Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A Day to Rejoice and Remember...

"I've seen too much hate to want to hate, myself, and every time I see it, I say to myself, hate is too great a burden to bear. Somehow we must be able to stand up against our most bitter opponents and say: We shall match your capacity to inflict suffering by our capacity to endure suffering. We will meet your physical force with soul force. Do to us what you will and we will still love you.... But be assured that we'll wear you down by our capacity to suffer, and one day we will win our freedom. We will not only win freedom for ourselves; we will appeal to your heart and conscience that we will win you in the process, and our victory will be a double victory.Martin Luther King Jr., A Christmas Sermon for Peace on Dec 24, 1967

Or even a triple victory!!!  I could not have said it better myself.How interesting that one year ago on a Monday, on Martin Luter King Day, Matt's precious mother, Anita Grinn went on to glory.  And this Monday, Martin Luther King Day, we are finally awarded our three precious children.  For those of you who are dying to hear the details :)  here it goes...

I, Tammy, drove out to where Tanya is, to pick her and the School Psychologist up for the trip.  I was so nervous that I showed up about two hours too early!  I bought her a special dress to wear, so we spent time getting her ready for the big day.  In the meantime, Matt drove out to pick up the boys, a Caretaker who had worked for around 40 years at the Orphanage, and their school Psychologist.  We met up at the court house around 1:00pm.  We each had our own translator to make sure we understood everything this time! The entire court session was held in Ukrainian.  We spoke Russian the entire time at the last court and determined to only speak English this time around!So with the Social Worker, Lawyer and our whole gang I think we had 12 people in all sitting outside the court room waiting for our session to begin.

Finally around 2:00 they allowed all but the children to enter the court chamber.  For around two and a half hours they questioned all of us.  Matt and I both spoke several times about how we met the kids, why we want to adopt them, why we live here and have residence in Texas and why we believe that this is a good opportunity for them, etc.  Then they sent us out and asked the kids to come in for questioning.  We still do not know what all they asked the kids, but Tanya did tell me that they asked her if she knew how old we were.  She said she told them that it did not concern her how old we were, she wants to be with us and that's that!She's our spunky one. :)

They sent the kids out after 15 minutes or so and called us back in for us to share any final comments.  We again pleaded with them, cried, practically begged them to give these kids the chance to have a forever family.  At one point Matt leaned over to me and said, "If I die of a heart attack today, just know that I love you."  You can imagine the stress and anxiety we were feeling.  By 4:30 or so they had heard enough and decided to go into their chamber to discuss their decision.  So we waited and waited and waited.  You'd think we'd be used to waiting by now! Lol.

Matt ran out to the hall (more like snuck out) to give the kids a candy bar each he had in his bag because nobody had eaten for over 5 hours at that point!  We were worried about the kids.

Around ten till 6:00 they finally came back out and began to read their decision.  It took forever for the lady to get through the details of their names, our names, the case, the date, yadi, yadi, yadi... all in Ukrainian (which we don't understand).  Finally smashed in the middle of it all they said that they disagree with the first Judge's decision and would like to award us all three children.  To which I began to break down in a release of two years worth of tears. 

I kept tugging on Matt's arm for a happy nudge of victory but he couldn't accept the positive result.  He kept waiting for them to say something like, "but, you have to wait until their turn 21" or something ridiculous.  

Finally they stopped talking and we were able to celebrate with many hugs and tears.  I yelled out, someone go get the kids!!!  The poor things were waiting out in the hallway forever to hear the news.  We ran out and hugged them all, took a few photos and tried to collect ourselves.  Pure joy.

It was the end of the work day which meant we could not get our decision until the next day.  So I drove Tanya back to the Orphanage and Matt drove the boys back home.  We finally grabbed a bite to eat to celebrate and headed home to begin calling everyone.  Needless to say we were exhausted.Today we spent most of our time trying to figure out what we need to do next. Believe it or not, the courthouse's special ID code printer broke down and they are now not able to print our decision.  Not even the summary.  So we still don't have the kids. =(  We had several meetings with different people about the next steps (passports, ID codes, renewing birth certificates, etc.) We're heading over to try to get the boys for the day tomorrow as we continue to wait for the Appeals court office to get themselves in gear.

After making the decision to adopt in March of 2011 and beginning the paperwork in June, 2011, we would do it all again in a heartbeat to rescue these three precious kids.  It is worth it. period.I talked to a friend the other day and shared my frustrations (before the court).  She said she had considered adoption but our story had discouraged her from adopting altogether.  Please, friends, do not think of the struggle you will endure.  Think only of the life you will be able to offer to the forgotten orphan.

We are hopeful that the kids will finally get to come home within the week.  By US law, we have to resubmit our fingerprints for filing our adoption papers, so we decided to plan a quick family trip to the capital city of Kiev, Ukraine.  We'll spend a little time with some precious friends (like family) who have been waiting with us these past two years to see the victory.

Then we'll 'cocoon' (as my sister says) for about a month.  So forgive us now if we don't invite you over or come to visit you for a while. =)  We need to build trust and learn how to be a family.  As time goes by we will finally begin to plan out our lives and future again.  We have been in a holding pattern for so long that we have not even thought past January 21st, 2013. 
 Now we are able to dream.It will be messy.  But there will be lots of joy and laugher. 

Thank you for praying for us, believing with us and standing in the gap.Most of all, thank you for trusting that God would rescue these kids by even using us (as messy as we are!) to be their guardians.  At least for the latter years of their lives.We are overwhelmed by the love, support, prayers, and interest of all of our friends and family.  May God bless, guide, stir, and draw you closer into His loving arms.  Just know that sometimes when you volunteer to follow Him, He might use you in a way that has adoption in the plan. =)

Keep us in your prayers as we begin the wildest adventure of our lives.To God be the glory,



Andrea Short said...

Congratulations! I am so happy for all of you! May God continue to be with you every step of the way as you continue in your journey as a family.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations! Now you begin. Please message me if I can help you at all along the way. Beth Tuszynski

Ruth Smith said...

Tammy, I'm a friend of your mom's and Heidi's. I have prayed along with them and you. I can't wait for my chance to meet your children! To God be the glory!

Anonymous said...

I love that God reveals himself in so many facets in life. I am grateful for your struggles, Matt & Tammy, for it inspires an unfathomable faith in those you know and don't know this God of ours. Your story only proves to me that the God I fell so in love with when I was 23 can still live up to beyond even what I can dream. I am certain, and will always be certain, that we can ask God the impossible out of our selfless desires and HE is MORE than able to open wide the doors to the possibilities. Thank you so much for sharing your story, your heart, and your passionate journey to give not just life, but LIFE to these 3 wonderful children that God laid upon your hearts. May the Lord continually guide your path as you and Matt take Dima, Victor, and Tonya under your wings and into your/their home.

Love in Christ, Davina

Allison said...

We are all blessed to have Saints such as you walking the earth to display God's glory... here in such a tangible way. This story unites us all, as we prayed and hoped and hoped this would be the outcome. I can only imagine what God has in store for the years to come for your beautiful family of five. Give them all hugs from the Lindemann's!!!! Love love love.

Anonymous said...

Tammy, I have two friends that have shared your blog and story with me because we also live in Yukon and just returned last week with our 16 year old daughter from Ukraine after a 2 year adoption process. I would love to connect when you return home. Sincerely, Elizabeth (Congratulations) www.theatchleychronicles.blogspot.com