Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Our Day in Court...

     This morning in my prayer journal I wrote the following, "Today is court.  I confess my stomach is in knots.  Heavenly Father, speak peace to my innermost being.  Grant us grace and favor for Your Name's sake.  O Lord, I pray that this day would be our 'Gotcha Day'".  

     How precious it was checking email, before heading out this morning, to find several messages from the blog and Facebook from dear friends lifting us up in prayer.  What joy it brought to my heart.  Thank you for your faithfulness and encouragement!

     We left our flat at 8:00 AM to go pick up the kids at the orphanage for court.  We were both wondering how it was going to go with 4 kids in court with us, but they were very well behaved.  We did have a 'moment' prior to our hearing when I took the three girls to the, as they say over here, toilet (too ah let).  All three had to 'leave a present" (if you will) and almost raised a commotion in the building while doing so.  However, when the mission was accomplished and we filed into the courtroom each quietly took their seats.  Even though my mind was at peace, my stomach began to twist in anticipation.  Then the judge, along with two jurors, entered the room.  

     The proceedings began...  Formalities were given...  Then the judge said he would like to begin with me.  (Mind you, all of this was in Ukrainian and then translated by our interpreter, Sasha).  The judge asked me to tell some 'stuff' about myself.  Isn't that supposed to be the easiest question?  Anyone can talk about themselves, right?  (ha ha)  Well, I basically ended up saying something to the effect of, "My name is Kimberly Merida.  I have been married to Tony for just over 5 years now.  I come from a family of four children myself.  We've not been able to have children and have a heart for adoption because we believe children are valuable.  I would love to be a mother and would like for the court to grant us favor in becoming parents to these four."  And then I was completely at a loss for words... "I don't know what else to say?!."  The judge smiled graciously, noting aloud that our petition stated that I am a housewife.  Then he asked, "Do you know how your peaceful life is about to change?"  (We all laughed at this reality)  I replied, "Yes.  This will become my full-time job and more.  I'm grateful for having a wonderful support system in place: my family, our church and my wonderful husband."  The prosecutor (a younger woman) asked me a question somewhere in there about being a mother.  All were pleased and had no further questions.  Then it was Tony's turn...

     To be honest, I don't remember much of anything the judge asked Tony or what Tony stated to the court.  All I could focus on was not becoming a crying mess.  The awesomeness of the moment was nearly too much to bear.  Just 16 days ago we were preparing for a college event in Mississippi when "the phone call" came telling us we had 4 days to get to Ukraine.  Five days from the news we were presented with a file with pictures of four orphans who had just become available for adoption.  Two days after that we met them for the first time.  A little over a week later, here we were asking the court to grant us favor to bring our children home.  

     "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts."  (Isaiah 55:8-9)  

     Praise the Lord!  Is this what I would have mapped out for my life nine and a half years ago when the first of these was born?  I don't think so.  But now, I cannot imagine a greater blessing than the honor of raising these four children.  Our children.  My children.  His ways are higher than our ways!  His thoughts, grander than anything we could imagine.    

     "See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are..."  (1 John 3:1a)

     Trust in His Providential care. God is good.  I am thankful that He gives us grace each day to walk in what He sets before us... 'cause I need it!  (ha ha)  Speaking of laughter...  The judge, toward the end of our time together, asked each of the children what they wanted.  The two oldest replied rather shyly, "I want to live in America with Momma and Papa."  When the judge attempted to ask the younger two, they both just giggled.  Then the judge asked the youngest, "Have you ever been anywhere outside of this town?"  She replied, "I've been to the circus one time."  We all nearly died laughing.  It was precious.    The judge and jurors left for about 10 minutes.  Upon their return, the judge shared that it was the decision of the court to satisfy our petition to adopt in full...  So meet our family... 

Our Family with the Orphanage Director and Prosecutor, following the words spoken by the Judge, "This court rules in favor of satisfying your adoption petition in full."

The Merida Family...
James Arthur (9 years old)
Angela Grace (7 years old)
Jana Sophia (6 years old)
Victoria Joy (4 years old)

     We now have to wait 10 days before we can receive the formal court decree.  At that point, we will then have to travel approximately 700 km from here to their birthplace to pick up their birth certificates.  Next, we will wait in region (Zaporizhia - approx. 6 hours SE of Kiev) to complete the passports for a couple days.  Finally, we will all travel up to Kiev for medical evaluations and American Embassy visit (which should take 2 days).  We are hopeful to be home the weekend of May 16th.  Meanwhile, we will celebrate with our kids tomorrow and then head on to Kiev for the weekend.  We plan to meet up with our friends, the Ragains, for a little survival shopping for the children.  Also, we have the blessing of taking part in a worship service on Sunday with our friend and Lifeline facilitator, Ben.  That is the nutshell of "all things Ukraine" for us.  :)  We love you and thank you for your continued prayers!
     

31 comments:

Candice said...

Yeah!!!! Praise our Abba Father!! SO happy for you two and those precious children. As Scott was up at 3 getting off to the airport for the conference I was in prayer for the court time, actually I woke at 2:05 and prayed but I guess I fell back asleep fast, ha. I am so happy and look forward to your return home. If you think of any new specifics you need email us or add to the registry. We keep checking for updates. Hve fun celebrating and we pray this week is a success as you shop and visit friends. love yall,Candice

Leslie said...

Congratulations, new MOM and DAD!!!!

What precious blessings you have been entrusted with. :-)
I will continue praying for you and your new family....asking our Father for continued grace and mercy as you are in country and smooth travels and transitions once home.

