Hello friends. We have a court date: December 26 at 3:30 am EST time!! Praise God! This court date is a huge miracle all on its own, and we’re so excited. But … by no means does it actually ensure we will have court on that day. Our paperwork must be processed by the central authorities first, and to have our paperwork ready by the 26th would require them to move WAY faster than is usual. We continue to pray for a miracle.
If we are able to have court on the 26th, we will likely be home the third or fourth week of January. If we miss the 26th deadline, court will happen on January 12th, and we won’t be home until the second or third week of February. (Just saying that feels like a punch in the gut …) Praying hard!
We’ve had some up and down days with Shiloh recently, and we would very much appreciate your prayers. He has zero trust of authority figures and doesn’t even believe us on the most basic of statements (like telling him that we’ll see him again tomorrow, for example). It will take time to build his felt safety and teach him to trust. We are prepared for the task (as prepared as we can be, at least), but it’s still very hard to experience in the moment and extremely hard to watch him struggle while not knowing really how to help. The orphanage atmosphere and the short length of our daily visits definitely are not helping the situation, but until we take custody of him, we have no other options.
This morning, we went to church at the little protestant church in town, and it was wonderful. We sang “angels we have heard on high” and “o holy night” in Russian, we lit advent candles, we heard a wonderful sermon about the reason for Christ’s coming, we fellowshipped with wonderful fellow believers. It was one of the most refreshing and soul-recharging services in my recent memory, exactly what I needed after this past week’s rollercoaster ride. We are so blessed by this little church.
Arturo has had no more kidney stone pain since Wednesday, thank God. Hopefully this is the only attack of our stay here. My homesickness has abated somewhat – buying a Christmas tree on the way home from church certainly helped! – but Shanti is still struggling, still wants home more than anything else. To top it all off, she got sick after lunch today. Arturo went on to the orphanage to visit with Shiloh, which had been the plan for all of us, and I’m home nursing our sick darling. She’s asleep on the couch for now and should be just fine by tomorrow, but I feel so bad for her. She just can’t seem to catch a break. Poor thing!
Thank you all for your prayers, and merry Christmas!
PS — A quick shout out to my brother, who is GRADUATING TODAY WITH HIS PhD!!! I am SO stinkin’ proud of him and all he’s accomplished, We’re sending huge shouts of love and congratulations across the ocean to my brother, his wife, and their cuter-than-should-be-legal little boy. We’re going to watch the graduation tonight on live stream. Gotta love modern technology!