Well, there's another snag. Effective January 1, 2012, there is new legislation requiring a 30 day waiting period instead of a 10 day waiting period after a court date for a court's ruling becomes official. Originally, we had planned on spending about three weeks in Russia when we went back for our court date and bringinig Roman home on that trip. Now, we will have to fly into Russia, go back to the baby home for three days, go to court and then come home and wait a few weeks to go back to pick up our son. I have been saying for several weeks now that, yes it is our understanding that we will get to bring Roman home when we go back for our court, but we have hesitant to say anything with certainity because it seems nothing about this adoption has gone "according to plan". But, even as I type that out, I choose to believe that, while it has not gone according to a plan it has, in fact, gone exactly according to The Plan.
I remember, vividly the sheer terror that rattled us to the core when we realized that we should have gotten another set of fingerprints to the FBI before we left in June. It seemed as though the extended wait that we were forced to face would be unbearable. And to be honest, there have been days when it felt like we didn't have the strength to continue to expose our heart. We were given good advice from many well-meaning friends who would tell us just keep putting one foot in front of the other, but more often than not, our feet have felt like they had heavy weights attached to them. One foot in front of the other has taken all the strength we've had some days. By God's Divine Grace, there was only one occassion both Brock and I fell apart at the same time. Every single other time-and you can't imagine how many other times there have been-we have taken turns being the embracer and the embracee. Both of us were convinced when we left Roman in the arms of his caregiver, we would be back in time to dress him in a Halloween costume. We never dreamed that we would miss his second birthday. We had already planned on having him in time to bring him to Texas for Thanksgiving. We just knew that our home would have the magic of Christmas that only comes with a child this year. I still battle with sorrow that this will not be the first year of creating holiday traditions with our child and that we are losing precious days with him, but there is also a peace that passes understanding. We physically left our son in the arms of the only caregivers he has ever known with the full realization that that life was never designed to be the best life for him. We left him in the arms of a caregiver in July and have been learning everyday how to leave him in the arms of the Great Caregiver.
I'm at the end of me. I have absolutely no more answers. I am battling a weariness like I've never known. But I still know that God is good.
We have had a few blessings in the last few weeks. Brock had been trying to contact Oxana for almost a week so we could get our travel visas finished. She is the one we met in Houston and with whom we left our passports just after Thanksgiving. Brock then remembered- miraculously if you ask me- on Tuesday that he had put her cell phone number in his cell phone and sent her a text message. She told us that the consulate would close on Friday and not reopen until January 10th. For those of you who don't know much about travel visas, know this: it would be impossible for us to enter the country without one. The judge in Russia will require us to visit Roman on January 7th, 8th and 9th. If Brock had remembered ONE DAY LATER, obtaining a visa would have been impossible for those dates. Also, a tourist visa allows a single entry into Russia and a business visa will allow multiple entries. When Brock asked Oxana about obtaining a business visa since we were now required to make two trips, she told him that it was impossible as a business visa takes three days to process. But she promised that she would try. Brock spent Wednesday getting all of the information ready to send to Oxana and we rushed back up to Cape to overnight it to her in Houston. She received it all on Wednesday and will be shipping it back to us on Friday. And you guessed it. God worked again. She is mailing a business visa to us. That alone has saved us approximately $750 since we will not have to get another visa when we are ready to return. (Granted the business visa is only good for three months, so as long as we are in that window, we are good!) I am so incredibly thankful to Oxana, but when we sent a text expressing our gratitude, she responded with, ":) :) :) Not me, but God Almighty!!! Thank you for the opportunity to help you! Happy New Year!" Blessed to be a blessing.
Of course, another trip means another round of plane fare and that will stretch an already taut budget, but we still choose to believe that God will provide all of our needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus. (Phil 4.19) And God really is providing yet again! I've been selling scarves and headbands that I've made and have been overwhelmed by the response. (Forgive the shameless plug, but if you want to be a part of this, you can check out the designs on my facebook page! Also, I will be scheduling as many Scentsy parties as I can for the "in between time" to finish raising airfare and, just to be quite honest, to keep me from going crazy for not having anything to do but just wait!)
I am so ready to bring Roman home and show him his new room. See if he likes the wall mural I created for him. Watch him play with all his toys. I'm ready to rock him to sleep and see his face first thing in the morning. God knows we are ready. And I believe He will bring all of this to fruition in His time. There is a big part of me that is extremely nervous to see him and not be able to take him home next month. I hate that the only thing that he is going to know of us right now is that we come to him for a few days and love on him and then we vanish. I am praying that God will protect his little heart as well as our own.
Our adoption story has been full of so many trials. But the only thing I KNOW to do with the trials is to "Count it pure joy..."James 1.2 and, even in this, "Give thanks for this is the will of God for your life" (I Thes 5.18) I am so thankful in this leg that Brock was prompted to send a text just in the nick of time. God's timing seems very slow sometimes, but He is never late. I am thankful for the business visa and all the implicaitons of those. I am thankful God has allowed Brock and I to grow closer throughout this entire process. I am thankful that we didn't know every trial we would have and that He has given us sufficient grace and strength to work our way through one trial at a time. With the utmost reverance, I think of Habakuk 2.2 "Slowly, steadily and surely the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled" "Slowly", yes, heaven knows yes! "Steadily"-sure when I look back over the time as a whole. We are a lot further than we were a year ago. As a friend pointed out, at least now we have a name and a face. We have a chosen one. I am exceedingly thankful that we aren't fighting for the notion of a child, but we are fighting for a specific little boy. A little boy whose giggle has been imprinted in my brain. So I say, in complete confidence of my Savior that even "surely"-yes. Surely He will finish this good work He has called us to. Our deepest heart's vision of becoming a mommy and a daddy to a precious and wonderful little boy will. be. fulfilled.
And I am infinitely grateful to our God Almighty.