Friday, January 14, 2011

Court Sessions 4 and 5!

Just a warning that before you even start reading this that this will most likely be a LONG post. We still have limited/no internet in the apartment… I am typing this in a word document and will go the hotel lobby later and post it to the blog!!

HUGE SIGH!!!!

Where do I start.. ok..
(I apologize in advance for jumping around so much…. Lots on my mind and LOTS to say!)

Yesterday morning they picked us up at 10:30 and we went straight to the notary’s office here. Svetlana made an additional form for the judge hoping to please her regarding our income. The forms we are required to give…. Show the average household salary in the state of Oklahoma. The judge DOES NOT understand or choose to believe us regarding the forms.. and she has it in her head that you take this amount and multiply it times 6.. (for a family of 6)… and we HAVE to make above that amount. This would mean that we make an annual salary 6X’s the average salary in Oklahoma… Let’s just say that’s it’s safe to say that we do not… ;) Hence the problem. She DOES not understand the form… or what it means… URG!!!
… so Svetlana provided another form with a chart… showing the average salary for a family of 6… and she now has it in her head that we make $1500 per year LESS than the poverty level for a family of 6 in Oklahoma… (which again is insane…. She doesn’t understand the forms)
Sorry.. I got ahead of myself there..
Ok… so we get the ‘new’ form.. and head to court. When we arrive at the courtroom the bh director is not there.. and it’s 11:15… (15 min. late)… Svetlana calls her and learns that the judge called the director 15 minutes before court started and said if she doesn’t bring one of the Dr’s that are on the twin’s Commission (group of Dr’s) to court.. she will not rule in our favor… or postpone court once again. So Baghdad (director) is busting her rear to find a Dr who is available in 15 minutes to come to court for us… These are the INSANE sort of things that she is doing and requiring…. Absolutely INSANE! (Svetlana also said that this is only the 2nd adoption case that this judge has EVER had...)

The Judge then calls our names and court begins @ around 11:30… BH director is NOT there… and the judge is upset.. but, allows us to start and she arrives (with a Dr) at about 11:45.. WHEW!!!!
The judge calls the Dr to the stand… and RIPS her a new one. There are these issues with the latest medical evaluation that was completed and the judge is being SUPER picky about the forms and says that they were not completed properly… etc.. and threatens to shred them all… The Dr. was an idiot… I am not kidding - a pitiful excuse for a Dr… she didn’t even know what to say regarding the evaluation that was completed and honestly… I can’t blame the judge for not accepting her witness as true. It was the most INSANE we’ve ever seen.
The judge jumps from the financial forms and DRILLING us about them.. to the medical forms.. to the other ladies in the room… She asks us all the SAME questions over and over and over.. at one point… she was asking me for the 4th time why I would choose to sacrifice my attention of my biological girls and share that attention with these two girls.. I just started bawling… she told me to not be so nervous and emotional and stop crying! NICE!!! I apologized and said it was my daughters we were talking about – ALL 4 of them! Svetlana later said that she was proud of me showing emotion… it showed her that we really do LOVE the twins…
I can’t even explain or type out how she raked us over the coals time and time and time again. She continued to ask the same ?’s over and over and over… and as soon as we felt like she was ok with an answer… she would find a new thing to drill someone about.
We could NOT get her to understand about the income. She has it in her head that we make BELOW the poverty line… We explained time and time again.. that this was the average salary… and that it was for an entire family NOT one person…and that you don’t multiply it times 6. URG… she NEVER understood (or choose not to)…
Keep in mind that we are average middle class… we don’t make a lot.. but, enough to support a family of 6. What is crazy is that the average salary here is $400 per month… we make a little more than that… sigh….
After 2 hours and 15 minutes of fun.. she decided to recess and give the director a chance to get a surgeon to come at 3:30 to speak as a witness…. This is all regarding the medical forms/issues that she has. This all has NOTHING to do with us. However, is one of her biggest issues as well.
We wait and go back at 3:30… and the same thing all goes on again and again.. more ?’s about income… attempting to explain that she’s not understanding the chart correctly.. etc.. the other women in the room try to help her understand as well.. NOPE.. she will NOT budge… she says that she will give us a chance to show her with additional forms…. And postpone the date until Jan. 20th… giving us a chance to get forms proving what we “say”… This being that we are not at poverty level… and that we do make well above the average salary for a family of 6.
She repeatedly asked us if we knew about the 'bad' adoptions of Americans in Russia... and about the woman from TN that sent her son 'back'!   She grilled us the last 3 sessions about this and what will we do when we decide we don't want F and G...  how can we be certain that is not going to happen...  NO matter what we answer or what we say she comes back with something... URG! 
Numerous questions about our bio. daughters being jealous...  and having to give  up their lifestyle for F and G... it just goes on and on and on....

