Our dear friends, Eric and Adrianne picked us up early in the morning to take us to the airport. We piled into their car with our luggage, our huge bundle of paperwork, money hidden all over our bodies, and a large plastic tube containing our X-rays for medical appointments in Russia.
As we pulled away, the car jerked forward and then stopped. The wheels spun in the snow. We were no longer moving. We got out, tried to push a little. Still spinning. After a couple of driver changes and some nervous laughs, we finally got the car going and off we went.
We made it to the onramp of the highway, which actually went uphill. The snow had fallen so quickly that the snow plows weren't even out yet. On our way up the ramp, the car stopped again. Wheels spinning. Complete stop. It seemed like there was no way up the hill. What should we do? This can't be happening.
After a few attempts of Eric trying to find a groove, we decided to get out and push again - on the highway. So, Steve and I got out of the car and began to put everything we had into getting this huge machine up the snow covered hill. I remember digging my feet into the snow and just pushing and running in place with all that I had.
Tears streamed down my face as I yelled out loud, "We are NOT going to be stopped!! I am going to get my baby! Nothing is going to stop us!" Slowly our running in place turned into some movement and we soon found ourselves actually running as we were pushing. We ran ahead, quickly opened the car doors and hopped in while the car was moving forward. We made it. We got in the car and laughed and cried as we recounted those crazy moments we just experienced together.
It's hard to describe the feelings that came into my heart. It was a fighter's spirit - not letting anything stand in the way. We were pressing ahead and pushing through every obstacle, to bring our son into our family. And not even the snow storm of the century was going to keep us from our child.
That is, in a way, how I feel right now. That fighter spirit is starting to re-kindle in my heart. I'm ready to push through and keep chasing after this adoption dream God has placed in us. I believe that as much as God's heart is for adoption, there is a power at work against it.
The enemy comes to "seek, kill and destroy". He comes to destroy our passion and calling by making things difficult. He comes to kill hopes by whispering lies into our minds and hearts that "we aren't cut out to be parents again." We don't know where our daughter is or when she will come into our home, but I imagine being behind that car and in the face of the enemy, claiming victory and hope even amidst the impossible.
The Russian ban against Americans adopting has caused us to go back to the drawing board and pray through every option. A few have asked if we are considering domestic adoption. We are leaving no stone unturned and asking God to give us wisdom. We believe that adoption is a personal decision for every family and every family is called and directed to children who need homes. But in many ways adoption is a calling.
We have close friends who are missionaries in the middle east. They felt called to serve and love people in that country. I'm sure if we asked them, they would never say the reason they are missionaries there is because there are no needs in America. For their family, as they prayed and asked God to use their lives however and wherever He desires, He led them to the middle east. He put love in their hearts for these people, He gave them a desire to know more about and engage in their culture. And so they went. They left all that was familiar and responded to God's calling on their life.
In a similar way, as we have asked God to show us what it looks like to grow our family, it seems like He keeps drawing us and compelling us towards international adoption. For our first child, He led us to Russia. And now, we wait for Him to direct us to our daughter. We absolutely believe there are many children in need of homes here in America. And as you read this, if that statement stirs something in your heart, I wonder what God would like to do through your family. Maybe He is calling you to adopt a child in the foster care system here in the states. For us, it is no longer about having another child; it is about believing that we have more love to offer a child who is need of a family.
So, as we ask God to lead us, we believe He will lead us to our daughter. And she will bring new life into our home as our home brings new life to her.
- We have another conference call with the US Department of State on Tuesday afternoon to hear if there are any updates on the situation. Pray that there is clarity and a definitive answer for those of us who are figuring out what this ban means.
- We are still asking God for wisdom to knit our hearts together before we move forward and officially begin the process in a new country. This is a decision we don't take lightly. And as we talk through the implications of changing countries, we are asking God to show us His will and give us His wisdom as we make these steps.
- We pray for the little girl that we will adopt - wherever she is. That God would protect her and keep her safe and loved.
Until next Monday,
love: Kate, Steve & Dima