Thursday, December 28, 2006

God surely has a day we will see it...

I am sorry it has been a while since I updated. It has been a rocky week for us. Thank you so much for your continued prayers. We greatly appreciate it. I wish that I could tell you that we have been having the times of our lives but unfortunately that is not the case. Last week we received a letter from Natalija, Edgar's foster mom, stating the decision from the court. The letter was disheartening to say the least. The court has given us stipulations that we just simply cannot meet. First, they stated that in order to bring Edgar on the visa we would need to find a Latvian citizen that lives in the Atlanta area(and plans to be here long term) to be his guardian. This person would be his guardian and have control over his life decisions, but he would live with us. We found this to be a ridiculous request. I can not imagine calling on a stranger and asking them if they could be a guardian for a child they haven't met. Not to mention our insurance wouldn't cover him and a host of other issues that could come about. Second, they stated that they would be willing to let him come next summer to visit but only if we bring a chaperone to accompany him and live with us for the entire time he is here. This request is also crazy since he has been in our home 3 times already. We have not seen the actual court document. Helen was able to verify that the first item she did hear mention of but she was not aware of the second item. She has not been able to get a copy of the document so far. Natalija ended the letter by telling us that she did not have the heart to tell Edgars all of this bad news and that she hoped that in all of our love for him that we would be able to break it to him. This frustrated us because of the language barrier, how could we be sure he understood???
Since he has been here, Edgars has been very angry. He is hurting and angry and we have been receiving the brunt of that anger. He is doing everything he can to push us away. Gene finally told him that because this could very well be our last visit together we need to make the most of it.
It breaks our hearts but we know that we have to let him go. God obviously has a plan for Edgars that does not include us. Every door that we have tried has been closed. We love him very much. Our children love him very much. He is a great kid and he deserves a family that he can call his own that can be his family forever. We will continue to talk to him, write to him and love him but we have to give him a chance to find the family that God intended for him to have. So if you know anyone, a good Christian family(who are 18 years older than he is), who would open their hearts and their homes to him, please tell them about him. We promised him that we would tell everyone we know about him.
He is a good kid. He needs a lot of love, firm discipline and good medical care. With all of this the doctors say he will grow to normal height.
Please pray for Edgars and for our family.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Thursday Dec 21

Thursday we had a great day! Edgars and I went to the kids school where they were having something they call Reindeer Romp. The kids and teachers were all in the gym dancing and singing Christmas songs. The teachers all had on antlers and they were dancing all around the gym in some sort of train. Edgars was in shock. He said if school in Latvia was like this the kids would never leave!! I had to explain that school isn't like this all the time! They do work sometimes! haha! We went to Morgan and Patrick's class parties and had a good time. The kids love Edgars and had fun playing with him. They were all impressed with how good he was on the monkey bars! One boy even said "I wish you were my brother!"
We took Morgan to Speech and while she was in there we went to Target so the boys could pick her out a gift. Edgars thinks we are made of money and asks for everything he sees. I keep telling him that Christmas is only a few days away and that he doesn't need any of those things. He tells me "Just put it on your credit card" We have tried very hard not to give him the impression that it is all about the money. I can tell that is going to be something we continually work on this time!
I will try to update the blog more frequently now that things have calmed down! Have a Merry Christmas!
Love Krista

Wedensday Dec 20

Wedensday was a pretty uneventful day. Edgars woke right up with the kids even though I am sure he was still exhausted from the jet lag! We took Patrick and Morgan to school and they insisted that we walk inside. I was reluctant since I had not had a shower yet, but I knew they were excited to introduce him to everyone. Patrick and Morgan have told the entire school about Edgars and they were all anxiously waiting to meet him!
After we left the school we came home and hung out for a while. Edgars had no problem entertaining himself with Rusty, Shiloh and Bo. The dogs love him and they get plenty of play time when he is around.
Wedensday night at church the kids found out their parts in the Christmas Eve play. Edgars is going to be a wise man, Patrick a shepherd and Morgan a sheep. They are all very excited!
Over all our day was uneventful but we had a good time anyway.

Dec 19 He's Back!!!

