Thursday, April 25, 2013

Echo of Redemption (Benjamin)

Wednesday, April 24th

5:15am, I couldn't sleep any longer than that.  I was just TOO tired the night before to pack.  I seemed to be having a harder time with the time change this time than ever before...even more than with the twelve hour time difference in our China travels (this is only eight hours).

I scoured the apartment and tried to make sure it was clean.  We organized bags by clothes, miscellaneous,  and our small duffels contained things for Benjamin and donations for the orphanage.


When the call came to head out, I waited to see if Niko would comment on just how much stuff we had (laughing).  I know we were told to "pack light", but I also knew we were going to a rural place that may not have as many amenities.  Yup, I'm a flip flop wearing, mud lovin' princess (NOT...laughing...again). 

We started the day with an hour at the notary.  It's hard to find one where we were going.


The driving and roads were beautiful.  I have no clue what everyone is talking about when they say they are constantly praying while being driven around.  I do that every day with my husband (wink). 



Truth?  We've traveled to enough countries that we now pretty much just yell, "Hey! We missed the goat this time!" 

That said, we do have the best driver EVER.

I guess I spoke too soon when I said how wonderful the roads were.  Once we turned off the main road, we might have hit the COMMANDER AND CHIEF of all roads with pot holes.  Just maybe....

Niko and Luda are in the front seat and I don't think you can tell, but there is a CRAZY amount of pot holes EVERYWHERE.  Think Frogger.....
 
 
But the view....

 
After three hours of driving, we entered the "village" of both Jonathan and Benjamin.  It is very much a small town and (truth be told) I felt so much more comfortable here than in the capital city.  People just are what they are here.

 
We immediately went to our appointment at the office of "Social Affairs".  We first went to the wrong address, not knowing they had moved.  Then finally to the fourth floor a large rectangular older building.  A cement staircase with a smell, wooden floors scratched, patchwork walls where holes and cracks had been repaired, but never painted over, glass missing out of a china cabinet being used for files in a crowded office....and amazingly nice people.  These were people that cared more about WHAT they were doing, than where they were working.  They care about the children.

Though nervous (they.... and their bosses have to sign off on our paperwork and register our intended adoption), it went smoothly and we were treated with kindness.  At least I think it went smooth.  I only understood about every 40th word.  This is one of those times I'd wished I'd studied this language better.  They really could have been saying anything....how weird we looked, talking about Mickey Mouse...anything.

After stopping by a local restaurant, we headed to the house we were going to stay in.  There are no hotels or motels here....just a wonderful woman renting out a room in her house and feeding us.  Tatiana is wonderful.  We were all waiting though.

 The director of Benjamin's institution, out of town, came back early just for us.  We sat waiting for a call...and waiting.  Ok, it wasn't all that long, but it felt like forever.



The call came, and our lives forever changed...again.


Almost time...

We met in the director's office with the social worker, our facilitator, and the director.  We gave them half of our gifts and they asked a few questions.  Let me tell you, the photo album made it's way around with some serious analyzing.  We don't have to speak the language to here them laughing and know they're saying, "Man! That's a lot of kids!" (Laughing)

That's not what you are reading this post for though, is it?

Though a necessary part, that's not why we were there either.

This is.....




Life changing....

We've lost one son...redemption is the only word that comes to mind.  The redemption of a child into family is just a distant echo of what Christ has done for us.  I love this echo though.


 
This is only one, the first, of many times we will see these green gates.


Thank you for praying us through this journey.

"About Benjamin He said:
'Let the beloved of the Lord rest secure in Him,
 for He shields him all day long,
and the one the Lord loves rests between His shoulders.'
Deuteronomy 33:12
 
Prayer Requests
*Please pray that God sustains Benjamin.  Please pray that He continues to prepare his heart while we are apart and Ben dreams of us...knowing us...in ways that wouldn't make sense to the world.  Please pray he attaches and learns to love (and learns what family is) quicker than we can fathom.  Please also pray that God calms him.  This will be scary for him and we pray that God calms his spirit.

*PLEASE pray that satan's hands are tied.  He does not want us (or anyone) to enter that village. 

*Please pray that the village gates are “figuratively” thrown down and God’s love floods the streets.

*Please pray our children at home are safe...physically/emotionally/and spiritually.  Attacks on the kids happened last time we were gone on the trip to bring Jael home.  PLEASE cover them. 
 

*Please pray for my husband and I, for our SAFETY and that we remain WELL.  We are going somewhere VERY rural with no one that speaks English most of the time. 
 

*Please pray for my mom, brother, and friend as they care for our children (safety, smoothness, etc.)

*NEW~ Please pray that we are able to complete the adoption in only two trips.  Please pray that both trips have a speed that can only be explained as a blessing of God.

*That ALL paperwork needed is sped (by God's Will) in country (with NO hiccups).

*Please pray that we are able to get court QUICKER THAN EVER IMAGINED on trip one.  Please pray that court goes EXTREMELY easy and quick.  It doesn't always.

*Please pray for comfort as we continue to mourn Jonathan.
 

*Please pray for us to have a connection with the head of the institution.  Our feelings are raw, but we know that they have limited resources and we pray we can make a difference in the lives of these boys.  God has given us a love for the head of the institution and the caregivers.  Also, please pray for our connection to those in the village.
 

*Please pray the trip  itself is smooth.  There are NO issues.  That every blip, every hiccup...is ironed out before us.

*Please pray that our lines of communication with our children are successful (Skype, Magic Jack, international texting).  We will be in a very rural region.
*PLEASE PRAY GOD'S WILL IS DONE*


7 comments:

  1. FREAKING OUT!!! Yay!!!! I'm so happy for Benjamin. I'm so excited and blessed you are there. Sweet redemption. Praying like crazy. I'm so proud of you guys!

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  2. ohhhh my goodness!!!! ugly cry going on right now!!!! Love y'all!

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  3. LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    PRAYING for you all!!!! Specifically!!!!!!

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  4. He is precious! Just precious! So alert! Praise God that Jonathan's life saved Ben's! (weeping here) Praise God! (((HUGS)))

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  5. He looks good... He looks adorable! So happy for you!

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  6. You have my prayers! He is lovely!

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In the joy of following our Heavenly Father, we sometimes choose to proceed with a whisper, a verse, or a downright shove...no matter how we follow Him, the momentum that follows is like nothing we've ever experienced before.

Join the momentum...it is a beautiful place to be. It's not always easy, but then the best things never are.

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