and then…. all of a sudden on a normal Thursday afternoon on the 28th of June (2018), whilst sitting in the office, Rich got a phone call from Ms. Bloem at Home Affairs. “Mr. Cathcart? Mamosa’s new birth certificate is ready for collection.” I stayed with the kids whilst Rich got in the car and drove to Home Affairs immediately. We got the document home… checked that the 11th number on her ID was indeed a “0” indicating that she finally had SA citizenship… and then laminated the blessed thing & locked it in the filing cabinet. Not before taking a celebratory photograph however 🙂 This now meant we could attempt to get our daughter home to Ireland to meet her extended family! 🙂
After much frustration, requests to purchase flights before we had actual permission from the Department of Social Development to fly & intervention on our behalf by our adoption team, we were finally given permission to take Mosa home to Ireland for 6 weeks. To say that arriving into Dublin airport together with our 3 children was a dream come true – is the understatement of the century!!! For the next 6 weeks….we were literally living in the miraculous! Thankyou Father God! And thankyou to our amazing families & friends for standing with us!
This song was in my head the whole time we were at home for Christmas:
So the above photos are 10 of literally hundreds of photos that were taken during our 6 weeks on the emerald isle. We enjoyed every second of connecting with family and friends. I loved seeing how the 5 of us were welcomed so warmly by so so many people! Friends of family members we had never even met before, were giving us advice on where the best places were to take Mosa to get her hair done. Family members & friends who had never met her before were instantly enthralled.
For Joseph and Reuben this was literally a dream come true as Joseph had been having dreams (before we were given permission to fly), that we were on our way to the airport to catch a flight heading to Ireland. Travel Agents had informed us that the latest we could cancel our flights without losing the airfare, was 48hrs before our departure time. Our parents had clubbed together to provide what we needed for these flights! We only got the permission to travel 2 hours before this deadline & so our hearts were in our mouths right up until the weekend before we were due to travel! But God did it & we are so so grateful to our parents and families for standing with us throughout that rocky period.
God is a God of miracles. I feel looking back that I mistook His patience for indifference. He was busy the whole time behind the scenes turning the wheels of providence, whilst we were busy trying to stay focused on Him and getting other kids in our care the forever families they deserved.
I read the book of Jonah recently & confess that I used to read it thinking “silly Jonah!” Now, I resonate so much with Jonah’s weakness. It was only once he had completely turned away from God’s plan for his life that the Lord intervened in Jonah’s, and rescued him.
I love his following prayer, in Jonah Chapter 2:
In my distress I called to the Lord, and he answered me. From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help, & you listened to my cry. You hurled me into the depths, into the very heart of the seas & the currents swirled about me; all your waves and breakers swept over me. I said, ‘I have been banished from your sight; yet I will look again toward your holy temple.’ The engulfing waters threatened me, the deep surrounded me; seaweed was wrapped around my head. To the roots of the mountains I sank down; the earth beneath barred me in forever. But you, Lord my God, brought my life up from the pit. “When my life was ebbing away, I remembered you, Lord, & my prayer rose to you, to your holy temple. “Those who cling to worthless idols turn away from God’s love for them. But I, with shouts of grateful praise, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. I will say, ‘Salvation comes from the Lord.’”
And so with the above prayer in mind, we got news from the children’s court on the 20th of June that our beloved 10 year old who has been in our care for 4 and a half years has finally been given permission to be fostered with a long term view to adopt, by our friend from church. See below how wide the smile is on this boy’s face!!! He has known and loved his foster Mama for years as she has volunteered in our children’s haven, but now he is fully “hers” & to me, after many many years of OT, play therapy, homeschooling and challenges, seeing this boy now finally get the family he has always wanted… is a dream come true.
Only God could have done this, as in our failed attempts to see this beautiful boy adopted by other families, the whole time He was preparing our friend’s heart and getting her ready to receive this precious child into her care. Now, we can see our beautiful boy every Sunday at Church – a rarity for us as most children who leave our care also leave Port Elizabeth and we don’t often see them again. Now, we get to see our beloved treasure boy grow up and develop into adulthood! God truly meant what He said when He called Himself the Father to the fatherless. He is patient and kind and has only the best plans ahead for our children – even when we cannot see what they are.
It took 5 years and 3 months for us to get our beloved daughter home to Ireland to meet her extended family. My heart used to be beyond broken over this particular subject. Due to some further governmental challenges she is still not legally adopted by us, however, whilst on the plane watching her clap her hands and exclaim “we’re flying!” I heard the Lord whisper tenderly to me, as only He can. “Do you see how excited she is?” The Lord asked me. “If you had gotten her home for your sister’s wedding aged 2, she would never have remembered her first time in Ireland. You wanted her home on many occasions before now, but I am teaching her – and you – that my love is her home. Now she will always remember her first time meeting her extended family, her first time on a plane, her first time in your homeland.”
And I was speechless…..yet again – His kindness leading me to repentance. Father God is so tender with us, that all we can do is apologize that we allowed our hearts to break in the first place. The answer is to simply trust Him. He always knows what’s best.