Wow has it only been just a week since I wrote on here? It feels like sooooo much has happened in the last little while that it is nearly impossible to consider it has been mere days. My friend Shelly has arrived in Ukraine and has been very instrumental in a) making me green with envy for being there and 2) letting me know that the facilitator had found out that little Marina's director was planning on having her transferred to an institution with a one way door--IN, not out. I completely went in to overdrive and gathered the last few papers to have apostilled in Columbia, an easy 94 miles each way. That was monday, and as I was there I realized I did not have State police clearance papers in my possession, only in the home study. Ukraine wants them separate, so I went to SLED for another background check, and found out they do not open to the public but have to be dealt with via the mail. I called the SLED office and struck by a heavenly beam of grace, the lady filled her good deed quota of the day (year?) and told me to go get a 50 dollar money order and she would hand them to me right then. I flew back to the grocery down the block, complied and was back in 20 minutes. She told me that she never does that but when she heard it was Ukraine, she really changed her mind....someone in her office had adopted from there and she knew it was crucial. I left there with precious papers in hand, and went to the state department for apostilling of 34 pages of paper. She asked if I could leave them and come back the next day to pick them up. My stomach fell out the bottom feeling certain that fire and/or flood would overtake the capital on just this very night if I let them out of my sight but nto having packed pajamas and counting the people in her office, I left and came home. Returning the next day, with Evan in tow, I was told that in order to have the pardon apostilled I needed to have it notarized...well then what was that little seal raised over his signature for?? It was the Pardon and Parole official stamp...dragging over to the Pardon board across town it took me an hour to convince them I had to have the stamp of a notary saying the stamp was certified. This was out of their comfort zone but with nearly 8 people concurring, it was done and we were back on our way to the apostille office...Evan has lost his joy at this adventure for sure. I may add I am right there with him. We are finally finished at 4:30 and get directions to a children's museum that promptly closes at 5, right along with the zoo.:( We are very disappointed and head home, at 5 oclock travel time. Sitting in traffic at a dead stop, I look over and see, no kidding, a chuck e cheese on the frontage road of the next exit. Like a good mama I crawl the car across three lanes of unwilling travelers and we settle for that as our reward for the day. evan pals up with a little boy who is 6 and plays super hard for the next hour and a half...Getting home at 9 pm we are ever so tired!! I check email and find a letter from immigration that asks for 9 more items. I am devastated at this and can hardly sleep. But I had already ordered some of the papers i thought might have been misplaced by DSS so I was ready somewhat. The next day I spent the morning getting more court papers and more fingerprints etc etc. By 2 pm I had ordered and/or gathered everything on that list, even the obscure items. Tully's mom will pick up the rest at the courthouse in PA on monday. In the meantime I have found another family who will take my dossier to Ukraine with them on Tuesday of this next week. Other than not having a travel tracking number this is also a miracle in itself. That I am ready and they are walking out the door saves me shipping charges of nearly 120.00. Most importantly it will allow them to get started translating it all now and perhaps let Marina's orphanage director know our papers have arrived.
It has been spring break time around here, work has been a little slow (grateful for that!) and my mom has located a heat pump for us that is going to be installed next week, right after it hits nearly 90* today! Did I say SPRING? It has been a long winter and now seems as if it is instant summer. The way this adoption has all fallen into place has made it impossible to raise funds because it is too hard to ask for help when we do not have 100% knowledge that we are going to be approved. We only have 100% hope and determination and prayers and a mighty God who is not surprised by any of this...that duh huh look is reserved for us:) However with this being said, I am trusting that we will travel in the very near future to go see Marina and bring her home. Time is of the essence is a cliche that is well over used, but the wheels are picking up steam and we have to make sure we are obedient in all we can do to get her. God will move the mountains, and we better be ready when He does.
We are looking forward to a special easter weekend with Tully's mom/gramma Sue coming in this morning from PA and Evan can hardly wait to teach her how to play video games...I bet she has other plans for him:)
Remember that easter is the time in Christs life where everything changed...where hope drained with his life...and it was restored to us through his resurrection. God has some amazing ideas on how to pull us out of the hole every time. I discover this daily. I am reminded of how it is there for everyone especially as we celebrate so much more than bunnies and eggs and fancy dresses this weekend. May we all find time to reflect and give thanks for this Hope. The world would be radically different without it.
I close this post with a note that the kids from Belize came in 9th in the overall competition and that is better than last year and I am very proud of them! They are back in Belize as I spoke with them while sitting at Chuck e cheese's on Tuesday night and they all called to say goodbye. I don't know for sure that I will ever see them again here on earth, but I smile knowing I will see them again. They are an awesome group of kids, lead by an awesome team of women. The kind of women I want to be like when I grow up.
Sharing Shelly's blog here-- Burman Bunch
Her kids are so cute! I think I conjured her up out of a fairy tale to be honest, I wanted little Yulia to have a mama so much! And now Shelly is loving on that sweet little girl and reaping the rewards of a tough journey. And that is why I am green with envy for her:) Our dossier leaves this morning, please pray.