Friday, September 16, 2011

Ivy Addison Lim is OURS!

Court went amazing!

Our facilitator and the social worker had been very nervous about our case because of the judge we were assigned. We were told to prepare a speech that was very detailed. I guess they like when you say everything and they dont need to ask any questions. We had decided I would give our opening speech which was about 10 minutes long and was about our whole lives and details of our family, income, why we want to adopt, etc. The panel would be open for question and then Rob would give the closing speech which was just basically us formally asking permission to adopt Ivy and the changes we wanted made on her new birth certificate.

Standing in front of a judge, prosecutor, social worker, 2 jurors, and orphanage lawyer can be quite intimidating. Especially when all the "experts" are nervous! And, if you know me in real life you would know I am not one who likes to be center of attention. You have them telling you what to say, what not to say, be prepared for hard questions, they think you will profit somehow money wise from this adoption, why adopt a sick child..... The questions will not be polite and they will not be shy in asking any and all details of our lives. Throw in a moody, arrogant judge who has been known to be unpredictable and well, this can all add up to a serious case of nerves!

I was never worried of the outcome. I could see no reason why they would not let us adopt Ivy. I was worried that the judge would some how try and make us look foolish. I didn't know if what I was going to say would be good enough for him. These judges seem to have a higher than thou attitude and like to put people in their place. That is what I was worried about.

But God was there. We felt it. I think everyone did but had no idea it was Him. There was such a calm in the room. Everyone on the other side(judge, prosecutor, jurors) were smiling. Everyone stood and introduced themselves. I immediately was asked to stand and speak. I was not nervous. My heart was not racing. I felt peace and confidence in what I was saying. When my turn was up Rob was asked to stand and say if he agreed. He added in some great things about how much he loved Ivy, was ready to be her father, and was excited to watch her grow and see what she can accomplish.

It is routine that they then ask us questions. But there were none. We covered it all and they liked what they heard. The judge threw out a question to us each, more just so it could be said we were asked questions. He asked me what treatments we have for DS in the United States and he asked Rob(who is Chinese) why we did not adopt from China, haha. He was trying to be funny on that last one. I guess others were very embarrassed that he asked that but we were not offended. We actually thought it was funny too.

We were told to wait in the hall while they came to their conclusion. Most people wait 20-30 minutes. Sometimes the judge says come back in 1 or 2 hrs. Sometimes this judge with holds his ruling for a few days just because he can. We were in the hall for literally seconds before they called us back in and said congratulations! Our facilitator was so excited(and relieved!) and the social worker commented several times to me and to the others in charge back at the orphanage how well we spoke and that she was very impressed. She told them all how we needed to be the examples for everyone and that in her whole career she has only seen a speech that well 2 other times.

That is God! We did not do so well because we are awesome people that are good under pressure. It was all God. He calmed our fears, gave us confidence, blessed our words, and softened hearts in that room. Prayers were answered.

And now one little girl who was an orphan yesterday is now a daughter, sister, granddaughter, niece, and cousin. She is ours. Forever.

Monday, September 12, 2011

The many cute faces of Ivy and good news!

Ivy was being so cheeky today! She was pulling out cute faces left and right and just being a ham. She gobbled up her cookies like she never has before and was being so silly.

Apparently she was "sick" and we only had one visit Thursday, a very short one Friday, and none on Saturday. Maybe she missed us?

And for the good news - we have our approval document that we needed in order to go to court. Unless something else comes up(please pray nothing does!!) we will have court this Friday. Can I get an amen hallelujer?!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

court, no court, court, no court......court?

This is a little late, but once again our court date has been moved. For the last time I pray. We got a call from our facilitator last Wednesday that the approval letter she received last Monday(confused?) was not actually an approval, it was just a letter. The letter stated that the SDA was "OK" with our adoption but did not approve it. We could have taken that to court and it would have been at the judges discretion whether or not to allow us to adopt Ivy. They all agreed it would have been too risky because of the judge we were given. So, court was moved back - 9 days. This time I cried. If you only had 9 days left on earth, that's not a long time. If you only had 9 days to pack up and move, that's not a long time. If you tried to plan a wedding in 9 days, that's not a long time. If you are away from your children, family, and home, 9 days is a long time. As our timeline goes now, we will be in country for 7 weeks. That is a long time.

