Today was all about the "finish."
The interview at the US Embassy was basically a "Congratulations ... all your papers are correct and in order." I'm including a picture of Noah's Kazakhstan passport and a picture of his visa to enter the US. Also pictured is a sealed envelope given to me by the Embassy with the instruction "Do Not Open. Give it to the US Custom's Office when you arrive." I also got instructions on how to apply for Noah's Social Security Card and a blue packet of all of the original court documents from Semey. All of us held these documents tight to our chest, pumped our fists in the air, and yelled YES!!
Back at the hotel, we met with Marina, the coordinator and Kate, the interpreter. We paid our final fees, exchanged gifts, and said our good-byes. At 1:30 a.m., Sam, our driver, will be here at the hotel to pick us all up.
Noah is in his crib fast asleep. He has no idea the long day we have ahead of us. Leaving the hotel at 1:30 a.m ... I estimate we will not step foot into my house for about another 24 hours. That's okay though. We've made it this far!
The title of my blog is "A Mother's Journey to Kazakhstan." My journey to adopt began over two years ago and during this time, I've had my faith tested, my heart broken, and I lost my mother. I read the book Hinds Feet For High Places and it made me understand that sometimes God doesn't take us straight up the mountain. He may have us take the long road there ... through a desert, down into a valley, or into a frightening, unknown place. There are lessons about faith, about hope, and most importantly ... about love that I have learned on this journey that I might never have learned had I easily strode to this mountain top.
I'm here ... humbled, wiser, more faithful ... and with a heart that has changed. God has prepared me as only he can ... so that when I hold Noah in my arms, I feel inside me ... the wide open heart of a mother.