What a little coffee and laughter will do…….

We thought we were on our way to having a court date – the judge ( a pro-adoption judge we are told) finally had our file in hand and was reviewing it.  Surely, we would have court within a few days.  But, no, the judge wants an original birth certificate and a public record of the birth, which will take about a week for the court to receive.  Ugh…so, we wait some more. At least another 1-2 weeks more.  Mat’s employer has been very generous, but they are also really needing him back for some important meetings on July 27th.  So, we are asking for prayers that we can get our court date on either  22nd (Friday) or the 25th (the following Monday)    Whether I continue to stay here or come home for our 10 day waiting period  after court remains to be determined.  I’m feeling very frustrated, and I am soo soo sooo missing my kiddos at home.  In my frustration I started  wondering, ” Why isn’t a certified copy of the birth certificate enough”? ” Is this a delay tactic and the judge just wants to be spiteful”? ” “Well, I had to have my original birth certificate – why wasn’t  our son’s original as well in the file in the first place? Is someone to blame for this?” In the end, it doesn’t really matter, because God wants us here for another week or more.

Sharing a bag of M&Ms – Yummy!

We got our discouraging news yesterday just as we were leaving to go to dinner.  we had been invited by Karen Springs who works in orphan ministry here and has a hospitality ministry for adopting families as well.    She had an adoptive couple from CO that had just adopted  8 and 10 y.o. siblings and were on their way out of town staying with her.  I honestly felt so defeated that I just wanted to stay “home” ( in my 600 sq. foot flat) and wallow.  But, we went, and had a fabulous meal, connected with  this amazing couple, and with our host, Karen who has a huge heart for God and orphans.    We prayed together, laughed together, and I learned how to use the funny looking thing that would allow me to have coffee in my jammies at our apartment (yes, it’s called a coffee press)! I left Karen’s feeling so renewed in spirit!  So, as I think about the whole issue of “timing”, I know God gave me the fellowship of last night at just the time I needed it most – to be encouraged, to get peace, to be reminded that God is in control of all of this.   Soooo,  since it has been so evidently clear that God has led us here, and led us here in time to adopt  Ian before he would be transferred to a place he would then be unadoptable, that He got us to Ukraine before the SDA closed (or was supposed to), then I will have to trust that the waiting game is for a very good reason that I just can’t see (for now).   So, wait we will do.  A new friend gave me a wonderful verse to keep in my heart:   Gal. 6:9  And let us not be weary in doing well: for in due season we shall reap a harvest if we do not give up.

BTW – on the coffee side note – having coffee available to me as part of my a.m. routine is a comfort thing and relaxing, so I have missed it, and unlike in America, you don’t see people here throwing on a baseball cap and workout shorts to run the the local coffee shop.  It’s very cultural here that when you go out, you have your nice clothes on.  People are very nicely dressed, and even the beggar on the metro has an over sized suit on.

Thank you Lord!

The upside of being here so long is that we get to see Ian most every day and have gotten to know his personality more.  He is a ham and loves playing with his new pappa.  We’ve also been given some insight into things that may be challenges as he integrates into our family. Ultimately this is a blessing.

Pappa holding “baby” Ian

We’ve also been able to connect with some incredible people here.  I got an opportunity to join a camp that a team from Switzerland was doing with HIV kids at the National Children’s Hospital.  It was a neat experience.  Then, to learn that this team from Switzerland has been praying for us for months was mind blowing.

Through Jim and Marianna Peipon from Ukraine Medical Outreach, they knew Ian’s story and that we had come for him even before they met us!    Of course, being with the Peipons has been a huge blessing – see Marianna’s blog.  Jim accompanied us on our medical consult with Ian’s Dr.  He was able to ask questions that we wouldn’t know to ask but will be valuable for our Dr. stateside.  He will even be able to e-mail Ian’s Dr. here if our Dr in the states needs more info.  How awesome!  And now, meeting Karen, who generously has offered us to stay with her for FREE  (which will be a huge help since we will be here longer than anticipated)!  I am very much looking forward to spending time with her and enjoying her little balcony  (something else I have really missed)

Look we were able to rotate the pic!

