After 8 months in house filled with neglect and pain followed by a year in a Russian institution filled with monotony and 4 sterile walls, we brought our son home.
As we came down the escalator in the Cleveland airport to the sounds of family and friends cheering and the image of balloons and signs, laughter and tears, all of the trials of the process seemed to fade away. It was a new day. The beginning of new life for our son, for us, for our family.
An orphan now a son, a barren woman now a mother. It was a beautiful, redemptive moment of God's work in all of our lives.
So today we celebrate. We had a sleepover in our basement and all slept cuddled up together like we shared three years ago during those long nights in Moscow. We woke up and had a traditional Russian breakfast of blini (thin pancakes), fruit and coffee. We went to Build-A-Bear workshop to remember Dima's very first stuffed animal, Mishka that we brought to him on our first trip and that he brought home.
Mishka is an adventurous little bear who has traveled the world and is not as soft as he once was. And so we talked about how much better life is when our story is defined by adventure. Mishka might not be as soft and he may have picked up scabies along the way, but Mishka has a story. He didn't just spend his life on a shelf. His matted fur tells a story of longing, freedom and love. And we praised stories of adventure and the epic story of our son.
We finished off the celebration at TGIFridays, which is the first restaurant we ate at in Moscow. We laughed (now) about how he crawled under the table of a Russian family while we tried to call him out. "Idi- cominye, Dima" (Come here, Dima) And how the Russian families were tsk-ing our parenting efforts in disapproval. But, we celebrate. We remember the good times. We remember God's faithfulness. We remember how He knit our stories together from the beginning.
It's good to remember, especially when you're frustrated with God's timing. Dima's homecoming day could not have come sooner. While I am still frustrated with the timing of our 2nd adoption, the Russian adoption ban, the long wait time in India, as well as recent letdowns, I still remember.
I remember how 9 months into our first adoption, we had to change regions which essentially started the waiting process all over again.
I remember how in the beginning of our adoption journey I wondered how I could ever wait an entire year to bring home our son...but I waited two.
I remember how when I first saw a picture of Dima, my heart leapt in my chest. I knew he was our son.
I remember how the waiting felt unbearable, but God always lifted my heart when I felt like I could not take it any longer.
I remember the fears.
I remember the heartache.
I remember the joy.
I remember God's faithfulness.
There is something about looking back that brings hope to looking forward.
David (in the Bible) questions God and asks "Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has He slammed the door on His compassion?" And then, in the very next breath, he says, "But then I remember all You have done, O Lord; I remember your wonderful deeds of long ago. You are the God of great wonders!"
It's as if David's pen was writing the words of my heart. For the last few weeks, I have been asking similar questions...
"God, have you forgotten to be gracious?"
"Have you slammed the door of compassion on our life and on the life of our little girl?"
"Do you see me?"
"Do you hear me?"
"Do you love me?"
"Are you really faithful and good?"
And then today, March 4th, Homecoming Day. I remember.
"I remember Your wonderful deeds God. You are the God of great wonders!"
- we recently learned of more challenges and longer wait times to our India adoption from a conference that was held last week in India concerning adoption
- we are still working and waiting on paperwork to complete our update for our home study to then get our US approval before we can apply to register in India.
- Please pray for our hearts as we take in the reality of the waiting.
- Pray for all of the paperwork that needs to be completed before we can register in India.
- Please pray for our little girl - that God would protect her and surround her with love.
Until next Monday,
Love: Kate, Steve & Dima