The final official task before we left Saratov, Russia to return to the U.S. was to go to the “Adoption Center” to sign papers to file an official petition to adopt Aselya. We were humbled as we signed the request to adopt Aselya. We left the “Adoption Center” and went directly to the Saratov airport to catch our flight back to Moscow and the following morning to the U.S..
Our prayer as we left Russia was that we would be able to return quickly for Aselya. Friends and family prayed with us in a deliberate manner. Since our adoption began in earnest in February we prayed that our baby would be home by the end of October. Why? Well, simply because it takes nine months to make a baby and we knew this timeline was aggressive and unlikely without the Lord’s intervention. The fact that America World Adoption Association (our agency) told us the timeline was extremely aggressive did not deter our prayers. The adoption journey expanded our families’ faith and our motto became, “Jesus is Real!” Through the process He demonstrated himself “real” and this became a game changer for our family. We marked these specific answers to prayer with “memorial plaques” that hang proudly on our stone fireplace as reminders of God’s faithfulness throughout our story!
10 year ago today, September 26, our plane landed on US soil at JFK International airport in New York City; after trip one. We were anxious to call Hillary, Bennett and Hunter in Raleigh and let them know we were safe in the US and that we would be home in a few hours. As I turned my cell phone on, I noticed several missed calls from AWAA in N. VA. Our hearts sank – had something happened to Aselya? I returned AWAA’s call dialing the direct number the head of the Russian program had left.
The excitement in Debbie’s voice was clear when she realized it was me. “Something really strange has happened – we have never seen it before but we have already received a court date for your adoption proceedings.” You will need to be back in Russia on October 24th. Yes, the Lord had once again done the impossible – or at least the improbable. (Miracle # 12 and counting).
We had a glorious reunion with our children that evening and following day sharing pictures of Aselya and talking about the journey. I was excited to share the court date with our children but frankly they were disappointed thinking we would not make the October 31 date we hoped to have Aselya home by. I encouraged them that regardless, the timing was a miracle. They would not let up and continued to pray. Oh me of little faith…
Three days later on September 29, Debbie called back to say our court date had been moved up an entire week to October 17th. We would have to be in Saratov in 2 weeks, October 14th. (Miracle # 13). Yet another example of God’s abundance.
In addition to praying for Aselya’s health between the two trips, we had our community of friends praying with us that the ten-business-day waiting period would be waived. A national regulation required ten-days between the judge signing the adoption decree and your ability to leave the region with your child. Ann and I were prepared to wait – yet the additional time was a hardship complicating life for our three children at home. Fortunately, I had saved enough vacation time to cover the leave, yet it was clear my boss was not happy about my time away.
On October 7th, AWAA’s Leslie Johnston called to inform us that there was no chance the ten-day waiting period would be waived. The Saratov Region where Aselya was, had recently come under scrutiny for waiving the waiting period and the judges were under strict orders to adhere to the national regulations.
We kept praying…
Have you had a period in life where the Lord demonstrated the power of prayer in a unique way to your family?