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Moving Along…. like a snail that is!

We left Kansas City sixteen days ago.  Deep sigh.  We finally have “Anastasia’s” referral in hand after our day trip to Kiev yesterday. Today we began the process with “Anastasia’s” paperwork that we began eleven days ago with “Artem’s” paperwork……visiting various offices, waiting on signatures and paperwork, and finally taking it all to the notary to add to the stack the official paper in which we request to adopt “Anastasia.”  Now we are waiting on the official letter from the Inspector in which she will recommend that we be allowed to adopt “Anastasia.”  She is being very gracious in giving this letter to us tomorrow since normally we are expected to visit with the child a few days before this letter is given.  Remember, technically we have not really been given permission to even visit “Anastasia” yet.  They have “overlooked” the lack of necessary paperwork at the orphanage and have permitted us to visit with her anyway knowing our intention to adopt her. 

I want to go over the process again for you and let you know where things stand, especially since things have been thrown off so much:
1. We have to get Anastasia’s paperwork to Kiev for official SDA approval as soon as we get the Inspector’s letter (mentioned above.)
2. When we have both Anastasia and Artem’s SDA approvals, we can ask the judge here in Novograd for a court date.
3. After asking for a court date, the minimum wait is 7 days before we actually go to court. 
4. We go to court. (Wishful thinking would be Feb 27th, realistically March 2nd or 3rd)
5. Then begins  a 10 day waiting period before any of the children’s paperwork can be processed (new birth certificates, passports, medical exams, visas)
6. John and I both plan to travel home together during the 10 day wait to spend that time with our children. Originally I was going to stay here, but with the process lengthened, we have decided that I will go home too.
7. We fly back to Ukraine to process the above documents (which should take 5-7 days). Again pray for that to go very quickly with no bumps!
8. We fly HOME WITH CHILDREN.
Here’s how you can pray.
1. Pray that the next few days of paperwork goes without a hitch and that we are able to request our court date SOON. 
2. Please pray for our children who are missing us and are disappointed with the delay (as are we).
3. Pray that we will get rest during our 10 day wait. We are both very tired. 
4. Pray that Emma and Aiden handle the 10 day separation and readjust quickly to our return. We feel confident that they will.
5. Pray for the trip home. Remember that we are dealing with two children who have seen very little of the “outside” world. Traveling half way around the world could be incredibly stressful on them. Pray for grace for them, and wisdom for us on helping to guard their hearts and keep them calm on the journey home.
6. Financial provision for a new vehicle, a remodeling job that needs to take place to create a play room for three toddlers, and the additional expenses required for our time here to be extended (food and lodging mostly.) The Lord already provided for my plane ticket home for the 10 day wait. Just a few days before we heard about the delay, some gave us the amount needed for that expense. 
To be honest, we keep plugging away, but things are really starting to get to us. Have we mentioned yet that most days here it feels like “Groundhog Day.”  We are trying to keep a sense of humor about it, but it’s just plain hard. We miss our kids at home beyond words. We want to get Emma and Aiden home soon. We miss our family and friends. I wish there was a way to push fast forward on this whole process.  Please, please know we’re not complaining. These two little ones are so worth it. We know that in the scope of our lives here on earth this is such a short time, and that in the scope of eternity it is really just a breath. 
All the same, we are asking you to pray for another wave of grace to hit us and carry us through the next two weeks. We need it.
UPDATE ON THE EMMA AND AIDEN:
EMMA continues to show small signs of anxiety when we first arrive for our visits, but she is not going into severe, lengthy fits anymore. Her nurses are able to calm her, and we have been able to visit with her without the nurses continued presence.  Emma is really enjoying John and he seems to be able to distract her with his “fun and games.” She is comfortable now sitting on my lap, playing games with me and is even showing some affection from time to time.  We are still not sure how to explain her sudden change from the great visits we had for the first few days to her total melt down. We do believe that even if the trip home is hard and the adjustment to a “new home” takes a while, that she will do learn to adapt and will bond well. 
AIDEN is a little joy and is quite the trouble maker- in the happiest sense of the word.  He runs to greet us with open arms and is very sad when we leave after our visits. We usually get smothered with kisses and often get a good choke hold as he tries to hold on during our good byes.  He is non-stop fun. We are also quite certain that his love language is food. He knows where I keep the “snacks” and drags my purse around until he manages to get it unzipped.  I wish we could really capture his infectious laugh and his melt-your-heart smile. 
And, we had a great visit tonight with the kids! Got to take them outside unattended by nurses and it was wonderful! 
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This photo was from yesterday! 🙂
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6 thoughts on “Moving Along…. like a snail that is!

  1. Thanks for the update and letting us know where everything stands. I am so glad you will get home and spend time with the kiddos. It will be good for Elia to have some time with Mommy again before she has to learn to share you with her new brubby and sis. I got to chat with Taylor last night on FB, I enjoyed talking to him. They are all doing so well, but will be so happy to have you all home again.

    Tara

  2. I so remember those feelings in China. There were moments that stretched me beyond anything I have ever had to endure, and just when it seemed like I wasnt able to go on, the Lord broke in, and things eased up a bit. Its so hard being in a foreign country, dealing with different food, language, decor, just everything. It can get to you after a while. You are doing great. You are putting one foot in front of the other, and you are going to make it all the way to home base. As I was reading your update, I saw a little vision of you guys, all home as a family. I think the Lord just wants to encourage you that while it seems like forever, this whole process, the end will come, and you will really be all there, together. Then, you will think fondly on this time you had with John in the UK, and you will laugh about all the stuff you had to endure. 🙂 Hang in there, and just know that you have prayers being poured out for you from so many people. God is in this. He will strengthen you, and use this amazing journey for His total and absolute glory. In our frail humanness, He is made glorious.
    Love you!
    Kim Phillips

  3. I felt the SAME way in Russia and in Alabama. I am lifting you in prayer. I really can’t imagine being there that long.
    Big HUGS.
    Much love,
    Courtney

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