I know that you are all anxiously awaiting NEWS from Kyiv, and I’m just not ready to unpack the last day quite yet. I did write on the plane, however, and thought I would share with you what has transpired in the last week. I realizemany of you know much of this already, especially if we are friends on Facebook, but this is to fill in some gaps and share a little of what is in my heart. I WILL write more of what’s going on as the days go by.( I do realize that I promised you all wise advice about adoption from a couple who has yet to adopt, however, I am abandoning that plan. It just wasn’t as much fun as it sounded in my head). I do want to let you know that we will be meeting our boy on Thursday, probably mid morning your time, and we would love, no, we NEED your prayers to cover us all in that time.
As I write this we have just taken off from O’hare and are winging our way across the sea to London, the first leg of our journey to get our boys. The last week has been almost indescribably crazy. As I have been more than a little remiss in my blogging duties, I do need to back up a bit and let you in on the happenings of the last few weeks.
Our dossier was finally submitted on July 19. We knew that others had received their appointment dates in as little as two weeks, but due to the fact that every single time frame in this adoption so far has been extended, I had ZERO expectations in this regard. The first couple of weeks were no big deal for me. I hadn’t expected to hear anything, we didn’t hear anything, and that was fine…until week 3. As week 3 came and went, I grew more and more anxious, and found myself spending an extremely tearful weekend, terribly missing these boys whom we have not met and experiencing an unexplainable heaviness in my heart, throwing my usual fit with God and asking WHY this had to take so long when we have done EVERYTHING we were supposed to do. Then as has happened during past “waits,” of this process, I finally gave it up, chose trust over stress, and moved on with my regular activities (okay, that is the very short version; there was a lot more wrestling involved than I have the time or energy to go into).
4 weeks to the day that our dossier was submitted, the notification came. Well, the first notification. Our agency emailed to let us know that our dossier had been approved (!) our boy had been cleared for adoption(!) and that our facilitator was awaiting an appointment date for us. SUPER EXCITING! We figured we would receive a date within a few days and travel several weeks later. That was Thursday. On Monday, I got notification # 2.
A missed call and an email appeared within minutes of each other on my phone. It was our agency. I was standing in Hobby Lobby in a thunderstorm with terrible reception when I saw the notifications and returned the phone call. The connection crackled and broke up, and I thought I heard the date “August 22,” but since that was just 9 days away, I was SURE that I MUST have heard her incorrectly. I asked her to repeat herself as I walked to the front of the store to get a better signal.
“You have been issued an appointment with the SDA on Wednesday, August 22nd. You need to book your tickets, because you need to leave no later than a week from today.”
This time I was sure I had heard her correctly. And I froze. Internal panic ensued. One week. 7 days.
We had to be on a plane in ONE WEEK.
We needed to book flights NOW…and the items on the to do list that I had been methodically checking off had to be prioritized-nonessentials would have to wait until we got home. We had to finish the boys room, and buy a LOT of stuff for the trip. And I had to do a LOT of lesson planning for my sub in a BIG hurry. Installation of a new toilet (though very important to me in a house where I would soon be the only female) was put on hold. A sectional so all have a place to sit, was NOT going to happen right now, and the parenting books would have to wait for the plane. As far as learning more Russian…I resigned myself to the fact that it probably was not going to happen.
Some people function best under pressure. I am truly envious of those people. I shopped and packed and did what projects I could, but honesty, I was overwhelmed and I cried every single day. I wanted everything to be perfect, and there was no way it would be. I filled the boys’ back packs, made medical and first aid kits, got prescriptions from our doctor, and made sure we had travel appropriate gear for our trip. I called friends to borrow what I could and roped people into doing some shopping for me to help me save time. I also finished up organizing our fundraiser (I forgot to mention that we had a little fundraiser on Thursday at a local trampoline park). Thankfully, my sub for school is a wonderful and very experienced retired teacher who could walk into the situation with no problem and start the year for me, so I didn’t have to do quite as much work on sub plans as I had feared. Joel had a huge and very busy week at work, and came home each night to finish up projects around the house, building shelves and putting up towel and closet rods and generally trying to make things that were not already, kid friendly.
