Then Jesus said,
“Did I not tell you if you believed you would see the Glory of God!”
Yes.. Lord you did and THANKS for your promises and THANKS for showing us once again that your word does NOT return void!!!
It is with much excitement and overwhelming emotion that I proudly announce that @ 6:48 pm on Jan 21st Stella Grace and Violetta Faith became legally ours!!
Wow.. I really don’t even know where to start with this update… We are sitting in O’Hare Airport in Chicago on Sunday afternoon (Jan 23rd). We were delayed leaving Frankfort, therefore missed our connecting flight from Chicago to OKC… so here we sit! :) We have several hours to wait… and I thought this would be a good time to try to type out some sort of a post about court.. and an update.
However, I am having a difficult time knowing where to start… I think I’ll go back to the day of court.
We went to the babyhouse and saw Faith and Grace for our normal visit. We visited with the director for a long time prior to seeing the girls and I asked her a lot of questions that I’d been wanting to ask her. I will post more about this in a few days… but, I plan to take suitcases FULL of needed items for the children in the orphanage when we go back to pick up the twins.
We also talked with her about the trip we will be making (mission’s trip) and want to do something HUGE for the babyhouse…. She was in SHOCK.. but, thrilled! I suggested a couple of ideas and she’s going to think about it as well. We exchanged addresses, phone numbers and emails addresses. I warned her (with tears streaming) that we would be sending packages for the children there for YEARS to come.. so just be prepared. We thanked her for the care that they’ve given to OUR daughters… and of course I cried. She was teary as well.. and it was a GOOD visit with her… SEEDS planted! :)
I just want to share that this meeting with her ALL occurred BEFORE we knew anything about the verdict. This was on the morning of Jan. 21st… we still had NO idea what the verdict was going to be… or if we were even going to really get one that day. I just felt that we had to keep trusting the Lord and walking in FAITH.. therefore, even when it LOOKED impossible… (and yes, it looked impossible)… we knew what the Lord had promised us!
Now, don’t for a second think that we’re super humans or something… cause WE ARE NOT… even as we were sitting there talking with her… I fought off the negative thoughts (those things the enemy puts in your mind)…
You see just let me tell you that everyone was cautioning us that this judge “could” give a negative verdict. They were all saying it would not surprise them… and for some reason she seemed to not like us. I have several theories as to why things were so difficult for us… but, I doubt that anyone will ever know the real reasons or why things happened the way they did. Honestly, it’s ok that we don’t know. As I’ve shared a million times on the blog… we just know that “all things are for a reason” and “work together for good to those who love the Lord!”
I am sure that there are so many millions things that we’ll never know that were orchestrated COMPLETELY due to the delays we faced.
(I am now finishing this post and it’s Feb. 4, 2011 – We are home and it’s been 2 weeks exactly since the positive verdict. Here’s the rest of the update…)
I am going to just keep typing and pick up where I left off days ago…
We then had a good visit with the twins. It was our last visit for weeks (but, we didn’t know that it was.. we suspected, but didn’t know for sure.) Honestly, as I sit here in my bed 2 weeks later… it’s REALLY hard for me to bring myself to really type about the visit. The emotions are overwhelming and well… I miss them so much it hurts…. And thinking and typing about them still there in that orphanage with us so many miles away… well, I can’t do it tonight.. so sorry.
We left the babyhouse and went straight to the notary’s office. We filled out and notarized all the forms that the lawyer will need to act on in our behalf for completing the passports, visas, adoption certificates, birth certificates, etc… for the girls for us to bring them home. This made us feel good.. that we were going ahead with this… however, Svetlana continued to say that we were just going ahead with this since we were most likely leaving the next morning. We could feel from her that she was still VERY nervous about the court proceedings that we were facing that day… and that it was far from over for us. She tried so hard to be laid back and fun and realized, but you could just feel the stress, tension, and worry.
We went back to the apartment and got ready. They picked us up at 3:00pm. We were again so nervous, but repeated all the scriptures that we were standing on… and reminded the Lord of his promises to us and Faith and Grace. We rebuked the enemy and took authority in the Lord.
