Nadia's Birthday Party (Holding a gift of flowers)
Saturday morning is here … the day after our appointment in court to adopt Nadia. We arrived in Kiev last night around midnight. We feel that we left one country and arrived in another. Dobro is a small village with each small home raising their own vegetables and housing chickens, pigs and goats behind the house. We had an amazing 9 days in Dobro. No TV radio or any other distraction. It is a beautiful countryside. Kristi and I became the village's main attraction as if we were celebrities arriving into town. We were invited to a wedding celebration, met the mayor and other key leaders, given tours, treated to amazing food, and have built amazing relationships. Many have claimed us as being a part of their family. Many in the village were praying for us and for the adoption including a 70 year old lady named Lana, who met us outside the court to say that "God is with us"! We had taken a huge box of food to her earlier in the week learning that she was very poor and without food. People would tell us that it is like a fairytale for Nadia to be adopted by us and come to America. The Lord has opened many doors for us to connect with this village and plant many seeds of the Gospel. We attended the Baptist church on Sunday with only 15 in attendance. Even though we did not speak the language we felt the Lord's presence and were embraced as fellow believers. They had a special time of prayer for Kristi and I and then wanted us to read from the Bible and Kristi to sing; very special time. Everywhere we went people had already heard of us and wanted to meet us. This is a optimal place for God to work and the Gospel to be shared. We feel that the way has been paved for others to come.
Kiev is a very large city similar to New York with many large buildings and very expensive shops. Nadia has been skipping down the hall in our apartment with a huge smile across her face; such a difference from the day before court. Thank you so much for your prayers when we shared with you about Nadia struggling prior to court. God led us to seek out her teacher in her school, the director of the school, and other dear friends that Nadia trusted and was able to share her feelings with. Nadia had heard stories from court that some families were not approved to adopt and the children returned to the orphanage. She had assumed that we would not be going to court and that we had already been approved to take her. The morning when her emotions consumed her was not because she did not want us to adopt her. It was because she thought she could cause the judge to deny the adoption with either words she would say or actions. Her desire to be our daughter was so great that even the slightest possibility of the adoption failing through her into a huge emotional state. After meeting with her teachers and director her understanding of the court process lightened her and her strength for speaking out in court was increased. Everyone encouraged not only Nadia but us as well in knowing that we were Nadia's prayers for parents. Her desire for us to be her mom and dad was much greater and deeper than what we had known. It was so great a desire that the thought of it not coming true was heart wrenching for Nadia.
To see her in court with us the following day could only be God at work. She smiled the entire time and spoke with confidence when the Judge and others questioned her about her desire to be our daughter. It was a proud moment to watch our new daughter "shine"! To have seen her in despair the day before and now speaking with such boldness and strength was a result of your prayers lifting us up! She could not control her smiling as the court proceedings continued. As we listened to our interpreter of the Judge speaking our hearts was so full to seeing Nadia's dream of a forever family coming true. When the Judge gave the decision of the adoption being granted after 2 hours in proceedings, I thought Nadia was going to leap in the air with excitement. Right now as I type, I can hear Nadia singing in the bath and the only words I can understand are mommie and daddy in the mist of her song. She has a pure joy this morning! Following court, we headed to the orphanage for Nadia to say goodbye and collect anything that she wished to take with her. The kids were all crying to see her go especially Nadia's best friend Natsha. I think at that moment if I could, I would have loaded all of them up and brought them home with us. It was an emotional time of saying goodbye. Nadia gave everything that she had away to the other kids including all the items she had from last summers time with us in the states. She left the orphanage without any possessions. We were told that this was an great character trait to share everything she had in the world with others.
We filed for Nadia's new passport last night in Kirovograd on our way to Kiev. 3.5 hours by car. We expect to receive it by Thursday of next week and then we will go for the medical clearance and then on to the US Embassy for Nadia's visa. As soon as we get it we can come home. There is a slight chance it could be next weekend but most likely Monday or Tuesday 12th or 13th. Pray for the earlier. We miss Kendall and Cole so much and long to see them. We plan to send the weekend and next week relaxing and enjoying Kiev. Nadia has never been here so it will be fun to show her the city and maybe take in a show or two at the theater. Since I saved up my vacation days to be able to be here and complete our adoption, it is nice to have a few days to rest and relax as if on a vacation.
The past 13 days have been an amazing experience for Kristi and me to share. We had prayed for God to do something so great in our lives that we could only say it was from Him and we are experiencing it. We would not trade our time spent with Nadia, those in the Dobro village and now our time in Kiev for anything. We have taken many pictures so hopefully we can get them downloaded so you and enjoy them as well.
**We will post pictures soon**
Our love to all!
Darrin, Kristi and Nadia