Forgive me as I get a little emotional today! I'm sitting alone in our hotel room, while Zhenya and Pat are heading back to Artsez...AGAIN... to face a formidable obstacle there, in the town where the girls grew up. Last Thursday "the gang" (Yuri, Zhenya, Pat and Debbie) all went together, in Yuri's taxi, to try and solve this same problem. But, we were buffeted by a huge snow storm and lived thru the most terrifying 12 hour trip of our lives. (But, God orchestrated miracle after miracle and literally saved our lives. If you are interested in this story of the amazing provision of God, please ask us for details when we get home. We'd love to tell you the story!) Barely recovered or warmed up, the next day we were slapped down by the Chief Judge who we found to be colder than our 45 degree hotel room or the many snow drifts we had to dig ourselves out of. FOLKS... did you know that the Cold War is not over yet? This judge has lied to us several times, but in one brief moment of honesty, she told Zhenya that she does not believe international/American adoptions are in the best interest of Ukrainian children. She flat out would not give us the addendum we need to correct the original court decree from 3 years ago. (We need this document to get the new birth certificates and social tech numbers.) Zhenya said our case has been the most difficult one he has faced in 10 years of helping people adopt!
Back to my HEROES! I want to honor my husband, Patrick for taking on the task of adopting orphan girls at the age of 52 years. He has been a wonderful friend, prayer partner, romancer, educator and leader on this trip. I miss him right now, and ask that you pray for success this Monday in all their endeavors (We need a couple of Christmas miracles this week!)
Also, Pat and I would like to honor ZHENYA... one of the most amazing people we have ever had the privilege to meet. Some of the best ways to desribe him would be... accomplished administrator, diplomat, fine legal mind, kind, generous to a fault, Lover of God, courageous and hard-working. But, probably the BEST word to describe Zhenya would have to be PASSION. He is passionate to find forever homes for orphans. We have laughed together, prayed, cried... he's seen us when we've been sick, he's defended us, suffered for us and given every last ounce of energy to help us. He has become a very, very special friend!
Saving the best for last, we'd also like to THANK and praise God, who the Bible describes as being a "Father to the fatherless." He is the consummate Father, yesterday, today and forever... and we are very thankful that he's adopted us into His family! Pat and I had been spiritual orphans before we were rescued by the love of God and we now see the sacrifice that Christmas represents in a whole new LIGHT! At Great Cost, the Father sent His only son to be our rescuer. At great cost, Jesus said Yes and left the pleasures of Heaven to come to earth. At great cost, Jesus said YES to a torturous death and bore our sins, so that whosoever believes on Jesus shall be saved and eternally adopted into God's family! Now that's the BEST adoption story ever!