The Abraham Family’s Journey to Russia to Bring Home Their Daughter

November 5, 2008

I'm getting worried

And I'm not a worrier by nature. For the most part, I've handled this wait pretty good - especially considering I'm not gifted in the patience department. But that's probably because I believed that we would go get our little girl in November, despite being told there were no promises by our facilitator in Moscow. (He really did try to warn us about the delays in our region lately.) But still. Martin thought October. I said November. Well, folks, we're in November.

If we got the call today... which the phone hasn't rung yet BTW. strange. I keep checking to make sure it is plugged in and the dial tone is working. I thought I would welcome the silence after all the political calls were over. No emails either. Sorry, I digressed.... anyway, if we got the today, our court date would be most likely be 3 weeks away bringing us to the very end of November and arriving home the first week of December.

Every week that we DON'T get the call puts us further into December before our homecoming. So, I'm getting worried that our little girl won't be home for Christmas. That will be heart breaking for all of us. We love this child and she needs to be home with us. Now! Can you hear my fists pounding my desk?

Why am I so upset about Christmas? I know that while Christmas is a very special holiday for our family, it really doesn't have anything to do with our adoption or even Russia in general. But it is the date that was mentally set in my head that my family would be complete and I'd have all my kids feet under the same table (to borrow a quote from Ondrea). That's why it is so hard for me to deal with. Her stocking will be hanging from the fireplace along with the boys, her gifts wrapped under the tree, and her Christmas dresses will still be in the closet with their tags. She will be dearly missed.


The other thing I am getting worried about is what if we DO get the call and our court date conflicts with the boys' Christmas programs? I feel selfish even thinking about that one. After ranting and raving about our baby possibly not being home by Christmas, now I'm complaining about missing a program or two.

All I can say is that we are ready to pack up and go to Russia tomorrow if need be. But as we get closer to December, there is one weekend I would like to avoid if at all possible: Friday December 12 and Sunday December 14.

Especially the 14th.

That is our church's Christmas musical and the boys all have great parts. Garrett is Joseph and he is singing the most beautiful duet with Mary. Preston is the narrator and has about 50 lines memorized. Plus, it is Preston's last year for the Christmas play since he moves up to Youth next year. Not only will this be Nolan's first time to even willingly (emphasis on "willingly") participate in the Christmas program at church, he will be singing a sweet, sweet solo intro to one of the songs. Even Liam will be a singing sheep this year. I'm really looking forward to seeing them all on stage along with their friends.

December 12 is the Blair Boy Choir Christmas concert. A beautiful event not to be missed!

They have been working on these programs since August. I would absolutely hate to miss them. Those two days are the ONLY days I wouldn't want to be traveling.

So here are my worries:

~ How can I stand another Christmas without our little girl -- especially now that we know who she is, have held her in our arms, and promised her we'll be back for her as soon as possible?

~ If there is a conflict with the Christmas programs, should we travel without the boys?

~ If we leave the boys home, who will get them where they need to be and in the right outfits? I'm sure our friends would gladly help out, but that's a lot to ask with four children when most our friends have several kids of their own to get ready.

~ Should we leave the boys home anyway because Novokuznetsk in December is likely to be -20 degrees with tons of snow?

~ Should we take them no matter what because that is what we have ALWAYS planned to do? We want them to experience their sister's birth country first hand. It is impossible to fully grasp solely through photographs and stories.

~ If we take them, how can I pack "light" for seven people who will all need ski parkas, long underwear, and snow boots?

~ What if my SIL can't travel with us because December is cold and flu season and she is a doctor.

~ What if none of my nieces or nephew can travel with us because they are either in their Senior year of high school or in college and can't miss 10 days of classes?

~ Who will watch our boys while we're in court? Anyone out there have a passport and willing to travel to Siberia in December?

~ If we travel without the boys, how do we handle their disappointment (especially the two oldest.) They have been anticipating this trip almost as much as we have for the past 18 months.

~ Should we save the extra money it will cost to take them with us to Russia and then take a super nice family vacation after we get back and take ALL our kids?

~ Who would take care of all four of our boys (not to mention the 2 dogs and 5 cats) at our home for nearly two weeks?

~ What if we are traveling over Christmas day? There's no way I'm leaving my guys at Christmas.