Here are two videos that have touched our heart.  The first one is Ian telling us a Bible story – can you guess which one?  And the second, is us teaching Ian a few words and then Pappa playing with Ian.  His laughter touches us each time.

Video of Ian telling us a Bible story >>>

Video of Ian learning English and playing with Pappa >>>

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12 Responses to What a little coffee and laughter will do…….

  1. Jen Gunning says:

    Hi Fisher family!
    My name is Jen Gunning and I live near Philly, Pa. I found your blog through Adeye’s blog and have been following your story since then. (Actually, I started watching HER blog because another blogger posted a picture of Vanya/Ian when he was still looking for a family. His picture (the one in his black suit) looks identical to my son Josh. I had to do a double take and make sure someone hadn’t used a picture of Josh on their blog! ) Needless to say, our family was over the top thrilled when we learned that your family was going to be bringing Ian home and I’ve been praying for your journey along the way.
    I’m writing to let you know that we’re keeping your needs before the Throne and know that all that He has started will be accomplished and many added blessings will be sent your way because our Heavenly Papa is like that! He loves to spoil each of us with little extras that we aren’t anticipating, like the coffee press 🙂 I know there are reasons for the court delay that haven’t been revealed yet, but when all the pieces are together, it will be a beautiful picture of love and restoration for everyone involved!
    I’m also writing to encourage you about Ian’s learning English. Before my triplets were born in ’05, I was an ESL teacher for 8 years and I dealt with hundreds of young children during that time, from pretty much every continent and language group, many as non-speakers when they came to my classroom. I had several from the Ukraine, too. And in my experience, the vast majority of them were fully able to communicate (read/write/speak/listen) in English by the time they left our program. I worked mostly with high schoolers and most of them who wanted to go to college were able by the time they graduated (at most, after 4 years in ESL). It’s amazing how quickly the brain can pick up a new grammar structure/vocab and Ian is actually at a great age for that learning to take place. I’m really excited (as an ESL teacher) about his language learning from seeing him in the videos (he has great fluency in his native language which will assist him in the new language, too. Strong L1 usually means strong L2 ability.) There are lots of great resources, too, to help him along. I used to use the Oxford picture dictionaries alot and there’s an English/Russian version one that the early learners in my class loved to look at for vocab learning. Anyway, I didn’t mean to turn this into such a long comment, but I’m just so excited about all that lies ahead of you as you bring him into your family and I know it’s going to be a wonderful time of God’s love outpoured into so many lives 🙂 Thank you for your faithfulness to God’s call. You are touching so many lives and lighting candles in many, many corners of the world 🙂
    For Him, with much love,
    Jen Gunning

    • 6 Fishies says:

      Jen – Thank you so much for your response and the info about language! I really appreciate it! Do you ( or anyone else) have an opinion about how soon to start school? We have a nice small school and great ESL teachers where we live, but just didn’t know if only being home a month would be too soon to start.

      • Jen Gunning says:

        Hi Kristin,
        In my experience, kids (as far as we at the school knew) started school pretty soon after arriving (either as immigrants or as an adopted child.) I wouldn’t do anything that felt rushed and once he’s home you may realize that he needs a little more time to adjust to his new surroundings, etc. before starting a whole new adventure 🙂 I accepted children throughout the year as some countries finished school in our winter and the family would move to the US then, so I was used to getting new kids in class all year round, but it was easier to get them caught up with the class (on the lessons they had missed, etc.) if they arrived earlier in the fall.
        One thing that was often a topic of “discussion” was allowing the use of the native language. Some families wanted their child to stop using the home language and only use English, and some old-school teachers felt the same way and would be irritated (?) if the child was heard using their home language with another peer of the same linguistic background. In my ESL coursework, I read alot about the benefit of keeping the native language active and useful as the transition to the new language took place. If Ian has a friend at school who can speak Russian/Ukrainian or you can keep it active at home, just know that it’s not an impediment to his learning English and will actually in the long run, benefit him. Using his L1 is kinda like a security blanket and it lowers the stress levels/anxiety that all the new stuff will invariably cause him. Just the change in diet will be a source of stress, so allowing him to freely maintain one of the things he is best at will really help him in the areas where he suddenly isn’t skilled at. I always made it a point to allow my students to speak with each other in their native languages before and after class and it never slowed down their learning of English. In fact, they were alot more comfortable in the classroom because they knew I valued their home language and they were able to let their guard down more. L1s also are a great source of information for the brain as it learns the L2. The child’s brain uses it as a web to get from point a to point b and if the web is removed or prohibited, the child has a much harder time navigating their thoughts and communications. It doesn’t take them long to figure out that in their L1, they put the noun before the adjective, for example. And in the L2, they have to reverse them. But when they feel stressed about not being able to access that L1 web, then they have a much harder time building the L2 web. Hope that makes sense! I mention it because it always seemed to be a topic of strong opinion when I was dealing with people who didn’t know anything about language learning, but thought that they did 😉 One teacher actually told me that he didn’t want the ESL kids using their home languages because he “knew they were talking about me”….silly reasons to prohibit one of the most beneficial gifts that a child has, but you’ll run into it from time to time. I think Ian will do fine with ESL…he doesn’t seem to have a shy bone so his affective filters are already low (a good thing!) and that low stress level will keep his mind open and flexible for language learning. I hope you continue blogging so we get to see him grow in all these areas! He sure seems to be off to a great start 🙂

