Monday, April 9, 2012

DISCLAIMER: THIS BLOG POST IS GOING TO BE LONG! Not because I'm trying for it to be, but there's a big story to tell, and a couple of paragraphs just isn't going to cut it!!

We have had a big day around here. First of all, our fingerprints are taken and submitted, and we should hear back from USCIS soon and have our final paperwork submitted hopefully by the end of the week/beginning of next week. This is truly incredible, as I mentioned last night! SIDE NOTE: This fingerprint place was the Taj Mahal of fingerprint places!!! It was like the extreme opposite of the last place we went! And I praised the Lord for it!!! 8-)

This is the LONG part: Most of you do not know that there has been another side to our story. One that we weren't at liberty to tell – until now. When we first “found” Yuri on fb a little over 6 weeks ago, we called to inquire about him. At that same time, a couple of other families had inquired as well. Eventually, another family was given the “go-ahead” by Reece's Rainbow (a ministry that helps connect families to orphans in foreign countries) to pursue adoption of “Sam” (that's the name given him on the Reece's Rainbow website – We were given the “go-ahead” to act as a “backup” in the event things fell through with the other family due to the incredibly short time line that everyone was working against. The team felt that if there were 2 families working toward the same goal, the odds of Sam “falling through the cracks” would be substantially reduced.

From the minute we saw Sam's face on the website, both Shane and I felt like we were to be his parents. Apparently, this was happening in the other family as well. We each have a deep concern for this child, and each wanted to see him find his forever family – both believing his forever family was our own. However, our only “race” was the race against Sam's time-clock that has been steadily ticking -- as when he turns 16, if there are no prospective parents with paperwork ready and the process started in his country by that time, he's given a small amount of money and turned onto the streets to try to make his own way after living in an orphanage his entire life and being labeled “unemployable” by his country because of his hand differences.

As we have sought the Lord's guidance in all this, we have prayed all along that He would “slam the door closed” if we were to stop pursuing this. Instead of any doors slamming shut, they have been thrust WIDE OPEN and we have felt very strongly that we were to continue moving forward. So we have. The other family began their paperwork at about the same time we began ours. We have completed our paperwork in a practically unprecedented time-frame and the other family came up against some snags. This morning, we got notice from Reece's Rainbow that the other family has decided that because of the snags and delays that have come up, they needed to terminate their adoption pursuit so that we can pursue him fully and bring him home as soon as possible. It was a completely selfless act for them to step back and let us move forward. Their hearts are hurting as they will need to grieve this loss – which would be very hard to understand if you've never been through this process. Yuri/Sam is already deeply embedded in our hearts – as he is in theirs. When something is already in your heart, and it gets “taken away” it's a definite loss -- the loss of their dream for this boy they thought would be their son.

I am so impressed by their love for this child that they have never met, and I am truly grateful to them for listening to the Lord's leading in their lives. Please pray for their hearts to heal quickly. I feel confident that this time in their lives was to prepare them for something that the Lord has for them in the future, and I hope someday I'll hear what that is. But for now, we are sad with them -- but at the same time, thrilled for our family as we can embark full speed ahead on this crazy journey!!

We have been simply awed at the Lord working in and through the people in our world who have been put in place “for such a time as this” to walk with us through pursuing this child for our family. He has orchestrated a beautiful story that I hope will be used to encourage people who are wondering if the Lord is telling them to do the same thing He's pointed us to. I know that the Lord has promised that “In all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28) and there have been many times that I've just had to cling to that as I don't understand how something could possibly work for good (as the other family is feeling right now, I'm sure).

As Shane and I drove the 2 hours to our fingerprint appointment this morning, I told him how extremely cool it is when you KNOW that you're right where the Lord wants you at that minute. The confirmations that we have received over and over and over through this process have just helped us feel SO SAFE about where we are headed. It doesn't make sense to us that the Lord would guide us to do this right now – with Shane's work schedule being SO busy, a three-week trip planned for the summer to see our exchange student kids and their families, and some other commitments, but once again we fall back on the fact that “'My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,' declares the LORD.” (Is. 55:8) and in that we rest, as we have many times before.

We have been blown away at the times that the Lord has directed us to HIS plan for us and it's been so much better than the plan we thought we wanted for our lives. Even when it looked like the plan might fail...He's still in control and still working – even though we might not see how it can all work out for “good.” There are probably things that we won't see how “good” came of them in each of our lives (and THAT list I'm compiling for the Lord when I see him in glory), but that's where trusting comes in. This story is one where the good can definitely be seen – right now and hopefully for a LONG time to come! Though Yuri doesn't become “officially” ours until ALL the paperwork is approved by ALL the right people (and that number is large!), Yuri says “yes” to us becoming his family, and the judge signs the Decree of Adoption, we feel like those things will fall into place as the rest of this process has been so seemingly anointed by the Lord.

