We were on an elevator at the Canadian Embassy in Guatemala City heading up to the fifth floor to pick up the visa that would allow us to bring our adopted son home to Canada.
We were passing the fourth floor when the elevator lurched and began to jerk downward. Our one year old son, who was in my arms, began to cry.
Then it stopped. We were stranded halfway between the 3rd and 4th floor.
The frantic pressing of buttons did not produce any movement. Our lawyer, a Christian woman, began to confidently and loudly pray in tongues. We waited holding our breath. After what seemed like hours, but was only a few minutes, the elevator began to inch upwards to the fourth floor.
I breathed a sigh of relief.
Then there was another lurch. The elevator stopped and we began rapidly descending down. We watched the numbers flickering by as we passed the main floor to the basement.
It seemed we were descending much faster than we should be.
Just before we hit the basement floor the cables caught and the elevator started to slow down and stopped with another jolt. The door opened, we were five feet feet above the ground level. Our lawyer continued to pray in tongues until the elevator touched the basement floor.
We quickly exited the elevator into the darkened basement and decided it would be best to walk up to the fifth floor.
There were so many moments throughout the adoption process that kept us holding our breath. One moment things were full steam ahead and the next everything jolted to a stop.
We were kept waiting months for the final approval of the adoption. The Guatemalan paperwork had been completed, and the hold up was now at the Canadian embassy where the papers sat on someone’s desk.
During this period a close friend on a mission trip to Guatemala visited the orphanage and had a picture taken of him holding our son in his arms.
He told us not to lose hope and that things would work out. Seeing this picture when we felt that all was lost gave us renewed hope .
A month later we got a call from Guatemala telling us the paper work was done and we could fly down to pick up our son. At the end of the conversation, the person asked my husband who he knew in the Canadian government.
We learned later that a co-worker of my husband’s with a personal connection had contacted Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs explaining our situation. The Minister’s office called the embassy asking them to take care of the matter immediately.
We were on our way!
We have so many memories and reminders of God’s faithfulness and interventions during this time.
My husband driving a small truck with just the two of us through Guatemala City to the orphanage that lay 30 miles outside the city.
Warnings to be watchful for bandits with guns along the way and not to drive after 5 o’clock ran through our minds.
The city and traffic was overwhelming.
Unbelievably, we found the turn-off to the orphanage 30 miles out and we were led into a room where all the children were worshipping with their eyes closed and hands raised.
It was an incredible sight. The sincerity on their faces and their worshipful actions touched us deeply.
Then our one year old son was brought to us in the arms of his loving care givers.
Five days of bonding and wandering around the orphanage and interaction with the children was incredible. I could see the longing in their eyes and that they wished they were being adopted, but sadly many could not be.
Our last day came and we said our good-byes to the loving group of men, woman and children who lived and served there.
We got into the truck with our son fast asleep between us. I remember how we looked at each other as we drove so grateful and happy that this was our son. We could hardly believe it.
There were many highs and lows during this whole process right from the beginning. Like the elevator one minute were moving forward and then events that would give us a jolt and set us back.
It was an adventure of faith we had not anticipated.
“This is what the Lord says – he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters who drew out the chariots and horses, the army and reinforcements together, and they lay there, never to rise again, extinguished, snuffed out like a wick” (Isaiah 43:16 -17)
Through the obstacles and difficult moments God made a way again and again eliminating obstacles and extinguishing our unbelief. The Lord used people and connections we didn’t know we needed to snuff out the problems we faced.