~ What if I am worrying about all this for nothing and we don't even get a court date before the end of the year? Ugh!

Sorry for the pity party. It helps just putting it out there and getting it off my chest.

I recently read a devotional written by Joyce Myers that said trust requires us to accept that some questions will be unanswered and to place our times in God's hands-believing that even though we do not know all the answers, He does. He has a perfect timing for all things in our lives. We all desire and believe for good things to happen in our lives, NOW not later! Trusting God often requires not knowing how God is going to accomplish what needs to be done and not knowing when He will do it. We always say, “God is never late,” but He is generally not early either. Why? Because He uses those opportunities to stretch our faith in Him, and we grow during times of waiting. Trust is not inherited; it is learned! We learn to trust God by going through various experiences that require trust. By seeing God's faithfulness over and over, we let go of trusting ourselves, and gradually we enter God's rest and place our trust in Him. I am trying, but sometimes it is not as easy as I want it to be.

With that in mind, it is easy to see how timing plays an important part in learning to trust God. If He did everything we asked for immediately, we would never grow and develop. Timing and trust work side by side. Likewise, "Patience is a byproduct of tribulations; it isn't granted, it is earned."

Martin asked me the other day. "You haven't been praying for patience lately have you?"


Heather Brandt said...

I'm in the same boat as you this week...I've been worried about whether we will be able to get in and out of Russia for our court date before they close for the holidays...or that we will get stuck over there for longer than a month...

I'm praying we both hear something soon!


Barb said...

Wow, Kim, so many of the thoughts you expressed are the same as what I've been feeling these past few months. It really is so hard to wait, and to comprehend how it can take SOOOO long. Our coordinator tried to make me feel better a few weeks ago by saying, "Don't worry about her (Sofia). She is happy where she is. She has her friends. She is comfortable with her nurses." It was a bit of a reality check for me - I keep thinking she's pining for us, like we are for her. But, you're right, it's all about God's timing.Did you notice that I don't actually have any advice for you? I just understand what you're feeling. Our boys, also, have long planned to come for Gotcha day. Now that we know we're not going to ask the 10 days to be waived, we can plan for them to come. It's really important for the 10 year old! Anyways, I'm praying for you and your family . . . that you will hear something soon and your decisions will be easy to make.

Troy and Rachel said...

Kim, Hang in there. Things always have a way of working themselves out. And remember it's not our plan but God's plan for us. If you miss a program, then God meant for you to miss it, not to not see one of the boys, but for some other reason you may or may not ever realize. I'll be thinking about you and praying for your worries to be handled by God.

Amy said...

Sailing in the same boat as you. Our 2 have their 1st holiday program this Decemeber and even though they will only be singing, I hope we don't miss it. But if we do, I know one of the grandparents will be videotaping it for us. And if we are gone during Christmas, we will celebrate Russia's Christmas instead. Hoping we ALL get our Chrismtas wish this year; that our children are home forever!

tammy said...

wow...i feel your stress! a scheduling dilema! i hope you get your date soon. surely it is right around the corner! you have been home a while now. did they say what the delays are?

Tiger & Kar said...

I was totally stressing while we were waiting for our court date as well. Although, mine was because of my husband's very busy work travel schedule and not something as precious as my child's Christmas programs!

Anyway, my husband is typically traveling for business from the end of April to the beginning of June, only home for weekends here & there. We knew there was a very real chance our court would be in May and that it would really conflict with the business trips he HAD to go on. Sure enough, our court date ended up being May 15 and while I was thrilled, I was also very freaked out over how his employer would handle the news. As it turned out, the same day we got our court date, we also found out the business travel was going to be postponed this year. His newly found free time in May allowed us to stay for the entire 3 weeks as we always hoped we could.

There's more to the story but I don't want to bore you with all the details. I do hope, however, that this will help you find a little peace and assurance that God's timing IS perfect. He wants your little girl home with you just as much as you do...don't ever forget that!!


Old DAN AND Little ANN said...

