Monday, February 27, 2012

Strength Will Rise…

…as we wait upon the Lord!


When we grow weary in this wait, we fix our eyes upon Him and persevere in His strength through the trials of this adoption.  Many people believe that when obstacles appear in a journey God has called one to, it is a sign that this is NOT God’s will.


We beg to differ.  For us, obstacles are a sign that we’re on the right path, and Satan hates it!!!  Satan throws fiery darts, trying hard to defeat us, trying hard to deter God’s will, but our God is mightier and will triumph over evil.  The path will not be easy, there will be trials, but we are to persevere in His strength, without waiver, without doubt, without fear.  When we are weak, He is strong.  Strength rises as we wait upon the Lord!


This morning we were greeted at breakfast by a group of men from Nepal who are staying at the same hotel as us.  It’s rare to see Apple products here in Ukraine, so when we sat for breakfast and heard all kinds of iPad/iPhone noises we were familiar with, we realized the men weren’t Ukrainian.  The men are attending a Ukrainian helicopter flight school that is just down the street.  They asked why we were here, and we explained about our adoption.  They asked why we chose Ukraine, so we were able to share with them God’s hand in this adoption.  They laughed when we told them God chose Ukraine for us, signifying they’re not accustomed to hearing such things.  We pray God planted a seed in their hearts that will hopefully be watered and grow into an understanding of the Gospel.


We walked with a few of the men outside to show them the location of the yummy pizza restaurant down the street, and when we opened the door, HUGE snowflakes slowly drifted across the sky.  BEAUTIFUL!!!  One of the men jumped up and down with excitement and exclaimed, “This my first time snow!!!”  They got out their iPads to take photos.  So fun to see grown men so giddy about snow. 


As we drove to the orphanage, I had a little revelation sparked by the snowflakes.  The flakes were so large (at least 1” each) that we could visibly see the unique patterns of each flake.  Thousands of flakes fell, each and every one of them different than the one before.  Seeing before my very eyes the variety of snowflakes, not one of them the same as the other, reminded me of God’s goodness, His creativity, His ability, His miracles. 


It seems impossible for millions of countless snowflakes to fall from the sky without one single replica, but then I thought about people.  From the beginning of time, God has created billions of people, not one of them the same as another.  Only our God could be so creative.  Only our God could have such ability to never, ever replicate His creations.  Each and every one of us is unique, created in His image, yet distinctively different than any other person He’s ever created.  Truly a miracle.


And so, as the snowflakes fell, I marveled at the beauty of God’s plan, His design, His ability, His creativity; captivated by the beauty of His creations.



Krem, final trip day 8 002

I wished so much that I had taken my “real” camera with me on this trip, but thankful for my iPhone camera regardless.  I tried to capture the huge flakes (in the photo above) that piled up on the orphanage pathway.  Incredible.


Krem, final trip day 8 003

Krem, final trip day 8 004

The flakes were so large and fluffy that they looked like cotton on the bushes!


Krem, final trip day 8 005

Krem, final trip day 8 006


As we entered the orphanage doors, I felt extra grateful for His marvelous creation of Cooper and Conner.  Distinctly different than any other of His creations, masterpieces of our Creator.  Captivating.


Krem, final trip day 8 008

Krem, final trip day 8 015


Conner seemed to have more energy and better spirits today, praise God.  Yesterday afternoon, we were seriously worried about him living long enough to get to Texas to get medical care, but today he perked up and restored our hope!


We prayed fervently today that the Kremenchuk/Poltava officials would have mercy upon Conner and Cooper by granting their passports TODAY.  We eagerly awaited a phone call from our facilitator to let us know what decisions were made today.


Well, one passport was granted, but one was not. Sad smile


The situation is so complicated, but I feel great peace knowing that the One who called us to this task holds all of this in His hands.  He is sovereign over every single detail.  He will work all things for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.  (Romans 8:28) 


All of the complications are due to the way we submitted our dossier, with a request for Matt to adopt as a married individual (without me) so that I wouldn’t be required to travel to Ukraine in case Selah (our baby) was hospitalized.  It ends up that I’m here in Ukraine and have been present for every step of the process with the boys, but because our dossier was submitted with this request, all of the paperwork is different.


The Poltava region and city of Kremenchuk are very strict with the law, but their understanding of the Ukrainian law (which seems to be constantly changing!) is inaccurate.  However, getting them to educate themselves properly is a problem!  Our facilitator is working hard to get the issue resolved, but her hands are tied to a degree since she has no authority over the passport officials.  Our facilitator has handled numerous married individual adoptions without a single problem, but this region is not educated on this type of adoption since it’s the first one of this type…ever.


Needless to say, Cooper’s passport should be issued tomorrow, BUT not Conner’s.  1 down, 1 to go!!!  Please keep praying that the officials would issue Conner’s passport as well.  If we can just get both passports, we’ll be able to go to Kiev for the US Embassy interview and medical exams, get the boys’ visas, and then head HOME!!!!!!!!!!  If we are able to get both passports tomorrow (Tuesday), we could get home this weekend, as originally anticipated. 


Our kids at home made a paper chain to count down the days until we would be home.  This really helps the little kids have a visual of when we’ll return.  Based upon the timeline of the last 2 American adoptions from this exact same region, we should be home this Saturday, but that is all dependent upon the passport issue.  We *have* to get both passports in order to go home!!!


Strength will rise as we wait upon the Lord.  Come on, prayer army, keep lifting this situation up to the One who is able!  I can’t wait to watch His Strength rise up!!!  Claiming Victory, in Jesus’ mighty name, the Name above all names!!!

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