I finally have internet access, so I will post what I wrote while I was not able to update you. I am sorry again no pictures! Tomorrow morning, I will get to see Eliisa Vika Faith and take her out of the orphanage FOREVER. Tomorrow, there will be 147 million orphans minus one!! Praise the Lord! I promise to share that moment with you as soon as I can get online to share it, but it will likely not be before very early on your Friday morning as I will be in transit and again without the internet. Thank you Ashley and Max for making it possible for me to post this right now!!! Here is what I wrote earlier today:
I am sorry to leave you all hanging! I have not had an internet connection since my last post. I never imagined that being without an internet connection would make me feel so detached from the world! I haven’t been able to talk to my girls or Abe (though I was able to talk to him for a brief moment on early Tuesday morning) since I left on Sunday, which makes me feel even more detached. I also have not yet been able to see our precious new daughter again since I have come back. And I brought my work with me, which I cannot do without an internet connection. Ahhh!!! I am sorry, everyone!!!
So, I am sitting here writing this post for when the time comes that I can actually get a connection back. Yesterday (Tuesday), I finally got the call that the court decree had been issued, making Eliisa Vika Faith officially ours, around noon and that we could apply for her new birth certificate and passport and complete all the rest of the paperwork that needed to be completed before we can bring her home. I left with Igor, my trusty driver, who hurried to Vika’s birth city. He got there in record time and not a minute too soon because the vital records office had been waiting on us all day. Natasha met us, and we started the process. She was not sure that they would still issue the birth certificate since it was so late in the afternoon. So, I sat in the office and waited and prayed while Natasha pleaded our case. Praise the Lord, the lady was gracious, and after much waiting, I held in my hand Eliisa’s birth certificate, declaring Abe and I officially her parents! It was much like the moments right after I gave birth to my girls when the reality sinks in that we have a new daughter, a precious gift from the Lord. After six months of waiting, praying, and working from early morning to late at night to redeem one precious life, God rewarded our obedience to His call with a gift so great, we cannot possibly put it into words.
After we left the vital records office, we had to go to the social security office to apply for a new social security number, which we need in order to apply for her passport. We got there a couple minutes after they had closed, but again, the Lord was so good to us and the lady came down and completed the paperwork for us. Then I found out that the number was not going to be issued until the next day, but Natasha was able to convince the lady that she would pick it up so I would not have to spend the night to pick it up the next day. God is so good! And then, I got back in the car with Igor and he brought me back to Vika’s city. When we got back, it was already late at night, and again too late to do any shopping. So, I resolved to shopping for some groceries first thing in the morning! What would I do without granola bars? J I tried to connect to the internet and was not able to. I tried and tried and tried everything I could. I tried to call someone to help me, but I was all out of minutes on the phone. So, I decided to go to bed for a couple of hours and then try again in a couple of hours. No success! I got up at 5 a.m. and tried again. Still no success! So, I got ready for the day. I prayed and pleaded with the Lord to let me get on the internet so I could at least let Abe know that I was okay and just without an internet connection and to let my boss know that I could not get on the internet. Then, I had a moment of brightness and turned on my cell phone from home to send Abe a text message. At that moment, I didn’t even care how much it would cost! J
I was planning on going to the store as soon as it opened, but Y. came a little before that, and we got busy finishing up some more paperwork and errands. Poor Y. had come in on the overnight train but was not able to sleep the whole time! It is amazing how she can still function and keep track of all the many families she is helping! How glad I was to get some more paperwork done because that means one step closer to taking Eliisa out forever. :) We went to the orphanage and Y. completed paperwork having to do with the bank and the passport and off to the bank we went to close out Eliisa’s bank account. The funds are donated to the orphanage, who will use it to send some of the children to another city for rehab and to purchase a freezer, etc. We waited and waited there, and finally were ushered into a room inside the bank, which looked much like a prison cell (no kidding!). There they paid out the funds and finally we were done. Then we went back to the orphanage to pick up the lawyer and then we picked up another lady and then we went to the city passport office where they started part of the process to finish up the application package which I will need to take to the capital city of the region we are in to apply for her passport. It is a very complicated process, and I don’t understand half of it. I am just along for the ride. Sign my name on the dotted line from time to time and wait while poor Y. is constantly running from one place to the next. Finally, we were at a stopping point for the moment and Y. took another family, who got here this morning to meet their two precious children for the first time. By now, Y. is hopefully finishing up the rest of the paperwork so that I can pick up Eliisa tonight. Tomorrow, we will drive to the capital city of the region and apply for the passport and then we will take the train back to the capital city where we will wait on the passport. We have our first embassy appointment on Monday to apply for the visa. Sometime after that, we will do the medical appointment, and then Lord-willing we will get the passport on Thursday morning, June 30, and then pick up the visa that day and come HOME on Friday. I will see where I will stay in the capital city tomorrow as there is another adopting mom waiting to get the last of her paperwork done at the embassy and I may room with her to share the cost of the apartment rental. Otherwise, I believe I will stay at a seminary, where the missionary we met while we were here has connections. It will be an important time of bonding with Eliisa before we travel home, but I am a little anxious on how this time will pass.
There are so many things I want to get done right now via the internet, but I can’t. Alas, I will have to wait and see what the Lord brings. I know He has a reason why I can’t get on the internet right now, but I am not being very patiently waiting. J
When I get the chance to post this, I took some pictures of our drive to Vika’s birth city. It was quite a beautiful drive, but very bumpy, so most of the pictures did not turn out so well. I was too tired to take pictures on the way home. I was just dozing off the entire time. J I wonder if I will get caught up on some rest before I get home.
How I miss home right now! Next week cannot come soon enough! Please pray for Abe and the girls, and pray for Eliisa and I as we do our best to make it through the rest of this journey, to finish the race the Lord has laid before us and to bring home the greatest price the Lord could ever bless us with, a precious life redeemed! Thank you, each one of you for making it possible! We stand in awe for how much the Lord has blessed us with you, with Eliisa, and with all that He has given us. Today or tomorrow, I will be able to wrap up Eliisa Vika in my arms and say: “Fear not, for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by they name: thou art mine.” (Isaiah 43:1) I cannot wait to share that moment with you!