September 29, 2010September 29, 2010 was Austin's 14th birthday, but I was the one who got the surprise and it wasn't a good one. We'd been in Ukraine for one whole day and had recovered somewhat from our jetlagged tiredness. We'd decided to go out and explore Kiev and hoped to meet up with a few other families at TGIFs later that evening. Then we got a call.....
Serge called us as we were walking along Kreschatik Street and asked us if we would meet him at TGIFridays, he had some news for us. I KNEW it wasn't good. I just knew. But, Rick was sure that it was just to go over what our process would be like at the SDA the next day. I knew, from all the blogs I'd read and all the folks I knew who had been through the process before us that it wasn't typical to have a meeting with Serge before the SDA. I was right.
I remember getting to TGIFs and finding Serge, and then I remember seeing a bunch of faces I'd previously only seen online at a table in the corner. The families had decided to get together for lunch instead of dinner and we didn't know because we'd been out and internet wasn't working. I remember wondering if they knew something was wrong when we passed them and only said hello and went upstairs. I remember wondering if those who'd had their SDA appointments already had also had a meeting with Serge the day before, but I knew they hadn't. Something was not right. I remember wanting to hear what Serge had to say and get it over with but not wanting to know because I knew it wouldn't be good. It wasn't.
After 20 months of being in process to adopt Liza we were told that there was a problem with her paperwork and she wasn't adoptable. Apparently her parents had not signed the right papers when they abandoned her to the baby house. That meant that if her parents could not be found and/or weren't willing to sign new paperwork she would not be adoptable and we would need to choose another child to adopt. On top of that, her parents had divorced and rumor had it that her mom was living in Moscow. There was talk of having to fly her here IF she could even be found there. It looked bleak, very bleak. Serge was telling me not to cry and I just remember thinking, "I'm not gonna cry cause I am NOT giving up! Do you realize what I've already been through just to get HERE?!" I didn't say it out loud cause it seemed no one else thought there was any hope left. So, I let them think what they wanted - knowing the whole time that it wasn't over yet.
After that we went to Serge's apartment to look through the children still available on Reece's Rainbow that fit with the small parameters set by our Homestudy (it had been written specifically to adopt Liza) and Rick's age(he was already over 45). The child had to be a girl, had to be between the ages of 4 years 8 months and 5 years 11 months. I remember there being talk about possibly not adopting a child with Down syndrome, but another disability. I just knew that I had come to adopt a child with Down syndrome and if we did have to choose another child I was planning on that child also having DS. But, no one seemed to want my opinion or maybe I just wasn't in the mood to "shop" for another child so I just continued to keep my thoughts to myself.
After a while Serge had another appointment to get to so he drove us back to TGIFriday's and we walked back to our apartment. I remember later going out to find an internet cafe, since our computer wouldn't work, and looking at the little girls on RR trying to decide who would take Liza's place if it really came to that. That was so hard. How could we give up on Liza? But yet, it could be another little girls chance, and how could we not want that?
After that hard, hard day we went back to our apartment to get ready for our SDA appointment the next day. We must have talked to the kids at some point and wished Austin a happy birthday but I honestly don't remember that at all. I do remember knowing I wasn't going to be able to sleep and I was right. I spent most of the night laying in bed or pacing. But then I remembered a couple of verses that had gotten me through at other times that we had faced mountains and won. Psalm 60:12, Zephaniah 3:17, and Psalm 18: 2&3 got me through that night. After reading these verses over and over to myself out loud and praying I knew that no matter what happened the next day He was still ultimately in control and I was right in the middle of His plan.
September 30, 2010 coming soon.....