Tell me what it is you want to do with your one wild and precious life? -mary oliver

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Sound of the Gate

The gate at Sarah's orphanage bangs loudly when it’s closed. It's a resounding reminder to all on both sides of the fence just which side you’re on.

I’ve heard the sound from both sides. I was privileged to hear the sound from the inside as we’ve entered the orphanage to visit Sarah each day these past six weeks.  And I heard the sound from the outside as we left at the end of each visit, already anxiously awaiting the next moments we’d be able to spend together.

Sarah had only heard the sound of the gate from the inside. For her entire 3-1/2 year life, it served only to remind her that she had been set apart from the rest of the world.

Until last night…

Last night, May 25, 2011 around 9:45 pm local time Sarah heard the sound of the gate for the last time. And she heard it from the outside. The gate no longer keeps her inside the orphanage, it keeps her out.  Last night the sound ushered her into a whole new world.

A world with a mama…
…and a papa.
…and a sister and a brother.
…and grandparents, cousins, aunts & uncles.
…and McDonalds Happy Meals, and Buddy Walks, and swimming pools,  and camping trips, and a list of opportunities that she can’t even begin to imagine.
A family. Forever.

One overnight train ride later we're back in the capital city today to visit the US Embassy to complete the last steps before heading for home. Shelly's flight arrived here a few hours ago, and the three of us are back together again. And we're hoping to be back in the US as a family of five by the beginning of next week.

Thanks again to all of you who are sharing this journey with us.



  1. I wept as I read this and am having trouble commenting through my tears. Words don't seem adequate to communicate the rejoicing that I feel. Hugs to you all! Congratulations! I believe the Lord is pleased. :)

  2. What a beautiful slideshow. Thank YOU for sharing the journey with us. It's amazing how much I feel like I know Sarah, through your stories and pictures... She's a gem. God bless you on your trip home!

  3. Congratulations Shelly & Andy!!!!!!! I have followed your journey since the first day. Your post brought tears of happiness to my eyes. We'll keep praying for you until you are all reunited as a family of 5!
    Sarah is a beautiful girl. Congratulations again to the proud parents and family for such a blessing!

  4. What a BEAUTIFUL testimonial to the amazing wonder of adoption! You have fought the good fight (6 weeks worth and then some) and you've finally received your prize! I can't wait to see the whole family reunion back in Ohio!

    What a Happy Day!!!

  5. Thank heavens you're finally on your way home! Together at last. There's nothing better in the world than being together. Congratulations to one beautiful family.

  6. I love it! What a beautiful blessing for Sarah and her new family! Congratulations!

  7. And, an Auntie Jo in Minnes*ta! Congratulations on your Gotcha Day! : )

  8. omg! so happy for you guys! good luck! have a great time in Kiev! you are in the final leg of your adventure!

  9. Not even trying to control the tears here. It's been amazing to follow your journey and Sarah is just exquisite! beautiful pictures capturing it all ,the beauty and the sadness. The Other Side Of The Gate. Good title for a book... just saying.

    cannot wait to see the Princess home!!!
    God Bless

  10. That brought me to tears! She is beautiful and I cannot wait to see who she becomes! Thanks for loving her. When I first saw her photo on RR, I knew someone would love her beyond words!

  11. Thank you for sharing your journey! What a precious blessing Sara is! May God grant you a safe voyage home to the rest of your lovely family.
    We are finally here at the same orphanage. I recognized the fence and gate from your blog! How surreal it felt to be standing in front of those green buildings. We met our angel today and look forward to the day when she hears the gate close behind her for the last time too. Thanks again!! Mary G.

  12. Oh Andy! What a beautiful post! Thank you for sharing your journey with us. I loved the video clip with the perfect song playing in the background. I am so happy for all of you! Sarah is precious! I am relieved that the adoption process is complete and now you can start living your life as a loving family of 5! Welcome home!!!!!