Saturday, April 18, 2009
Just before Easter in Kiev, Ukraine it seems to get really quiet. Today, the breeze pushes the sky from cloudy to sunny, then back again. Almost a sweat breaks as you walk, then around the corner you feel the urge to turn your jacket collar up. It is a beautiful time of year. I talk like I have been here for Easter before, and I have. In the spring of 2004, Vickie and I, along with Alan and Karen Thompson, "rode out" an Orthodox Easter weekend as part of our first adoption journey. This afternoon, as I am here for the final stretch, I am reminded of that suspended time. Karen and Alan: I will eat a slice of Easter bread just for you...
The facts of the day are pretty straightforward. The passports for the children were delayed from yesterday afternoon's scheduled delivery. However, they were promised for a rare Saturday handout from the mystic portal. We showed up on the brown chalky sidewalk outside the crumbling passport office on Terasa Chevshenka Boulevard- which would fit as a scene from any Russian spy movie. Of course, we still waited for almost 3 hours, moving back and forth from a nearby cafe to currency exchanges and back to the cafe...I think we bought like 40$ worth of chai, coffee, sprite, juice, etc. Finally our mystery lady called our facilitator, who was stranded at his place about 10 miles away. We got the nod to go into the inner sanctum via a call, walked past the curious chubby faced guard, talked broken English with my old friend Yulia, and finally signed on the lines for the much envied booklets that will get us closer to coming home!!!
We paid for a speedy cab ride back to the boys old orphanage just to help Kollin's anxiety about being late, and Kayla and Kory and I watched him play a fierce game of soccer in the dust. It is at this point a flood of memories and thoughts came to me. There are plenty of kids still left in the dwindling numbers there at the school. Some have family, some don't. Some are literally there due to the sins of the fathers, and some are there because they have a lazy eye, or a misshapen ear. Some say it is a long story if you ask how they came there, which means it hurts to remember it. Bottom line is that although God has brought Vickie and me to this place for our third time, and despite how tired I am of seeing that place it still reminds me of the ones that need my smile, need my Americanski "hello", and need me to ask their name. Each one has a name you know. It still strikes me deeply about the character of God in reaching to us, despite our family dynamics, or our weird ways, or our unpronounceable name.
The kids are doing quite well. We are working together through languages and transition from orphan life to family life, and I will tell you with honesty that there is room to grow for all of us. Be praying- He is adequate for all of it. I am praying for all of you.
Philippians 1:6 " For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ."