The day of my last blog, Brock and I skipped town. We went to a cabin on Kentucky Lake and kept the computer turned off. Cell phone time was limited Other than a few walks under the brightly colored canopies of autumn's paintbrush, we sequestered ourselves in our cabin, reading, cooking, jigsaw puzzling and of course a little Cardinal baseball! Both of us desperately needed to just breathe and rest. For 48 hours, we didn't have to answer any questions. We both felt in a tangilble way the prayers that were thrusting us before the throne of God. I don't know that I have ever felt His presence more completely than I did that weekend, and all we had to do was just rest in His goodness. Paperwork and the politics would just have to wait until Monday. The only thing we felt like was being asked of us was to just rest and peacefully trust.
When we came to work on Monday, we got a further clarification on what the judge was asking of us. Our income was reported in three different documents in our dossier: Our home study, Brock's letter from Shelter Insurance confiming his employement and our tax returns. Since Brock and I are both in sales, our annual income is approximated. Since Brock is an employee of Shelter and his staff, including myself, are employees of Brock, Shelter pays Brock Williams Agency LLC more than what he pays personal taxes on since he has to pay his employees out of those commissions. It works like this: Say Shelter Insurance pays Brock $10 a year. Of that $10, Brock pays Brooke and other office expenses and then pays us $6 a year. The home study said that we make approximately $2.75 each. This is the part where we start panicking. Yes, our total income is $6.00 a year, but Brock makes a lot more than I do and there's no way to prove that he and I make the same amount. And according to the homestudy, we should only make $5.50 The agency asked us to write a letter to explain why each document had a different number. It was easy enough to explain that the homestudy was approximated. And it was fairly easy to explain that Shelter pays the business more than what we pay ourselves, but there was no way to prove that Brock and I make about the same amount of money. We prayed that God would show us a way to handle this situation with integrity and honesty. We could just write a letter adjusting everything to make it look right, but we knew that God couldn't bless dishonesty. We hadn't caught it when the homestudy had been written and now we were worried that our oversight was going to make everything crumble before our eyes. Brock started trying to do "forensic accounting" and called our CPA. Then, we got a ray of hope. When Brock and I set up the LLC, he made me 49% owner. Which is close enough to 50%! Praise the LORD!!!!!
Tatiana, our Russia Power of Attorney did ask the judge if she had anything against our family adopting Roman. We were told that the judge said that she was very much pro-adoption and that the best place for any child would be in a home with a mommy and daddy who loved him instead of in an orphanage. Her concern was that with the seeming discrepancies, the prosecution would push back when we were in court. It is much easier to do the footwork to "prove" our stability while we are here in the States than we are in Russia. I am so incredibly thankful that we have a more complete picture of what is happening behind the scenes now.
So, Friday the 21st, Brock and I made a mad dash to Columbia to pick up another letter from Shelter than explained why there would be a discrepancy between Shelter's commission check and Brock's personal tax information. From there, we went to Jefferson City to have it apostilled and overnighted to Dallas so it could go out in the mail with the rest of the documents on Monday. We set it for a 10:30 delivery time with FedEx. Monday, though, the driver got a little ahead of the game and tried to deliver it to Buckner at 8:27 AM when Buckner opens at 8:30 AM (hence the 10:30 request time!) Brock called and talked to three different FedEx representatives before we finally got the driver to go back and deliver the package. As of yesterday, Monday the 31st, our paperwork is sitting in the courthouse waiting to be reviewed (or in the process of being reviewed). The judge has until Friday the 11th to respond with either a request for more paperwork or a court date. We are praying for the latter. Both Brock and I had felt a tremendous sense of peace after we left the FedEx hub in Jeff City that Friday. Maybe this would be our last trip to rush to have something overnighted before we get to see our little man again. Hurry up and wait has been the theme of these last few months.
We cannot thank you enough for all of your prayers for us. Just when I thought we couldn't take another step a few weeks ago, God put words into the mouth of a friend...
[You can keep doing this!] Here is why: a little boy in Russia needs his forever mother and father!...And he needs to know our God. When he gets older he will hear how his mom and dad fought until they couldn't fight anymore, cried out to God, and He carried them the rest of the way! He will hear how you and an entire community stopped dead in their tracks to pray and he finally got to come home! You will have amazing answers when he asks you how do you know God is real and that He loves me? There will never be any doubts or questions in his mind because you have really went to the ends of the earth for him....
The community supporting us may not be a geographical community, but it has bound us up with love. We have felt strength from your prayers and encouragement more than any of you could possibly know. We have one simple prayer request in this chapter of our story: Pray that God would give wisdom and compassion to the judge so that she can understand our financial situation in a culture that is completely different from hers and that she will be moved to set a court date quickly so we can bring our son home.