We made it! Back on home soil. Barely… It was a dramatic ordeal to get out of the country.
But first, to catch you up: As we mentioned in our last email, the process of leaving was quite complex and there were lots of cultural expectations. Thankfully we were able to fulfill most of those before our scheduled departure at the end of June. One of the things we ended up doing was purchasing tupperware containers, filling them with donuts, and tucking in a picture of our family with a written, farewell ‘apology’ note. (A polite, culturally appropriate statement clearing our names of any offense we have unknowingly caused during our time living there.) People really seemed to appreciate the gesture. We also packed up our house and prepped all our belongings to be shipped in a container to our next location (Lord willing in the fall; when our friends move over there). All our paperwork came together as well—we’re so thankful for the Lord’s hand and coworkers’ help with that. Thank you for your prayers regarding those things.
Now for the story that we won’t forget any time soon… We’re going to heavily condense the story, but if you would like to hear a more detailed version you can watch the video located at the bottom.
On our original departure date, Allegra and I received positive Covid test results two hours before we were supposed to leave for the airport—meaning: the trip had to be canceled and we immediately launched into a 10 day self-quarantine in our empty/packed-up house. As you can imagine, this was quite the challenge for our extroverted toddler to comply with and comprehend! We both felt pretty sick but Allegra had it worse. During that time the local health department informed us that the rules had changed and that we actually needed to quarantine for 14 days. That was going to mean we would miss the 7-month deadline for pregnancy travel (although not necessarily impossible to travel after that, it would become much more complicated and require additional paperwork). We would also miss our first pregnancy doctor appointment in America, so we asked for an exception to be allowed to travel after 12 days and in the end they permitted it. Honestly, there were a lot of seemingly impossible things that God worked out during those days.
Keeping it super simple, after we finished quarantine, Moriah had to be re-tested because her original test didn’t work and we never got results for her. We were very nervous that she was going to test positive because she had a few low-grade fevers in the days leading up to it. But praise the Lord, she came out negative! We were also able to acquire a new doctor’s note for Allegra’s pregnancy along with a letter from the health department which we needed in order to release us for travel. It all came together quite quickly the day before we were going to try to leave again. Leading up to each of these issues, we were totally out of control and unsure how God would work it out. But then He miraculously brought it all together for us to try to travel again.
We were able to board a domestic flight to the capital city without too many issues, so we thought we were home free and felt very excited. But that’s where the issues really began, when we tried to check-in to our international flight during our 7 hour layover. After several hours of debate, we were rejected by the airline because our doctor’s note was not in English (even though the rules specifically stated it was not required to be in English). The supervisor simply decided it needed to be English, so we had to find a hotel for that night and missed our flight. The next day we were able to get another note (in English this time!) and tried to get on two other flights with other airlines but were rejected both times. Once because our positive tests were “too recent” and the other because we didn’t have the right kind of tests. It was discouraging and frustrating because according to the airlines’ own websites, we had what we needed. We then had one more chance before a new law went into effect that would require us to be vaccinated in order to fly (we didn’t have access to the vaccine and couldn’t vaccinate while pregnant). The final chance was with the same airline as the night before, who wanted the doctor’s note to be in English. After several more hours of back and forth with different levels of their bosses, their home office allowed us to board! We were the last people in the airport, last through security, and last on the plane at 1:30 AM. Wow! What relief to get on that plane after so much stress and after 2 weeks trying to get out of the country.
Anyways, we are now home and feel like we are in paradise. Grandparents, babysitters, open meadows and quiet fields, yummy food, family and friends are a few of the things we are soaking in.
Thank you so much for praying for us! We hope to see many of you but unfortunately won’t be able to see many of you on this trip because of the shortness of our time and the baby on the way.
Miracles still happen. Like God splitting the Red Sea for the Israelites to cross; or holding the sun still in the sky for 24 hours for Joshua; or maybe sparing Paul three times through shipwrecks. We feel like we were delivered from some impossible situations. A country closing down due to a new strain of the virus; getting a negative test result for Moriah; a pregnancy travel deadline approaching; a baby on the way; new travel regulations about to begin, and yet it all came together at the last moment for us get on a plane and come home.
God would have still been good no matter what happened. Even if we were still stuck in that capital city. At the time, we weren’t even able to leave the city and would have had to get special permission to go back where we came from due to the lockdowns. We praise him for His graciousness to us! He is worthy no matter the cost.
He alone is your God, the only one who is worthy of your praise, the One who has done these mighty miracles that you have seen with your own eyes.
– Deuteronomy 10:21
- We made it home!
- We made it to our first doctor appointment.
- We are all healthy.
- We are adjusting to the time change well.
- For baby girl to make it to full term & for a healthy delivery.
- For quality rest and time with family.
- For time and energy to do language study from home.