We were greeted with smiles again! But just as soon as we sat down to visit, the lights went out. So I dug into my purse and found a little flashlight that I keep in there just in case...:) Lindsay loved it! We had to keep her from looking directly into the light but she was so interested in it. About 10 minutes later, the lights came back on. She played with the light a little while longer. Our son LOVES all flashlights so I think these two will enjoy their common interest. Shawna even liked the flashlight, too!
So I turned to the next item in my bag of tricks, I brought out the package of necklaces. Well, to say they were a hit is a complete understatement! They ROCKED! I gave each of them 2 to play with. Lindsay wanted them all. So I gave her the others. She would hold them and shake them. She would drop them and pick them up and rattle them in the chair! She loved it! She stood up on her feet for almost the entire 1hr 45 minutes of our visit! This from the little one whose attention doesn't last for more than several minutes on something.
Shawna had two and she was completely content to play with those. She would hold one between both hands and stretch it across her face. She'd hold it up over her head. She would run the beads back and forth across her lips.... This is seriously the absolute MOST I have seen her interact with a single toy since we've been here. She was mesmerized. I was amazed as I watched her lift her arms over her head. She held her arms up and out so she could watch the beads drop and then pull the string tight. She moved her arms back and forth as she moved the beads across her lips. I haven't seen her move this much! WOW! And she did this for the entire visit too! She even babbled a few happy sounds!
Afterward we had planned to go to McDonald's for lunch and make a trip to the grocery store. We didn't go as soon as we planned and we actually kind of dilly-dallied around the apartment before we left. We walked over planning to stop at a coffee shop to drop off some things for a friend. We changed our plan and decided to stop and eat first. It was super-crowded because there was a circus going on this weekend. We couldn't find a table and one large section was reserved for a large group. So we decided to stand near the door and just eat fast and head out.
About that time a new friend of ours calls our name. There's Brenda! She's with the group that has all the tables reserved! So we got to sit down and eat. She tells us that they are waiting on a group of kids from an orphanage that will be there. The kids were over at the circus and would be here any minute. This group will do some games, puppet skits, tell them about the Christmas story and will provide each of the kids with a Happy Meal before they board a bus and return to the orphanage. They have been doing this outreach for a few years now. We were invited to hang out and help with serving food. What a treat for us! It was a real blessing! Looking back at our day, it was obvious that this was a divine appointment to be there unexpectedly at the right time and place! God is Good!
|Ministry team at McDonald's|
Afterward, we left with full stomachs and full hearts! They will be doing outreaches on 3 or 4 other days later this week. We offered to be available to help again. We can't speak Russian, but we can be hands to help serve. We committed to pray for their efforts this week and to pray for open doors that will allow them to minister to many more orphaned children here.
After we arrived home, we got a call from our attorney. She told us that her news was not so good. The local court called her and told her that we will not have an appointment for a court hearing before January 10th. Bummer! She will visit the court on Monday and try to get us a set appointment for a hearing on the 10th. She will also ask about the possibility of a date sooner, but there are no promises.
Will you join us in prayer that she will find favor with the judge? Maybe we can have a court date in the week between New Year and Orthodox Christmas. If not, it will set the return date we had hoped for back by a week to ten days. Nothing monumental, but we miss our kids and we want to bring all our family back together as soon as possible.
We discussed and looked at the possibility of flying home for a week or so and returning for court. But it works out less expensive to stay here and wait it out for the extra days. And we'll have more time to visit with Shawna and Lindsay, too.
If it doesn't work out for an earlier date, we're ok with it. A little bummed, but maybe God has some other special opportunities for us while we're here wating!