And now we are 12...

We returned from Kherson last night.  It was a long ride, but with our friends' borrowed car seat, Dahlia did great.  We had an amazing time with old and new friends in Kherson and it was very hard to say good-bye.  Our lunch with the Agape ministries director and his family was such a blessing to us and we discussed many things about the work being done and the details of what a ministry future for us might look like.  Amy and I's hearts seem to both be hearing that this is where God wants us to serve Him by loving on the orphans we encounter here.  We will now work on the details and wait for His timing to prove this out if it is for real.  We learned more about how to accomplish this seemingly mountainous task and have contacts with whom to advise us on some of the ins and outs of Visa's, etc.  So as we press against this door to see if it is opening, we will do our part to pursue while at the same time wait on the Lord to provide and lead.

And now, let us introduce to you the newest members of the household..... drum roll please....  Alex and Alona.  Court went very well for us today.  The judge read our paperwork out loud, asked Amy and I each few questions individually, requested the witness and testimony of social worker, caregiver, and Alex himself (Alona was too young to be required in court).  She asked if Amy was ready for 10 children, and gave an approving and smiling nod at her reply.  All in all we were in session for about 20 minutes maybe and the decree was made.  The next step is to wait 10 days for the court paperwork process, at which time we can get Alex and Alona from the orphanage and move forward with the final stages of documentation and immigration.  So on May 15th they will be officially in our custody, BUT...

We still have one problem that we are praying about and hoping to see God move a mountain or clearly direct our steps...this is regarding Alex's birth certificate change.  Our facilitators seem to be hitting a brick wall with getting this thing done in coordination with Alona's.  We are told that we must take the Ukraine court paperwork (after the 10 days), send it to Kiev for translation, certification, and apostille along with all the other relevant documentation and send it to Russia for their own bureaucratic processing.  A Russian court hearing will be held whereby they should issue Alex's new birth certificate with his new name.  Then we can proceed in Ukraine with the final immigration stuff and bring him home.  He will not be able to leave Ukraine without this process occurring, even though he will be officially ours and able to be in our custody.  The worst part of the situation is that realistically this could drag out for 6-9 months.  We are praying for a miracle to occur that will get this done sooner.

Of course the next question involves what will become of Alex if he is officially ours to take, yet unable to leave the country.  Here we have another dilemma, and are seeking direction from the Lord on what to do if it does take this long.  On the one hand, he could likely stay in the baby house with his friends and continue life as normal until the process is complete.  On the other hand, if he is not officially an orphan on the books - will he be allowed to stay so long and use resources still?  If he is unable to stay, perhaps he would stay with our facilitator in Kiev until this is done and we can come get him (she assures me that he will not be put out on the streets, and her family would step in to do this).  Finally there is the looming question or whether or not we should bring Alona home and then send Jeff back to get him immediately - living in Kherson with Agape until the paperwork is all finished and we can come home together.  We really don't want him to stay in the orphanage any longer and want to begin recovering as much of the lost parent/son time that we can.  So we mull these thoughts over and wait to see what the Lord will do or how He may lead us.

Thank you for your prayers with us in this matter.

 Alona and Dad this morning playing games before the court appointment.

Alona posing for the camera

 A happy crew after court was finished....the first 5 minutes of life with a new name.
Alex our facilitator did a great job for us!

Notarizing the request for Ukraine passports to be updated with both Alex and Alona's new names.  (Apparently Ukraine can process the new passport based on their own decree, they just cannot issue a new birth record with it for some reason - that must come from Russia directly).

3 comments:

  1. Yay yay! Been praying and thinking about you all so much! Will continue to pray!

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  2. Look how happy that boy looks! I have not seen that happy squint grin on him! There is so much joy behind that grin like he could burst if you popped him. That is just a look of "Yes finally I have a mama and papa". I am just dying almost in tears. Little Alona looks great!!!!! Both the kiddos do! I am so happy for you all and also in prayer for all the decisions ahead with Alex. Give him and little Alona a BIG hug for me. Tell them I love them and we will be seeing them soon!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Alex does look happy! Can't wait to meet both of them. I also want to hear Amy's reply to the judge when she was asked if she's ready for 10 children. Seasoned with love and grace and a little humor perhaps? You have a bunch of kiddos on this part of the planet who will be overjoyed to see their mama next week, and eagerly anticipate the arrival of Daddy, Alex, and Alona later. We're praying for wisdom and comfort for you guys as you contemplate the options for Alex's care while the birth certificate issue is being resolved. Let it be that this aspect of his adoption greatly enriches your testimonies of the grace and power of God in some way. I'm confident it well because He is a purposeful God. Much love from the DeBoesers.

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