Imagine that you or your wife just had a baby girl and you could not say for sure that they would let you keep her. Imagine that every time you talked about your new baby you always had to say, if she becomes our daugther. This is what it is like when talking about Valya. It is frustrating.
But we have had some good news today. We made some progress in Valya's adoption process. We are very grateful for your support and the miracle we saw today.
Basically, the issue for us is that she has two twin siblings that are in two separate orphanages for sick kids. One of the twins is sicker than the other and has not been an issue for us. The other one, however, is not as sick and there is some question among the officials about her fitness to be adopted. Today, we traveled to her orphanage in Kilia, which is about 200 km. from Odessa.
By Ukrainian law, siblings are not allowed to be separated by adoption unless there are circumstances that justify it. This is what we are trying to accomplish. Our great concern was that the Inspector and/or the orphanage director would consider her sister to be adoptable. If that were to happen, we would be required to adopt her sister if we want Valya. This would put an end to Valya's adoption as we had decided before we came that we could not adopt a 15-year old.
We were expecting to have a long and tense meeting today as we tried to convince, persuade, and justify to either or both the director and Inspector why we should not be required to adopt her. We know of another American family here right now that is battling these very people at this same orphanage for this same reason, and so far it has not gone well.
When we arrived in Kilia, we stopped at the city administration building to meet with the Inspector. She was in court, so we went to the orphanage to meet with the director. Nancy and I waited in the car with our driver while our facilitator went inside. Apparently, he was very kind, offering tea and chocolates to her, and gave her information about Valya's sister (which I will not share out of respect for her). She came back out and we went back to the Inspector's office again. We waited in the car while our facilitator went inside. She came out again in a few short minutes with the document in hand. And just like that she said we could go back to Odessa.
At the time, we didn't really understand what had transpired. It wasn't until later that we fully grasped what had taken place. Put simply, we now have local permission from the director and Inspector in Kilia to separate this particular sibling from Valya. Tomorrow, we will travel to Valya's orphanage to get the papers we need to separate her from her siblings. I believe the next day, we will travel to a third orphanage to get separation papers for the other twin. He is in Bolgorod, about 80 km. from Odessa. Neither of these are expected to be a problem.
But. There is a big BUT. When we have secured all of the local permissions to separate the siblings, the whole thing has to go back to the SDA, which has the final authority to accept or deny the local recommendation. If they agree, then we can proceed with court. If they deny it, then we will not be able to adopt Valya.
So, as you can see, it is not clear to us yet how this will all work out. We believe that God is moving for us. We have watched Him repeatedly going before us and moving on the heart of the officials. We covet your prayers as we advance to this next step.
This whole situation is very sad. It is sad that Valya's family is not whole. It is sad that they are in orphanages. It is sad that the siblings are sick. It is sad that they have a bleak future in institutions. We have to tell ourselves that it is not our fault, and that we should not feel guilty that we are not trying to adopt them, too. There is nothing we can do about it. Even if we wanted to adopt them, we probably wouldn't be able to bring them to the US. We will try to do our best to save two starfish, it is all we can do. And more than most people are doing.
We had been asking you to pray for our trip to Kilia. It is clear that all of your prayers have worked a miracle today. Thank you.
A Car Ride
1 day ago