Goodbye 2009

January 5, 2010

Happy 2010! We are back home in Akron after a wonderful 2 weeks with family and old friends. And as I sit here typing this, looking out our big window, I am watching the beautiful snow fall. I don’t love the cold weather, but snow is peaceful to watch and its a good reminder that seasons change.

And with the changing of seasons, comes the changing of a new year. Steve and I are back in the routine of having a weekly lunch date. We sat and talked about this past year and thought it would be fun to write about the ups and downs of 2009. So, enjoy and may they also allow you to think of your top 5 highlights of 2009 and top 5 valleys.

The Top 5 Highlights of 2009:

5) Relationships:

Through this adoption process, it has been so amazing to experience deeper relationships with people. It has been so encouraging to see our family members tear up when they think of our little man, and to smile when they see him on video.

Our church and our friends have been so unbelievably supportive and prayerful. One of our best friends have a clock in their house that is set to Moscow time and under the clock is a sign that says “Pray for D”. We could not ask for better friends.

And an unexpected blessing has been all of the new friends we have met through this blog. Many are walking or have walked the road of adoption. Many have sent emails and made phone calls, sharing  exactly what we needed to hear. Many have given no explanations, but rather share in the camaraderie of blessings and pains that accompany this unique path.

4) Baby Showers:

As I said before in an earlier blog, baby showers were always something that I had given up on when we faced the years of infertility. I had come to terms that I may never get to experience a celebration like that for me, personally. Although it was something that would always bring sadness, I had “gotten over it.”

In 2009, I was given 2 baby showers. One by friends. One by youth leaders and students in our ministry (who are also friends). These times were beautiful, redemptive moments in my life – celebrations of our family to be. They served as reminders that this adoption is actually happening, and that many people are taking this journey with us. We are so blessed.

3) God’s Provision:

Even though I know that God is in control and that He is good and faithful, there have been times along this journey where my heart and  head have not always aligned. A friend joined us today at lunch and said, “it just doesn’t seem fair.”  Many times, I’ve said those same things to God.

But it seems that when these feelings intensify the most, God sends some sort of a reminder that He does hear our cries. Maybe it is a check in the mail from a perfect stranger who heard about our adoption. Maybe it is a gift from a family member. Maybe it is a facebook message with a passage of His truth. Maybe a hug at just the right time. Maybe a blog comment that nurtures our soul. Maybe a student who feels compelled to “do something” for the orphanage.

He has provided. He has provided financially far beyond what we ever thought possible. He has provided hope and encouragement and support and love. We are so blessed.

2) The Referral Call:

This will be a day I will never forget. I will never forget waiting in Steve’s office for the email containing the picture of our little man. We opened the file and tears streamed down both of our faces. We just knew. There were no words to explain. We just knew. All of the waiting and the frustrations seemed to pass away in that moment as we sat there overcome by God’s goodness. We are so blessed.

1) The Day:

There is no other way to describe this day than “the day”. The day we met our son for the first time has no words to describe it. Because there are none big enough, beautiful enough, emotional enough, perfect enough. His curious little eyes looking deep into mine, wondering who this lady was who kept stroking his cheek. This day where Steve got our little man to laugh in a way that I’m sure had been stored up for many years. It was an amazing day. A hopeful day. A wonderous, glorious day. We are so blessed.

Top 5 valleys of 2009

5) Documents and paperwork:

Hundreds of dollars spent on probably hundreds of documents and copies sent to Columbus, Ohio – to North Carolina – to South Carolina – to Russia. I have seriously become friends with the County notary of deeds as well as the postal worker in my town. Honestly, they both want to meet our little man when he comes home.

The darkest valley of paperwork was just a few weeks ago when we had to make 2 separate trips to Cleveland over a document containing one minor smudge. It was so frustrating to feel like we were doing everything right and working so hard to make the process move quickly, only to have to do more. But these documents have led us to our son…

4) Continued infertility issues:

This year has also reminded us that we will face my medical issues for a lifetime. These medical issues will affect my diet, my lifestyle and decisions about long term plans for our future. One day in the parking lot of our doctors office, I spent some time just crying. But God reminded me that infertility has led us to our son…

3) Our region switching:

By April of 2009, we had been waiting for 8 or 9 months. We were hopeful that we would get a referral call very soon. We did get a call that month, only it was a call that let us know that our region was changed. It was like starting the wait all over again from the beginning.

