Our plane tickets are for tomorrow, Wednesday, in the afternoon. We made the flight arrangements when we were told we would most likely have an SDA appointment on June 8th or 11th. Due to the Euro Soccer Championship going on right now in Ukraine (similar to a state hosting the Olympics) and the lateness of the time we were requesting flights, let alone the fact that it is vacation time now, we felt it would be best to just get our tickets and risk having to possibly change them rather than be left with a situation where we might not be able to get a flight at all or at the highest possible ticket rate.
As you know from the last post, it's been a crazy waiting period. We were especially waiting for today because we knew the office would be open again after Pentacost (loooove those Monday holidays!) and the woman working with our facilitator would be in the office and would most likely be giving us our appointment.
We have known that appointment might be postponed until the next week, but then there was a report one day that they might keep the office open on Saturday to make up for the new holiday this Monday (thanks, Parliament). Well, those who already had Monday SDA appointments were screaming at the office because they were planning to travel on Saturday...so now Saturday is out. NOW the discussion is that MAYBE they will be keeping the office open on Tuesday the 12th to make up for Monday the 11th because, you see, the office is only open for appointments on Mondays that Thursdays so we couldn't possibly make sure the office was open on Mondays no matter what, right? We wouldn't want to consider that there might be people from, I don't know, DIFFERENT COUNTRIES that have thousands of dollars, months (and possibly YEARS) invested in this process now would we?? No...no...wouldn't want to consider that at all. I'm sorry. I am really unclear as to why things are the way they are. But, the fact is, I have absolutely no control over the matter...so I digress.
We requested that our coordinator in The States call our facilitator much earlier than usual this morning to find out if we are flying tomorrow or not. That answer would determine how Marsh used his day. And since we have family (thanks, Angel Parents) lined up to help with our kids and we have tickets that have to be dealt with if we are not flying, we needed that info pretty early.
I was up at 5am and couldn't sleep anymore. I kept waiting for the phone to ring and I was all tied up in knots over what the answer would be. There is just so much wrapped up in all of this, so much time, money, coordination by others and emotion, that it really lends itself to being a nail-biter!
I received a text from our coordinator around 8:30 am and he let me know he was calling Marsh. His message didn't read anything like "PACK YOUR BAGS!" so I figured the news wasn't good. I was right.
The woman whom our facilitator has been meeting with specifically for our situation wasn't in the office. She was supposed to be, but wasn't. No one in the office could tell our facilitator whether or not Nastia's papers were there at the SDA. WHAT?? Her papers aren't THERE? And since they didn't even have that information, nothing could be done. Period. End of discussion. No indication of when we might go, no way to change tickets or make other plans. Nothing.
At that point, both Marsh and I were...how shall I say...unhappy. We were trying to look at things positively and exercise our faith in the Lord's timeline, but it was a struggle. I literally felt like I was being pushed to the limit of my patience and faith. I know it doesn't seem all that bad...we aren't facing life or death decisions or anything like that. It's just that we have a small window of opportunity right now that is closing rapidly because of the demands of Marsh's work. This whole process was supposed to have been completed by now, all eight of our kids safely at home. Now we are facing having only ten days available for him before he HAS to be home. Ten days is not enough time for a process that usually takes two weeks at the very least. Talk about down to the wire. It is hard to be completely out of control of such an important situation that has so much impact on so many precious people in one's life. (The other day I just sat and wrote a two page letter to Ruslan and Nastia, letting Google Translate do it's thing...which might be very interesting, since I popped that puppy in the mail before having Marsh look at it because he's a busy man and I wasn't ABOUT to wait to communicate with my kids. I explained, basically, what has been going on and why we still aren't there. They were expecting us by the latter part of May. Now we won't even see them until mid to late June...if that. WE are not the only ones impacted by the frustration of this situation!)
Since the decision was made that we were not traveling tomorrow, I started throwing in the towel on my trip preparations that were planned for today. After an hour or so, though, I decided that was the wrong thing to do. If I really have faith, I will work. So, I went on. Marsh emailed our travel helper to have her put the flights on hold and we went about our day.
About 3pm, I had a thought. If our facilitator is going back into the office tomorrow (which is while we are sleeping in the wee morning hours here) and our flight isn't until almost 5pm, why couldn't we find out about our appointment in the morning and still be able to take the flight over? IF we happen to get an appointment on Tuesday, the 12th, we would not want to spend thousands of dollars to change our flights and try to leave only two days later...on a Saturday, no less. We might as well use those days in Kiev for Marsh to do the writing he has already scheduled in and just use those days that way. At this point, it's not worth the cost and hassle of changing the flights.
I spoke with our coordinator and he agreed that this was a wise way to do things at this point. He will be waking up even earlier tomorrow morning to call our facilitator and get the news.
In the meantime, I'm packing. I am packing because I believe there is a very good possibility that we can fly tomorrow. I want to be ready if the Lord is ready to let us go. I want to be ready when He's ready to let us go.
And while I'm packing, I'm praying. It's almost 8am over there right now. The office will open in an hour or so. I'm praying that woman will be there and that she will have something for us to go on that will move this process along. I'm praying that we will get to go tomorrow and that this will all somehow, miraculously, fit in with the demands of Marsh's work. I'm praying the paperwork will be where it is supposed to be...finally...and that we can get over there and get our kids home. The chairs and beds have been empty too long.
But if not...I will trust that the Lord has a higher purpose, one I cannot see, that is keeping us from this right now. So, my prayer will then be for the hearts of those kids to be protected against fear and anxiety because of the length of our absence. And it will also be for my patience, because having faith is something that, at times, is much easier than patience. And faith in the face of a situation against all odds is hard enough. I failed at the patience test today.
Help, Thou, my unbelief.