We had some nerves on the last trip, but were mainly just beyond excited to meet our little man. Anticipating this trip has been more nerve-wracking. We've been spending our evenings preparing our answers for court and reviewing all our home study documents to make sure we're able to answer the judge's questions. I've always hated math and memorizing gross income, net income, monthly income, insurance information, retirement info etc... that's been the worst part for me. For once in my life I've been very thankful that our financial situation is pretty simple without a dozen different investments to memorize!
We can now speak succinctly about our motivation to adopt (you can imagine how hard it was for me to get that answer down to a couple sentences!) and about our plan for raising our son. Between my anxiety about giving the right answers, the formality of the court hearing, and the need to have everything mediated by a translator, I'm full of nerves about our court date.
I've been reflecting on a story in Luke 21 where Jesus talks to his disciples about impending persecution and how they will defend themselves. While I don't feel persecuted per say, I am experiencing a sense of injustice. It's not injustice on any judge's behalf- certainly these regulations exist to protect the children- but does feel rather unfair that millions of people around the globe walk into parenthood with such ease, many of whom will go on to be terrible parents and abuse or neglect their children- while we have had to struggle and fight and prove ourselves again and again to provide a loving home for a child who needs one. Again, I'm not saying this process is unnecessary, but it certainly does highlight the brokenness of the world.
This sense of injustice that I'm experiencing, and my confidence in the belief that God has led us to this adoption, has me applying Jesus' words to our own situation:
...you will bear testimony to me. But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict.
In all our preparation, when it comes time for us to stand before the judge and open ourselves up to her evaluation- to let her decide whether we will be this little boy's mama and papa- at the time, Christ will give us the words and wisdom to say.
So I'm making up my mind not to worry beforehand and I'm going to ask for your prayers to carry us through. If you are willing to hold us up in prayer for this trip, I'm going to ask you to print this out or write it down or bookmark this post and pray us through.
- Monday: traveling! Please pray for our safe journey. Praise God for providing us the money for these plane tickets; we have not forgotten how others gave so generously to get us to this point! Pray for our peace of mind as we travel and that we will feel healthy as we do so.
- Tuesday: arrival. Pray that the arrival will be smooth, from passing through customs, collecting our luggage, to getting into our apartment and getting groceries. Another prayer for our health is appreciated as we again navigate the headache of not drinking the water or eating anything that's been rinsed or washed. (Probably my least favorite part of traveling.)
- Wednesday: medicals. We will be seeing a number of doctors, having blood drawn, and getting x-rays done. This process takes 3-4 hours. Pray for patience, peace of mind and body, and that we pass! Praise God for our good health which means we are not worried about passing these medicals.
- Thursday: we see our little man. Pray that God has prepared his heart and mind to see us. We would love it if he remembers us. Pray that we will be able to show him our love and affection and that he continues to bond with us. I really hate the fact that we are telling him that we are Mama and Papa and then leaving. Please pray that he will not feel any sense of abandonment when we leave and that somehow God will protect him from confusing feeling about us so he can just accept our love. Praise God for keeping him safe and for providing him with good care while we cannot care for him ourselves. Praise God for being a Father to the fatherless.
- Friday: our court date. Pray for our nerves. We want the peace that passes understanding. Pray that Christ will help us to remember all the things we have prepared and give us the right words to say. Pray that the judge's deliberations will not be long so we do not have to endure waiting for that "da!"
- Saturday: we fly home. More prayers for safe travels and praise for provision for them.
Our location in Russia is 9 hours ahead of our timezone in the States, so if you are praying at night before bed you can pray for the following day and you will be carrying us in prayer as we wake up and prepare for the day ahead.
If the Lord impresses a scripture passage or a hymn or song on your heart for us, please share it! We love the encouragement we receive from our brothers and sisters in Christ.
With a profound gratitude,