We already have a court date - December 9. We are going back about three weeks ahead of what is the average wait for a court date, because they are trying to get us home with the girls before Russian government offices close everything down for their holiday break. So as of December 9 - they will be officially ours, and we will have them in our keeping by Christmas.
There is a ten day waiting period where we have to come home following court without the girls, but lightning could always strike, having the judge waive those ten days so we can get home with little AC so she can start physical therapy. It's all up to the judge and how severe he or she believes her condition to be. We have been asking for prayer that we wouldn't have to make a third trip to bring the girls home, because we anticipated getting stuck over the long holiday break. But now, we will have them by Christmas either way. If you are one of the ones praying for that breakthrough, you can keep it up to keep us from having to pay for an extra plane ticket. I'd miss one of my musicals, but I'm already missing one performance anyway, so what's one more.
How have the finances done lately? Well, we still are asking for prayer regarding a couple of grants out there that will go only toward our adoption agency fees. About $7500 worth. But all of our travel has been covered.
Did you catch that?
Even if we have to make that third trip.
God's awesome. And in second place, grandmothers.
And that pretty much sums it up.
In Sunday school this week, we talked about spiritual warfare. Baptists are kinda all over the place, and nowhere at the same time, when it comes to this subject. You never know how or IF it will be addressed, and which scriptures will be used or misused in the process.
We were in Ephesians 6, which describes the Christian position as one of standing, maintaining ground in the face of an unseen and uncontainable offense. The Sunday school teacher cross referenced a story I had not read before in 2 Kings 6, in which Elisha is about to be attacked by an enemy king's army because his prophecies keep alerting the Israelites to the king's schemes. Elisha's assistant is scared, and Elisha prays for God to open the assistant's eyes so he can see their unseen help in this battle. He saw hillsides covered with strong men in fiery chariots.
In Daniel 9, Daniel has an encounter with an angel telling him God has heard his prayer after he had been praying for 21 days. Why didn't he get that answer on day one? As the angel put it, that unseen enemy was creating obstacles to the angel's arrival, and it took reinforcement (20 extra days of prayer and another angel) to overpower the enemy so he could meet with Daniel.
Both of these stories struck me during the lesson, because at times, I have felt like the assistant - not understanding the fullness of God's power surrounding me in times of difficulty. I needed God to open my eyes to his overpowering presence with me, surrounding me on every side. I have also felt like Daniel - waiting and waiting for something to happen. But did I realize like Daniel apparently did that I needed to keep praying when the answer didn't materialize right away? Or did I give up too quickly?
I wrote a song ten years ago that contained these words: "But I never knew you then the way I know you know. Could I have ever learned to pray if you hadn't let me fall down?"
I didn't, and still don't, mean that God let me fall into sin so I would call out on him. But I do think that when he leads us in paths of righteousness, sometimes those paths lead through the valley of the shadow of death. Scripture tells us this. And it tells us why - FOR HIS NAME'S SAKE. I never knew the power of God to answer prayer until I had something I wanted as much as I wanted to be a mother. This has been a journey 9 years in the making. I know there are others who have walked this road longer than I have. A precious friend adopted her daughter after she and her husband tried conceiving then waited for a referral for 15 years. But I also know she'd say the same thing about our God. She knows him so much better now, and there's no question that their daughter was hand-selected for them by God.
I can't wait to get the girls home so I can post their precious faces on here for long-distance family and friends to see. Until then, keep us in your prayers. Here's the list:
- Health and safety flying.
- Room in our suitcases for everything we need to bring
- Remembering everything we need to bring
- Packing everything we might need in the event the waiting period is waived
- Time to have a particular test needed for our paperwork done.
- That we don't have to make a third trip
- Time to write lesson plans, and a set of "Holy Cow" plans in case the waiting period is waived.
- The health of the girls for the trip home. If either one of them is half as sick as they were on the last trip, the airplane ride with that much sinus fluid will be excruciating.
- Finances for medical fees. We had to have a battery of tests run for our court documents, and the total bill came to right around $1200. We'd like to have nothing hanging, because we'll be needing to take the girls right away when we get home.
- Time to reflect and praise God for everything he's been doing on our behalf. I really want to write some more songs out of this, but haven't had the time.
- For God to extend SERIOUS blessings on some folks who have really sacrificed on our behalf.
Here we go!