We had many of the same concerns and we traveled in November. Previous to that there was a lot going on in our family that would have made it a bad time to travel. It worked out that everything was resolved by the time we left. Maybe you will travel before the Russian New Year ... maybe God has other plans. It is harder than hard to wait. When the time comes, you will marvel at how perfect everything has worked out. That is just how God seems to arrange these things. I suggest a book for you called, "Carried Safely Home". It really helped me (even though I didn't read it until a few months ago)understand all the implications of our wait times for our adopted children. Hang in there Kim! God has got it all in His hands!

Anonymous said...

The offer still stands for us to keep the boys, if you need us to. Why not plan a family trip back to Russia in the summer, if you can't all go in the winter?

Flu season has already hit. Will keep you posted...


Jackie said...

Oh Kim! It is so hard to plan without concrete information isn't it! So many scenarios to work out in our minds. I don't have any advice, but know that I will pray that God truly works it all out. Like you, we were ready to leave in September, and for some reason God's timing was two months later. Unfortunately the boys will have to miss the Super Bowl for their football teams. I'm not sure why God's timing is now, maybe I'll know in the future. But I do know He is in control.

Huber Family said...

Kim, you may remember we took our 4 kids with us and I know you want to take your boys, so I say DO IT! It will be a wonderful experience. Our kids, even our 3.5 year old still talk about it almost weekly. I understand the packing issue, use space bags for those puffy things. DO NOT stress on the programs, if it is meant to be then you will be home for those, if not then there is always another year. This is an opportunity of a lifetime. Don’t mean to sound soap boxy!

I know how hard the wait is and how the schedule thing goes. We were on standby for 1.5 years with each adoption.

I hope you get your court date soon! Also my passport is current and it loves to go to Russia! LOL! ;)

erica h

Kris Fletcher said...

Hi Kim. I've never commented here before, but I've been following your story. I'm in Moscow right now, 2 days away from coming home with our new daughter (YES!). I just wanted to say that the only real regret I have about this adoption is that factors conspired to keep us from bringing our older kids along. We took our 3 boys when we went to China to adopt our first daughter in 2002, and it was an amazing experience for them. Not only did they experience their sister's birthplace, they had a chance to connect with her in a way they couldn't if we'd brought her home to the regular school/Scouts/lessons routine. (Plus it gave them essay topics for the next 2 years until we finally had to tell them to stop milking it :-)

If you do have to leave them, it will work out. Honest. I hated having to leave ours behind this time, especially as we have no family in the area, but a woman from church moved in with the kids and it all fell into place. But if you have to choose, even with the cold and all the thousands of details and problems, I would say ... take them.

Good luck, and I hope you hear SOON!

findingourdaughter said...

I have stressed the same things about missing things with my boys here at home IF we get a referral and have to travel on Trip 1 during this holiday season. So, to cope....I've told myself that the referral will not come until January---and I continue to plan as if we will not travel to Russia at all. Of course, this is easier since we do not know our child yet and are NOT waiting to get back for court/pickup--that would be much different!
God bless and I hope HIS will is revealed to you and works out to be the best for all involved!

Carey and Norman said...

My heart goes out to you. We will pray for God to give you strength as you wait and for his perfect timing for your trip to ensure you are able to take your boys as you'd planned. The unknown is so hard and we pray that you hear news soon of travel to Russia.

Annie said...

Ha! I have a passport and would love to travel to Russia any time at all! I LOVE it there. After four adoptions I have realized that a) it is never as early as you think. b) it is always in God's good time. For the first two I spent a year, it seemed, thinking about every upcoming thing - "If we're not in Russia then." And we went in late May when everything (all the events on my mind) was over!!!

What hell I went through....I actually began to believe at one point that maybe I was losing my mind, and I'd dreamed this whole thing...and we were actually not adopting at all! Sergei was a figment of my imagination! You're not alone. But just trust, if you can.

Some dear friends adopted their daughter at Christmas time, and due to weather, spent Christmas Day in a hotel in Frankfurt - but they considered that just a special Christmas Gift. Whenever they think of Christmas they think of that wonderful time.

When we adopted this last time, we were there for the FIRST WEEK OF SCHOOL! So my older daughter had to get the other four into school, through school pictures, parent nights, etc. She didn't do all that well (to say the least) but a year later, we don't care at all! Having gotten our Ilya is all that matters.

Annie said...

Anyway - think of it this way - you don't have any more control than you would if you were considering going into labor! An appropriate analogy.