So… we left about over 4 hours total of grueling questions and attacks…

My description doesn’t really do it justice.. to be honest.. it’s hard to even explain it all…. And I’m so emotionally drained. Everyone who walked out of the courtroom was DRAINED. The DOE, BH director, Dr’s, prosecutor and everyone who is involved continually told us how sorry they were… and hugged us and just kept expressing how sorry they were they she doesn’t understand the form about our income and that she is being SO awful to us… They all spoke up for us repeatedly and said that they have told her that they 100% support a positive decision from her regarding us and the twins. They continue to tell us to just get the forms she wants… and show her… and she will grant us the twins. They keep encouraging us saying they just know it will happen… and that the twins were meant to be ours.. 
We just know this too..
The forms have been created, updated, notarized and apostilled and are on their way to us… thanks to Janet, my mom, my brother, and our social worker in Oklahoma!
However, it takes 5 days to get a package… and Thursday (the day of court) is the 5th day… PLEASE pray the forms make it… PLEASE…. Svetlana does have the scanned forms….so she’s saying we can get them translated and ready to go with the scanned ones… Just pray the originals make it by Wednesday!
As all this was happening… I just repeatedly thanked the Lord for what he was doing through all this…and promised him that I would indeed shout it from the rooftops when this was completed… and that I trusted him!
You see… It hurts… my heart is breaking inside… I got an email from my mom telling us of her telling Bailey and Brooklyn… there were TEARS and as you can imagine heartache… You see we’ve been gone from home since Oct. 20th… away from Bailey and Brooklyn…. We were home with them for 13 days (in December)…. It will be a little over 3 months soon… that’s a long time…. And they are so ready for this to end as well..
Brooklyn said to my mom through tears.. “Nana, why can’t that judge just let us have our Mama and Daddy and sissys home NOW!” yeah… sobbingly heartbreaking… HUGE sigh!!
I just continue to remind myself through my sobs and tears that God knows and knew that he’s already blessed us with Bay and Brook when he spoke to us and orchestrated this very journey. He knows all things and he wouldn’t have placed us on this journey and abandoned my precious oldest 2…

So… back to yesterday.. we got back to the apartment about 5:30-5:45 pm… It was a LONG day. We had to get our flights changed, contact agency, family, employers about updates.. and get the ball rolling with LOTS of things… there was NO internet in the apartment…. Really? Can we catch a single break here?

I couldn’t make myself start the process of chain of events of getting online etc.. and walking down there right away… plus, I really needed to let off some emotions…. So those who know me know what I did… I started unpacking our suitcases… we had packed up the entire apartment because we were supposed to leave @ 6:20 last night… As I am taking everything out of the suitcases the tears start and I have a good bawl…. Phil and I cry together and encourage each other. We got our bible and asked the Lord to show us something to cling to…

Phil’s bible fell open to the follow passage:

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his might power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your wait with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this , take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and request. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
Ephesians 6: 11-18

Wow! As I started reading this outloud to Phil.. I just bawled… there are SO SO SO many nuggets of GREATNESS in this for us (where we are today) and for all of you reading this.

