Sunday, June 15, 2008

Introducing...Casandra Vollbrecht

Casandra Avariel Wood-Vollbrecht

After an 11 1/2 hr train ride, I arrived back in Oradea last night at about 12:30 am and immediately turned on my computer to catch up on 2 weeks of emails and then called my mom. While talking to my mom, I realized my good friend, Halie had sent me an email a few days before with the most WONDERFUL news that I must share! But first let me tell you about Halie. Halie is a remarkable young woman whom I have had the honor to serve alongside and call friend since we met at CP1 (the orphanage in Oradea) in 2003. Halie moved to Romania to care for a little baby girl who had been moved from the Children's Hospital to the orphanage. The first time I saw Halie and Casandra together, I knew that Halie was indeed chosen by God to be Casi's mom. Halie and I spent EVERY day together, loving on and caring for Casi and her playmate Milagros (now Denisa). On the rare occasions when one of us couldn't be at the orphanage, the other always looked after both of our girls. When it was time for me to move back to the U.S. and Mila was still waiting to be placed in a foster home, Halie's continued presence gave me the peace that Jesus would still provide for Mila. In fact, Halie, Casi, and my friend Dora all threw Mila her 1st birthday party right before she was placed in her foster home.

Throughout her 5 long and challenging years here in Oradea, Halie has been shown AMAZING favor thanks to our AMAZING Father! She was given permission to foster Casi early on and has always had a great relationship with Child Protection. But the last few months have been stretching. You see, Halie is getting married in August (in California) and needed to have Casi's adoption finalized first. Many other young foreign women, although with legal Romanian residency, have had their adoption appeals rejected by the courts and Halie had not even been given a court date when I left for Bucuresti 2 weeks ago. But Halie knows she serves a faithful God who's timing is perfect and was not at all stressed. She truly exudes peace.

So last Monday she got a call from her social worker informing her that she had a court hearing on Wednesday, just 2 days later. This is so unusual as you are typically given a court date for months later. So Halie goes to court on Wednesday and with absolutely NO resistance from the judges, the adoption is immediately granted and Halie is given legal custody of Casi! PRAISE GOD!

Please keep Halie, Casandra and Eric (Halie's fiance) in your prayers as they prepare to head home to the U.S. in July, for their upcoming wedding, and also for their plans to return to the missions field here in Romania.

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