I do know though that God operates on perfect time, whether long or short. There are perfect reasons for His perfect time and we must learn to trust and be patient.

We were told everything should be resolved on Monday and our approval letter should be issued then. As of now court is scheduled for Friday the 16th. This would put our gotcha day on Tuesday the 27th and home the weekend of the 1st. What a sweet reunion that will be!

Monday, September 5, 2011

court update

No court hearing today :o(

Our facilitator arrived this morning and went with us to our morning visit. We were all dressed and ready for our 11:45 court hearing just in case. While we visited Ivy she went to the court house to speak with the judge. I am not 100% all that she has been told about this judge but she seems very worried about him. She was not even sure he would speak to her. He did, and set a new hearing for this Friday.

I asked her how he seemed and she said ok. He allowed her to speak to him so that was a good sign. Apparently he is very moody and you just never know if you will get nice judge or mean judge. Pray we get nice judge!

So that is where we are. A little disappointing that we will be here for 4 weeks before even having court. This is not typical since our first delay was their independence day/holiday which meant people were out and not pushing our paperwork. Then of course this last incidence which is also not normal.

But at least we now have the approval letter we need and everything is straightened out. This is also good for the families soon following as they could all have been affected too. Our new gotcha day should be Tuesday the 20th(please nothing else come up!!) and we should be home that weekend. Can.Not.Wait!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Ivy skype's

We used some of our data from our iphone and skyped home for a few minutes on our morning visit today. I have to say this might be one of my favorite video's cause we had a sweet moment caught on camera. Notice how she looked at me and turned 3 times for kisses?? Love, love, love this girl!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Videos of the Queen

What would international adoption be without some unexpected twists? Especially in Ukraine!

This may be a little redundant for those in the adoption world but I will go ahead and explain for those family and friends who are not all too familiar.

Just before the July closure here in Ukraine they passed a new law that stated only children over 5 could be adopted by foreigners or those under 5 with certain special needs. They came up with a very short list(which will hopefully be expanded soon to include many more) and down syndrome is on the list. As the closure neared they decided to keep adoptions open for those with special needs and children over 5 while they restructure their adoption program.

Just a few weeks before we arrived there was a family here, also from Reece's Rainbow, who is adopting a boy with mosaic down syndrome. Their adoption was denied because the judge said mosaic down syndrome was not on the approved special needs list. This in itself is just ridiculous because down syndrome is down syndrome and this child will still face the same institutionalized future if not adopted. This family is now appealing and prayerfully will be allowed to still adopt.

Fast forward a couple weeks and we are now approaching our Sept. 5th court date. We got a call late this afternoon from our facilitator that the state department of adoptions will not issue our approval for court because they are afraid of the same thing happening with our case as the other family. This is just plain silly to me as Ivy does not even have the diagnoses of mosaic anywhere in her file. We fall directly under the law so this should not even be an issue. Yet some how it is.

First this family's adoption was denied, currently one family is being held up(ready to come home with 2 sweet ones but cant) due to some medical issues that just shouldn't be happening, and then our situation. The enemy just can not stand that precious lives are being rescued. It eats away at him and he is trying to put every road block and opposition in our way. We already know God wins, we just need to carry on in prayer.

So what this all means is that best case scenario we will have to reschedule court, and hopefully that can happen very soon. Worst case is we have to come home without Ivy until they resolve this issue and we can continue on with the rest of the process. We absolutely do not want to have to leave Ivy and draw this process out. We need things to be resolved and quickly. We have already been gone from our kids for 3 weeks with another 3 weeks left if things can quickly be resolved. I just cant imagine being gone any longer. :o(

Please pray for mountains to be moved, confusion to be resolved, and babies to come home!