We had about a week to prepare for the hearing. That week was filled with both preparation with our lawyer and bonding moments with Deer. Two incidences that week stand out as causing a crises of faith for us.
The first one happened one afternoon while Kuhn Joe was sitting at our table discussing the testimony we would give the judges. He wanted us to lie. Mark and I can't remember exactly what he wanted us to lie about. We do remember well, though, the conversation becoming very heated and all parties having to leave the table for a breather. Somehow, our Christian lawyer wanted us to lie. What was up with that? We knew that before God, we could not, no matter the outcome. Like the potential of being bribed, we knew in advance we could not participate in anything questionable. We almost lost our legal representative that day. We think he may have still lied in Thai, without us knowing it. But we spoke the plain truth to the judges on the day of the hearing.
The second crises of faith also included our lawyer. We had many meetings with various social workers, orphanage staff, and others in order to prepare for the hearing. There was a lot of hustling our five-member family around Chiang Mai, along with Deer and her family, our legal counselors, and orphanage staff. At one point, Zoe (then 5) got into the car of our lawyer's wife. We were going to caravan to a meeting. That car sped away, while the other cars waited for final word on a meeting point. In that short time, the meeting was cancelled, but Zoe's car was long gone and they didn't have a cell phone.
Our five year old was driving around Chiang Mai (have you ever driven in Thailand?!) in the car of people we did not know well, and bound for a destination at which we would not be, and we had no hope of reaching her. Moms, can you feel my panic? My five year old was stranded with strangers in Thailand. I was beside myself. I could only pace back and forth in the yard and pray that God would bring her home. She was gone for about an hour, which felt like a lifetime. I was so relieved when the car rounded the corner of our street and her big brown eyes were peering out the passenger window.
The other events that week were really sweet. We had a blast with Deer.
Here are the girls cuddling together on the couch watching a movie.
During the day Deer went to school and Zoe and Abby Grace busied themselves by doing crafts at the kitchen table of the home in which we were staying.
In the evening we were able to keep Rebekah and we had a great time playing board games with her, especially Mouse Trap and Jenga, which can be played easily without a common language.
Deer has always been really good with her hands. She has perfected solving the Rubix Cube and she only needs to watch someone crochet and she can teach it to herself with just a few tries.
Here we are celebrating Zoe's birthday on June 20.
We took time to visit Isaiah, another Thai boy that we have been sponsoring for a few years.
Here I am teaching Zoe and Rebekah to make friendship bracelets.
We also celebrated Deer's 10th birthday on June 27.
It was so fun to have a cake for her and sing "Happy Birthday!"
Sweet family photo--by faith!
The court hearing would be in just a few days. I'll tell you all about it tomorrow.