Monday, July 14, 2008

We got him, finally!

In re-reading all of these emails, I am amazed at how this whole adventure (Hannah, too) was bathed in prayer. We depended on so many people to be our prayer warriors and so many, many things happened and "miraculously" worked out that it could only be attributed to prayer!

Dear friends and family: It is 2:11 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 18th, a very cold afternoon in Murmansk, Russia. As you may have heard, we left suddenly for Russia on Saturday morning after only 2 days notice of the court hearing. Our flight to Murmansk was delayed by several hours, and we got in too late Sunday night to email a message home. Except for the delay, the flights were uneventful. During the rush to purchase tickets and change airports & planes in Moscow, I fell down the "up" escalator at the airport. I have several bruises on my left arm, right temple and bad scratches on my right hand. Larry said that he would be sure to tell the judge that he beat me up because I got out of line.

We got up early this morning and went to the orphanage to visit the baby. His hair is a little longer than in August, and he has a bad chest cold. He is not walking yet. Larry couldn't believe how much Stephen looks like Perry as a small boy. Other than the cold, he looks to be in fine shape. I can't wait for Dr. Hosford to take a look at him and get this cold straightened out.

Now for the exciting news -- as of 11 a.m. this morning, the judge in the Murmansk Regional Court awarded us the permanent and immediate custody of Stephen Alexander Sartain. The ten day waiting period was waived by the judge. Larry made an impassioned plea that we needed to be home for the grand celebration of his parents' 50th wedding anniversary! Even the prosecutor told the judge that the baby needed to spend his first birthday with his family! Of course, "immediate custody" in the Russian time frame probably means Wednesday!

However, we have a lot of running around to do that would be hard on Stephen - getting in and out of cars in the cold, etc. We are working on paperwork this afternoon - for some reason, some careless interpreter somewhere spelled "Larry" as "Larri" and some of the paperwork must be corrected. Believe it or not, we got here faster than the emergency paperwork of last week! Remember the papers that had to be submitted before court - they aren't even here yet!

It is cold here & the snow was piled up on the edges of the runway at the airport. I hope I brought the right sizes of clothing for the baby. The grass and flowers of this summer are long gone, and Larry remarked over lunch that Hannah and Stephen will have no idea of what their world was like. The entire city is rather bleak and looks like the worse housing project in Atlanta (or worse). We hope to get the baby's passport photo taken this afternoon, and continue to work on the Larry/Larri problem.

Tomorrow will be spent at the passport office, as we cannot travel out of the city without a passport for the baby. We hope to return to Moscow on Wednesday night, and are scheduled to be back in Atlanta on Friday. We were not able to secure reservations at the Marriott Grand Hotel, but will be staying at another Marriott Hotel in Moscow. Larry slept like a log last night, but I was pretty restless. I remember dreaming that the escalator ate my hand! I'm hoping to sleep better tonight, now that the court proceedings are over.

Catherine, Sam & Hannah - you have a new baby brother! Cat, he has blond hair like you! Sam, he won't be able to play ball yet, but he will think you are wonderful! Hannah, let's just hope you don't love him to death! Be good, and Mommy & Daddy will be home soon. We love you!

To all our friends & family - thank you for your prayers as we continue on this journey. Please continue to pray that the paperwork will be completed smoothly and that we will be on our way home soon! Please pray that Stephen's congestion clears up and that he won't get sick on the plane. Thank you all for your encouragement and friendship!

1 comment:

Belle-ah said...

It has taken me a couple of days to get back her and finish reading but I am so glad I did. What a wonderful love story!!! God is so GOOD (all the time!)