And this afternoon, we got on a plane to walk into our new life.
The day that we have prepared for, waited for, and cried over for over a year is upon us. In just two days, we will meet our M. I do not know exactly what that will look like, but the spiritual dimension around us is very thick. Russell Moore, in his book “Adopted for Life” said “Adoption is not charity, it is war.” Friends, Russell Moore is right. Satan hates adoption. He has to come to steal and destroy. Our battle is not over, but I feel with all of my heart that we are walking into a miracle. We know that God goes before us, He has paved the way. He loves these children more than we can even imagine and HE fights for them. For us. We need only be still.
During the the craziness of this week God, who has made Himself so evident from day one of this process, has revealed Himself yet again, reassuring us that He has never left us.
I recently became Facebook friends with THIS GIRL, who recently joined the Project Hopeful staff. My friend Becky sent me a link to Tesney’s blog just about a year ago, and I cried as I read about the adoption of her son, Kirill. A couple of weeks ago, she took note of a post I had made on Facebok and realized that our M was the boy she had prayed for DAILY for the last three years. He had waited for so long that she believed him to have aged out, but still she prayed, holding him up to the Father. AND God has answered her prayer, and indeed, in answering her prayer, He has revealed to us once again, how intimately involved He really is in bringing these children home. I think we both cried all day that day.
I also recently received a message from my friend Melissa, who I was so excited to meet in real life just last week. Melissa has also prayed for our boy for years, believing God for a family for him. A year and a half ago, long before we knew of M OR Melissa, she had a dream. M was eating dinner at her house, sitting at her table and laughing with her family. She said it was as clear as day and when she woke it felt very, very real. Friends, Melissa only lives 40 minutes from our house! If he says yes, this boy WILL have dinner at Melissa’s house. I can not WAIT for her dream to come true.
I don’t even know how to put into words how grateful we are for the blessings we have received in the last week. Our families have gone out of their way to bless us with special gifts for our boys, our church family has inundated us with prayer, words of blessing, offers of help, and overwhelming support, and financial gifts that we had no idea were coming appeared in our mail to take care of our financial worries.
The level of excitement you all have for us, for this journey, for this process, has blown us away. We know that we are not alone. We truly FEEL you behind us.
I would not be truthful if I told you that I wasn’t scared. Friends, I AM scared. But scared isn’t always bad – sometimes scared is GOOD – because I can’t even pretend to do this in my own strength. We are leaving behind the life we know for something new. We will soon no longer be 2, but (hopefully) 4. This trip across the ocean bridges who we are and who we will be, and while I grieve the change, still, my heart says yes.
I have shared this scripture before, but it continues to minister to me during this time. He is indeed doing a new thing.
Isaiah 43 (excerpted verses)
But now, O Jacob (or Kristen, or Joel, or M, or unknown mystery child), LISTEN to the LORD who created you.
O Israel, the one who formed you says,“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.I have called you by name; you are mine.When you go through deep waters,I will be with you.When you go through rivers of difficulty,you will not drown.When you walk through the fire of oppression,you will not be burned up;the flames will not consume you.or I am the LORD, your God,the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.You are honored, and I love you. Do not be afraid, for I am with you.I will gather you and your children from east and west.I will say to the north and south‘Bring my sons and daughters back to Israel from the distant corners of the earth. Bring all who claim me as their God for I have made them for my glory. It was I who created them.
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:
“Forget the former things;do not dwell on the past.See, I am doing a new thing!Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?I am making a way in the desertand streams in the wasteland.”
Yes to 1.
Yes to 2.
Yes to the unknown.
Yes to change.
Yes to healing.
Yes to surrender.
Yes to the miracle.
Yes to you , Jesus.