Thank you friends, for walking it with us. Please continue to pray as the Lord leads, for His hand to work out the PERFECT timing for us to travel, etc. Leaving our other kids is going to be rough. I'm a very over-protective Momma Bear. But, I know that the Lord is going before us, and I actually even have peace about being gone from them for so long, knowing that the Lord's hand of protection will be on each of us as we're apart. That might be a couple of months from now, or it very well might be sooner. Only God knows. And we rest in that.

P.S. We have NO idea what we're going to call Yuri/Sam when he gets here, but we doubt it will be either of those names. He has two other names – his given name and one that he goes by!!! We are going to let him help us make that decision and will keep everyone posted on that. 8-)


  1. WOW!
    having been on the other side - our family once pursued adoption and then felt like God closed the door... and later we learned that the money my parents had paid for the adoption to happen, the paperwork they had pursued (having child declared legally abandoned, paid for most of the process, etc) another family wanted a child with those particular special needs but couldn't afford it. Once my parents had paid for so much and then felt like God slammed the door shut, that family suddenly came forward and was able to adopt M - since most of it had been paid for. Later, I was honored to be in M's country at the orphanage that Christmas when his parents came to get him. I met them and took him to the airport and watched from the gate as he left with his new family. It is no neat to see God's hand in an adoption story & I am confident he has a plan for the other family who clearly has a heart for those with differences who need families.
    Back to your story - so very excited for your family! Love reading updates! Keep writing them!
    PS- We have a friend named Yuri as well - here in TX - we met him at a limb difference camp... he is probably about 16 now. I will get you in touch with his parents if I can find their contact info.
    Much love to all - KB

  2. Love this story! THanks so much fro "catching" us up!

  3. As Sam's "other" mom, I am crying as I read this. Not out of sadness, although our hearts ache at losing him, but out of joy at the family he is joining. From the beginning, I knew God had to be in charge of this, and if it wasn't supposed to happen, He would tell us without a doubt. Well, as you put it, He did indeed slam that door, letting us know our path had ended for Sam. I am so happy ya'll didn't give up on him, and I look forward to watching your story unfold. I can't wait to see pics of him in his new home. I do hope we can keep in touch, and that you can tell him how much this family in VA loves him. <3 will be keeping you all in my prayers, and will do everything I can to help you raise any needed funds.

    1. Traci, I too cried when I read this blog. Both in sadness that his home is not here in VA where we would get to be part of his life, but also in happiness that I am confident that God has a great family and plan for Sam. Our family continues to pray for Sam and will pray for his "new" family as they follow God's lead. I'm thrilled we have a blog to follow his adoption :)

  4. Congratulations! I have been following the other family's journey and I am so glad that he is not going to slip through the cracks. Big prayers. So many people love that sweet guy!

  5. I miss Sam already (he would have been my brother) and love him sooo much! Please let him know how much we love him! Thanking God for your family right now, for saving his chance at a normal life.

  6. When one door shuts, another one opens! Sam would've been my nephew, and we are grieving for for him and miss him already...But thanking God and your family for saving him...Thank you so much, and please let him know he has another family in Va that love him very much! God Bless!

  7. So excited to follow along with you! Sam/Yuri is a remarkable young man, and it makes me cry to see how God is paving the way to give him what delights his heart. So, I stand with you, praying and waiting with a thankful heart, and excited expectation to see the Glory of the Lord shown in this young man.

  8. Shane and Kim, I am so excited for your family :D
    You can line me up with the countless hearts who have been praying for Sam! One night I was in bed on my computer. I saw a passionate post begging for someone to find Sam a home before it was too late. But this was not just any boy - to me, Sam was a son, staring back at me, begging with the light in his eyes for a future and a hope. I won't write a book for you here, but suffice to say that we tried to commit to Sam two different times. Alas, the Lord said, "No Dear, just one for now." (We are also in process to adopt a 15 year old girl whom we hosted over Christmas time). I am blessed beyond words to see how many strong believers in Jesus Christ are carrying this boy home! Following from afar in SC, Tara

  9. So excited for your family and for Sam. I was following his journey with The Morton's, and I believe we are adopting from Sam's orphanage. We are in country now and waiting to hear a final yes on our court date for tomorrow. Praying for you guys. For us we have had many, many mountains, but God is faithful and moved everyone of them. We know He will continue to work in your journey as well. God bless you - Stacy