Yesterday I alluded to another delay. Today it has been confirmed. Yesterday morning, we had a very excited Oksana (who has been an God-send for us!!) call us from Houston. She has been our contact with the Russian Consulate to aide in us getting our visas. Back in December when we were told that we were going to have to make a trip to Russia to redo our medicals, we "swung" by Houston on our way home from visiting my family. There is a Russian Consulate in Houston who processes all visas. As we have to be invited to come into Russia, we are required to have a visa each time we travel there. Long story short, if you do not remember (or haven't been following our story very long) we were directed to Oksana-a Russian native-who helped us process our visas to take to the Consulate and she has been our contact ever since. She has been extremely efficient and has gone out of her way to help us with as much as she could. As I said before-a complete God-send.
As soon as we knew our court date, we started preparing the papers on our end and overnighted those and our passports to Oksana. At that point, we had not yet received a formal invitation from the court, which is necessary to complete the process, but emailed it directly to Oksana as soon as we received it last Tuesday. We asked again for a business visa which will allow us to make two trips into Russia. We are assuming that if the judge rules with a favorable decision on Friday, she will more than likely not waive the 30 day waiting period which means we will be making at least two more trips back to Artic Circle. Oksana called yesterday extremely excited for us because she got the elusive business visas for us and she thought they would be ready on Tuesday. Her enthusiasm came to a screeching halt when Brock sheepishly told her that our flights were booked for Tuesday. When we asked what it would take to get a single entry visa, we were told it would cost us an additional $750 since that was the processing fee and this business visa had been processed already. So we had to decide to drive to Houston to be able to pick up our passports and visas on Tuesday and fly from Houston or change our flight to Wednesday. Since the trip is about 30 hours from start to finish, we eliminated the stress of adding an additional 13 hours of hard driving from the equation and opted to change our flights out of St. Louis from Tuesday to Wednesday. This means that we will not have the opportunity to see Roman before we go to court and we will, if everything moves smoothly be arriving in Murmansk about eleven hours before we have to be at the courthouse. I hope that nerves and jet lag can be staved off at least long enough to get us through court.
As most of you know, it is never cheap to change a flight, and especially an international one so on such short notice. Yesterday, when we got the first inkling we would have to change flights, it was going to cost $250 a person plus the difference in flights. And of course, the flights had jumped. Last night Brock told me that we had to go by the church before noon because they had called and said they had something someone had left for us. I was thinking it might have been more baby clothes for us to take to the orphange. Today, when we went by, I was handed a thick envelope that some had anonomously left with $500 in it! AND, when we called to change the flights, the prices were back down to what we had paid originally, so the total cost to change the flights was $250 a person, flat. Tell me that our God isn't in this!! He knows our needs before we do! "And my God shall supply all of your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus." Phillippians 4.19.
As most of you know, this has been the most exhausting and heart-wrenching journey that Brock and I have ever embarked upon. And just when we think that we can't possibly take another step, something falls into place in a powerful way and we are reminded, once again, that our story is not over yet. Earlier this week, I tossed and turned as I felt fear and dread creeping through my bones. Dark whispers in the still of the night kept repeating, "this isn't going to happen. Give up while you have your sanity. How much more of this can you take? How much more are you going to watch Brock suffer through?" I was too paralyzed and spent to cry, except to cry out to God to have mercy on us and just show us what He wants. If we aren't supposed to bring Roman home, end this season so that he can be available to the family who IS supposed to be his forever family. Please LORD, give us a shred of indication somehow! The next morning, I got this text at 8:40 AM
I dreamed of Roman this morning! You had posted a video on FB saying how you are still "in hiding" but wanted to share this clip. It was Roman with a basket of Easter eggs, and she was happily exclaiming "Eh-uh eggg" as he threw them around. It gave me hope for you, and I can't wait to see the real thing.
I don't know if it was a prophetic dream or not, but I felt with a rock solid certainity that this message's timing was not at all a coincidence. I just pray that it was this Easter and not next....