Friday, August 24, 2012

Tea: A most fitting sign...

Our last day...

Today, after we played outside for our entire visit, the receptionist came out to get you. My throat began to tighten and I knew I couldn't let you see me cry. I expected to take you back inside and watch you leave the office as you had the two days before. When we
walked in, there was tea service set up for three. I assumed it to be for the director, the translator and I, but the director had prepared it for the translator, me and you!. Like a lady you, such a little girl, climbed to the table, sat nicely in a chair, and had tea with your almost mama. You will learn that sitting down with a cup of tea is my favorite shared moment with any friend or loved one. It is something in this instance that only God could have known. Oh how sipping the strongest tea, without cream or milk, that I have ever had helped to push back the tears desperately forcing their way to the surface. It was truly a gift. Oh, but God did not stop there.

You don't know it, but your director has not been a supporter of international adoption in the past. We feared she would contest the adoption and it was even suggested to me a few times that we try something less difficult... Meaning a different orphanage, a different child. I told one facilitator that Jesus didn't choose not to redeem me because it was too difficult. He went to the cross for my sake. He bore the sin of humanity for my ransom. I vowed the day I sent my first commitment paper to the agency that I would carry this through until your country refused to allow me to have you. I would continue until God closed every door and your country refused to release you. Even as recently as my first day in country the Adoption Center I was warned this may be a bad orphanage and I should have another on standby in case they were not supportive. I told them I would fight to free you the way I would had any of my three biological sons been trapped or helpless.

You see, little one, every praying person I know and many whom I do not have been lifting in prayer the hearts of the directors of the adoption center, organ of custody and orphanage. We did not simply pray that God would offer soft hearts to facilitate your release from the confines of institutional life, but we prayed for changed hearts responsive to the gospel. I cannot say where their hearts will stand regarding our Savior just yet, but I can tell you hearts were softened in ways that only He could have done. On the first day the director of the Organ of Custody, which just makes me think of a liver (the position name, not the lady), said through my translator that [despite my single status], she believed it will be okay for me to adopt you.

So, you sat with us at that big table, drinking tea from nice china, unassisted until you began to look sleepy. I nodded in agreement that it was time to go, grateful that she had granted even the extended tea to our visit. The director called for the pretty receptionist who tried to take you out. I was sorry for you as you resisted her, pulled against her and finally went limp." She carried you out gently but firmly but there were no tears from you.

After you had gone, we continued to chat. The director encouraged me not to be sad because Oksana would sense it. I rose from my seat to retrieve a bilingual children's bible and asked her if I may leave it and your caregivers could read to you from it. She smiled and said, "you are Christian, that is good." She nodded, looked through the Bible, smiled and placed it gently on her desk in front of her. She confirmed that someone would read it to you. She reached to her side table and took a small 4 x 8 holy picture of Mary, with Jesus in the upper corner as if watching over her, and said "This came from our local church where the children went to do some work." she wiped dust off of it and apologized for doing so as she handed it to me to look at. Then my translator said, "she wants you to have it. She believes it will help you all to be well and have a good life." Though I do not have or keep any holy pictures and don't believe such tokens have any power, that all power to protect and keep comes from the Lord, I accepted it with appreciation, understanding the sentiment with which it was given. Then she said it. Words I did not even dream of hearing from her. With a quiet tone and gentle smile, she said and the facilitator translated: "she feels that you are sincere in your desire to love Oksana and make her your daughter. She will not be contesting the adoption." I thanked the director quietly in her language humbled at the work of God that I had witnessed and grateful for the prayer support continuing around the world for you.

We have her full support. Even the translator was relieved! We spoke a moment longer and then parted. She shook my hand on our way out and walked us to the door. I promised to bring school supplies for the children and she promised to care for you until my return. I walked to the car with our translator. Once there and underway I asked quietly from the back seat, "Do they always serve tea like that?" In a surprised and almost breathless response she uttered "No! No, that was a VERY good sign!"

We continued down the bumpy road in silence to the Capitol. I smiled and blinked back tears as I considered the faithfulness of God.


  1. I had no idea that the director was supposed to contest your adopting Oksana!

    And the tea... oh, when I read, tears were falling down my cheeks!

    When you mentioned the faithfulness of God, that reminds me of a verse that He seemed to bring my attention to a few days ago:

    Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.

    1Thessalonians 5:24

    I am so in awe that He is leading you to the adoption of Oksana so that you may know how much He loves you, the parallels... too awesome. He is teaching you so deeply. :)


  3. We HAVE Been reading and following and praying and CRYING!!!! Sorry I have been away and not able to leave you comments to encourage you! You are a Courageous woman with a beautiful gift to write and an incredible testimony and heart. Someday I will meet little Oksana and You *Smile*!!! Thank You King Jesus... Praise our Holy God!
    Love The Hartmans

  4. You have blessed this woman deeply. In the context that she knows, in the frame of reference that she has (perhaps lapsed Orthodoxy?), she has seen that you are a Godly woman. Jesus said, "blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy"--you have just shown mercy to this woman. The love of God keeps spilling over and touching everyone--the facilitators, the translators, the director--everyone. What a lavish God we have, who spares nothing to show His love!

  5. You have not updated in so long... What is going on? We have been reading the news on the Russian adoptions :( !
    We are hoping Oksana is home? Forgive me if this is not the case. We would Love to know how to pray for you.
    The Hartmans