On October 12th, we had- what we were told- would be our final court date. We were instructed that it would take about 30-45 minutes to go over the papers and for the Judge to interview us and the kids. With hopeful hearts and brimming with confidence and faith, we marched into the court room. However, yet again our hopes were dashed on the rocks.
In reality, the session began at 10:00am and ended around 4:30pm with a lunch break somewhere in the middle. We felt poked and prodded, we were asked unnecessary questions, like "you know they are baptized into the Orthodox Church and religion, so how are you going to respect their faith if you do not believe the same...' And the kids were almost all brought to tears by the intense questioning from those present.
We left with more questions and a request from the Judge to gather more paperwork regarding the separation of Dima from his siblings among other things.
A few days later, several women from the court session showed up at the house unannounced to 'look' at our residence. This was very unnerving because all the paperwork for the adoption is based in Texas! They had no legal right to investigate our home here. Arghh!
About three months ago, I had planned to go to a women's retreat during this time and was hopeful that by the time of the retreat the adoption would be final and all would be well.
I left the morning after the court on October 13th for the retreat a bit hard hearted, to say the least.
During this three day retreat session I was reminded over and over again that God is a God of transformation. He created the Heavens and the Earth out of pure NOTHINGNESS. Surely He could take this mess and create something beautiful. As I was being washed over with God's faithfulness and peace, my poor husband was driving all over the peninsula to gather more documents for the demanding Judge and trying to work through his anger without sinning.
Almost each and every step of this adoption journey has been filled with obstacles. It's been a roller coaster ride of emotions and nagging doubts. And this is all just to begin our family. I'm sure there will be many more intense and heart breaking emotions after we finally have the children as our own. I can only imagine.
You may be asking yourself if it's all worth it. Adoption is a distraction from daily living. It interrupts your seemingly orderly, calm and peaceful world. It's like a long 'To Do' list that never gains the satisfaction of being crossed off month after month after month. It pulls you into lives that more than likely are filled with corruption and selfishness. It drains you until you feel empty inside. It tests your resolve to stay true to righteousness and justice. Sometimes I get bogged down and wonder if it really is all worth it. But then I remember who 'it' is. Victor, Dima, and Tanya. They are worth it. Period.
I do not know what will happen at our third court session on October 25th. All I know is that we have tried to rescue three dear children who have no hope for a future or a family. If our rescue efforts continue to be thwarted, all we can do is pray that God is true to His word: "The LORD does what is fair, and executes justice for all the oppressed" Psalm 103:6. Whether He intends to use us in this work with these three children is yet to be seen. All I can do is pray, trust, and hope.
And when I am sinking into the empty, dark, coolness of nothingness and hopelessness... I will remember that God is a God who is able to make light out of darkness, planets and stars out of His very own words, and man out of dirt and clay. Surely He can transform my life, the life of those in the court room and most importantly the life of these three precious children.