Evan is getting to be quite the little walking calendar and since he can now read his name he is able to keep a tally of what is his upcoming gifts under the tree...which, to date, is all of them! His enthusiasm is a catalyst to move us forward and although it still feels raw to celebrate much, his encouragement is working its magic. Christmas is coming and Evan is the grand announcer! He planned the raising of the tree, and the lights on the bushes and we complied. Yesterday the three oversized kittens that were napping under the tree were not enough to simply look warm and festive. Evan wrapped his own sneakers and some toys in some confiscated gift bags and begged us to come see!! I have to say he has a real flair for merchandising. This weekend we will actually start wrapping gifts and raising the excitement level up a notch or two. It does not hurt that the weather report has said snow and freezing rain every nine minutes tonight. Festive is creeping in through the segway of a 4 year old little boy. Evan commandeered Tully on a must do shopping trip the other night. Evan went into his room and got down his bank and stated he had to buy his friends gifts that very minute, especially since Jenna Kate was his girlfriend and she needed a gift. (Sigh) Tully took the roll of chauffer and the pair went out to dinner at Mcdonalds and a "the sky is the limit" shopping journey through Dollar tree. They had a blast and Evan did all the decision making, which was totally impressive when he was able to share with me his chosen gifts. He really has good taste and decided all by himself who would get what. He is still proud about that! Personally so am I that he thought of his friends in such an independent manner.
Elsewhere in the world hope is seeping in through the segway of a little girl who does not know she waits for us. Our home study has been sent to Social services for committee review. I assume it will take way longer than I hope but it is completely out of my hands at this point. Tomorrow morning I will take a gamble and put the I-600a immigration request in the mailbox as well. Logical thinkers tell me to wait until I hear from DSS in case they turn us down. The warrior in me knows I will take them to task if they turn us down so I will go ahead and file for our fingerprint appointment and see if we cannot shave some time off of our wait. I have that goal of February 1 outlined in sunlight in my heart as the day we hope to submit our completed everything to Ukraine. This is becoming more and more of a reality every day and it takes my breath away. It is the day the Ukrainian State Department of Adoption reopens for the year and we have worked hard to get the right to stand in that line.
Tully and I spoke a little last night about upcoming events. He remembers the conversation regarding deciding to help Marina much differently than I do. I found it very interesting that we can tell this same story so differently. I think our fears and memories get hazy in order to propel us forward sometimes. In short, he thinks it was me pushing us forward and I felt that the lead was his (even if only temporarily:) "She" that completes thousands of documents is ultimately in charge of motion, at least to a certain degree. I think that God simply used us for each other to take steps forward that we might otherwise have been afraid to make.
We are in still in need of prayers through the holidays. It is still difficult. I wonder that it will be that way forever, even though we have fun in between the hard times. And yet this year is so different from last in that we have come a long way. God's grace is sufficient for us. God has Caylyn and that is sufficient for us. God gave us Jesus as the ultimate lamb, perfect and sacrificial. The more I learn about that kind of love, the more I want to learn. May we learn by doing.