Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Day 19 in Ukraine

Today is a new day. We’re still a little on edge from yesterday, but we are trying to make a comeback. I have been thinking a lot about yesterday. We took so much time to get ready and dressed up and look our best. Then we were picked up and dropped off at the court to wait on a hard broken bench and stare at a blue crumbling wall for about 30 minutes while our facilitator went with the driver to pick up the orphanage representative, prosecutor, and inspector/social worker. As we sat there we talked about how in the world we had come to be sitting on a hard broken bench in a deteriorated building in the middle of Ukraine about 5,000 miles from our home…from our friends and family and from everything we’ve ever known. We laughed a little at how God convinced us to do this because, let’s face it, on our own, we would have never done something this crazy. And yesterday I realized just how crazy we are. And what is crazy? Crazy is leaving everything you know to travel half way across the world with the intent of bringing home a child we’ve never met. But really it isn’t that crazy because this has been God’s plan long before we ever gave it a thought. We are amazed to think that God had us in mind when this child was born, and actually long before that, to be her parents. I wonder what we were doing on the day she was born. I wish I could look back in a magic glass ball and see what we were doing that day. Whatever we were doing, I do know that we had no idea what was in store for us. We had no idea that almost 2 years later, we’d be sitting in a court house waiting to become her parents. It seemed like we waited for hours on end, when in reality, we only waited an hour. That is a long time to wait when such an important event is at stake.

In our eyes, Zoya has been our daughter since we saw her picture almost 7 months ago. In God’s eyes, she has been our daughter since the beginning of time. In the court’s eyes she is still not our daughter. That is the part that makes my heart hurt. We know one day we will be home with our daughter and we will forget the way we feel at this moment because it will all have been worth it. But the “in the moment” times are hard no matter what advice or encouragement anyone gives. We are human and at times lose sight of the bigger picture. We have not had an easy time here but have mostly chosen to laugh about it and try to enjoy the storm instead of waiting for it to pass. Since yesterday, we’ve had a hard time enjoying the storm. Our patience is wearing thin and our “annoyance limit” as Shawn calls it, is lower than what it has been. We need prayers that we can continue enjoying the storm and keep a sense of humor about it. We are trying the “fake it till we make it” concept right now. For example, yesterday after court when we wanted to cry, Shawn turned to our facilitator and said, “So is now a good time to ask the judge about waiving the 10 day wait?” She got a serious look on her face like “are you kidding?” and then she realized he was joking and started laughing.

We will likely not be able to come home in between as we originally planned because even if court finishes Friday there are no available flights due to it being Easter weekend. Everything is booked until Tuesday. Imagining being here almost 6 weeks all together (another 3 weeks to go) is pretty daunting at this point. We are looking into a few other options, but need prayers for peace. We did not prepare to stay here one long trip and bring Zoya home with us the first time. There are a lot of things at home that need to be taken care of (like the jury duty notice Shawn received yesterday…don’t think he is going to be able to sign that within 5 days) and that makes us feel uneasy. BUT, this is the day that the Lord has made and we will rejoice and be glad in it! So we will try to keep the end goal in mind and learn a little along the way….about ourselves, each other, our faith, and what it means to trust completely. Afterall, the price to pay to save a child from a life in a mental institution? Not nearly the price God paid to save us.


  1. I talked to Rita last night I reminded her that Friday is Good Friday.You and Shawn are very special people and God will not let you down.Just keep the pictures and the funny captions coming; that and everyones prayers will get you thru.I bought Zoya a couple of outfits I got her 24 months.I can't wait to see her. Love Aunt Marianne

  2. Continuing to pray. I shared your story this morning with my Dad and he is also praying for you.... What more can we say...

  3. Sarah and Shawn, couldn't hold the tears back myself reading your post from today. My tears are mostly because through your journaling I feel I have really got to know you and Shawn(my neighbors for all these years!), and feel lucky to know such wonderful people...and so HAPPY for Zoya that you will be her parents. Always praying, Liz

  4. Your story has been so beautiful to me from the beginning. My daughter Jessie, who has Down syndrome, is 8 now and I can't imagine a life we would have had without her. Before she was born though, I wouldn't have known to "choose" her as you have chosen Zoya. The fact that you don't have ANY children yet and you chose a little one with DS across the world....that has brought tears to my eyes many, many times reading your blog or just thinking about it. Hold on! Tie a knot in your rope and hold on!! God has chosen you for something precious and beautiful. I am praying peace for you as anyone in your shoes would be weary at this point.

    I have loved the pictures and videos, and it is wonderful to see how Zoya has bonded with the both of you already.

    Keep holding on!

  5. You and Shawn are just angels here on earth. You two amaze me and fill me with hope for the world's future. Praying, praying, praying for all of you!

  6. Thank you for encouraging us to be faithful and trust God's perfect plan - even as you struggle with things outside of your control.

    Thinking of your family!