Medical insurance option is out because we don't meet all the criteria. British Airways still an option, but no definite word at this point yet- Andrew's working hard. In the mean time, Helen works with the doctors for hours translating and filling out the documents for Ukrainian Air, for we still need to have the medical backup in case there are questions about her health. They finish, send documents to Ukrainian Air and Air France (Kiev) and get approval from both. Embassy gets faxed copies of the documents from both airlines and approve the visa. So far so good (believe me this was much harder than it looks on paper)!
We now need to pick up this visa, pack, say good byes and go to the airport for 3:00 am to catch our flight. So much still to do (medical supplies to get and maybe sleep sometime?). However, we cant reach our embassy officer, and it is near closing time. We also can't find a driver. Out of the three reliable people we have had in the past, strangely, none were available. We are then told we must wait for an email from the Embassy prior to picking up the visa. None came. We come to the realization that we're just not going to fly today. In one sense, we breathe a sigh of relief that we can slow down a little, but how and when will we travel? Will new tickets cost us a fortune (that we don't have)?
Realizing I need to contact Delta about the possibility of changing our flight, I begin my phone marathon, checking in with Andrew for how British Air is coming along, and long conversations with Delta. Felt like my ear was going to fall off. I'll spare the details (which are boring anyways- lots of numbing, nondescript music while on hold) I spoke to a supervisor at Delta who listened to my story. This was my second supervisor after I got cut off a couple of times using my phone. Matthew started off by telling me about how slim the possibility of an airline allowing you to carry a 7 year old on your lap as an infant would be. He checked into possible flights and found one that was the closest to the original return dates we had so far, and that we could all be on the same plane together; depart Monday aft., overnight in Paris, depart Tuesday aft. and arrive in Detroit Tuesday around 4:00 pm. We talked more about what it would cost. $850 to change all our existing tickets and $4000 for Katia. Gulp. I was about to thank him and hang up to see what Andrew came up with in the morning, hoping it was better, when Matt put me on hold and checked something else. He was gone for a long time, and when Matt came back, he told me this (paraphrased) "I can reduce your reticket fees to $500 total and Katia's ticket I found for $1160!" That's $1650 for all of us. I thanked him. I was about to say to "book it" but had to ask the next question... "I was told they won't fly Katia- why?" Matt then inqures about why they would say this, pulls up Delta's regulations about car seats, double checks Air France's and we decide together that it is simply a matter of her having her own seat that she can be belted into as a 7 yr old. Talked about car seats again and I decided to move ahead, feeling a confidence that this was of the Lord's doing.
Then come the words (again paraphrased) "In fact Gord, I'm not going to charge you at all for reticketing... you only have to pay for the new ticket". I am speechless. It is now my turn to ask the "Why?" question, and just like that I ask it. He says that we are good people and are doing a great thing for this little girl and it is his pleasure to help us out. I again am silent, but I sincerely thank him when I come to my senses. I begin to tell my story of how over a year ago this was the farthest thing from my thoughts, and how God convinced me about adoption was His idea from the start (Ephesians 1:3-6), and how very much like her I was crippled and worthless when God rescued me and brought me into His family as a Christian. We talk some more and he tells me of a similar struggle he and his wife faced 13 years ago when discovering their mew baby was diagnosed with Down's Syndrome.
After some more conversation, I hang up the phone and find myself laughing for joy with my head in my hands in disbelief of God's amazing goodness to us.
"Did not I say that if you believed you would see the glory of God?" was the reference from the devotion Heather read that came rushing into my head. "Yes You did, and I was beginning to lose faith... how foolish of me to begin to doubt You". Earlier, around midnight I was just wondering to myself while on hold for so long and many dropped calls prior to speaking to Matthew "why am I up so late doing this? Is it worth the struggle when I could be in bed right now"? There was a purpose. The Red Sea of futility, tiredness and roadblocks were before me and God wanted to part the waters so that we could go through on dry ground. The deliverance came in the morning, just like the Children of Israel (see the account in Exodus 14 and look at the detailed time markers!). Honestly I was a little disappointed I didn't have an answer to our flights yesterday when I woke. I even questioned myself for going out on a limb by saying so, but at 1:30 am Thursday morning, He did bring deliverance and joy. I just had the wrong morning for His answer.
Great is Thy faithfulness, O God my Father;
There is no shadow of turning with Thee,
Thou changest not, Thy compassions they fail not,
As Thou hast been,Thou forever wilt be.
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see
All I have needed Thy hand hath provided
Great is Thy faithfulness, Lord unto me!
Summer and winter and springtime and harvest,
Sun, moon, and stars in their courses above;
Join with all nature in manifold witness,
To Thy great faithfulness, mercy, and love.
Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
Thine own great presence to cheer and to guide;
Strength for today, and bright hope for tomorrow
Blessings all mine, with ten thousand beside.