Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Aleksandra Elise: (9) The Weight of the Air

Journal Entry: April 29, 2004   1:09 AM

He loved me before I knew him
and he gave his son for me.
His love holds me close
and nothing is stronger.
I am so weak
and tomorrow is not in my power.
His wings beat over my head
and displace the heavy air.
His shadow cools my mind
and I am lifted up in his grip.

In my weakened state I soar above the clouds.

Journal Entry:  May 1, 2004  12:04 AM

Sasha--I feel so bound to you. Within a week I will be traveling towards you, skimming the clouds covered in darkness and held in an almighty hand. He has brought us together to bind us as family. I think of your mother that birthed you and pray that God's blessings find her tonight. Her sacrifice for reasons unknown to us has given us a great hope. I pray that the smile you gave to us is an indication that what we now do is just and right for you. I number the hours moment by moment until I breath you into my lungs again.

Journal Entry:  May 6, 2004 6:25 PM
It is the day before we leave to get Aleksandra. Caleb is on his way to Grandmother's. I hugged him and held him tight and long. Kellie lifted him into the car seat. My throat feels tight and my eyes are wet. I go in the house, looking back to see my wife reflect my emotion as she looks back to me. They pull away before I go inside and I stand there waving bye--feeling small and vulnerable.
I go inside and fall on my face. I surprised myself as my body shook. This was my moment, by myself as I allowed fear to seize me. I felt it take the deepest part of me.
And then I felt a strength, a peace, and a knowing.  I know who I am. I know whose right hand guides me. As I tremble, he makes me mighty with love.

The next 7 days were spent in Moscow, and our time there was an absolute whirlwind. We dealt with lost luggage, miles and hours spent in yet another cold van, endless visits to officials while my cash dwindled faster than I could count it. The lost bag was Kel's and she had to hand wash her clothes every night. We were required to wear semi-formal attire for the scheduled court appearance at the end of the week, and we could not afford to pay the prices of clothing in Moscow.

In the evenings we were on our own, which involved walking through the streets of Moscow to find dinner. We sought out the young Moscovites who were taught English in school. With lots of hand-motions and laughter, we ordered our food and on occasion received what we expected.

Kellie's suitcase arrived less than an hour before we had to leave for the court appointment. It had travelled around the world without us, and was fully intact. She was thrilled to have a change of clothes! As the week went by, we began to be medically exhausted. Every day we made our way through the birch forests, taking the 100 mile drive to and from the orphanage.

Every day since we said goodbye 5 months earlier, we had lived with the underlying fear that something would go wrong. A document in error, or omitted, or what if she fell ill, or what if she disappeared, or what if she had been switched? What if any unknown variable shattered our dreams?

That first day back when we again walked through those doors and were handed our daughter, it was as if we had never left. All of the worry and all of the time that had moved so slowly... simply vanished. Her smile and her warmth met us and her eyes seemed to tell us that everything was ok.

Those days are a blur in my memory. I just remember the warmth. The warmth of the sun, and the warmth of our time together. I was so immersed in the moment that I journaled only a single time that entire second trip. The day we spent outside with Aleksandra was a magical day. The weather had cleared and the sun shone down on a perfect 70 degree day.  We asked if we could take her outside for a walk.

They insisted on dressing her for the excursion and came back with her in heavy clothes, a snowsuit, a coat, gloves, and two hats. If you live in Moscow, you learn to respect the weather! We spent a wonderful hour outside, just being together in the sunlight.

That day finally drew to a close and I found myself back in the hotel room where I made my final entry of the trip.
Final Signatures
Here we are. Less than 24 hours from our court appointment. We'll face a Russian judge and hopefully walk away with a daughter. We make choices now that truly change our lives course. I cannot know the long-term waves, but I do know that by choice and God we have changed our own destiny. The story that was once written for me, my wife, my son, and my new-found daughter has been erased. We have from this day forward to write a new story.
Anastasia & Sofia
We were given the original
referral picture.
The sky is large here, and the days seem unnaturally long. I did not know God could send me this way--and yet I would be blind to not see that my life to this point has been preparation for the change taking place in        my soul through this miracle process. I expect to keep walking and do not regret these steps.
The night passed as we watched the shadows lengthen and then disappear as the son rose. We had breakfast, stashed an extra Coke and muffin for lunch, and put on our best clothes and made our way to the court room.  This was the crucial moment. We entered into the presence of the judge along with our interpreter, our legal representative, and our 20 pound dossier. Our documents were scrutinized, and we answered a seemingly endless series of questions. We held our breath as the judge finally placed her hand on the seal, and changed our lives with a stamp and a signature.

Next stop, Orekhovo-Zuevo to pick up our daughter... for keeps.

To Continue, click on the link below:
Aleksandra Elise:(10) The Kinship of a Bunny

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