First, Happy Resurrection Day everyone!!! He is risen!!!!
Second, thank you all so very much for the prayers and the words of encouragement. I have poured over every comment and every email reading your words over and over again. It has been one of the hardest months we have ever faced physically, emotionally, and spiritually. It was a very dark month for us. But God was on His throne and still is. We know better then to depend on our emotions, we know to trust the scriptures even when we don't "feel" it and this month God felt a million miles away. It didn't seem like He could hear us or was near us at all. But we clung to His word and His precious promises. And we clung to the prayers and words from all of you. We are starting to feel better physically, not virus free yet, but much better. We also have experienced a big spiritual renewal, especially after church service today. It was such an honor to sing and raise my hands in praise to God for getting us through this dark time and for the empty tomb!!!! We lay it all, our emotions, our health, our family and their health, our children, Valentine, the adoption process, all of it at His feet. Thank you, all of you, for praying us through this time. Please know that if you sent us a prayer request we too are continually praying for you. What would we do with the body of Christ???
And third...we leave in 8 short days!!! It is crazy to write that! We board a plane on 4/16 and will arrive in Valentin's country on the 17th. We will have our official appointment on the 19th. Because of the weekend we will not meet Valentin until Monday the 23rd. And what a sweet sweet day that will be. We will finally be able to lock eyes with our boy!!!! We know that it is going to be a hard day for Valentin because all he knows is laying in a crib, it will rock his world just to be taken out to meet us. It will most likely be traumatic for him and we have absolutely no expectations. Even when I say we will lock eyes, I know even that might not happen because he will probably avoid eye contact. We have no doubt he will be one poor traumatized little guy and from the day he meets us, a new and different world is going to open up to him. We all know this is a good thing but to him it is going to be full of new sights, smells, sounds, etc that his little brain has never had to process before. It will be overwhelming for him. He will not know it yet but we know the day we meet him is the day he will begin to know how much God loves him. That will be the day his healing begins. And we cannot wait!!!
The adoption process is Valentin's country is very long. We will not actually get custody of Valentin until the very end. When we are not having to take care of official business, we will spend our days visiting Valentin in the orphanage. We will most likely only be granted 2 hours of visitation a day. Hubby will be flying back and forth to be in country for the official stuff where his presence is needed and then home to work and be with the kids. I will try to stay in country the whole time but it could be around 7 weeks and that is a long time to be away so we will see how it all goes. We want to provide as much consistency and stability for Valentin as we can so that is why I want to try to stay the whole time. But, the one thing everyone who has done this before us has said is to remain flexible. The process in his country is never predictable and rarely smooth so if I can stick it out and stay, then wonderful but if I need to come home that is alright too. However we need to get through this we will get through this. And at the end Valentin will be an orphan no more!!!
God has really blessed us tremendously, we have family to watch the kids and people to house-sit for us. We have "met" quite a few pastors and missionaries in the city we will be in so I will have plenty of company and fellowship there. We know we will be well covered in prayer. We have so much peace about it all. After the rough month we have had we are praising God for the peace He has washed over us about it all. It's not going to be easy...who am I kidding, it is going to be terribly rough. It is going to be hard to be away from my family and Valentin is going to require a lot of work and patience...but God has given us tremendous love for our boy and a strong resolve to do whatever it takes to redeem the years he lost to neglect. It won't be easy but it will be good. Isn't it true when God places a calling in our lives it usually is not easy but even in the tough times it is still so very good?! It truly is a peace that passes all understanding! It's His work after all, we are just along for the ride. Thank you for taking the ride with us.
Valentin, our beloved, the day is coming when you will be free from your crib and the walls that have kept you for so long. God willing, you will finally know the love of a family...YOUR family.