Sunday, November 6, 2011


So the past few days have been...

Exciting...for those of you following our journey, you probably already know that our petition to become Blake's parents was accepted, Friday, Nov. 4th at 12:30 pm.  We petitioned for his name to be changed to Blake Andrew Woods.  And we petitioned for us to be written on his birth certificate as his parents.  All three petitions were accepted!  Praise God.  I tell you, I had no idea the people who set their alarms at 4:30 am (central time) to be praying for us while we were in court...until we arrived home!  I was in tears, smiling reading all the willing people who committed to doing this for us...ohhh, I tell you, the Holy Spirit was there, He was alive and moving within that court room.  We felt at complete peace walking in that fears, no worries, no anxieties...I KNEW Blake was our son, I just knew it.  There was no doubt in my mind it was going to be a problem...and THAT is thanks to all of you praying.  God hears our prayers, can I get an amen!

Crazy... as we were walking into the court room Jerad and I both looked at each other and smiled.  We just couldn't believe we were in that exact place, at that exact time, doing what we were doing.  Crazy.  We felt like we were just praying over Blake's picture on Reece's Rainbow a short time ago, wondering if he could be our son.  And there we were...crazy.

Another crazy thing is the court room in Ukraine (I can say this now that he is legally ours).  We walked into a building that looked like it had been abandoned years ago...up these cement stairs to a tiny little room.  The room reminded me of a chapel inside a hospital.  The room was narrow, with long narrow windows at the front, it had a high noise-reverberating ceiling, and in one corner was a small yellow painted jail cell.  There were large, cold, uncomfortable wooden pews lining each wall...we sat in the front row.  In front of us were 2 chairs and 2 tables.  The prosecutor sat in one.  Then in front of her was a large brown desk with a huge high-backed wooden chair, which is where the judge sat.  We all stood when the judge entered, the judge was late so she blew through the opening statements.  Jerad and I had to stand up, say our full names where we were born, where we currently live, and what we do for a living (it was quite an experience to translate journeyman lineman into Ukrainian language).  Then the rest of the people in the closed court session introduced themselves.  We had one person representing the orphanage, one doctor from the orphanage, one lady from the Security Administration of Ukraine, our translator, the prosecutor, the judge, and Jerad and I.  The judge spoke as if she were at an auction. 

Honestly this is how things sounded..."adlkfja;ldjf;aldjfladjflasdjfljaslfjlas ff Woods Jerad David, Woods Anna Marie, a'dkfkjl;asdjf lajfflajfadf fdfljf Woods Blake Andrew adkjf ;laj fasjfla faflff apostille a;kdljf ladjflsadjf lajsdf ff"

She spoke so fast our translator just quit translating because she couldn't keep up!  We were then asked a few questions about why we wanted to adopt, how we planned to take care of Blake's health needs, if we fully understood Blake's diagnosis and how that could effect his life, if we were financially able to provide for him, if our house was big enough for he and the girls to live in with us, and what our specific requests were for being there.  Then all the people present spoke their approvals, the judge read us our legal rights and legal responsibilities and court was adjourned....within 20 minutes!!!  Wow!  Again, only through your prayers...

Tired. . . as soon as court was over we jumped into a car to head to our translator's house to change clothes, the taxi who would be taking us to the airport was already waiting at the we quickly changed and ran out the door with our luggage.  This was about 1:10 pm.  We thought our drive to the airport was going to take 3 we rushed to get there in time for our 7:00 pm flight.  Well, it took less than 2 hours to get we had 4 1/2 hours of 'fun' at a teensy, tiny airport that was freezing cold, with no lights on and no food choices, and limited seating.  We kept taking clothes out of our duffle bags putting them on to try to stay warm.  I'm sure we looked ridiculous, but I did not care. 

Exhausted...we flew into Kiev about 10 pm Friday night.  We stayed (not slept) overnight in that airport until 5:30 am the following morning when we flew 3 hours to Germany.  There we had a 4 hour layover before getting on a HUGE plane for our 9 hour flight to Chicago.  In Chicago we had to recheck our bags through customs before getting on another plane to land at our final destination in Wichita at 6:00 pm.  We had the girl's waiting with Jerad and I's felt SO good to be home.

Overwhelmed...I woke up about 5 am this morning thanks to good 'ol jet lag.  Then the girls were up not long after because of the time change.  I walked into the kitchen through the laundry room where I was greeted by mounds of laundry...luggage bags spewing out cords, baggies, bath items, hats, gloves, boots, shoes, medicine, gifts, chocolate, toilet paper, and furry hats.  I had to dig for 15 minutes to find my face soap, my hair brush, and deodorant.  Then Leah wanted to find all of her gifts so we had to dig another 15 minutes to find the one 'chocolate bar' she had to have.  And the blue shoe booties she requested as a souvenir.  (I'll post pics of that later)

Thinking ahead...It looks like my mom and I will fly back to Ukraine Tuesday, November 15th.  We will get our court decree Thursday, Nov. 17th which we need before we can begin any of the paper chase that will consume us the next 2 days.  We will need to get Blake's birth certificate (which is a 2-hour taxi ride, one way to his birth city) his passport photo, his passport, make donations to the orphanage, close out his bank account, then we can bust him out of there.  From there we will travel to Kiev, hopefully by plane and not a 15 hour train ride, where we will have his medical embassy appointment and get his travel Visa (which takes 2 days) before we can fly home. I think, pray, and hope we will be home Thanksgiving day...if all goes as planned. 

Continue to pray...because for now I'm almost too tired to do even that.


  1. Praying for you friend!!! Soon enough you will be home with your whole family!! <3

  2. What an exciting day, but holy smokes, just reading that exhausted me! I am sure it is great to be home with the girls, but missing Blake so much. I will continue to pray for you and hope that you are all home for Thanksgiving! If you need anything, please let me know.

  3. Such an amazing story Anna!! Pray for safe travels for your mom and you!

  4. That was exhausting just reading need a nap :) and through all of this I keep thinking about your amazing parents, too, that have helped you guys SO much...what a blessing to have parents like that! And how special your mom gets to go back with you and BUST him out of there! Can't wait to hear Blake is home forever!

  5. I was cracking up the way you were describing the way the judge sounded! I love that you shared all the details of court and all the running around, it helps me know what to expect. That is crazy that in just a few weeks he will be home!!!

  6. phew!!!!!!!!!!! The time will fly between now and then :) God's soooooo good!!