What an amazing day for all of us. After a long Siberian night we headed to the court house. Our girls were there and they were anxious. They started fixing me immediately. My shoes needed tying and I missed a button on my pants. They tied and buttoned me up like good daughters but I could sense their anxiety. Kim and I went in to court and Katia stayed outside with the girls.
Our friend Anna, who is single for all you single guys in America, was our translator in court. We sat and listened to reports from social workers, the orphanage director, the ministry of education and others. The attorney for the state asked if we were ready for this. I mumbled something and Kim spoke about our education, experience, and seminars. Dang. I should have said that.
We left the room and our daughters had to go in one at a time and testify. They are old enough to say no. We could not listen but their testimony was read in full at the end of the trial. They told of their deep love for us and they wanted a regular family. Kristina, I can use names now, said that God brought them parents from America. That’s when the tears started for me. The judge read their family history and their history as wards of the state. He asked me about their education and then he walked out. Three minutes later he walked in and read a statement to the court pronouncing Kristina, Nastia, and Natasha as the children of Alan Michael and Kimberly Rene Clark. That’s when I lost it. Two years of struggle and over 700 miserable nights came out in tears. By the time the kids came in I was a puddle. I was thinking about Kim’s mom and the joy she would have had experienced and I was picturing our new lives together and then it hit me. 3 weddings!
The next three hours were spent walking around the town square. We went to a store where they picked souvenirs out and Kim started teaching them how to bargain shop. We celebrated with ice cream, pizza, and salad. I will give more details later. I’m thankful for the judge and the kind way that he guided us. I’m thankful for all of our new Russian friends like Katia and Anna. We thank God for the wonderful ladies who have loved our kids at the orphanage. I am amazed at our church that carried us for two years. I’m most thankful for that wonderful voice from heaven that pushed us off the sidelines two years ago. We are broken but far from broke. Would you like to see them?