Wednesday, June 15, 2005

In the Begining

June 15, 2005

When something like this occurs in God’s time it is an incredible blessing! I want to clarify that this is my interpretation of the events and I’m sure that my husband will tell an entirely different story. We are hoping to travel to Ust Kamenogorsk, Kazakhstan the end of August or first of September, 2005 to adopt Alexander (Sasha) and Galina Kacheyva. Sasha will be 15 and Galina 9 years old.

It was February, 1998 and I was feeling bored and stagnant in my spiritual life. I prayed and felt that I was suppose to fast at this time. I did this and within a few days of my fasting I received a call from the church that I had grown up in and was asked if I wanted to participate in a short term mission trip to Kazakhstan. I immediately answered yes and then asked my husband what he thought. He encouraged me to go and I started preparing for this journey to a country that I had only recently heard of. It was a medical mission and we were going to have the opportunity to work with children. We visited an orphanage and held and played with some of the children in a children’s hospital. I fell in love with a little girl at the hospital that had been abandoned. She was taken to the orphanage the day we left to come home but I felt this was good because the missionaries would be able to keep watch of her for me because it was the orphanage that we had been allowed to visit. I went home wondering if there was a way that I could possibly adopt this little girl.

October of 1998 my sister and her husband felt called to missions during a mission conference. When she called me and told me of her experience I said, “You’re going to Kazakhstan”. They applied and went through training and planned a visit to South America were they thought they would be going. Nothing worked out and at the last minute were invited to Kazakhstan with impossible deadlines to make the trip. Of course, they made it. While visiting to confirm that this was the field that they were being called to they visited the orphanage bearing gifts from me for this little orphan girl. There was an American family there right on that very same day, at the very same time that my sister was, to adopt her. She shared my love for this little girl with the couple and they gave my sister their information so we could keep in contact.

We continued to pursue different avenues of adoption. We got an approved home study for domestic adoption but never received a referral. In the meantime, I was still very interested in Kazakhstan and thought maybe while my sister and her family were missionaries this would open doors for our adoption. Mark, my husband wouldn’t consider international adoption because of the expense.

February, 2003 a coworker who knew of my interest and love of Kazakhstan brought me a paragraph from USA Today about a group in my state that was bringing orphans from Kazakhstan as a summer camp program. I contacted them and offered to help in anyway that I could. My husband confirmed to me that he wasn’t interested in international adoption but he would agree to host a child as long as I was aware that we wouldn’t be adopting them. I thought that once he met this child he wouldn’t be able to resist. Maybe this was the door opening. The week that our child arrived we found that she wasn’t available for adoption because of siblings. Her name was Galina and she was 7 years old. Everyone that met Galina fell in love with her. She didn’t want anything to do with Mark. I continued to hope and pray that once she returned to Kazakhstan something would happen and she would become available for adoption. I continued to keep in contact with Galina and talked to the director of her orphanage about her situation. The director told me that she had been in this position for 20 years and she had never seen a child in Galina’s situation become adopted. She was a child of my heart and I felt that if it was meant to be God would make a way.

Mark and I continued to struggle with my call to adopt. He didn’t feel the call and as the Christian head of our household shouldn’t God be calling him too? My call was so strong that I couldn’t understand why God would give me a Christian husband who didn’t listen. I refused to give up. Finally, in May of 2004 Mark agreed to proceed with some of the paperwork for an international adoption. I thought God was finally softening his heart. Our daughter, Lacey and I traveled to Kazakhstan in June to visit Galina and meet her brother that we were told we would be required to adopt as well. When I talked to Mark after our visit he wanted to know if I finally had the need to adopt out of my system. Of course not, it was stronger than ever and now Sasha was my heart child as well. We were told the end of October, 2004 that things had been cleared and Sasha and Galina were finally available for international adoption. We received our INS clearance on November 14 and 1 week prior to this Mark told me that he couldn’t go through with the adoption. Mark suggested that we seek Christian counseling to help us through this period. The counseling sessions only seemed to make things worse. The middle of December we stopped the counseling and had completely stopped talking to each other. Later Mark told me that he thought I was going to ask him for a divorce. My thoughts were, “How can I convince Mark that this is a call from God to adopt if I want a divorce?” something that I knew wasn’t of God. In December I visited with a Christian friend who asked me how things were going. I started crying and told her that it wasn’t going to happen. She told me that she felt led to share some things with me and the thing that I remember the most is she asked me if I was being submissive to Mark as his wife.

January, 2005 the tension started to ease a little and we started to talk about things a little more. Mark shared with me that he was still praying about adopting Sasha and Galina but he still had heard nothing from God. We were in a bookstore and I spotted a book called “The Submissive Wife”. I went back the next day and bought it. I had no idea what I was in for. The book suggested that you not share your “works in progress” with your husband for 6 months. I noticed a difference within a few weeks in how I was acting and Mark was responding. He continued to share with me that he knew my heart and was still praying. I continued to tell him that I was praying for a miracle.

April, 2005 a friend of ours visited Sasha and Galina at the orphanage and took them presents from us. They reported that the conditions were less than desirable. I cried for 2 days and asked Mark to please reconsider. We went for a walk and at the end of the walk I asked him if he had thought about it again. For the first time since talking about the children I felt he was really listening to me and open. He asked me to table it for a week and then we would talk again. A little over a week later I asked him what he thought. He told me that he had been praying continuously and still didn’t have an answer. I asked him if he had thought that maybe it was a test of faith for him to step forward on my calling and see where God led us. I told him that if God didn’t want it to happen he would stop it. He listened and said he would consider this. I feel an overwhelming need to fast and pray. I do this for 2 days.

May 5th, 2005 I return home from work and Mark is talking to our sons. I can tell that it is a very serious discussion and Mark asks me to leave. I can’t believe they would exclude me from whatever they are talking about. I ask Mark the next day what they had been talking about and he tells me the adoption. I am alone with our sons the following couple of days and ask them what they had talked about. Usually, they would tell me and add a comment they can’t believe what dad said. The only thing they both say to me is that I needed to let it go and quit worrying. WOW! On Saturday, May 7 I talk to Mark and share with him what an awesome blessing I think he has received with this situation with our sons. Their relationship has gone to a totally different level. Men to men. He laid his concerns on the table and the boys shared with him and maintained his confidences.
Sunday, May 8th, it’s Mother’s Day. Mark asks me to sit down before we leave for church. I am thinking NO don’t tell me we can’t adopt today, it’s Mother’s Day. I sit down and he tells me that he has been trying to come to a decision and then he turns to me and say’s “Let’s go get the kids”. I can’t believe it! He wants to talk about the kids and is excited. My prayers have been answered!!!!! A miracle has occurred in our home. It has been an amazing journey. We have been stretched and squashed and remolded and the process continues. I have learned that God’s timing is absolutely perfect. Mark has seen his prayers answered once he stepped forward in faith. One call offered to buy the kids plane tickets home and that had been his specific prayer that morning. What an awesome God we serve!!! Our journey continues and we anticipate what God has in store for us as a couple, our family, and these precious children that God is placing in our home. May I continue to be faithful and patient because when I’m patient the end result is so incredible