Monday, December 24, 2012


So much has happened since my last post.  I will do my best to try and make sense of everything that has gone on during the last couple of weeks.

We finally got word on Wednesday, December 12th that we would be having court that Friday at 10 a.m.  We woke up that morning excited and yet very calm.  Our adoption journey had taken so many twists and we were - the day we had been anticipating for months, yet looked nothing like we had originally visioned.  BUT, we had such peace.  God knew all along who would be our son, even if we didn't.  Because of our obedience and trust, we were being given the best Christmas present of all.

leaving for court
Court was very relaxed.  It was held in the judge's office and he was a very kind man.  We were each asked some questions, mainly wanting to know why we wanted to adopt.  The regional social worker, orphanage lawyer, prosecutor, judge's assistant, and judge's secretary were also present.  The SW spoke and said that based on her findings, she highly recommended us to be the parents of "Marcus".  Then the orphanage lawyer spoke and shared that we were highly praised by the orphanage staff and not only did "Marcus" love us, all of the children and staff loved us.  I had a hard time fighting back the tears.  Curtis and I had gone into this journey knowing that it wasn't just about saving a child, but changing the lives of many.  We brought Jesus to that orphanage and showed them what His love looks and feels like.  It didn't take effort, we just did what we always do and let Jesus work through us.  We treated each of those children as if they were our own and each staff member as if they were a part of our family.  Even though we didn't speak the same language, our hearts spoke to each other.  We laughed and cried together, often speaking just one word and pantomiming. :)  So many hugs and kisses were exchanged.  Our lives are for every changed.

So, getting back to court... :)  We were dismissed to wait out in the waiting room while the judge made his decision.  We waited about 10 minutes and were called back in.  Curtis and I held hands while the judge read his decision.  In a matter of a moment, we were given the gift of new child to call our own.  We are the proud parents of David Maxim Eriksen!!!!

left to right - judge's secretary, regional social worker, orphanage lawyer, Curtis, judge, Sara, and judge's assistant
We left the courthouse and were surprised to find David waiting in the car.  Irina (our facilitator) had taken David to get his passport pictures done while we were in court.  We didn't know she was doing this and were very excited to see him!!  I jumped in the car, grabbed his little face and said, "I am your mama and you are my son.  I love you!"

David waiting in the car after court
After taking David back to the orphanage, we went to lunch with our facilitator's Luda and Irina.  We talked about what the next stage was going to look like and the time frame for completing it.  There is a 10 day waiting period from the day of court to the day we are able to pick up the court decree and start the paper chase in being able to bring David home.  The day we could start gathering the necessary paperwork would be Christmas day.  We would need to apply for his passport in the city he was born in, which happens to be a few hours away from the orphanage.  Once the passport is applied for, it will take a minimum of 4 business days to get.  That would put us at December 31st before we could even be able to schedule our visit to the US Embassy in the capital city.  In David's country, New Years kicks off their Christmas celebration and goes through January 7th (their official Christmas Day).  Needless to say, everything closes down and we wouldn't be able to finish up the necessary paperwork and appointments until the second week in January.  Our facilitators advised us that it would be best to go back home and wait. 

We were beyond excited to know that we would be able to be home for Christmas, but sad that we would have to leave David behind.  We spoke to the nannies at his orphanage and explained what was happening and made sure David knew why we had to leave.  It was bittersweet.

We drove back to the capital city that afternoon.  We spent the next day getting some papers notarized and enjoying the sites of the big city one last time.

the snow makes everything look so pretty
We boarded the plane that Sunday morning and didn't tell the kids we were coming home.  We wanted to surprise them.  We had all prepared for us to be gone during Christmas, but the kids prayed every night that God would bring us home before then.  We traveled for 27 hours and didn't sleep much the whole time.  Excitement was keeping us going.  When we walked in the house, Curtis tried to capture the kid's response on video.  It was dark and the video didn't turn out well, but Lauren was in shock and said she was going to faint, Katie cried and shouted, "you're home", and Johnathan.....well, Johnathan came out of the bathroom brushing his teeth and just looked at us and went back into the bathroom.  :)  Johnathan later told us that he had prayed every night that we would be home before Christmas.  His prayers were answered.
We are now home and trying to adjust our bodies back to the time zone.  Jet lag has been rough, but I think I am finally coming around.
We have so much to be thankful for this Christmas.  We have been blessed with a new son and a new appreciation of life.

When we lost Porter we also lost his grant.  We are trying to recoup those costs as we counted on that grant when we set up our adoption budget.  We have been given a generous $1,000 matching grant that goes through 12-31-12.  We need another $815 to meet it.

Have a VERY Merry Christmas!

The Eriksen's

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