Our adoption journey continues with James writing today's post.
This morning Mary and I sat down for a long talk after a great deal of discussion with our sons back home and thinking through this adoption. After a lot of prayer, we decided to go forward with trying to adopt the children that we met yesterday. A great feeling of peace has accompanied us ever since this decision and throughout the day.
After breakfast, we visited the regional child services office to learn more about the background of the children. They provided the best answers that they could with the information that they have available. The children have a rather sad story as most orphans do. It is not my place to share that story here but it was nice to learn more about their background. As we left the meeting, we told our facilitator Natasha that we would like to adopt these children. She advised that it may take a few days before an appropriate time arrived to ask the children to give their consent.
After the meeting, we stopped by the store to pick up some gifts and fruit for the children and their friends before driving out to the summer camp near the Black Sea to visit the children again. For now, we will refer to the children as K, a beautiful twelve-year old girl, and B, an eleven-year old boy that loves soccer (and plays rather well). They were waiting for us at the gate to the camp when we arrived and immediately gave us big hugs. That pretty much melts your heart. As we walked to the yard where we could have our visit, K asked Natasha when she and B could sign the agreement for adoption. That took us by surprise but, obviously, in a good way. Natasha got us settled with the kids and then left to get the District Inspector to sign the documents. We had brought a soccer ball with us and had a great time playing in the yard. After about 45 minutes, I was sweating like a pig in the heat. Thankfully there was some shade nearby and we enjoyed looking at more photos and getting to know each other better. K and B also started calling us Papa and Mama all of a sudden. Another moment that melts your heart. Before we knew it, it was time for their lunch which also means the end of our time to visit with them.
Before leaving on this trip, Mary had prepared some books on Shutterfly. Each page in the book is dedicated to a different part of our family and shows who we are. We brought two books and gave them to K and B today at the end of our visit. They were so excited as they ran off to lunch and we saw them showing all of their friends as they walked to the cafeteria.
Just after K and B left for lunch, Natasha returned with the District Inspector. As soon as the children finished lunch, they sat down with the inspector and wrote their agreement to be adopted. As you can imagine, Mary and I were thrilled! We still have a long road ahead with paperwork and legal documents but we are very excited that K and B want to be part of our family. After signing the papers, they gave us one last big hug before they had to go. Mary even got kisses from K and B. Maybe I'm just a little too tall...
After our visit, we got started on the paperwork right away. Natasha was on the phone during the entire drive back and got things going. We signed our legal agreements stating that we want to adopt K and B and got them notarized. So, the process is underway. For the next few weeks, we will continue to visit K and B and work to complete the legal process. There are still obstacles ahead but we know that with the Lord's guidance and blessing, we will arrive at where we need to be.
This evening we told our sons the news during our daily call and they are very excited also. We are looking forward to the time when we can get all the children connected to start getting to know each other. More exciting days ahead!