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Our Russian Princess, Sarah Catherine Olesya Johnson

Finally Mother and Daughter

Sarah Catherine Olesya Johnson:
Our Blessing from God!

It was a normal day in early April of 2002. I had just dropped off your two brothers at school, and was doing what all mothers do, picking up after the family. I had the television on in the kitchen as I cleaned and The 700 Club was on. They were talking of a trip one of the host had just made to Guatemala to visit some of the orphanages there. I stopped cold in my tracks and listened without an interruption. The host was talking about all the children there that needed homes and such and as soon as the show was over I headed for my computer to research and gather more information on this. Six years prior I had to undergo an partial hysterectomy due to some pre-cancerous cell growth. Dad said if we ever wanted any more we could adopt. Well 6 years later here we are!

As I searched my heart grew full of anticipation for you. I felt the strong urge that God was telling me he had a daughter for us but I needed to pray more and bring the subject up with your daddy. As time went on I requested a packet from another agency and had convinced Dad that this was for sure a sign from God that you were waiting on us, we just needed more time to pray and follow his guidance. This was in April of 2002, I received the paper work looked it over and brought it up with dad and he was a bit interested but we needed more prayer time so I placed it in a file and didn't look at it again until August of 2002, but it remained heavy on my heart. We had just made a weekend trip to Dallas for a get away weekend and were to return on Sunday, but decided to stay one more night. That evening on the local news was a story of a group of Russian children that had just arrived at the DFW airport for an exchange program, these children were from orphanages in Russia, they were older but that was the first sign to me that God was sending us to your country. Had Mom and Dad not stayed that extra night we would never have heard this story. We would have been back in Louisiana and not had the opportunity to hear of the many children available for adoptions in Russia. It is all we could talk about on the 4 hour ride home to Ruston.

When dad signed the papers, on Sunday August 8th I cried with joy. I was about to send them into the agency I had requested the information from but, did one last search and found out that this agency we would have been using was not licensed and accredited in Russia this was a major eye opener for me. This is the country we finally were led to. I did some more research and looked at the ministry of education's website and found Christian World Adoption. I knew that this agency was the one God wanted our family to use. I am so thankful He opened my eyes and led me to CWA.

August 12th 2002, we signed with CWA and requested all the paper work. We also began the home study process and INS clearance at this time. We completed our home study by mid September and a few days later had INS clearance. There were several times along the way that God truly let me know he was right there with everyone involved.

The end of September we sent our completed dossier to CWA and on October 3rd I had called Denise Hunter our case worker to see if she had heard anything. I had to leave a voice mail and by the end of that day while in car line to pick your 2 big brothers up from school she called me with the most wonderful news of my life! She had talked to the facilitator in Russia, St. Petersburg region, and she told me that he had just received information on you and that you should becoming available within 3-4 weeks. That was the longest 3-4 weeks of my life, I had no information on you other than your age, 8 months old, just the age we wanted. She told me that our dossier had not yet been sent to Russia, but she would be sending it that week. This is where God really blessed our family.

It was Monday October 28, 2002. Dad wasn't home, Michael and John-Caleb, your brothers were finishing up their home work, I had just rearranged the furniture as I do often and had hooked back up the computer. I decided to check my email one last time to see if by chance there was any information on you. I did this 1000 times a day. Then as my email was loading I noticed this huge file from Ludmilla. It was forwarded from the facilitator in Russia, he had our referral. I started crying and couldn't believe this had happened so fast, just 2 short months into the process and we had our daughter! We knew immediately that you were the one for us! No hesitation. God was totally in control of this. When Dad came home I started screaming to tell him all about you. He started crying also and couldn't believe this was really finally happening.

The next day I called CWA to find out how long it may be before we traveled to see you for the first time. I was hoping to be there over Thanksgiving, but Ludmilla told me that we probably would not travel then because of the busy holiday season. Weeks went by and I sent Denise an email wanting to know if she had heard anything. She later called me and asked me when the time I talked to Kirill our facilitator was, I told her it had been several days. She said then that explains your message. Kirill our facilitator had been sending us emails as to when to make travel plans but my email server was down for some reason. She said he wants you there on November 23, 2002, Thanksgiving week!!!! That call was on November 14,2002 we had one week to plan our trip and make our travel arrangements to come and meet you for the first time.

What a week!!! Finally the time has come to leave and make the journey to meet our angel from God. We left the USA on November 232002 arriving in St. Petersburg on Sunday November 24 2002. Kirill our facilitator picked us up at the airport and took us to check into our hotel. He told us that we would get to go to the Baby home tomorrow and meet you finally, we had originally thought it would be Tuesday, but he worked wonders and got us there on Monday.

Monday November 25. Today is the big day to meet you. We went to the baby home and were given all you medical information and we told them yes we wanted to meet you. We were then told you had a bad case of the chicken pox. We said no big deal! Then a few minutes later in they walked with you. I was so taken with how beautiful you were! Even though you had all these blue dots all over you. Medicine they used for the chicken pox. I started crying and dad did too! You are so beautiful! We got to spend about 30 minutes with you this day then the following 3 days we got to visit with you for about 1 hour each time. Thanksgiving day was the last day we had with you and what a better thing to be thankful for that a blessing from God! I cried thinking of having to leave you for the next 6 weeks. It was so hard to get back on that plane and come home to await a court date. But God was in control of it all! I knew that! HE would keep you in his care while we were apart.

December 17, 2002. What a better Christmas present than to receive our court date! We got word today that we would be returning on January 20,2003 to bring you home! How exciting our Christmas was this year thinking about you! Wishing you could have been here to celebrate your first Christmas. We bought you presents to have when you came home. This was the longest wait of my life!

January 20, 2003. Today was the big day we left to come back and bring you home. It was hard to leave your brothers again, but they knew you would be returning with us this time and were so excited. We finally got to have you in our arms forever on January 24,2003. We were so glad to get the opportunity to celebrate your first birthday with you.

What a wonderful thing God did when he made you! You look just like your daddy and brothers. To know that He made you for us, and to know that He knew that before we did is just beyond my knowledge. People stop us everywhere we go and say what a beautiful baby you are. We get told all the time that you look just like Daddy. I have never once felt like you were not meant for our family.

You have always been in my heart...You are a wonderful baby and such a joy to your Daddy and me. You have stolen the hearts of all around you and just love to be with your family. You love your brothers and squeal every time they get in the car at school in the afternoons. They love you so much! Thanks for loving us!

Jeremiah 1:5 "I knew you before I formed you in your mother's womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my spokesman to the world" (NLT).

Mama & Daddy

Future family
This is our family the day before court. Had to make a visit to see our precious baby.

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