Saturday, July 5, 2014

Love Knows No Boundaries...

She seemed anxious.  She came up beside me as we moved to the security line and pointed the gate on her boarding pass. A-19. My cousin pointed up ahead of us as the direction she must go. The young woman wearing a long turquoise colored robe and black head-covering hurried ahead. I resumed my conversation with my cousin and then we parted at the beginning of the security checkpoint.  A moment or two later, as I was in the security line, the young woman, barely an adult, was behind me now and pointed once again to her pass.  Her boarding time was 6:20 departing at 645. She was clearly worried she would not make it to her flight. We were still outside security, through which the line was moving steadily forward, but the time was 6:14. I assured her that she would be on time.  She began to cry in the line and showed me one finger. I asked if it was her first time flying.  She nodded and wiped her tears. I let her step ahead of me and put my arm around her shoulder.  She reached out to the agent assisting passengers and the agent confirmed in English that she would be fine.

"Where is home?" I asked. "Tunisia", she said; the only word she had uttered that I understood. We proceeded, after a minute or two more, to the belt where she stared at the agent. He instructed her to get a bin and she then began placing her bag in it. I showed her she must take off her pocketbook which was handing across her body.  She did and moved ahead. I placed my things in the bin and moved ahead in similar fashion and after a brief pat down by a female agent I advanced to the end of the belt to collect my belongings. We waited there side by side as she fidgeted nervously because our things had not yet come through the scanner. I placed a reassuring hand on her shoulder once more and, knowing my gate was farther past hers, said I would take her to A-19.  She nodded.  Our bins arrived in front of us and we retrieved our things. As we moved toward the gate, she seemed to ease as the numbers increased from 14, 15, to 16.  When we reached A-19, the gate was populated with passengers quietly seated and two gate agents shuffling through papers and speaking casually to one another. She approached the agent and pointed to her pass. The agent said in English, "you still have a seat. We will start boarding soon."  The young woman smiled and looked relieved. "See!" I said encouragingly, "it isn't time yet!" She gave me a long, grateful hug.  As I left her at the gate she was taking a seat next to a woman and spoke to her in what sounded like French. I continued on to my gate feeling unusually blessed to have met her and grateful for the opportunity to have helped her.

We didn't speak even two words of common language. I don't know where she was headed, except to Hamburg. She did not know anything of me. Yet, we formed a brief relationship, a friendship, displaying simple human need and kindness.  Love knows no boundaries. Not nationality, not language, not religion, time nor distance.  

I learned an important lesson today. One does not need words to be His hands and feet.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Making progress ...,

My dossier is currently in country awaiting translation.  I'm scrambling to pull together the initial fee required for translation.  The weather this winter has resulted in higher heating costs than expected so I haven't been able to set aside as much as I anticipated. The funds available via Reece's Rainbow will be available for adoption costs once I receive the travel invitation.  That can't come until the translation of my dossier is complete.   Our family has a gofundme site for donations and all of those made to that site will be accessible immediately and will help to cover the initial $2,000.  The in-country agency has been so patient as we waited for the new home study. The original home study was for a non-Hague country and the requirements are different for the new nation, so I had to start over. 

Oksana's adoption costs included the initial agency fees ($7,000), the home study fee ($2250), and all of the miscellaneous document fees for marriage and divorce certificates, birth certificates, medical exams, fingerprinting and background clearances, and then apostille fees to verify notary validity.  The apostille fees for Russia were about $800 total. The foreign program fee was $15,500 and travel costs were about $3000 for the first trip.  Immigration approval was about $900. All of those costs were covered by savings, fundraising, yard sales, selling furniture out of my house, and  donations.  Some of the initial agency fees were credited to my new adoption, but all of the documentation had to be replaced. Most of it remained in Russia and was sealed for that nation. Those for which I had maintained copies required recertification as if they had never been done.  The new home study was also not covered by any of the previous fees.  Because the new country requires Hague approval, we had to request immigration approval again with a different form and another $900 check.  

We are in the home stretch of this adoption! When I receive the travel invitation, we will visit with the boys, spend time getting to know them, and accomplish in-country business required to facilitate the adoption.   After my return home, the court process will be managed by the agency. As soon as that is done, we will receive permission to return to pick the boys up and bring them home.   The older boy is aware that a family is coming for him. He must be on pins and needles waiting to see if it is really true. His heart has already been broken by family members unable to care for him.  He is eleven years old and desperately wants to belong to a family.  The sooner I can get there and show him that there are people who love him and people he can trust, the sooner we can begin to establish a bond that builds confidence and eases transition. 

How brave are these older children who hold so much hope that they are willing commit to trust a stranger enough to move across the world to an unknown future in which the possibilities are endless? I know adults who aren't brave enough to venture from their home towns.  I am amazed and so proud of this boy for being willing to trust me to keep my word. 

Here is the link to our gofundme site.

Please consider donating to the translation costs. It is the main delay in scheduling travel. 

If you prefer, a tax deductible donation can be made to our Reece's Rainbow account and will help to cover the remaining $9,000 in foreign fees and travel costs for my first trip and then trip two for the boys to come home! 

Please help by praying for us as we complete this adoption and the transition period that follows.