Please know that I realize and know that most of you reading our blog and keeping up with our journey are facing things in your daily lives/walk with God that you are struggling with. We all do… and no matter how little the things you are struggling with seem to you compared to others… KNOW that God does not see it that way… he is just as concerned about what you are facing as what I or anyone else is facing…
Let me share some of the things the Lord pointed out to me in these scriptures…
First thing was his confirmation that we indeed are not fighting a fleshly battle here…. This is not a battle with the judge… this is a spiritual battle of good verses evil. The first part says to “be strong in the Lord and HIS might”.. in other words… when you feel like you can’t stand anymore… No worries.. God didn’t ask you or me to stand…. He said to STAND IN HIM… ;) Next he tells us to “put of the FULL armor of God”… meaning get prepared.. be prayed up… have the word stored away on the tablets of our hearts.. be ingesting God… everywhere you turn put more of him in YOUR Life.. through music, reading, listening to others, reading books, the word, etc…
Then it says, “When you have done EVERYTHING.. KEEP STANDING!”.. WHEW!! That was JUST for me… I have done everything I knew to do… for the past 3 years… trusted God, tried to put on the armor of God daily (I could have done so much more… but, I’ve tried)…. And you know what… God says here…. KEEP STANDING… KEEP SMILING, my child…. VICTORY IS MINE and it’s ON the way!!! Thank you JESUS!!!
Then it goes on to say, “and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace”…. Wow…. Our feet fitted with the readiness of PEACE! Peace… No fretting… no worring… no crying, screaming or fit throwing… peace that you TRUST him… Peace that you KNOW He has it all under control… PEACE.. Sweet wonderful perfect Peace that comes straight from the thrown of GRACE!!!! I think there’s something to learn from “our feet fitted”…. Not just half-way thrown on flip flop kind of peace… but, serious WINTER shoes that fit YOU…. FITTED peace… Peace that regardless of what is thrown at you… or who attacks you… or what is said…. You DO NOT waiver in KNOWING that God is in control… Peace that SURPASSES all understanding!!!! Lord, Help us ALL get enveloped that kind of peace!

I then went on to read this:
Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.
Ephesians 6: 19 – 20

This is exactly how I feel here…. I want to share with this dark place… (yet wonderful people) about the Lord… however, feel like an ambassador in chains…. And feel like an ambassador in chains regarding the court processes as well… This is my prayer…. Just as Paul prayed from prison…

The commentary in Phil’s bible says the following about this scripture:
“Undiscouraged and undefeated, Paul wrote powerful letters of encouragement from prison. Paul did not ask the Ephesians to pray that his chains would be removed, but that he would continue to speak fearlessly for Christ in spite of them.”

As I read this and thought about it… I realized that instead of begging God to deliver us from this… and to end this soon…. We should be praying… Lord let this very journey conclude when YOUR will has been completed. I think we often times BEG God to deliver us from things that he is trying to use for his Glory.
Now… don’t get me wrong… I’ve know that he was using our story/adoption/journey for his glory… but, don’t want to get so selfish in my own ‘wants’ that we miss an opportunity for God to SHINE through in Greatness!!!!
As I was sharing all this with Phil and we were discussing all this etc… we talked about how we had made SUCH connections with ALL the ladies involved in our case. I will look up and one of them will catch my eye and smile gently…. Trying to reassure me that it will all be ok… I just trust God and know that he’s up to something here…. ;)
If we hadn’t been to court 5 times for hours… we would NOT have made such connections with them… and they all keep saying they’ve NEVER seen anything like this…. Our family… F and G will FOREVER be remembered in their hearts and minds… and hopefully… I pray and cry to God that this is true.. they are seeing Jesus in us! I pray that this judge is as well…. She must be seeing something she likes in us… she keeps making us come back and back and back.. ha ha!!!
All these ladies have made us promise we’ll send pics of the girls and our family… and I just know that we’ll forever be in contact with them…  Jesus shining through us for years…
F and G have NO idea the impact they are making on so many people…
They are changing so much it’s incredible. Grace doesn’t even smile the same as before. She looks for us when she wants to show us something and is making appropriate eye contact…
They remember EVERYTHING we teach them… I’ve been teaching them body parts… and they are quick to tell me the English word and show the body part the next day!
INCREDIBLE!!!! I just held them today and cried…. I don’t know how to explain my emotions except that we feel like we are the blessed ones… to have the opportunity to love these two babies as our own… wow… we are so humbled and honored.

