Saturday, February 25, 2012

We Will Praise You in This Storm

I woke up this morning not feeling well.  I don’t know if it was due to allergies or a cold, but after a night of not sleeping well, I started the day groggy and wishing I could crawl back into bed.  I had taken a Zyrtec in the night to help me sleep (and hopefully battle the allergies/cold symptoms I was having), so my brain felt like mush for much of the day.  (Allergy meds knock me out!)  When we walked out the door of the hotel, the rain and cold hit our faces.  What a dreary day, yet, we will praise Him in this storm.


We got to the orphanage this morning only to discover that we had forgotten the key to the playroom.  I thought it was in my bag, but apparently I had moved it to a different bag that we’d used the day before.  So we sat in the dark hallway, just outside the playroom, holding the boys.  Cooper watched a little Barney on the iPad while Conner engaged in several games of chase, crawling away, wanting to be chased and snatched up by Mommy or Daddy.  We will praise Him in this storm.


Krem, day 6 final trip 004

Krem, day 6 final trip 010


I left both boys with Matt in the hallway so I could look for someone who might have a key to the playroom. After knocking on many doors and showing them my iPhone Google translated version of my plea for a key, I finally found someone who unlocked a different playroom that I didn’t know existed. It’s right next to the boys’ groupa, too!!! So, I went back and got Matt and the boys, and we headed over to the new-to-us playroom, where we had been instructed to take our shoes off and not touch any of the electronics. Smile  We will praise Him in this storm.


Krem, day 6 final trip 013

Krem, day 6 final trip 028

Krem, day 6 final trip 030


I noticed this light fixture in the playroom.

Krem, day 6 final trip 032

Just yesterday, I was telling our friends here about all of the interesting light fixtures in Ukraine.  I need to start taking photos to document the variety of eclectic light fixtures they have here!  A reminder of light in darkness.  We will praise Him in this storm.


We returned the boys to their groupa for lunch, only to discover that the caregiver who was present on the black eye day from trip 1 was back.  My heart sank as I handed Conner to her.  I prayed for God’s protection over both boys in our absence.  She was actually very kind today.  She asked what time we would be back, then told us goodbye.  We will praise Him in this storm.


We went back to the brick oven pizza place for lunch.  That’s when I received a phone call from our adoption facilitator, Nina, and it wasn’t good news.  She explained that there’s a problem with both boys’ passports.  It’s complicated to explain, but basically the local passport offices are not willing to issue either boys’ passport because their birth mothers are still listed on their birth certificates, so the local offices believe it’s illegal for them to issue the passports since I’m not listed.  The reason I’m not listed is because we filed our dossier with our home study requesting that Matt adopt as a married individual (as opposed to us adopting together as a married couple) because I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to travel with Matt.  Our baby, Selah, was scheduled to have the second phase of her skull reconstruction in November/December 2011, which was the exact same time that we thought we’d be traveling to Ukraine.  So, to play it safe, we decided to have Matt adopt as a married individual, which meant that I wouldn’t be required to travel to adopt if it turned out that I needed to be at the hospital with Selah at the same time as the adoption in Ukraine.  (Clear as mud?!)  We will praise Him in this storm.


Anyway, it turned out that Selah’s surgery was postponed and that it’s a possibility that she might not even have to have phase 2 of her skull reconstruction (praise God!!!).  This meant I would be able to travel with Matt to Ukraine.  While at our SDA appointment, we requested they allow us to adopt as a married couple (the usual method of adopting in Ukraine) since I would be traveling with Matt.  The SDA refused to accept this request since our dossier had been originally submitted with Matt adopting as a married individual, not with us adopting together as a married couple.  We even submitted notarized approval from our social worker requesting this change, but the SDA said we would have to start over with a new dossier and new SDA appointment (which would mean months of delay) in order to change to adopting as a married couple.  So, we decided to keep the approval for Matt to adopt as a married individual and proceed with the adoption in this manner.  We will praise Him in this storm.


Well, apparently the region of Poltava and city of Kremenchuk have never had anyone adopt in this manner (with one parent adopting as a married individual).  When a couple adopts in this manner, the birth certificate of the adopted child must list the one adoptive parent’s name (in our case, Matt would be listed as the father), but it mustn’t change the other parent’s name (in our case, the birth mother’s name stayed the same because I’m not legally adopting the boys in Ukraine, only Matt is).  This has caused EXTREME confusion and problems in this region since they’ve never processed an adoption like this here.   We will praise Him in this storm.


The Poltava region is REFUSING to issue both boys’ passports because I’m not listed as the birth mother on the birth certificates, even though this is legal in Ukraine and the Supreme Court has already written a letter stating this is within the law.  (That was the error on the adoption decree originally…I was listed as the birth mother.)  Anyway, this problem hasn’t been able to be resolved, so we are asking for your prayers that the Poltava region and city of Kremenchuk would issue both boys’ passports this Monday, Feb. 27.  We will praise Him in this storm.


Nina, our facilitator, asked us to keep her in our prayers, too, as she is going crazy trying to get this issue resolved.  It’s extremely difficult to get anything done in Ukraine, much less when there’s not a clear understanding of the law in cases that are not considered normal/ordinary/usual.  Of course that would be our case!!!  Ugh!!!  We will praise Him in this storm.


Would you please storm heaven’s gates on behalf of our boys?  We know God has mighty plans for these boys, and we know Satan wants nothing more than to keep these boys in captivity.  We will praise Him in this storm.


My sister reminded me of the verse God showed her months ago to pray for our family with regards to our Ukrainian adoption.

2 Chronicles 14:11: 

"O Lord, there is none like You to help, between the mighty and the weak.  Help us, O Lord our God, for we rely on You, and in Your name we have come against this multitude.  O Lord, You are our God; let not man prevail against you."


This is a great comfort, and there are so many more verses God has shown us to comfort us.  We know He will prevail, we know this battle is His, we know He loves the boys more than we do.  We know these things, yet we are impatient.  We so badly want to get these boys home.  We so badly want our family to be reunited, to be whole, to be in the same house together.  We will praise Him in this storm.


God’s timing is always perfect, His plans are always better than our own.  We cannot fathom the why’s, but we trust wholeheartedly in the One who holds us in the palm of His hand.  We will praise Him in this storm, just as Paul praised God when he was thrown into prison.  Our Father is victorious, may He be glorified through every second of this adoption, even when we are impatient.


We saw something today we have not seen here before:

Krem, day 6 final trip 036

Krem, day 6 final trip 038

Wheelchair ramps at the pharmacy near our hotel!!!  In a society where handicapped/special needs people are kept out of sight, in institutions, it brought a big smile to my heart to see a wheelchair ramp in this city!!!  We will praise Him in this storm.


Our evening visit with the boys involved a surprise visit from another groupa!  They came to the playroom to actually play!!!  That’s the first groupa we’ve seen visit the playroom.  What a blessing!!!  Even though both Conner and Cooper had snotty noses and seemed to not be feeling well this evening (making me wonder if I might possibly have caught a cold from the boys, instead of allergies), we felt so privileged to hold them, rock them, sing to them, brush their teeth, expose them to learning videos, rejoice in watching Cooper start to communicate as he watches learning videos, and be present as another groupa came into the playroom to PLAY!!!  Yes, oh yes, we will praise Him in this storm!

Krem, day 6 final trip 044

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