Sunday, May 13, 2012

Still Waiting...Need Prayers!

Ruslan (left) and friend at a basketball activity.
My friend, Becky, is there awaiting their court date
and snapped this photo of our boy for us!
I've been getting questions about where we are in our process and when we'll return to Ukraine so I thought I'd give a little update...and also ask for your prayers in our behalf for some specific blessings.

As you may know, Nastia's paperwork was not where we expected it to be upon our arrival in Ukraine last month.  It is required that the papers are at the local registry for thirty days, then at the regional registry for thirty days, then they normally have to sit at the SDA for a year.  After all that, the child becomes adoptable.  Because of a fairly new law, Nastia is available for adoption without that year waiting period because her brother has already been through all that and is available for adoption.  She rides on his coat-tails, so to speak.

However, those two thirty day waiting periods at the local and regional levels are still required.  As soon as it was possible (around April 20th), our facilitator drove the 250 km to where her paperwork was and hand delivered it to the regional office so it could begin its thirty day wait.  When it was actually processed and exactly what date her thirty days is over is still something we are waiting to hear.  We had hoped to be back there and into the SDA office getting her referral on May 21st, but it looks like that is too early to hope for.  Now we are hoping for the 31st.  *sigh*

Hopefully, this Tuesday we will have a much clearer picture about what her status is and we will have a more firm date of our return.

However, it's not quite as simple as it seems.  See, Ruslan's referral is aging as we sit here in the good ol' USA waiting for Nastia's paperwork to catch up.  His referral is only good for a period of time.  Our facilitator was making sure not to submit certain papers too early because he knew we had to wait at least a month to return and get things moving.  Though I do not have a clear understanding about everything that needs to happen and all the paperwork that needs to be taken care of, I do know that there is a ticking clock on Ruslan.

Another candid shot by Becky.  This is Nastia on
the playground.  She is the one on the far left in the
green t-shirt and tan cap.  Such a sweet girl.  I
can't wait to be with her again.
Secondly, we are in a difficult spot because we have already spent the cost of two round-trip plane tickets and about a week and a half's worth of housing on a process that hasn't really begun yet.  We had budgeted for two trips and now we are looking at three.  We have already cleared some of the hurdles that are necessary in the process...even one for Nastia.  We are hoping and praying that because of that, everything will now work in such a way to allow us to just get our court request in while we are still in Kiev and not have to travel to the orphanage before we can get that paperwork moving.

Here's how it works:  Our first stop in Ukraine will be the SDA office in Kiev.  We will, like we did for Ruslan, have a meeting where we are approved for receiving the referral for Nastia, then pick it up the next day and head to the orphanage to be with the kids.  Normally, that is when the real hurdles would begin...meeting with the orphange staff about both children (already done), signing necessary papers (some already done), etc.  Then, our request for a court date would go back to Kiev (an overnight train ride away) and be submitted to the SDA.  They then have ten days in which to respond with our court date.  If there is any possible way to avoid having to travel to the region prior to turning in our court request, we could save a few days in the process.  Those days are money.

So, I am formally requesting prayers in behalf of this portion of our process!  :)  I don't know if it is possible to avoid more days of waiting, nor do I know what time Ruslan's ticking clock is reading, but I do know that the Lord can intervene and create miracles if it is His will to do so.  I also know that sometimes those miracles are just waiting for our faith to move them on.  The Lord wants us to come to Him and rely on Him.  Sometimes our need is the vehicle through which He brings us to Him and then He shows us just how mindful He is of us and how powerful He is.  If you can find it in your heart to make this request on our behalf, we would be so grateful!

As soon as we know more about our return, I will post an update.  Thank you for your continued prayers and support.  We are indebted to all of you for your generosity and your emotional and spiritual investment.  You are in our prayers, too.

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