# 33 Reunited!

Finally, after 3 years and what has seemed like endless delays we have been reunited! Some of our faithful supporters have already been inquiring about photos, please bear with us, the photos of the kids will come! Our facilitators continue, to very efficiently complete virtual mountains of documents for a yet to be announced court hearing. The process continues to be in a very sensitive state.

Since the time that our referral was issued I have pondered how to best keep our readers updated! In the wee hours of this morning I awoke with a start, having the words “reunited” firmly planted in my mind! That is it! We have been reunited! I wanted to spring from my bed and start writing but given the nature of our accommodations (for which I am grateful) I had to slither out of the end of the bed stumbling over the edge of the area rug at its foot! So much for not awaking my sleeping beauty (Sharon)!

Reunions taking a variety of forms! These dear friends Ola and Victoria from our first trip to Ukraine in 2016

The Lord brings to mind a variety of reunions in scripture that all take a slightly different flavour. Isaac’s reunion with his family at Nahor in search of a bride in Genesis 24 is a heart warming narrative as Isaac wins the heart of Rebekah and the approval of her family. You can’t miss the EXCITEMENT!

Then there is the very suspenseful narrative of Jacob and Esau, couched in the background Jacob’s deception some 20 years earlier. You can’t help but feel the intense ANXIETY that overcomes the household of Jacob as he enters Esau’s realm. Jacob’s departure from his uncle Laban who certainly was every bit Jacob’s match at deception, coupled with his pending face off with his brother Esau whom Jacob and Rebekah had so craftily deceived in Genesis 32. Jacob ought to be terrified given what he had done. Revenge seemed justified! But time and God’s love have prevented the embittering of Esau’s heart yielding a loving reunion!

Then in Genesis 45 we read about the reunion of Joseph and his jealous brothers. I am sorry but I have often read this narrative with a lot sympathy for the brothers! Joseph’s approach in relating his dreams to his family has never demonstrated (in my mind) very much common sense! Add that to Jacob’s overt preference for Joseph and you certainly have a recipe for jealousy! We would see that ‘making differences’ is poor parenting and almost guaranteeing setting his son up for failure. But at the passing of Israel (formerly Jacob) Joseph reassures his brothers in Genesis 50:19-20 …”Don’t be AFRAID. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done the saving of lives!”

As we anticipated our reunion similar feelings encroached. There was excitement, anxiety and a certain amount of fear. Though we have been through this process all before there have been many changes locally and we are dealing with a different set of personalities! Oh dear Lord help my unbelief!

So Friday December 13th we would finally be reunited! After logging 7.5 km of walking in Kyiv the day before, to finalize the referral, followed by an overnight sleepless train ride to Odessa. Not to fault the train ride as I quite frankly find it a novelty. Then we were bouncing and weaving 100 km in a taxi to Bilhorod Dnistrovskyi to secure accommodations. Followed by another 40 kilometres of bouncing and weaving along to Starokozache to present one referral and initiate the adoption process there. Then bouncing and weaving 40 kilometres back to Bilhorod Dnistrovskyi to present the second referral and initiate the adoption process here!

So after being awake from 0600 December 12 until 1830 December 13 we were able to experience multiple hugs, kisses, “I love you mama, I love you papa” – all this on our very first visit. For over a year we have daily prayed for these children by name as if they were already ours! During these months we have been surrounded by individuals prayerfully and even financially supporting this process of providing a forever family for these children. They are unbelievably special!

Open market money changers! Same gentlemen who aided us 3 years ago!

I am reminded of events a year ago when we returned from our first appointment with our agency in Canada. We had asked them about possibilities and options with regards to a second adoption and that night around the table we shared this with the children! I will never forget the tender words of Conor at the end of our discussion through his tears, “Why did God chose us to be adopted first?” What a loving and compassionate heart. I know why God choose Niamh, Conor and Declan first – because they have a heart to share!

Even though our reunion has been very joyful, our 3 year absence has given rise to some protective barriers being developed around the heart of one in particular! This youngster who 3 years ago when sitting cuddled on Sharon’s lap, actually said “Can’t you take us with you?” All the while our children were running about virtually ignoring us. The 3 years of additional rejection and hurt have created a very hard shell. But we are confident with time and prayer and showers of love that a once very soft heart will again be soft and open. Thank You Jesus for your faithfulness!

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