|Our youngest daughter in her|
Let me start by saying that a part of us that is still in shock. We were so very, very close when the news came. Our paperwork had reached the judge, and he'd made three or four requests for additional documentation based on our case. We'd fulfilled each of these except the last, which was in progress. We thought we might get THE call that a court date had been set literally any day, pending the completion of the last documents. This is what happened in our last adoption a little over two years ago.
Our initial reaction as we heard about one of the houses in the Russian legislature, the Duma, taking action that would keep us from making the Fab Four part of our family was simply numb disbelief, coupled with frantic, fervent prayer. When the second house followed almost immediately, our prayers increased. We thought, "This just can't be happening!" And then Russian President Putin signed the bill into law. The door to the three brothers and little sister we already loved very much slammed shut in a matter of days...
Perhaps the hardest emotion we've faced during the past few weeks has been in thinking about the Fab Four's pain. We visited them in September. We played with them, colored with them, laughed with them, praised them and hugged them. We showed them photos of the family we thought would soon be theirs. They had to leave our two days together with the unmistakable sense that finally someone wanted them--all four of them. The hours we spent together had to have left them with heart-deep hope. After three years in an orphanage they were going to join a family. We have no idea what the four children have heard or been told, but the Russian government's ban has been much talked about in that country. Our kiddos attend a public school; we feel certain that some schoolmate must have passed on that which was plastered in the news. We have to wonder if they've even been taunted by children who have families...
Many encouraging leads have been touted by the media. However, there hasn't been any real change. We know because our agency has been so faithful to keep their families updated; the dear women would contact us immediately if there were a breakthrough. Despite the seeming hopelessness, we haven't given up. We continue to "hope against hope" (Romans 4:18 NASB). We continue storming the gates of heaven. Our God is almighty. Our God has a special heart for orphans. So, we walk by faith, not by sight. We've since finished every bit of the judge's requested paperwork so that we're ready if the door reopens, even briefly.
We would appreciate your prayers--but not just for our four trapped kiddos. Please plead with God to raise up Russian Christians who will adopt their country's orphans. The need is so large that even as this happens, additional families will still be needed. For the sake of the 700,000 Russian orphans, please also pray the government will reverse the ban and welcome all fit and healthy American families who are willing to adopt to do just that. That would be the best outcome--that the needs of the children would paramount. And that's our family's God-sized dream--Russians and Americans providing loving homes for Russia's most vulnerable children. We pray that politics will be put on the back burner for the sake of orphans. God is able to do above and beyond even this audacious prayer (Ephesians 3:20). Praise Him!