If you need any help with paperwork issues, re-adoption, etc in MS once you are back,I have traveled that road recently and would be glad to advise.

Jana said...

They are so sweet. My heart overflows for you! Prayers through your upcoming travels! - J

Rachel said...

To god be the glory!!! Congrats!!

mshel333 said...

So happy for you! We will continue to pray that things go smoothly as you prepare to bring your family home. They are beautiful!

Patsy said...

The Lord woke me at 5 this morning so have been praying ever since. Had to check one last time before I leave for Bible Study.Praise the Lord! I won't be able to tell it without tears. We are so happy for ya'll.
Love to all,
Patsy L

brooke said...

Your blog has been so wonderful. It is so exciting to be able to go through this experience with you. I laugh and cry each time I read an entry! Your church family is looking forward to meeting your new family!! Our prayers are with you!

BT and Jessica said...

congratulations, Momma!

JulieM said...

Praise God! He does give GOOD gifts :) Congratulations!
Love you,
Julie

Kevin and Tammy said...

Congratulations. They are beautiful children. Enjoy your time. You lives at home will definately change. What a blessing God has presented to your family. Tell everyone we said hello. Wish we were there to go to church with you at Ben's church. We so enjoyed our time with the Lifetime family there.
Tammy

JenniferBrock said...

How precious! How precious are those children! I think they favor their momma! haha!

You are an excellent writer. Thank you for giving us daily description of your and Tony's adoption journey. Your blog is written with a momma's heart and Tony's is good too - always filled with his traditional standup humor! Your scripture references show that the Word is alive and applicable to our everyday situations.

Congratulations!

SUNSHINE said...

I don't know what to say except, Congratulations Momma and Pappa.
Auntie Lisa

Stephanie said...

Oh, Kimberly! My heart is full and my eyes are full of tears! I am so very excited and thankful for this blessing! The children are beautiful! Absolutely perfect! Still praying...
Much love,
Stephanie

adopting2fromUkraine said...

Congratulations! They are all precious!

June

taterbugs said...

Praise the Lord! What a BEAUTIFUL family you are! Much love and many blessings, Susan

cindy and phillip hudson said...

God's love and blessings are amazing. Y'all are going to be great parents. I just have to say that your Temple family has been like "a bunch of kids on Christmas morning"! We are like new "grandparents", telling complete strangers about "the kids"! We are all so excited and know we are blessed to be a part. We continue to pray......

triple venti life please... said...

Tony & Kim,
I have been reading this blog and following on Facebook like everyone else and I have to say, I am so proud of you both, and so happy for you! The kids look precious, and they are so blessed to have this happen for them! Tons of blessings sent your way, and thanks for letting us share in this journey!

Steve Rose

Elsie Hall said...

Oh Kim...I don't even have words to express the joy I feel for you. Maybe we'll know words like that in heaven. Thank you, Jesus for your ways, which are so much higher than our ways. He had these children chosen for you and Tony from the beginning of time. I can't wait to hear how God continues to unfold His plan for your life. They are absolutely precious! Love you!

momma B said...

Kim, Gary and I love how you have written and kept us informed and we can see your heart in your words. May God continue to bless you as you complete this journey. Love, Momma B

darsar7 said...

Tony and Kimberly,
Mark and I have been and continue to pray for you daily. The kids are absoulutely precious!!! What an adorable family!!!
Proverbs 3:5-6
Sarah and Mark Williamson
TBC

Sheryl said...

Congratulations! Praise God grom whom all blessings flow. I know you are relieved and excited.

Steven Latham said...

So happy for you all. God is good!

Chrissie said...

SO EXCITED!!!! Momma and Poppa. We'll keep praying for yall. Much love to the Merida family.

Chrissie said...

SO EXCITED!!!! Congrats Momma and Poppa. We'll keep praying for yall. Much love and Big Hug.

Mike and Gail said...

Beautiful. Praise God. Welcome to parenthood. :D

Blessings,
Gail

Conethia and Jim Bob said...

Slava Bogu!!! What a beautiful family!

Leslie said...

God setteth the solitary in families: he bringeth out the prisoners into prosperity - Psalm 68:6

I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.- John 14:18

Praise our God! He is sooo good!

Kimbell and Mark said...

awesome news. praise god. these kids are orphans no more. and yes, they were right in court - your life is about to change in a big gigantic way and while there will be bumps - you will be blessed in ways you have never imagined.

Ashley said...

Wow - this post made me cry! Your answer was perfect to the judge. I feel like I am going to stumble on my words when I have to speak in court in front of people. I also feel they may not approve because I homeschool, but I know everything will be alright.

Do you live in MS? I see that you were at a college event here so was wondering if this is your home state? I live in Forest, MS and go to church in Brandon, MS. I would love to know where you are as we are also adopting from Ukraine. We are waiting on our travel dates and expect to travel in May. My email address is: luvinmyboys9@yahoo.com and I would love to hear from you whenever you get a chance. I know you are busy now so just whenever you get the chance.

Congratulations on these beautiful children!!! GOD IS SOOOO GOOD!!!!!

Lynn said...

Congratulations! Can't wait to meet your new family! Yall will be great parents. Lynn B

Barbara said...

To GOD Be the Glory, To GOD Be the Glory for the things HE has done!!

What a wonderful matchmaker GOD is. What a beautiful family. God has so richly blessed all of you, all six of you!

Thank you God.

Congratulations, Kimberly, Tony, James, Grace, Sophia and Joy

Hurry Home!!