Tuesday, May 19, 2015

We have a new son!!!

Today, on May 19th, 2015, after 2 ½ hours in court, the judge officially approved our petition to adopt Igor!  She also approved our petition to change his name to Isaac Benjamin Jacobs.  We thought and prayed over his name change for a long time, discussing it at length with Isaac on our last visit.  He was very excited about his new name, and chose not to keep Igor in his name at all. 
His name is full of significance.  Just as we are given a new name when we are adopted into God’s family signifying a death to our old self and a birth to new life and inheritance, so Isaac’s new name represents death to his status as orphan and new life in a family.

Isaac – Abraham and Sarah waited for a long time for God to fulfill His promise to them in giving them their son, Isaac.  We, too,  have waited for a long time for God to finish this adoption and to gift us with Isaac.  Fortunately, for us, God did not ask us to wait 25 years!  (Genesis 15-21)

 Isaac means “laughter” and Isaac bring much joy and exuberance to our home.

Benjamin – Benjamin means “son of my right hand.”   Galatians 4:7 says we are no longer a slave but a son and an heir.  In the same way, Isaac Benjamin is no longer an orphan.  He is now a son. 
Jacobs – By taking the Jacobs name Isaac now has a family.  He has an inheritance.  He will be surrounded with love and encouragement.  Romans 8:15-17 says, “For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, ‘Abba, Father!’  The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow-heirs with Christ.”
When we are adopted by God we get a “daddy”, a father.  Abba means “papa, or daddy.”  Isaac now has daddy!

Although our judge intimidated me in the first few minutes as she walked in and began the proceedings with a very stern face, as court proceeded we could see that she had a warm heart and seemed genuinely happy that Isaac would now have a family.  This was her first adoption case and she wanted to be very thorough so court took longer than we were anticipating. 

After court we took Isaac, the orphanage director, and our facilitator and translator out to lunch to celebrate.  Tonight we will spend the night in Balta so that we can spend time with Isaac at the orphanage tomorrow before we take a bus back to Odessa. 

Ukraine has a law that there must be a 10 day waiting period after a petition for adoption is granted in order to allow any family to step in and assume legal responsibility for the child.  After the 10 days, only one parent needs to be present to return to court and pick up the court decree and the child.  Then it takes 10-12 days to complete all the necessary paperwork with the child before he can leave the country.  Because Ashley is graduating from high school on June 6th, we are delaying our return to Ukraine by one week so that I have the opportunity to attend all of Ashley’s graduation events.  On June 7th, Josiah and I will fly back to Odessa, and on June 9th we will pick up Isaac and begin the paperwork chase.

Our hearts are overflowing with praise to God for all He has accomplished for us!

Psalm 146

Praise the Lord!
Praise the Lord, O my soul!
I will praise the Lord while I live;
I will sing praises to my God while I have my being. 
Do not trust in princes, in mortal man, in whom there is no salvation.
His spirit departs, he returns to the earth;
In that very day his thoughts perish.
How blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, (the God of the Jacobs!!)
Whose hope is in the Lord his God;
Who made heaven and earth, the sea and all that is in them;
Who keeps faith forever;
Who executes justice for the oppressed;
Who gives food to the hungry.
The Lord sets the prisoners free.
The Lord opens the eyes of the blind;
The Lord raises up those who are bowed down;
The Lord loves the righteous;
The Lord protects the strangers;
He supports the fatherless and the widow;
But He thwarts the way of the wicked.
The Lord will reign forever, thy God, O Zion, to all generations.

Praise the Lord!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Court appointment tomorrow

Just wanted to post a quick update that we are finally heading to court tomorrow, May 19th at 10:30am.  We arrived in Odessa this afternoon around 1:30pm after 24 hours of travel.  We survived our 9 hour layover in Newark and the long plane journey and were very happy to get off the plane.  We are blessed to be staying with our friend, Laura, in Odessa.  Tomorrow morning we will get up early to meet our facilitator and drive 3 hours to Balta for court.  Many of you were praying with us a few weeks ago regarding a judge.  In Balta, there are 4 judges who do the adoption courts.  The judge you are assigned is chosen by lottery.  Unfortunately, we matched with a judge who was busy the week of May 3rd and leaving town on May 9th for 2-3 weeks.  He wasn't willing to work us in before he left town.  So our facilitator chose to reapply for a different judge.  This was a risky decision. When we reapply we go back into the lottery system and could be reassigned to the same judge who might be angry with us and give us a hard time at court.  On Thursday, May 7th we found out we were reassigned a new judge who gave us May 19th as an appointment.  So tomorrow is the big day!
We covet your prayers as we go to court.  Hopefully, tomorrow when we post we will be able to announce our new son!  Because I keep dozing off at the computer as I'm typing...I'll sign off for now.  Thank you for praying with us!