Monday, August 11, 2008


Miguel's started to give Diego little lessons on how to work like a man.
I'm not sure what Diego thinks of that yet...especially in the heat 
we are having now!

So as you can see the Makarios house is coming along.  The foundation is complete and the walls are going up!  Thats pretty much where Miguel is Monday through Friday.  He and Garrett oversee the project and the guys working there.  

Several weeks ago now, Miguel decided he would start a Bible study on the work site.  Once a week the Makarios staff gets together for a staff meeting and time of prayer.  Miguel never attended that before because he was always managing the crew at the job site.  So Miguel decided it would be a good idea to start something for the construction crew.  Every Friday morning he gets together with the guys and has a time of reading the Word and prayer.  The guys have really taken a liking to it and they are having some great discussions.  Since none of the crew really knows much about the Bible, they decided to start at the beginning in Genesis.  

If you think of it, keep Miguel in prayer as he leads this time every Friday morning.  The guys usually have lots of questions and input on what they thought was true about the Bible and God and Adam and Eve, etc.  Pray against Satan's attacks of discouragement and distraction from the Truth. 

Sunday, August 10, 2008

a dedication to God.

A little over a week ago, we had Diego officially dedicated to God in front of our church congregation.  It was a special time in which a passage in Psalms was read and a prayer was given by pastors, Amauris and Lucrecio, on behalf of Miguel, Diego, and I.  Garrett and Anne Boon stood up with our family as Diego's padrinos (god parents).  Garrett and Anne work with Makarios groups and staff discipleship.  Garrett also works with Miguel on the Makarios house project. They have both become very dear friends of our family while here in the DR.  We pray Diego grows to love and respect our God and Creator and to live as a mighty man of God. We rejoiced in this special moment.  

Saturday, August 9, 2008

"the end" to the visa saga.

O yes, the visa saga...its been a little over two years since that first fiance visa paperwork was sent out.  In quick recap, we had to terminate that original visa process because we had decided to get married, and this past March restarted the process all over again from scratch for an I-130 visa for a spouse of an American citizen.  This process, we were told, could potentially take longer than the fiance visa process, which takes about a year and a half to complete.  So with that in mind, we submitted our paperwork knowing that ultimately God was in control of the timing.  

About six weeks after filing our paperwork, we received a packet in the mail from the embassy saying that we could go down to the capital any working day that was convenient for us to have Miguel's final interview and receive his residency visa!  We were astounded.  A process that normally takes a year and a half minimum to complete was done in six weeks time.  We don't understand how it happened that fast and can only speculate that maybe it was because we had already applied and completed half the process for a fiance visa; that I had my Dominican residency and was living in the Dominican Republic; that I had more than a 1 or 2 year history here in the DR; or that obviously God's hand was in this. 

As I was nearing Diego's due date mid April we decided to take our time getting the necessary remaining paperwork together for Miguel and go down to the capital on one big trip to have Miguel's interview and get Diego's passport and birth certificate.  Well, that trip took place this last week, the 28th-30th of July.  

I know this is getting a little long...but I think its worth telling as it is a testimony to God's provision... here is how it all went down.  
We went down Monday, the 28th, to pick up Miguel's medical examination results to take to the embassy.  There was a specific window of time we had to do that, and required us to stay overnight as we had Diego's appointment scheduled for 11am the next day.  So Tuesday we went in for Diego's appointment which requires an interview of the parents to make sure they are a legitimate couple and that the baby was actually ours.  This process requires tons of gathered evidence including pictures, marriage certificates, high school and college transcripts (these were needed to prove that I actually lived and resided in the States), medical records, a list of exact dates that I had been out of the US and in the US, tax records, etc. etc. Without looking at any of the evidence I had carefully collected, we were granted a passport for Diego and we left without incident from the interview (well...except that Diego decided to have a bowel movement that exploded out of every crevice)!  But before leaving the interview, and kind of as an afterthought, the official told me that I could apply with the USCIS for a visa for Miguel.  I replied by saying,"Thank you!  We already have, and are coming tomorrow on an opened ended appointment invitation."  She said, "Congratulations, but was there a problem or paperwork you were missing?"  I told her, "No." And she said that they don't give out those type of appointments.  There must be a problem.  She told us to double check at the visa dept. window on our way out.  

As we stopped by the window, the lady looked at our paperwork, thought it was a little strange but told us to return at the time indicated on the sheet...6:15 am.   She saw Diego, and told us to leave him at home as the process takes all day long and is way too hard on a baby.  Well, we really didn't have any other options but to bring him as we didn't have anyone to leave him with in Santo Domingo. So we left the embassy as planned and were going to return the next morning, but then as an afterthought I thought I would just check with the employees who organize people outside just to make sure that we definitely had to be there at 6:15 am and instead maybe come a little later since we had Diego, as the embassy doesn't open until 8 am. Well, the official outside told us that the embassy was closed the next day.  I told him that the lady inside said to return the next day.  So I went back in and the lady apologized and confirmed that indeed they were closed due to staff meeting day or something like that.  My heart sank.  We had to choose yet another time to make another trip down to the capital....

....but then, she miraculously decided to take our paperwork, told us to sit down and wait until she called our name, and told us she would see what she could do.  To make this long story come to an end...there were several processes to go through before the interview, none of which we waited more than a half hour for.  At 2pm we left the embassy with Miguel's residency visa and Diego's passport and birth certificate....a mere 3 hours after we entered.  Praise God!  This phase of the paperwork is over!  

first things first.

check out my new site!

As a first of a series of blogs that I hope will get you all updated on whats been happenin' with the Morel's, I thought I would try to send out our first video post.  Diego just wanted to send a personal hello!  :) that was my original intention; however, I've spent the past 4 days trying to get the video uploaded.  Its obviously not going to happen any time soon unless our internet decides to miraculously get better.  So instead of holding off the updates...I'll just have to send you a few picture teasers of Diego.  Believe me...he would love to show off how he talks and laughs with his mommy and papi!  We'll keep trying with the video.