I got a little off track there… but, let me go back… I got up this morning to check online on the documents and with the travel agent to ensure that our flights had been successfully changed etc.. and still No internet in apartment… so I bundled up and walked to Hotel down the street. We had so many messages and sweet comments, emails, etc… from all of you. Thank you… you will never know how much it helps and how great it feels to read just the simplest comment of praying… we enjoy hearing from everyone so much…

I was reminded of the lyrics to one of my favorite praise and worship songs….
I'm pressed but not crushed persecuted not abandoned
Struck down but not destroyed
I'm blessed beyond the curse for his promise will endure
And his joy's gonna be my strength

So.. I of course had to go to You Tube and listen…. TEARS streamed down my face in the Hotel lobby as I felt our savior trading out my sorrows…. Take a few minutes and praise him with me:
(remember you have to pause the music on the blog at the bottom)





Did you notice the small font at the bottom of one of the screens? Yeah… isn’t that JUST like the Lord… ;)


I happen to click on this video to watch (out of the thousands of this song on You tube)… and there is the following scripture:

When my heart is overwhelmed.
Lead me to the ROCK that is higher than I.
You’re my refuge and a tower of strength against the enemy.

Psalm 61: 1-3

INCREDIBLE and JUST LIKE OUR GOD!!!!

No matter what you are facing today… Please join us in trusting God… His word does NOT return void and if you allow him… He will use the very situation you are in RIGHT now.. for HIS Glory!!


Dear Lord…
I pray right now for everyone reading this blog… I ask that you’re amazing presence fill the room where they are sitting and that they will feel you and know you are with them and alive and well!    Lord, grant them the desires of their hearts… heal whatever thing they need healing from… Lord move in their lives in ways they would have NEVER ever dreamed you even could…. Father, Your word says that we are MORE than overcomers in YOU!!! We are standing in your word today… TRUSTING you… help us all Father to put on the WHOLE armor of God… like your word says to do.. so that we can stand against the enemy… Thank you Lord for defeating him for us.. now all we have to do is claim that victory in YOU!!!!

We are amazed by you… and in total and complete surrender to your divine plan and purpose for our lives… Dear Lord… I thank you for your amazing grace and mercy… and I thank you for what you are doing in all our lives!

We love you Lord and we give you all the praise and glory forever!

~Amen

23 comments:

Friends and Family said...

You never cease to amaze me with your encouraging words in the midst of your discouraging. Ron and I read with tears just now as he leaves for his 48 hour shift. He is struggling with that as his brother is in his last hours/days. But we know God's timing is perfect, we spent time with his brother last weekend and they talked through tears last night. What a blessing you are and what an impact you are having on so many. STILL we pray you will be SHOUTING from that rooftop very soon. Love you, Ron & Cheri Cook

Lori Printy said...

You are His witness. I am amazed and encouraged by your faith...how about that, all that you face and YOU are encouraging me! Sending up prayers and love for your dear family.

Friends and Family said...

I'm with Lori on this. How about that indeed. All that you face and YOU are inspiring me? Um, whoa. I am speechless and continue to pray for you and your family. Onward.

Jennifer Robinson

Friends and Family said...

