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Sunday, October 7, 2007

Summer is over, the leaves are changing, and my feet are cold...but not because of the cooler weather.

OK, so confession time for Holly (Run fast! Save yourself from the torture of reading this post!).

As you have read in my previous 2 posts, there have been 6 referrals given out last week! I am SO incredibly excited about it, but there is another emotion that has been surfacing...

I am experiencing "cold feet". You know, the kind that people joke about when people are getting married. :-) I am so excited about what God is doing and know He has a plan, but I am scared to death!

These kind of feelings come from a very specific situation that I feel would be good for me to share, not just so you understand, but for my own continued healing.

In August of 2005, Paul & I applied with AWAA for a Russian Adoption. We knew that the Lord had called us to to do this, so we stepped out in faith. We completed our Dossier for Russia in December of 2005 and received a referral in just a little over a month! We were so excited! The doors had opened so quickly! It had to be God!

We traveled in late January of 2006 to meet our son in the Saratov region of Russia. He looks just like us. He even has Paul's unique ears! We came home with the intention of returning for our second trip as quickly as possible! No joke, we had all the paperwork done and back to AWAA by the end of the first week we were home.

We were excited, our church was so supportive, and many friend and family helped us financially to continue with the adoption.

Without any warning, something happened within the Saratov courts. Still to this day, we don't know what...

We started encountering obstacles with the judge in Saratov. We received an official letter (all in Russian) in May. When it was translated, it basically documented a list of reasons why our Dossier was not acceptable to the court. At a conference call with AWAA and the other families waiting for court dates, Dr. D explained that this letter applied to all AWAA families, and we weren't being targeted. He also talked about how the documents he was requesting were next to impossible to obtain. Dr. D and his in country staff were going to pursue negotiation with the judge to work it out. We were confident in Dr. D and trusted that the Lord would work it out, if it was His will.

We fought for a court date for over a year. We jumped through hoops, completed paperwork, after paperwork, after paperwork, only to be told to do something more. We finally were told in late March, early April of 2007, that the judge is not budging at all. In fact, he had denied our I-171H! The Orphan Petition through Immigration! Because we don't have the power to change governmental forms, we realized there was nothing else we could do. The judge was willing to work with European countries that had similar governmental set up, but he was no longer allowing adoptions to US families.

Paul & I were (as still are) brokenhearted. We let go of little Ilya and surrendered him to God's hands. We put all of his pictures and memorabilia of him in a box, and began the mourning/grieving process.

I go through this whole story, because when you have experienced such a devastating thing, it is easy to just assume that every similar experience will be the same. Almost everyday I have to reprogram my heart & emotions. I have to remind myself that despite the heart ache, God had a plan and purpose. He doesn't waste a hurt.

Despite the difficulties, we knew this was not the end for us. We knew that the Lord had called us to adopt orphans, and we were going to be obedient. What better way to heal than to start again...

This is what brought us into the Ethiopia program with AWAA. We got our Dossier packet in the mail beginning of May 2007 and here we are in October, waiting for a referral!

I find myself finally getting excited. I have tightly guarded my heart (for obvious reasons) until this point. Knowing that we could have a referral in as little as 3 months (wait time is 3 - 7 months), how could I not be excited?!

OK, now that I have bored you to tears, I am done. Thank you for reading! :-)




Kari said...

Holly, you didn't bore me, but I am in tears. Thank you for sharing your heart!! My heart breaks thinking of the loss you experienced. There is nothing to describe the pain. We lost our son prematurely @ 22 weeks almost 12 years ago. You're right..He doesn't waste a hurt!! You will always love your son from Russian, but as God heals you will gain so much more!! Why wonder you are feeling "cold feet" the grief will pop up out of nowhere and find our hearts!! I will pray specifically for you this week as you move forward to ET! Keep holding on to your Savior!!!
Much love,
Kari (awaa)

Carpenters said...

Holly, I can't imagine the grief that letting go of that little boy caused. Kari is so right that as God heals you will gain his blessing. You are so brave to keep pressing on and following God's leading to Ethiopia. I can't wait to see your little one in your arms. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

With Love,

Ron and Kellie Pellizzari said...

Holly, Thank you so much for sharing your story. It is hard to understand why we have to experiance such loss in our lives, but it is comforting to know that God really does have a plan for us. Your children are so blessed to have you and your husband as parents...and they don't even know it yet. You will be in my prayers!!
In Him,

Debbie Gatch said...

Paul and Holly,

As you know (I think) we had three miscarriages before Gloria was born. What you don't know is just after she was born we had the opportunity to adopt a niece's baby (due when Gloria would be 6 mos old). Three months into the process, Niece changed her mind. We went through the same grieving process as with the miscarriages. It's the loss of a child and my heart breaks with yours. (BTW, the little girl looks just like our girls and even wears glasses! She would fit right in. Everytime I see her, my heart still is torn.)

After so many miscarriages, we had to come to terms with God's sovereignty and know that He designs only the best for us.

While still pregnant with Gloria, I was discussing my fears with my brother, he mentioned that, yes, their baby (9 mos older than Gloria) was born safe, but now he had to worry about SIDS. Then, it would be her dashing out in front of a car, then getting injurred in school, then in a car accident. The list could go on and on as we worried away the life of our children.

All that to say, enjoy this time of anticipation. Yes, the fear is there, but combat it with the Word. I'll be praying for you in the coming weeks - for peace, trust, and a beautiful, problem free delivery.

Rob & Candy said...

I didn't realize it until I read your post that I had been praying for your family & the Russian Judge in 2006! Do you know the King Family (awaa) in Texas? They also were adopting from your region. We got to know the Kings (via awaa) when Katrina hit. Anyway, I wanted to let you know that my ladies bible study was praying for the 3 families (you) and the judge!

I am so grateful that God has you on the ET path. We will be praying for your "cold feet" and your referral.
Candy (awaa)

Rich said...

Holly - The problem you had in Saratov impacted a lot of families and orphans in Saratov -- including about 30 orphans who were to be adopted in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. So I'm told, a U.S. adoptive parent abused and killed a child adopted in the Saratov region. The judge that approved the adoption was removed from office and the replacement judge refused to approve any adoptions by U.S. couples. However, as recently as this past fall, U.S. adoptions have resumed in this region. Please e-mail me offline if you would like to learn more.