|Home to the Supreme Court of the Chuvash Republic in Cheboksary, Russia|
Other people add to their families through time spent in a hospital. The Lord has ordained that our family grow through time spent in court rooms.
The building pictured above is less than ten years old, although the city of Cheboksary which sits on the banks of the Volga River 400 miles due east of Moscow dates back hundreds of years. The building houses the court room in which a judge pulled and tugged and stretched and yanked and shoved and poked at every aspect of our lives, every detail of both our history and our dreams for our family's future. Our particular judge is renowned for his meticulous and sometimes critical scrutiny of the hundreds of pages of documents submitted by both our family and representatives from their orphanage. While we understood that his close examination of our lives was born of a desire to protect the children, at times we wondered whether he could possibly rule in our favor after finding our weaknesses and proding them with such tenacity.
However, God was and is faithful! At about 10:00 yesterday morning, after more than a full day of stretching questioning that at times felt more like an inquisition than an adoption hearing, the judge declared that the 15- and 6-year-old girls and the 11-year-old boy with whom our hearts have been knit since we met them in January could become members of OUR family. Praise be to God! We are now the parents of TWELVE children. Who would have ever guessed that a couple declared so utterly barren by doctors after years of infertility would be Papa and Mama to a dozen dear blessings?!? God is so good!
We wish we could show you photos of our newest kiddos! However, a 10-day wait is mandated by Russian law. Until that period ends we can't bring the children home, and we can't publish identifying pictures. You'll just have to trust us for another couple of weeks that these three former orphans are beeeeeeauuuutifuuuuuuul! (Yes. We are already QUITE biased! : ) )
There's much, much more we hope to share about the past few days, and we'll make every effort to do that as we can.
As I finish this post that officially annouces the success of our adoption effort, let me say an enourmous thank you to all of you who have been praying for us this past week and over the many months that the process has taken. Adoption is truly a group effort. Those of us who add family members this way are deeply in need of the support of friends and family. Thank you for being so faithful to the cause of caring for God's precious orphans!
May God be glorified!