We picked up all the ladies and headed to the courthouse. There were LOTS of people in the courthouse on that day. The hallway was packed. We waited for what felt like hours… however, at about 4:00 they called our case. We all went into the courtroom. Svetlana gave her the newly corrected and notarized document that she found the error on the day before. She had lots of questions about this and asked Svetlana about this as well as Phil and I. She was her normal cheery self (the judge). She then asked me to stand and asked for my closing statement. (Svetlana later apologized and said that she did not have ANY idea that she would ask us for a closing speech.) so… having NO idea what to say, and NO prompting from in-country staff, I just ‘winged’ it and poured out my heart. I honestly have NO idea what I said… but, attempted to show her through my words and with my heart bleeding before her that we WERE IN FACT the twins parents already. I cried, but held it together and felt ok as I sat down. She then asked Phil to stand and asked him for his closing statement as well. He was incredible as well.. and also got teary eyed. I don’t really remember what he said either…except in his heart that they were already his daughters and in his heart he had 4 precious daughters and could she PLEASE allow us the privilege of welcoming them into our home and hearts FOREVER! (TEAR JERKER!)
As I think back over this session (it’s now been 2 weeks) I feel physically SICK. I can’t even put in words the agony and stress that we were under.
As we finish our speeches she then asks if we have anything else we would like to say to her or anyone in the courtroom. She then asks if Svetlana has a closing statement. Svetlana gives an INCREDIBLE statement on our behalf and honestly it was amazing the points she made. She stated all the issues the judge seemed to have and gave her our answers once again. She quoted laws and statistics of children who are never adopted. She told of stories she knew of children just like Faith and Grace who were never adopted and ended up on the streets at age 18.
It was SAD, but very moving and an incredible closing speech. She is REALLY good!
She spoke for a while. The judge then asked ALL the representative to give closing arguments. They all summarized all the info. - about us, the girls, from birth to medical info. They ALL stated and restated their medical info., all our info. Etc.. and at the end of ALL their speeches stated that they COMPLETELY support our adoption and us and recommend that our application for adoption be accepted and allowed.
At this point it’s about 4:45. The judge then states that she needs a 10 minutes recess. She says that when we come back the prosecutor will give her closing statement. We all file back out into the hallway/benches. We wait for about 20-25 minutes. She had another court session during this time. NO idea what it was about or what the deal was, but the staff told us that she was doing another session. (Just another reminder that things DO NOT work like they do here in America!)
We are finally called back into the courtroom at around 5:15. She asks the prosecutor for her closing arguments. The prosecutor speaks and again (as everyone else has already done) lists all the details again. She also says she has NO questions and completely supports us in adopting these girls.
So.. we are thinking that this will be it… surely we are about to receive a verdict.. and she then says… she needs a hour recess.. and that ONLY Phil and I need to come back for the verdict. You could feel and see the panic in EVERYONE of our new friends faces. Everyone suspected that she was going to say no… and was clearing the courtroom to do so…. Because she knew that these ladies would FIGHT for us. It was overwhelming as we walked out of there. The ladies were all hugging us in the hallway and telling us that they were SO sorry and were hoping for the best.
We left and ran a couple of errands. (exchanged some money and got our in-country flights for the next morning). It was SO obvious during this time that EVERYONE was so nervous about the verdict.
I am going to be honest here… I would not have been surprised AT ALL if we’d have received a no verdict. I was prepared. Phil and I both suspected that we might. We were planning to begin the appeal process IMMEDIATELY. We both felt and KNEW that somehow, someway, one day these 2 girls would be ours… however, we also knew that when we said.. “Ok God.. we want YOU to get the most Glory:… We were giving it ALL to him!
Now.. don’t get me wrong… I begged him…I cried.. I said.. DEAR GOD… Surely not.. surely NOT! Surely we are going to get a yes verdict… but, I also said… God if we don’t… I STILL trust YOU! I KNOW that you placed us on this journey… We KNOW that they are OUR daughters.. and we KNOW that your plans FAR surpass ours. See… I had this fear that maybe someone needed to see us trust God further, longer and more… and you know what.. if that would have been God’s will, we would have made it through it. One person’s life is worth it… ONE person getting closer to God by following our journey is worth it!
So.. at 6:15, we are back at the courthouse sitting in the hallway waiting… 6:30… still sitting waiting. There is NOT one single person there. Only the people who work in the courthouse. The other judges walk past and ask Svetlana what’s going on. (She’s friends will ALL of them.) It was obvious by watching every ones faces that they thought the judge was doing this and going to say no. I just kept quoting scriptures in my head over and over and over.. Jerimiah 1:19 ~ The Lord gave it to me. He wants us to CLING to his word when everything around us feels as if it’s crumbling.
Let me just tell you that HIS WORD WILL NOT RETURN VOID!!!
There are so many promises in that book that we all take for granted… such a shame. Lord, forgive us all!
