Joshua's Homecoming Video

Thursday, June 23, 2011

One Chance

Wendy/Social Director/Natalya/Todd/Irina

Where do I begin with our court day?  It has seemed unending actually.  Wednesday morning (Tuesday night in the USA) we were picked up from our hotel by E, our coordinator and her driver.   E was calm and so that helped to soothe our nerves.  She explained the procedures and reassured us that the judge was really for us even though she may not act like it.  Her job is to make sure that we have all the legal credentials and will be good parents to Joshua.  Our coordinator, E, could not be in the courtroom with us translating because she is seen as a biased source and may translate in our favor.  We met our translator, Irina, who was awesome to work with.  She gave us a few tips on courtroom behavior.  For example, we needed to stand whenever we were addressing the judge and to smile and not be too nervous. 
In the courtroom there were 8 people: the judge, the court reporter, the prosecuting attorney, the orphanage director, the social worker director, Irina (our translator), and Todd and I.    It was all very official and austere.  When the judge walked in we all stood and then sat when she sat down.  She asked us some vital statistics questions then had Todd give his speech.  Todd had written this speech and had rehearsed it many times.  He did great and I was very proud of him.  He’s a good manJ.  The judge then started asking him questions.  Then it was my turn and she asked me just a few questions.  She seemed to be satisfied with our answers. 
Then it was the orphanage director’s turn to talk.   Natalya is an amazing woman.  Her orphanage is possibly one of the best run in St. Petersburg.  She has been working with the University of Pittsburgh, teaching the caregivers and nurses how to help the children thrive.  She said that her orphanage has much experience with children with disabilities especially Down syndrome.  She said that the orphanage staff all loved Joshua and that he would do very well in a family.  (The main problem is that when the children turn 5 years old they have to be transferred to an older child orphanage or a mental institution.)  Joshua could not stay the orphanage and we were his chance to have a family.  It was very touching. 
The social worker/director then talked about his mother.  His father has never been in the picture.  This was probably the most emotional part for me.  He had a grandmother who used to inquire about him but she passed away.  His mother gave him up at 1 month of age and after a couple of visits in those first months – abandoned him completely.  He had no one.  She also mentioned that no one had ever ever inquired about him to adopt him until we came along.  Break my heart!  He was truly fatherless and abandoned with no family to call his own.  
After the social worker/director talked it was the prosecuting attorney’s turn.  She was the one who’s job it was to protect Joshua’s best interest.  After listening to the above speeches, she said that she had no questions for us because she knew this was his one chance at getting a family.  His one chance.  Tears. 
As it was winding down the judge read out loud the title of every document of our entire dossier.  Every last document that we have worked on since last September when we started this……..that felt good.  Kind of an affirmation of all the work we have done.  Then it was time for the judge to make her decision.  She walked into a room and shut the door and then returned about 30 seconds later and said she had decided that granted us permission to adopt Joshua.  Major relief.  Court was adjourned!!
So this all happened before lunch!!  I will have to do another post about our extra visit to visit Joshua in the afternoon!!!


  1. One chance!! Wendy this brought tears to my eyes. So happy for you all. God is so good!

  2. Congratulations! I couldn't help but tear up when I read that no one had visited him. I adopted my two little guys with Ds from R also and that was what they told me in court also. So heartbreaking that these precious children are hidden away like that. I think the orphanage workers are the only ones that see them for the darling children they are....but still, in their country they have no chance in the outside world. I'm so happy for you:):)
    Amy Lucas

  3. This beautiful story makes my day. You write really well.

  4. It always makes me cry to think that no one had ever shown interest in adopting Alyosha. It is precious how the Lord builds/creates families. I thank Him for leading your hearts to your dear son, Joshua Bruce. He will be a blessing to each of you, as well as you will be a blessing to him. With continued love & prayers.

  5. So thrilled everything went so well. Thankful to the Lord that he will be home soon.

  6. What a beautiful post! It just breaks my heart to hear that he had no one ever to inquire about him. I bet you his grandmother is smiling down from heaven! Thank you for giving him his only chance, you have a wonderful caring family and he will be so loved for the rest of his life!

  7. How exciting Todd and Wendy! I love this. What a great memory of your journey for Joshua. Safe travels home! Jolynn

  8. Tears filled my eyes as I read, and reread, your post. This was his one chance - and yet in God's perfect timing, it was the only chance he needed :)! Praise the Lord for His awesome work!!!!

  9. Congratulations!!!! What a sweet, sweet post! We can't wait to meet him!

  10. I am so glad you found him. So SO glad. Every child deserves a home.