We tried to call again late last night, to no avail. So we tried first thing in the morning...6 am...and got him! He told us that the orphanage staff had let him know we were trying to get in contact with him. ISN'T THAT NICE??? I was so relieved that someone was looking out for this heart.
His present HAD arrived (those angels were probably needing a breather after all that) and he enjoyed it. We were able to tell him that we were having to wait until June to come because of Nastia's paperwork so they could understand why it was taking so long. We also found out from him that school ends on the 25th of May and that "it wouldn't be boring when it's over". :) We had a nice little chat and then ended the call. He's much more talkative than Nastia, but that's not saying very much! ;)
A word about school: One of the orphanage staff has, at my request, begun assembling Ruslan's transcript and class information. Though I homeschool my children and will homeschool him for the most part as well, I think it's important for the children to have a high school diploma. Without being able to count his 9th grade year, it would set him that much further back in that endeavor. We are already working with a counselor at our local high school and they are aware of Ruslan and the goals we have for him. We will have two 10th grade boys next year (our first time with a high school student...and we get to have TWO!) that will homeschool primarily and take sports and an occasional class at the high school. Talk about baptism by fire! I will know SO much more next year than I do right now. :)
We also got word today that we are most definitely needing to count on the 8th as our SDA appointment. We will travel on the 6th and arrive the 7th, at our facilitator's request. There is still a possibility that we will not meet with the SDA until Monday, the 11th, but that is just a risk we are going to have to take. Our facilitator has put us on "the fast track", which is normally used for people who have remained in-country during this type of waiting period. It allows the SDA to only give a 2-3 day prior notice for the appointment rather than the typical "two weeks or more out" for those they know still have to travel. This "fast track" has saved us many, many days of waiting, but requires us to gamble a bit on going over a little too early. I figure that the Lord is working this all out in this way for whatever purpose He has, so we're just going to go with the flow and get over there!
Thank you for your thoughtful emails and wishes of getting through to Ruslan. We are hanging in there. Thank you for your prayers!