She finally comes down the hall @ 6:45pm.. and we go into the tiny courtroom behind her. The following people were there: The judge, her court reporter girl, Svetlana, Phil, me and Symbat.
She did not smile or address us in anyway… She stood and began reading pages and pages and pages of summary about our 7 court sessions. She read details from all the days, things she asked, our answers, she went through the MASSIVE pile of paperwork and stated all the forms she had etc…
Keep in mind that she’s reading FAST.. and Symbat (translator) is trying to keep up. After about 5 minutes of reading Svetlana reaches her hand back and GRABS my hand and squeezes. I know at this point that whatever the judge just said is bad or good… but, have no idea until Symbat says, “and I also agree to allow the application of Phillip Gobble and Lanetta Gobble of twin girls - Violetta and Stella!” Silent tears start falling and I hold on tight to Svetlana’s hand. Phil puts his arm around me. I assume he heard Symbat… but, he didn’t hear what she said… so he has NO idea what is happening. She continues reading all that stuff… We stand there and listen to her read and read and read…. Until 7:15 pm… and at the end she again says that “she agrees and will allow the application to be processed!’ It was at that point that Phil realized she was saying yes!
I can’t even explain the emotions. We didn’t scream.. we didn’t shout… we hardly even smiled… It was like about all I could do stand up. It was NOTHING like we thought it would be. It was surreal. It still seems so surreal to me. We were in complete shock! Everyone was!
Svetlana gave us HUGE hugs… we were all teary eyed, but just all in shock!
The courthouse building was completely empty as we walked out and down the hall. There were only 2 cars in front when we left. It was a lot of fun telling Gernadi (Svetlana's dad - our driver)… He was so thrilled and gave me a HUGE hug! He was so relieved. We get in the van and Symbat and Svetlana are calling people telling them the GREAT news, and Phil and I are just sitting there. We have NO way to call or let anyone know… and we are seriously in shock!
Svetlana calls all the ladies involved and they are SO relieved.
Svetlana insists we go to Krendal’s to celebrate… so off we go!
Here are some pictures of our dinner at Krendal’s:
|Here we are at Krendal's with Gernadi. He is Svetlana's father and our driver. He was so kind and we enjoyed our time with him so very much. He was so sweet to us and gave the sweetest heartfelt teary toast to us and our family.|
|This is Bagdat the orphanage director. She went to dinner to celebrate with us. Totally a "God" thing! :)|
|Here we are with Svetlana and her Dad.|
|This is Svetlana and Bagdat.|
While sitting in Krendal’s I began to just feel so physically sick that it was about all I could do to sit there. When we got back to the apartment I was in a lot of pain and just absolutely physically sick. We got flights rebooked and plans made to leave the next morning.. we finally got to call home and tell everyone. We looked at each other and just smiled. However, we were still in shock. As the night progressed I continued to get sicker and sicker… and was physically sick for about 3-4 days. I know that it was just a physical response to the battle that we had just fought and WON… however, I have to admit that I am/was disappointed. It was like we really didn’t get to experience the pure excitement of what had happened for the overwhelming emotions and physical pain. Phil got sick on the way home (flights) as well.
This is the reason why I am just now getting a blog post up about court. I don’t know why I’ve not made myself take the time to type it all out… except that it’s REALLY hard to go there.
I have had several emails and comments and people asking if we are ok… thank you for checking on us. We are ok… We came home to HUGE absences from our jobs… (lots of work to catch up on). It has been VERY hard to just jump back into life here. There are some huge adjustments and as bad as we missed home and things here… it will NEVER be the same.
Phil and I are FOREVER changed and really seeking God and his direction for us and our family.
I had a good friend today say that it’s ok to feel torn…that we in fact are torn between 2 separate worlds right now… and let me just tell you this is EXACTLY correct.
Ok.. I am going to stop for now. This post is about court.. and I’ll post more soon about what’s going on with us… details, etc..
We are ‘supposed’ to be able to pick up girls around 24-25 of Feb. I will post more details soon… PROMISE!
Be encouraged today… and CLING to him… He will never EVER EVER leave you or forsake you… even when you think that he’s silent and maybe forgotten you… Don’t give up… that might be the exact moment that you will SEE him!!
Thank you Lord for our 4 daughters! We are SO SO SO SO blessed!
... and on that note... I wanted to post my all time favorite picture of Faith and Grace...
Dear Lord, how my heart breaks and I miss them. We know that you are holding them in your hands yet again Father.. and we trust you!
I can't wait to look back on these weeks and NEVER remember them not being here....