I know they have to see the Love of God in you both. It overflows and pours out of you. I know your journey has been so hard and long. And we are praying for all of you. But I wanted to let you know your family is so inspiring and full of Gods love. Your all are such an inspriation. Thank you for your posts. They mean so much.

Angela :)

Baby Kaz Moore said...

You each are His ministers to your flock of friends, families and acquaintences. We pray with you and wish you all the best. Blessings to you, Susan

Kim said...

Your faith in the midst of this spiritual adversity is amazing but not surprising. I have known since we first met virtually during our adoption almost 3 years ago that you and Phil are spiritually mature and with the Lord's strength you can endure anything! Praying your adoption will be complete on the 20th and that timing is exactly God's will for F & G and for your whole family. Much love to you and I am truly sorry for the pain but it will ALL be worth it!

Jennifer said...

Amen.

Are you sure you didn't write that whole thing just for me? Seriously? Tears flowing. If you ever choose to give up your day job as an SLP, you'd make an awesome pastor.

Funny how with most people (ok, everybody but you I'm pretty sure) we the readers would be offering encouragement, but with you, you just GIVE it and keep giving it. You are absolutely right in that the Lord is using you and this situation to touch other people. No matter what happens, no matter how many obstacles you face, you are definitely changing hearts here and there!

Friends and Family said...

I know better than to read your blog at work! Now I am sitting here bawling at my desk....Lanetta YOU ARE MY HERO! Your strength and endurance is such a testimony for every person who knows you. You have to be the strongest woman I know! Praying constantly and will not stop until the victory is complete! Terri

Friends and Family said...

Wow! God is amazing. I have been going through so much the past couple months, going through a divorce, adjusting to life as a single mother, and much more and I have been asking God to give me the strength to make it through all this and when I read your blog every morning I am encouraged and find strength through your encouraging words and Gods Awesome Word! Lanetta you may feel as if you are at a stand still right now, but girl let me tell you, God is using you more right now at this very minute than every before. You have blessed me and touched my life in so many ways. Through God my heart breaks when yours breaks and I rejoice when you rejoice! Keep on Keeping on and keep on giving Him all the glory!!! God will prevail!! And who knows maybe you will win the Judge to the Lord!! Wouldn't that be awesome, just have a Holy Ghost meeting right there in the middle of court!!! :) Love you~ Shannon

Friends and Family said...

Keep being strong and your "essence" will keep rubbing off on others. You have changed SO many lives with your journey and we will be so much better for it. Thank you for your struggle, faith and tears for you have made us want to be better people too. More Hugs!!!! Love, Suz

Friends and Family said...

I agree with ALL of you. Lanetta, you and Phil ARE so amazing. God IS using you....and these hard, yucky times...to TEACH us. Thanks for allowing Him to do that. Thank you for your heart, compassion, trust and courage. Thank you for being you.

Much love,
The Gibson Gang

aultfamily said...

Amen! God IS using you through this trial. There is no doubt about that. Lives are being touched through this in ways we may never know. Keep on keeping on, your faith is what will bring these girls home. God bless you Lanetta & Phil!

Friends and Family said...

Prayers and love!What the Judge doesn't realize is F&G are and were your daughters even before they were born. God already had his plan in place. There is NO one greater than God. Court dates and documents can't stop his plan! Lisa and Makennlea Dunbar

Jstar said...

We are praying perseverance for you guys! Know that you are loved, perfectly and eternally by God and that none of this is accidental. Maddening as it is now, it is purposeful :) He promises.

Friends and Family said...

Praying Lanetta and Phillip,

Great blog and God is doing mighty things I am sure. May God have all the glory and may we grow closer to Him each day.

Love, Terry

Friends and Family said...

