An Now We are 5 (Our Nef Story) – 2012

We have so much news to update you all on, we can’t wait another 2 weeks for our regular monthly update!

As some of you know, we have been praying about the option of adopting Neftali for over 6 months now.  Nef is 16 and has been here at the children’s home for almost 4 years; we have known him for the past three.  Right away he had a very strong bond with Nathan, and that bond has only strengthened over the past few years.  This past year in Jerez, he has become 100% a part of our family, and the idea of leaving him was heartbreaking to us all.  As we talked about the idea of trying to adopt Nef with my parents, they whole-heartedly agreed that it would be what’s best for Nef.  So the process started back in September of talking with the state DIF (department of family services) on how to go about adopting him. 

In the beginning it looked as if things might be relatively easy due to the situation that he was removed from.  After a couple of weeks though we had our first let-down.  We spoke with the head of the state DIF and she informed us that Nathan and I wouldn’t be able to adopt him because there is a law in Mexico that you have to be a minimum of 17 years older than the child you are trying to adopt.  After a brief moment of discouragement, we realized that instead maybe my parents could do the official adoption, and then they could give us guardianship over him.  Sounded great, so we all started working towards that.  We contacted the representative from the DIF in Durango, which is where Nef came from to get the paperwork started on their end.  After months of mailing paperwork and doing everything in our power to complete the process, we found out in January that the original paperwork to sever Nef’s biological parents’ rights was not properly completed and therefore the process for adoption would take close to 2 years.  Discouragement visited us again! 

It was now January and we knew that we would soon be leaving to head to Oaxaca to start on the work God had called us to.  However, we also felt that it was God’s will for Neftali to be a permanent part of our family.  What could we do?  The thought of leaving him behind killed us (and him), but we knew we had to be willing to go where God was leading.  We spent about 3 weeks in constant prayer, without much sleep, worrying about how WE were going to fix this.  Thursday the 9th of Feb, we sat down with my parents and we all decided that we needed to pray and work on a plan of action that we could share with Neftali by Monday, as the uncertainty was becoming too much for him. We prayed, and talked, brainstormed for new ideas, and on Sunday the 12th, Nathan told me that God loved Nef more than we did and He knew what was best for him.  So Nathan made plans to head out sometime this week to Oaxaca, while I would stay behind with all 3 of our boys.  After a few weeks he would come back to Jerez and we would all go down as a family when Nef had his 2 week spring break from school.  After break, Nef would have to go back to Jerez and we would stay.  That was the plan.  Thank the Lord, that His ways are better than ours!!!! 

                Monday morning my parents came in and said they had an idea.  They were going to call DIF and ask what would happen if Nef were to leave on his own to go and live with us.  Would DIF go in search for him?  Could Nathan and I be in any trouble if Nef was found with us?  Would Nef be able to enroll himself in school?  Just what would happen?  This was an exciting idea to us, as we had just about given up hope on Nef being able to come down with us.  So Dad called his contact there at the DIF, Marielena, that has helped with the whole situation and we heard more bad news.  Marielena was no longer working there in that department for DIF.  Ok now what?  Disappointed doesn’t even come close to describing how we felt.  We gave up and decided to go back to our plan.  For sake of time I will skip to Tuesday morning… Dad remembered that he had Marielena’s cell phone number and so he called her that morning first thing.  He asked her our questions, and her answer surprised us all.  Basically she said, that if that were to happen that no one would go looking for him.  However, what would be even better is if Dad would go down to Ministerio Publico, which is like a courthouse in the states, and legally turn custody over to us.  WHAT???  How would that be possible, and how long would it take???  At this point we were a little skeptical of things sounding like good ideas.  So Dad called the lawyer that regularly visits the children’s home, and he also agreed that this plan would work.  Here it is Tuesday, and Nathan was planning on leaving on Thursday.  Could it be possible to work this out?  We weren’t getting our hopes up, but the next morning Dad went up to Ministerio Publico with all of Nef’s paperwork to see what he could do. 

Meanwhile, Nathan went to talk to Nef’s teacher to see how hard it would be for Nef to transfer school systems down to Oaxaca, and then transfer back up here in May because we knew he wouldn’t be able to come to the states with us when we go for Sam’s graduation.  The teacher said it would be too difficult to transfer twice in the same school year, but he had another idea.  He said if we got everything worked out with Ministerio Publico for Nef to go, then what he would do is send Nef’s books with us with all the assignments through May and let us homeschool him.  Again, we were like WHAT?!?!?!  We had never thought of the idea of homeschooling him, and why would his teacher be so willing to help us?  Still, we were trying to not get too excited until we heard from Dad on how long the process with Ministerio Publico would take.

At this point, we are praying and anxious to hear from Dad, if this would really be possible and what kind of timeline we were looking at.  Trying to pass time, we headed into town to buy some things for Nathan’s trip.  And then we got the call.  Mom said Dad had just called and told her that everything was complete!!!  Again, WHAT!?!?!  Yes, they had drawn up the papers and Neftali was now in our custody indefinitely.  For the next few minutes Nathan and I just couldn’t say anything.  I was trying not to cry and he was still processing everything.  Could it really be true?  The past 6 months of worry and prayer, all ended with a 2 hour visit to Ministerio Publico?  All I could think was, “Why didn’t we just leave this up to God to begin with?”  His ways truly are much better than ours, even if God likes to wait until the last minuteJ!

The next day flew by with the guys packing, and preparing everything for Nef to be able to leave.  And then Thursday morning the 16th, Nathan, Nef and Sam loaded up in the suburban and drove off.  I can’t say happily ever after yet as I am still waiting to go down, and their trip was anything but happy or easy….but that will have to wait for another updateJ

”You have multiplied, O Lord my God, your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us; none can compare with you! I will proclaim and tell of them, yet they are more than can be told.”

Psalm 40:5

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