Sorry that I have been slow to update our blog. Since Monday everything has been CRAZY and my To Do List is a MILE long!!
Tuesday my mom and I flew to Detroit to meet the kids. We had a great flight and got there around 11:00 and immediately started trying to find out what we could do to meet them. Sometimes in customs it gets confusing if you don't know where you are going and you can easily get lost. We were hoping to meet them down in customs like Jennifer is able to do if they fly into Atlanta. We tried to find an information desk that was shown on the directory but we had no luck. Finally we just went to one of the gates and asked someone. She told us we needed to go down to International Arrivals and they would let us in. We grabbed a bite to eat and then asked someone else. She told us that no way would they let us back there and that our best bet would be to wait for them outside of the customs area. When we got down there we asked someone else and she said that since they had a connecting flight they would not come out where we were standing but that there was a hallway on the 3rd floor where they would come out. So back we went to right where we started. We asked an airport policeman where the hallway was and he showed us. Once we found it we decided to go sit at their gate so we could at least see their airplane land. When I got up to go to the bathroom the board said they would be landing at 1:20. When I was walking back it said they had landed. Then the excitement began to build!! We were watching to see their plane come to the gate and there was a guy sitting there waiting to take that plane to Amsterdam. We started to talk to him and found out he is from Romania. He has been in the US for 8 months and doesn't like it. He said that in America everyone smiles all the time even though they don't mean it. You ask them how they are and they say they are fine even when they are not. He said that even though he can make more money in America, he would rather be with his family and in a country where people say what they mean. It is funny because Jennifer is always telling us that in Latvia they call it the "american smile", when you smile even though you don't mean it. It is sad that we hide behind our smiles and don't let people see who we really are. I apologized to the guy who was quite content to talk for hours and told him we had to go meet the kids. We walked over to the hallway and waited...and waited...and waited. Since we had received so many different answers we were afraid we were in the wrong spot. We were also afraid that they would not know where to go and go to the wrong place. But at the same time we were afraid to leave and go check anywhere else knowing that as soon as we left they would arrive!
Finally about an hour and a half after they landed we saw them walking down the hall. They couldn't see us and so we just stood trying not to be noticed since we could not get into the hallway to run to them. Finally Ilga spotted me and started to wave and then Edgars saw me. He ran and jumped into my arms and hugged me and then he hugged Nana. Then he said "What are you doing here? This isn't Atlanta!" He was very surprised! All the kids were just standing there staring at us not quite sure what was going on. After meeting everyone we asked if they were hungry. They said No. But then I said "McDonalds?" and they all instantly changed their minds. So we went to McDonalds and got fries and drinks. Then everyone had to go to the bathroom so we showed them where it was and Janis, Olegs and Edgars ran right into the girls bathroom! We realized it and started to run after them but they also realized it and ran right back out! hahaha!
There was a cool fountain in the center of the terminal and the kids were fascinated watching the water dance around. Eventually we made it to the gate to wait for our plane. When we got there Ruta realized that she left her bag. So Liza, Kristine and I trucked all the way back to the other side of the airport to McDonalds where her bag was waiting for her! Thank Goodness!
We had a good 2 hours before the plane arrived at this point so we just sat at the gate talking. The kids were cutting up and goofing off and having a good time. They were giving us chocolates and little things they had made on the plane. Ruta was cracking me up. She had a balloon and she would blow it up and put it under her shirt and say "I have a baby!" Then she would let it deflate and say "No Baby! No Baby!" Edgars didn't stop talking from the time he saw me to the time we landed in Atlanta! He kept saying "Oh Krista..." "Oh Krista.." The kids were trying to teach me how to say things in Latvian and cracking up laughing at the fact that I didn't say it right!
Shortly after taking off from Detroit Ilga and the kids were all asleep except for Edgars and Alex. I am sure Alex wanted to sleep, but he was sitting beside me and Edgars and I don't think he could sleep thru all Edgars talking! hahaha!
When we landed we took the train and then stopped at the bottom of the escalators so we could let all the families know we landed. Our phones wouldn't work so finally we just decided to go up anyway. The kids were anxious and I know the families on the other end were as well!
Edgars ran and jumped into a HUGE hug with Patrick. Then Morgan. Then Gene and Papa! It was so neat to see from the other side of things. The kids coming up meeting their families, some of them for the first time.
We left the airport and Edgars and the kids talked the whole way home. I could tell his energy level was drifting though and he went to bed with no fussing! I wasn't too far behind him because I was exhausted too!
We are so glad to have him back. Even if for only 3 weeks!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Not the answer we expected

Well we got an answer from the Orphan Court, but it was not the answer we expected. They denied our request for Edgars to come on the student visa, for now. They said they will revisit the case in 6 months. Helen says that it is probably because of it being in the middle of the academic year. We will know more when we get the official report from the court.
We were of course devastated to find this out. Everyone had told us that the Orphan Court has Edgars best interest as utmost priority. We never thought for one minute that they would not see it as his best interest to be with us. It baffles me that they would think that he is better off where he is than with us. But...we have prayed and prayed, and so have so many others for God's best for Edgars. And for whatever reason, unknown to us at this time, it is not God's will for him to be with us. We are saddened but we will press on.
The orphan court did approve for him to come for Christmas. So we will take him for 3 weeks and love him up as much as we can. He will be here December 19th. My mom and I are flying to Detroit to meet the host kids and Ilga. He has no idea. I can't wait to surprise him!
When I look back over the rollercoaster last year since we first signed up to host this boy for 3 weeks last Christmas, never knowing the journey it would bring us on, I am amazed. God has changed our lives so much. I would have never guessed that bringing an 11 yr old boy into my home for 3 weeks would change my world forever. It hasn't been easy at times, many times. I have sat in my closet and cried until there were no tears left to cry. But I have also been given a much deeper joy and a compassion I never knew. Never be afraid to let God take you on a journey, even a difficult one. Because on the other side of the a mountaintop with a view you could never imagine!!!!!!!!!
Keep praying...and if you haven't already...reach out to someone else this Christmas...and find the blessings that can only be found in helping others.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Tomorrow is the day!

I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving. Our family had a very good holiday filled with lots of family, food and of! We are busily preparing for Christmas and also for Edgars arrival.
Edgars went to court this past Saturday and he said it went very well. They asked him questions about us and if he wanted to live with us and go to school. He, of course, said he did and that he considers us his family. Tomorrow will be the final orphan court hearing to decide our case. The court will meet at 3 pm which is 8 am our time.
Please join us in praying that the court will rule in our favor!
I will update when we know more.