Last Tuesday was a really bad day, emotionally speaking. Brock and I felt fractured, like we were on the brink of losing our minds. Neither of us could focus on anything and both of us felt utterly abandoned. There are times when your brain knows something is true but it has trouble convincing your heart. Our brains knew we had a God who would never leave us nor forsake us, but our hearts felt like we had been dropped in the process. Our brains knew that to everything there is a season and a time for everything under the heavens, but our hearts felt like there was no end in sight. Our brains knew that we had to keep moving and living forward, but every sinew in our bodies wanted to give up. We were desperate and hurting like we hadn't hurt before. Everything in our life was in absolute limbo. As for me, I'd get panicky when I would think of Roman sitting in an orphange getting further and further behind other children his age. Every day that he is in there makes it a little bit harder on his tender soul to learn what healthy relationships are and how bond with other people. He's not getting the help with his speech delays that he needs. He's not getting the opportunity that every child should have in knowing a Mommy and a Daddy who adore him. He's not getting held every night before he goes to sleep and he's not getting the unconditional love that every single child on this planet deserves. I can't help every child out there but what's even more gut wrenching, we can't get to the child we so desperately want to call our own.
Wednesday morning, Brock reached for his phone as he does every morning, hoping against all hope that we will have heard something, anything that will move us out of this black hole. A few days before, we had received word that, while Tatiana was siting in the courthouse ready to file the second appeal,she received a phone call from the judge saying the first appeal had been found and that there would be a hearing for that appeal on March 22. At that point, our understanding was that nothing else would move forward until the appeal was either approved or denied. Then, last Monday, Irina told us that we could still receive another court date any day now. That didn't seem likely since it would appear that no one in charge seems to be in any particular hurry to let us bring Roman home. But still, it was a shred of hope.
Wednesday morning, we got an email from Osxana who works with Andrei in St. Petersburg. A new court date had been set for March 23rd. We are cautiously ecstatic! This has left us with less than two weeks to arrange for a visa, book flights and make our travel plans. We also found out that our lawyer has apparently vanished. Andrei has been trying to get in touch with her and she is, at this time, not returning phone calls. As of right now, we are proceding as though we will go to court lawyer-less. It all seems very odd and I'm trying not to let my mind get too carried away...
So, for now we are praying feverently that this will be the final court date. I have no idea how to convince a judge with whom we've only spent a few hours that we will be the best parents we know how to be to Roman. I am certain we will make mistakes along the way, of course, but I am also certain that we will do the best job we know how to do for our son. We covet your prayers right now. Will you be praying for us and for the judge and the prosecutor in the days leading up to and the day of the hearing? When you look at your children, will you pray for ours?
Please, LORD, open the judge's eyes to see this. Still the prosecutor's mind to objections and further delays. Protect us and give us wisdom. Put our hearts and minds at Your perfect peace so that in the next eleven days, we won't fret about every "what if". Nothing about this process has seemed particularly easy and yet, I know that You have been teaching us along the way. You have protected us in ways that we can't possibly know this side of heaven. You've used us and used our story. You tell us that we have not because we ask not, so we are asking, LORD, please allow us to receive a favorable decision. Please grant us favor before the judge and the prosecutor. Please use us as Roman's parents soon. Every child is a gift and a blessing from You and we are humbly asking for this richest of blessings. We are not asking to be blessed in porportion to our merit, but in porportion to Your grace and lovingkindness.
In Christ's name