Well, God is so amazing! Of course, we know that, but we were shown his mighty provision again today. We had been told on two different occassions by two different facilitators that we would not have court on Monday because Vital Records is closed. Jon and I had been praying last week and all weekend that we would be able to leave this region and head back to Kiev by Tuesday night to begin paperwork and appointment requirements there before heading home. Jon and I said a prayer that God would work out all of the details. Right after our prayer, I called our facilitator. She did not answer because she was trying to call us at the exact same time. When I hung up the phone, I was able to answer her call. She was calling to tell us that we have court on Monday! We could hardly believe it! Our court hearing will be at either 2 p.m. or 3 p.m. local time. We will know for sure in the morning. Having court on Monday will allow us to be at Vital Records first thing Tuesday morning to begin getting the paperwork from this region. If we would have had court on Tuesday, it would have been a whole lot less likely to be able to wrap things up and head to Kiev on Tuesday night like we had hoped. Although we still do not know for sure that things will be wrapped up on Tuesday, we do know for sure that God has orchestrated the court details for his perfect timing! I’m sure I cannot convey in words how amazing all of these events have been for us. We are in awe of God’s provision!
As for our visit with Elliott today … it was fun! We got to be in the larger music hall once again. The larger space allowed us a little more freedom. Elliott got tons of practice walking and holding Jon’s hands as they made lap after lap around the large hall. Elliott and I got to enjoy a little more dancing and singing room than we normally have in the other space. Yesterday on the phone, Anna recommended that I sing “This is the Day” to Elliott since this is a song we like to sing a lot at home. I took her recommendation and sang that with Elliott today, several times. I also enjoyed singing and dancing to “Jesus Loves Me” and “Our God is an Awesome God.” As I sang aloud in the large hall today, it occured to me that this might be the first time praise songs to Jesus and God have been sung in that hall. It’s hard to say, because the Orthodox Church is so prevalent here. Regardless, on this Sunday afternoon, Jesus and God were praised aloud with singing and dancing in the orphanage music hall! It is very likely and possible that by the end of our court hearing tomorrow, Elliott will no longer be fatherless. If we are awarded custody of Elliott as his new parents in court, Elliott will have a new earthly father. Jon and I will both then be able to point Elliott to his Heavenly Father, who loves him even more than we do. After the court hearing tomorrow, Jesus’ words to his disciples in John 14:18 might be true for Elliott when he said: “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.” Jesus may come to Elliott by sending me and Jon here to get him.
While I am so excited to think about taking Elliott out of the orphanage forever, I am a little bit heartbroken as well. Even when I think just about Elliott’s group, with 15 or so other children, I realize that they will still be left here as orphans. I think about the sweet little girl who always smiles and peeks around the door to watch us play with Elliott in the hall. Or the little boy who leaned as far as he could without falling over in order to catch a glimpse of us playing with Elliott. Or I think about the other little girl who walked right out into the hallway and gently closed the door behind her, so proud of herself as she smiled and watched us play until a caregiver realized and shooed her back through the door. I am overwhelmed when I think about the hundreds of children in Elliott’s orphanage alone. His group is one of many, many groups at this one orphanage. And of course, this orphanage is only one of many in the country and worldwide. Elliott’s courthearing tomorrow will not give those orphans their own forever families. I am comforted to know that God is the “Father of the fatherless” (Psalm 68:5) and that Jesus called “the least of these” His “brothers” (Matthew 25:40). I do know for sure that our family will not forget these other sweet orphans that remain. In our house, we will continue to pray specifically for Elliott’s group and orphanage that the children might know Jesus and might get their own forever families on Earth, just like Elliott did.