You are quite possibly the most amazing woman I have ever known....and I've known some pretty amazing women! Your faith and encouragement never cease to amaze me. My heart breaks with you and Phil. I, too, should know better than to read this at work! Keep your strong faith...it will be rewarded. I can't wait to give Faith and Grace hugs and kisses!!!
You have to post when you're coming home!! We want to come and meet your new girls. Love you so much girlfriend. Give Phil my love too.
Beverly

Lauren and Clint said...

Much love and many prayers!!

The Lord you God is with you,
He is MIGHTY to save.
He will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing. Zeph 3:17

Dean and Janie said...

You know,I've always thought that Job got the "short end of the stick" (please don't take that to seriously)when he was so faithful to God to the point that he made sacrifices just in case his children sinned. Then God allowed almost everything he cared for to be taken from him because He knew Job would not turn away from Him. (As I understand it)
All I can say is that Job was blessed so much more after his devastating ordeal and I have to believe that God has something similar in mind for you and Phil.
What would the Bible be like w/o the story of Job in it? To me, For Me, God is showing me the story of Job in a similar fashion, through what you all are going through. I needed to see it, but I am so sad that you have to go through it. A wake up call to us all about true spiritual battles. Most of us don't get into these types of battles until our kids hit their late teens. Well, I have one of those right now and your post today has been a reality check on how I have NOT been handling it over the past several years. I am tired, I am distraught, etc..... But I do believe He is faithful and all of the other things you mentioned in your post. I believe he takes us and our children through dark times to show us our need for Him, to make us stronger, and to sift us. Your blog also reminds me and makes even more meaningful how very important it is for us to stand up with each other and be there for each other.
We love you Lanetta and Phil. And thank you.

Tricia said...

Wow, all that you are going through and you are praying for us too! Thank you Lanetta. That brought me to tears - very touching and inspiring. One thing I have seen over and over and over again and directly during our process is that adoption is a series of miracles. Even though it is often a painful and frustrating process, adoption touches SO many people (aside from the adoptive family) so beautifully that you cannot help but see the wonder of God's hands in it. I remember feeling in awe of the many little things that happened to touch people I did not even know and just heard about. Adoption is like the pebble in the pond that makes the ripple that just keeps extending outward. I am no longer worried about you and Phil over there. I have a sense of peace now that it will work out, that it truly is in God's hands. And you sharing your faith has shown me that.

Friends and Family said...

Thanks for the Bible passages you put on your blog on the 14th. They hit home for me and made me stop and think about how I am trying deal with my own situation with my daughter. They made a lot of sense and made me sit back and recommit myself to giving Him back the reins and letting go and letting God. I am praying for you guys every time I think about you. Thanks again and hope to see you all soon. Jan Thigpen

kitzkazventure said...

Reading all the comments brought this song to my mind....bet you never thought when you were little and in Vacation bible school that this song would become your testimony... :)
This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine, This little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine....
Hide it under a bushel, NO, I'm gonna let it shine....
Don't let satan blow it out, I'm gonna let it shine....
Shine all over Kazakhstan, I'm gonna let it shine...... :)

hugs and prayers, His name be praised! karen

Jessica and Chris said...

Last Spring I did a bible study at our church called Warrior Moms. It explains how we as moms must put on our armor/sheilds/helmets everyday when we wake. Lanetta, you ARE a warrior mom. You and Phil STAND strong everyday and what is happening is all for His purpose. I think of you guys everyday so very often during the day. We KNOW that you will be home soon and all 6 of you will be making happy memories. Your strength will prevail.

minime0910 said...

My heart cries for you Lanetta and yet I can't help but imagine the feeling of pride and LOVE the girls will experience when they someday read back through this blog and see the amount of people who supported and prayed for them throughout this journey. You continue to amaze and inspire us all. Love, Erin and Hannie

And whoever welcomes a little child like this in my name, welcomes me!” Matt 18:5

Visit our website...

Click here to visit our website to read about how our journey to international adoption began... and how God spoke to our hearts to open our lives and family to a child who otherwise might not ever know him.
God bless!

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