Here is the timeline (approximately...because I am doing this from memory!):
April 10--first departure for Ukraine
April 12--SDA appointment/found out we were going to have to go home and wait for Nastia's paperwork
April 17--First visit at orphanage
April 18--Second visit at orphanage
April 20--Arrival home
April 21--Nastia's paperwork had been driven to the regional office to begin the 30 day waiting period. We hoped her 30 day waiting period would begin on this date, allowing us to return around May 21st.
April 25--We find out that we are likely going to have to wait an extra week to return to Ukraine.
May 15--We get word that our SDA appointment will likely be June 4th...a week later than we were then hoping for and two weeks later than we had originally hoped for. We also learn that Nastia's availability date is June 1st...far from the original goal of May 21st. I could be wrong, but it seems to me that this means it took them ten days to register her paperwork after our coordinator drove all the way to get the paperwork from one office to another.
May 21--We find out that the SDA appointment will more likely be June 8th and possibly the 11th. (Anyone seeing a pattern here?)
May 23--We book flights to leave the 6th of June, knowing we don't want to end up missing an appointment on the 8th, because the cost of the tickets is rising by the day and there is concern we won't even find available flights if we don't act pretty fast. The tickets are already $600 more each than they were for our first flights to Kiev.
May 30--We find out that it is looking more like June 11th for the SDA appointment and face the decision of whether or not to change our flights because of the extra days of waiting. The cost is possibly $1000 to change the tickets, with no guarantee we'll get flights for the weekend because they are packed...thanks to the Euro Soccer Championship being hosted in Ukraine. We decide it is too expensive to change the flights for just a two day wait.
May 31--We find out that, thanks to Ukraine officially joining the European Union, parliament has just declared June 11th a holiday! Our facilitator suggested that we might end up with an appointment the next day, the 12th, which means we are leaving six days before the appointment.
I raise the question, "Since the SDA only meets twice a week, Monday and Thursday, are they going to be open on Tuesday to make up for the holiday or will they put us off until Thursday, the 14th?" We will not have an answer to that question until our facilitator can talk with our coordinator in Ukraine...tomorrow at the earliest.
Our tickets are still for the 6th...possibly 8 days too early. We will not change a thing until we have a date set in stone, but are still looking at the very real possibility of having to pay up to $1000 for the change.
Here's the deal: we are getting this information in a play-by-play format from our facilitator here in the US who daily talks to the coordinator in Ukraine who is on top of the situation there and speaks directly with the SDA. Our coordinator is working hard to get as much information as possible as quickly as possible and tries to keep us informed of any possibilities of changes. The reality is, the 8th is still a possibility. An outside chance, I'm sure, but still possible.
I have decided to pray for the 8th and pray that someone's heart will be softened and we will be able to get this show on the road...
But if not (one of the best lines of scripture EVER...Daniel 3:17-18), then we will know that it is for a higher purpose that things are happening the way they are. Even as illogical as they may seem, even as unnecessary as the trials and frustrations appear to be, there is purpose in it all since God does not do anything without purpose.
Isaiah 55:8-11: "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neighter are your ways my ways...For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways...my word...shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it."
So, today amidst the other issues of day-to-day life like car repairs, thawing freezers, school portfolios and eagle projects, I realize that the phrase "exercise faith" was chosen carefully. For it really feels like exercise and exertion as I remind myself that the Lord is in charge, that I am grateful we are waiting here at home and able to take care of our children, our homestead, our garden and animals and that we are not waiting in Ukraine, that all eight of our children are safe--wherever they may be--and that there is a wise and eternally important purpose to it all...even if it is just so I can exercise faith.