Processing (stream of consciousness)

Taken from our rental apartment window at 5am as we finished packing before our flight home.
I am in the aftermath of last week, still processing it all. This is a stream of consciousness post. Coherency not promised. Read at your own discretion.  :)

We're home again.  We pulled into our driveway at 11pm on Saturday night, after being awake for 26 hours.  John drank a 5-hour-engery shot AND a Starbucks coffee after we landed at the airport (in preparation for the 3 hour drive home) so he was pretty wired when we walked in the door and immediately started ironing his clothes and reviewing his sermon notes for the morning.  I, on the other hand, was so tired I kept feeling like the ground was shifting underneath me. I walked in the door, dropped my bags and immediately ran a bath to get all the travel off me.  I think I could have slept the night covered in warmth and bubbles, but for fear of drowning I forced myself up the stairs and into bed.

All the while I kept thinking I hope God gives me a special mothering grace when we bring our little man home because I can barely get myself in bed right now, let alone a toddler!

Maybe I'll join John in his caffeine abuse next trip.

We already booked our flights for the final trip and if all goes well we should come home with our little man around 1am on November 25.  It will be 9 in morning for him.  Please God reset his internal clock for us. 

Due to exhaustion, the joy of our successful court trip has been coming in waves.  It is sort of like the experience after completing a final exam, when you have these little moments of panic, trying to remember what you studied or thinking you don't know something you should, and then suddenly it hits you: the exam is over and you don't have to remember all those details anymore! In fact, you could recycle all your lecture notes if you wanted to! YES!!!

Yep, I keep thinking Oh no what if they ask me XYZ in court and I don't know what to say?? and then I remember OH YEA!  It's OVER!!  We got our "da!"

Best feeling ever.

Side note: when adoption court sessions are scheduled in Russia, the orphanage director, the orphanage social worker, the regional social worker, and agency representative all have to come together to book the date.  Our little man's orphanage director was on vacation this week, but back when they scheduled the court session he agreed to come back from his vacation early just so we wouldn't have to wait another week.  The moment John and I first met this man we immediately felt his warmth but hearing this news from our translator moved us so deeply.  In our region not all directors agree with international adoption so the fact that this man not only supported us, but cut his vacation short for us and our son is truly amazing!  I will never forget his kindness.

 Although we had hoped and prayed for the opportunity to bring our little man home after our court session, I feel no sense of sadness that we did not get that miracle.  I am at peace and I am actually experiencing some relief that he is not home yet.  The court trip was exhausting on every level: physically, emotionally, even spiritually.  I am so grateful to have a month to restock my reserves before we being our daily parenting journey.

John and I both commented that we keep having to remind ourselves to relax.  This is why:

We started off the trip by traveling for almost 24 hours.  Navigating international airports, getting through security checkpoints, finding our luggage, our driver etc etc... it all requires a heightened sense of awareness.  Then we had our medical exams which we couldn't help but be nervous about.  Between the language barriers, the blood draw, the x-rays, and the 6 hours it took to finish... that's just tiring.  We had about 10 minutes to feel the relief of passing our medicals before we started preparing ourselves to see our little man again.  The will he recognize us? and the I hope he hasn't changed too much! thoughts are constant.  Seeing him again was an emotional high like no other and saying goodbye brought its own roller coaster of emotions.  After a sleepless night we were getting dressed and ready for our court hearing- stomachs turning, cold and sweaty hands shaking, answers being rehearsed.  Lots of praying.   Hearing that "adoption granted" sentence was like breathing for the first time all week.  When we got back to our hotel room that afternoon John crawled into bed and slept for three hours.  I got online to write my "verdict" blog post and called my parents to celebrate.  My whole body was buzzing with emotion.

After John woke up we packed our baggage and slept a short night before our driver came and brought us back to the airport!  On the plane I noticed that all my muscles were tight from the stress of it all and I would have to work my way down my body to relax them.

Loosen your neck. 
Drop your shoulders. 
Relax your hands. 
Lean back into the seat. 
Un-tense your legs. 
Relax.  It's over.  She said, "da." 

All this to say: as much as I'd rather just be exhausted and have our little man home right now, I'm going to drink up the silvery lining around this cloud and say I'm glad I don't have to start my parenting journey with no reserves.  I'm blessed to have a month to pour into my physical, emotional, and spiritual wells before bringing my son home. This trip showed me just how deep those wells ago and I plan to fill them to the absolute brim before we get him.  Vitamins and sleep and good food and mediocre wine.  Friendship and date nights and laughter and reading and preparation.  Scripture and prayer and hymns and meditating.  Fill me up, Lord, so that I will overflow in abundance on my son. 

32 days until forever.  I want to be a mom who determines in her heart to rejoice and be glad in each day as the day the LORD has made.  That's an attitude that requires practice and I think these 32 days are the perfect time to start. 



  1. Anonymous10/15/2012

    Thank you for sharing this. Love reading these, and I can't wait to see him. By the way you looked very relaxed and rested in church. =)
    Megan Kikstra

    1. Megan thank you for commenting! I'm so glad I looked okay in church; I felt like I was in a daze. Can't imagine how John managed to preach! :-)

  2. I have started following your blog in the past few months but feel I need to comment here. As a mom myself, and one who is planning on going through an international adoption or two in the next few years, your blog has made me cry more times then I care to admit. Your passion for motherhood, and godly motherhood at that, is evident.

    I will say that God will most definately grant you the strength you need once you bring your son home. While I haven't experienced the joys of adoption yet, the strength the Lord gives at any point of weakness during parenting is surreal. It's hard to explain (I'm making a huge assumption here from just my experience in travelling that the exhaustion from that will be similar to the exhaustion of labour) how it works but God gives HUGE amounts of grace during those adjustment periods and I know that it will be no different for you as it is for any parent when they first bring their child home.

    1. Heather this comment meant so much to me that I read it aloud to my husband. Thank you for your meaningful and sincere words. They brought joy to my heart and a tear to my eye.

  3. "32 until forever." Love that. God bless you.

  4. I'm following your adoption journey from Cape Town, South Africa & wow. I am encouraged & inspired. I feel like I'm watching a marathon on the sidelines cheering you & John on. What a testimony of endurance, hope, love & faith.

    I am so excited for you to bring your son home & for that feeling you feel when you know it's done & it's forever & you never have to leave him in the children's home again.

    We brought our then 18 month old home 2 years ago on November 15 & that feeling of gratitude to God & being in awe of His goodness is still as fresh now as it was then. I will never forget that day & will always cherish it. I am so excited to celebrate family day on that date every year. Our daughter is now 3 and a half.

    You will be in my thoughts & prayers.

  5. Anonymous11/16/2012

    As I am reading your blog w tears in my eyes, I realized that a few days before you leave to get your son, my sisters adoption of three siblings ages 1, 2 and 3 will be final and the day you are to bring him home is my daughters 6th birthday! My sister cannot have children and after trying for 5 years they decided to foster and got blessed w three babies! They were born drug addicted but as far as Doctors are concerned they are all perfectly healthy, we think they are extremely smart too! You are in my thoughts and prayers. Enjoy that lil man before you know it you will be sending him away on the big yellow school bus(prb crying like I did haha) Best wishes, Jessica


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