We had to make a very tough decision – to continue on with the adoption process in Russia, or try something (or somewhere) else. Through tears and frustrations, we still could not shake our calling to Russia. So we decided to stay in it for the long haul. Though painful, the region change has led us to our son…

2) The waiting:

Days turned into months, months turned into years. Never did I think I would ever have the perseverance and stamina to wait like this. At times I felt like I was the victim of a cruel prank. Just when I thought I couldn’t wait any longer, I found out there was more waiting still in store.

Meanwhile, friends got pregnant and had their babies. Other people adopting brought their children home. Still we waited.

God’s truth of “strength rising as we wait on the Lord”, became something I would cling to, even though there were times that I didn’t have any more strength, I just wanted to give up. But it is the waiting that led us to our son….

1) Saying goodbye

Just like there are no words to describe the first time we ever met our son, there are definitely no words to describe the day we had to say goodbye to him.

I will never forget – D was sitting on my lap and our translator was telling him that we were getting ready to leave and wouldn’t be back for a while. He immediately got up from my lap and began to play with toys by himself. He wanted nothing to do with that conversation and neither did I.

So, I went and scooped him up into my arms and hugged him and held him. I told him I didn’t want to leave and that if it were up to me I would have come for him 2 years ago. I don’t know how much he understood, but I trust and believe that He understood my heart. He felt my tears on his cheek and He felt the hug that didn’t want to let go. But the goodbye is part of the process that leads us to our son.

This past year has been a year of some of the highest highs and some of the lowest lows of our lives. This is the story God is writing for our lives. As our story connects with His story, through the calm and through the storm, we are reminded that He is a God who loves His children.

His love doesn’t always look like we want it to look. Sometimes it involves waiting for something we want. Sometimes it involves pain. But, all of the time, it involves us growing closer to His heart and experiencing the compassionate love of Christ in our lives. And we are so blessed.

Updates:

  • still waiting for a court date 😦

Prayer Requests:

  • for our little boy, that he would somehow know we are coming back for him
  • that we wouldn’t have to red0 our homestudy

Until next Monday, love Kate and Steve.

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4 Responses to “Goodbye 2009”

  1. Mama Mary said

    God led you to your son, and along the way, has led you closer to His own beloved Son. Waiting with you.

  2. Sue said

    2010 is gonna be a fantastic year! We will get to meet our grandson! It won’t be long!

  3. Yuri said

    I didn’t tell you, after that first phone call, we didn’t hear anything. The phone call said they wanted to place him before Christmas and Christmas came and went. No call, our social worker had no clue what was going on didn’t know who had called, etc. Justin very lovingly painted one of the bedrooms a bright, very boyish blue. I had started praying that wherever he (the boy) went, he would be loved and cared for by people who loved God first and foremost. My heart just ached. Then, out of the blue, two days before I started a new job, a phone call… “Come meet your son…” They had chosen us, but then Noah almost died, three times. They weren’t sure if he were going to make it and they didn’t want to get our hopes up. Once they were sure, they called. We had 11 days to get ready. My sister-in-law planned a baby shower for the day Noah came home. God gave us all we needed. I certainly had no clue what I would need!

    Enjoy your lunches and your time together. Because once he comes, your house will be full, your time will be full and suddenly you’ll realize, “Gee it’d be nice to spend some time with just my husband!” You won’t be a bad mom because you feel that way, he’s your best friend! And you’ll spend the whole time talking about your son anyway… at least for the next thirty years, so I hear!

    But USE this time wisely. God is giving you THIS time for a special reason. Use it to connect with friends, develop a stronger bond with your support group, fall deeper in love with your husband.

    Take care!
    Yuri

  4. Wendi said

    I just love reading your posts!! Through all the peaks of valleys you experienced in 2009, such joy awaits you in 2010! Praying you get your call next week after the holidays.

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