  2. Diana Walker says:

    Okay, I give, what was the bible story? 🙂 I didn’t understand a word! I am loving your videos, it has given us some insight into how tough it must be to speak another language when you want to connect and interact so much…challenging! Good thing your husband is big enough to be a jungle gym! :)) I love to hear the laughter too! Praying for you as you wait! It will seem like a short time you had there together looking back I am sure! Blessings Fishers! Thank you for letting us follow along on your journey to your beautiful silly adorable son!

    • 6 Fishies says:

      The story of Adam and Eve eating from the tree in the Garden. In the very beginning before he starts the story he throw a little green apple and then starts the story about eating the apple. We are thankful that he’s had some biblical exposure – a place to start! Thanks for following!

  3. Jan says:

    I love his laughter; such a beautiful sound! I will continue to pray for you as you wait!

  4. Annalien says:

    I will pray that you find out about a court date soon. It is amazing how much Ian looks like his new mom!

  5. Lela says:

    I’ve also been following since reading Adeye’s blog. Thanks for allowing us on your journey. I second how amazing it is that Ian looks like his Mom. My girls and I enjoy watching the videos. I’m praying that the Lord console you all and give you all patience, even when you don’t understand the reasoning for it. HE is in control.

  6. Bill Hall says:

    Hi – I work with Mat and have been following your blog since he sent me the link. I am sorry to hear about your delays, but you will get through them. On my drive to Delaware everyday I would pray to God to give us the patience to handle the delays that seemed to keep coming our way. We adopted our son Lucas from Guatemala and it took us 10.5 months to get through the process – from going through a government overthrow, losing our attorney in a mud slide and having our documents end up in the wrong country. We were even thrown out of court because Lucas’ Guatemalan name wrapped to a second line on the adoption application and they deemed it unacceptable, so I know a little of what you are going through. Stay strong – what you and your family are doing is such a kind and generous act of love. There will be times when you both will wonder if you have done the right thing, but trust me, the smile that Ian will give you will justify everything you have done. I pray for you and your family every day as I know you both miss your children terribly but rest assured – You and Mat have been chosen for something special, and one little soul with thank you for the rest of his life! I pray that you soon know that happiness that my wife and I have with our son.

    Take care and best of luck!

    Bill Hall

  7. Susan Andersen says:

    Thinking about you three and pulling for you from Thousand Island Park, NY. I can’t imagine what you’re going through with the red tape stuff but I can feel the joy of you being with Ian all the way across the ocean. Stay steadfast and know that the Andersens love the 6 Fishies and wish you all the best!

  8. Jamie says:

    My name is Jamie and I have posted once before telling you how, like so many, Vanya’s story on Adeye’s blog touched my heart. I literally cry every time I read a new post and we have not ceased praying for all of you. I am so happy to see that God has given you some peace about having to wait so long. I just wanted to write again to let you know that we are one family of many that are lifting your family up in prayer daily. Thank you for allowing us to follow your journey, I think Ian will forever have a place in our hearts as will all of you!

    Jamie Ashton

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