Today we start the second leg of our great adventure! We are leaving for New York for the Shelter Conference trip this afternoon and catching a way too early flight in the morning. We will be in NYC until July 2nd and then we will fly to Russia. I have a lot of packing, laundry and tying loose ends up today, so this blog won't be as long, but I feel compelled to take a few minutes to ask for specific prayers. The following is a day by day guide to where we will be and the prayers that we think we'll need on specific days.
From now until July 2nd- Pray that we have wisdom in New York.
We are still about $400 short of our goal for this trip. This goal was based on estimations of the costs from the adoption agency. We've seen God work so far and we are trusting that He will provide again! Pray that God provide and that He will bless those who have already been so generous! We have not booked a hotel in St. Petersburg yet because Brock might have some connections to a free or discounted room. (even in Russia, this man has connections!!) Please pray that God will lead us to a safe, clean and inexpensive hotel that will be in the proximity required. Please also pray that we will stay healthy and, in spite of strange food and "don't drink the water" warnings in Russia, that our tummies will be okay. Pray also for our protection from accidents and foul-play as we travel.
July 2nd We fly from JFK to Saint Petersburg with a layover in Frankfurt.
Pray for our safety during travels. Pray that the layover and luggage transport will all go smoothly. I'm always a little nervous traveling internationally (probably because I haven't done it very much at all!) so pray that we have God's perfect peace. Pray that we will be able to rest on the plane and that we will be alert and clear-minded when we land.
July 3rd. We arrive in St. Petersburg, Russia and our translator will meet us at the airport.
As silly as it sounds, I am asking prayer for her not to have hit traffic or anything else that might delay her being at the airport when we arrive as it might prove a little challenging to call her. Pray that the custom's process will go smoothly.
July 4th. Rest and recovery day.
Pray that we will be able to sleep and that, in spite of jet lag, we will feel refreshed. We will look in St. Petersburg for fireworks to celebrate the Fourth! Ha!!
July 5th, We meet with the doctor who will poke, prod and drain us to deem us healthy enough to be Roman's parents.
Pray for this appointment to go smoothly and that we would have peace about it. I don't like going to a doctor who speaks English, so pray that we will be peaceful and calm. The last thing we need is to be anxious and have a bad blood pressure reading! After the doctor's appointment, we will fly to Murmansk, Russia. Once again, we will meet another translator at the airport, so again pray our safe travel and no delays.
July 6th. We will meet in the morning with the Ministry of Education to be approved to meet our son. Pray that they will find favor with us and that we will make a great impression. Pray that we will be wise and remember the social customs that are unfamiliar to us but might make a big difference to them. On the afternoon of the 6th, we will drive to Kandalaksha, the town of the baby home. (We just learned this was the preferred term over "orphanage" and I like it so much better!)
July 6th, 7th and 8th. We will get to spend time with our son each day! Pray for our first meeting with him that we will have wisdom and discernment. I can't imagine that God would have a different plan for us, but we want to stay pliable to Him. As strange as it may seem, we are praying that Roman would not take to us right away because it will mean that he does not "indiscriminately bond". We want to have to work for his affection because it means that he is more likely to have a long term bond with us as his parents later. Pray that God would protect our hearts during this process because it can be scary to think that our son might not like us right away. Pray that we will be wise and realize that the bonding process takes time and if it starts slowly now, it will more likely mean that it will be healthier in the long run. Pray for Roman's heart, too. We will get to spend several hours a day with him and the last thing we want is for him to be very sad when we leave. It is going to hurt my heart to have to leave him, but it will break it if I know that he is very upset with this, too. Pray for us as we talk to the orphange directors that will have presence of mind to think of all the questions that we need to ask. Pray that God's Spirit will supercede our travel weariness, our human frailities and our emotions.
July 8th. We drive back to Murmansk. Pray for God's comfort and for the peace that comes from knowing that He who began this work will see it to fruition. The six week period of waiting will be challenging but it is just a necessary season.
July 9th, 10th We fly back to St. Petersburg where we will stay until it is time to fly home on the 11th. The flights were $1000 cheaper to fly on the 11th instead of the 9th, so pray for our safety in the city. St. Petersburg is a beautiful city and we are looking forward to spending the two days there, but wee have been told that Americans can be targeted for muggings and other crimes, so pray that God will protect us and that we will have peace that He is able! Also, again, pray that we have wisdom to not be stupid!
July 11th. We fly back to NYC arriving at JFK around 9 PM and then STL around 11PM. Again, pray for our safety as we travel and that everything will go smoothly.
During all of this, pray for Brooke and Tamra at Brock's office! We are so thankful that he has a job that allows him to do everything that has needed to be done while leaving his agency in very capable hands! What an exteme blessing!
We know that all things might not go as smoothly as we would hope and there might be obstacles along the way. We also know that we serve a God who is bigger than any problem we face. So, we are praying too that things would go smoothly and, at the same time, we have all the confidence that even if they do not, circumstances are being orchestrated with a greater good in His mind. We are praying that no matter what, we will keep our minds on Him and that, even if things do not make sense to us, we only need trust Him and He will guide our steps.
So, there it is. The time has come and we are being called to Go! And for those of you who have partnered with us in this, we are asking you to Pray. For without prayers, this would not have been possible.