talking with another adoptive dad about our faith and how doubt still creeps in.  We decided it was okay to have that doubt, to a certain degree, because God truly wants to rock our world in those times.  We sat and told story after story of how doubt had shown its nasty face and then God swooped in and showed us exactly how in control He really was!  It was some of the best moments with complete strangers I can ever remember. 
Then our trip home began.  Coming off of an extremely emotional goodbye our day in the air started to unravel...
Let me give you an example of just how much God was in control even though I doubted him!!...
~In the Miami airport I was quickly stopped going through TSA because I had packed a brick from the Creche(orphanage).  It was a cool reminder of where these kids are coming from.  Apparently on an x-ray it looks a lot like another type of brick that is NOT allowed in the USA!  All was well though and I got to keep my brick!
~Once to our gate in Miami our plane was delayed.  Great!! Our connection in Chicago was shortly after landing and this was making it look improbable.  On top of that a message came from our agency asking for Passport photos.  So we quickly downloaded a passport photo app on the Ipad and took our pictures right in the middle of a busy terminal.  Done!  The delay had given us time to breath and take care of this pretty major task! Still doubting though...
~Once in Chicago we booked it to our departure gate and were greeted by a plane that was still waiting for its crew.  An hour passed, then another.  Our chance of leaving on time was shot and it was now 10:30pm.  The crew finally arrived but to a plane with no power, we waited for the power to be restored and boarded.  Upon boarding we notified that the air conditioning was out and we would now have to exit the plane and wait for word on the next steps.  The next steps came at 1:30am when we were told we were not flying home that day, given hotel and meal vouchers and sent on our way. 
We would have to take the following day off of work without pay and I was NOT happy about that.  Our profession really dings us when we take days off like this and just thinking about that got my heart racing!
~We slept well that night, knowing we didn't leave for home until 3:15 the next day.  However we were woken by a phone call from our agency again.  They needed a picture of our actual passports immediately as they were presenting our paperwork to Haiti for approval.  I quickly sent picture after picture until we got ones that looked good and we packed and headed for the airport. 
~At the airport we killed time eating and just hanging out and waited for our flight to board.  Boarding time came and our flight was delayed...another air conditioner problem.  Fumes shot from my ears and tears ran down Annes cheeks.  It was more than we could handle and that doubt crept in big time.  Why is this happening and what is God trying to say.  This whole time I kept getting messages from my mom saying things like, "God just doesn't want you on that plane at this time, keep the faith".  Shortly after the last message like that we boarded a new plane and were ready to head home!

~~Sitting on that last plane, ready to fly home our lives changed forever and our faith in God truly became reality again!  Just as the pilot asked for electronics to be turned off we checked our emails, text messages and of course Facebook one last time.  Right there in our Facebook messages was an update to our adoption families that the Peters family had been approved by Haiti to adopt Gracie Marie!!  We shouted, scaring everyone on the plane, and cried!  It was the perfect end to a day filled with doubt.  God came through in one of those perfect moments like He always does!  I can just picture his belly laugh, shaking his head and saying, "You crazy kids, you make me laugh, I told you it was going to be okay.  Look at this beautiful little girl and enjoy!"

Amazing.  A quick recap on our flight home went like this.  The delay in Miami allowed us time to get our passport photos in.  The cancellation in Chicago put us in a hotel and made us cancel work for the following day.  Not being at worked allowed us to be in a hotel room, with our passports at the exact time we needed to be sending them to Haiti.  If we would have been at work we would not have had those documents.  If we would not have had those documents to send we WOULD NOT have gotten in to the Haitian system called IBESR. 
And finally if we would have been on time for our flight home we would not have found out about our acceptance until we got home to Sioux Falls.  That would have been fine but with God's perfect timing we were able to spend the entire flight reflecting on Gracie, God's beautiful orchestration of this all and soaking up His ability to renew or strength and faith! 
So with great excitment we are able to say that we are expecting a baby girl.  Gracie Marie is 18 months old, 16 pounds and amazingly beautiful!!
Because of our doubt AND our faith we are able to be constantly amazed at how REAL and TANGIBLE and EVER PRESENT God really is.  He is here Hallelujah, He is here Amen!

Doubt + faith= Gracie!!


  1. Dave Vander LaanMay 22, 2013 at 9:34 AM

    Oh Jon (as I type through wet eyes)...

    Thank you for sharing this.

    Praying prayers of thanks for how you make God famous...

  2. I was picturing God laughing and saying "Boomshockalocka!!"

  3. Oh this is such great news! God's timing is always the right timing. Amazing!

  4. I learned a new word this week that applies;


    Thank you & bless you Peters'

    Praise Jesus & believe!

  5. One so so Happy for u all, I can't eat to meet her.... love u guys! Hope she knows she won the parents lottery!