Monday, June 25, 2007

We're Home!!

Sorry it took so long, but...


We got home Saturday night on June 16th. It was SO GOOD to be home. I was kissing the ground when we got inside the airport. It took us awhile to complete the blog, because our internet was down due to some changes with our internet provider while we were gone. We finally got up to speed later in the week, and it just kept slipping my mind to do it until now.

We're very proud of the girls. This was a brave thing for them to let go of what they have always known, and allow themselves to be adopted into a new family, in a new country. All things considered, I think they are handling the whole move very well. This past week has been fairly relaxed, with us just all getting used to each other. The big thing that they like to do is cook. Our last week in Kiev, the housesitter (Vika), showed them a few tricks in the kitchen, and that really got them interested. Now they want to cook something every day. No one's complaining, because what they have been making is very good. Pretty good for 1st time cooks!

Last night, the church threw a party for the girls. There was ice cream and cake, and they gave them each a new bible and some money to be buy some clothes. The kids were thrilled. This week we're going to start a regimen of English lessons on the computer, and we are going to try and bring in an English tutor, as well, especially for Sveta, so that we can get her into college as early as possible (hoping for Jan 2008). Layna and Olya are probably going to be a junior and sophomore in high school in the fall.

We are so thankful and blessed with our new family, and we are looking forward to all the new things to come.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

It's like a comedy of errors...

No kidding. Every day it's something.

Today, we DID actually get really good news...we got our tickets!!! We leave Saturday morning for home!! Praise God!

But, when I went down to the airline (for the 3rd time this week, because they won't pick up the phone there), I found out that our credit card is frozen, because there is a fraud alert placed on it, because someone has been racking up fraudulent charges back in the States. Our credit card company caught it right away, but has had it frozen, waiting for us to call. Nice time to find out, when I'm trying to buy tickets to get back home.

But, compared to all of the problems this past two weeks, this is a small problem. Bottom line...we should be coming home Saturday!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Good news/Bad news

Good news...we got our visas for the girls, which basically means the paperwork is done with regards to the adoption.

Bad news...we could not confirm flights for all of us tomorrow. The earliest we can fly out is Saturday (2 more days of sitting around). We have 3 confirmed tickets for the girls, and are waiting for two more for Janet and myself. Due to our circumstances, we were bumped up to the top of the waiting list. If two people cancel their flights between now and Saturday, we're on our way home.

You know it just seems like things are against us, kind of like one of those dreams where you feel like you are running as hard as you can, but you are in slow motion. It's just like that. Even today, the (Ukranian) security at the American Embassy was trying to keep us from entering. "But we're AMERICANS!!!" we kept telling them, and they said that they were just too busy inside to be helping us today!

I'm telling you...we are in the Twilight Zone! I called inside, and someone told them to let us in, and then we had to wait a couple of hours for visas that they had called and said were ready to be picked up. More craziness.

As bad is things have been, we are still in a safe place, and with friends, and well taken care of. We have a things to be thankful for...BUT we are SOOOOOO praying for those tickets for Saturday, so we can get home.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Our plans fell through. We were scheduled to leave on June 13th, but there was a problem with the paperwork when we gave it to the Embassy. (There were some records that were given as copies, and the Embassy insisted that they had to be originals. Our facilitator insisted that they were wrong, that they had processed families before us with copies, and not originals, but the Embassy insisted.). So, we had to cancel our flight for the 13th.

Now for the REALLY bad news...

I rescheduled a flight for Thursday, June 14th. The problem is that they would not guarantee a flight for us out of Kiev, and said I was 'automatically' on a waiting list, whether there were seats or not. All our other flights after Kiev are okay and can be confirmed. So, tomorrow, I am supposed to call the airline and ask to confirm our flight. If they confirm the flight, then we are okay for the 14th, just different times than originally scheduled.

If they don't confirm the flight, then we wait until the next day, and try to confirm again...and so on until we get a flight OUTTA HERE! I tried a different approach and asked how far out they would have to schedule us in order to confirm a flight, and because the way the airline works, they could not schedule us UNTIL JULY!!!!!!!

So, here we are, HELD HOSTAGE AGAIN!!!

We've all kind of fallen apart today. We were all ready to leave for tomorrow, and after having such a rough time last week, this news was pretty hard to take, lots of crying, kids were depressed for awhile, etc. But, we finally pulled ourselves together in "family style" and are now back in a positive mindframe. Hopefully, we will get confirmation tomorrow, and all will be well to leave on the 14th.

PLEASE PRAY FOR US!! This will really kill us if we have to keep waiting each day to find out whether we can go home or not.

Saturday, June 9, 2007


Sorry about the last post. I know...pretty negative and dire. But, that was the situation. But, in one day, and by God's grace, it has all turned around.

Basically, the last thing that we needed before we could leave Berdyansk was to have the girls' passports changed to their new names. Everyone has a general passport, kind of like our driver's license, for ID. Then there is the international passport, like the one we have. That is the one that we need to get visas and fly home. The procedure is to change the general passport (in Berdyansk), then go to the county seat (Zapareezha), and get a new international version, using the general passport as a reference.

On Thursday, we went to the Berdyansk office to do what was supposed to be a routine passport change, and the woman literally said 'she didn't feel like doing it' and would do it on Tuesday!!! We were all stunned. My facilitator didn't know what to think. So, she told me to say something in English that made it look like I was trying to get her sympathy (what I would call 'begging'), and she would just interpret for me, and try to get her to change her mind. It worked, sort of...because she then said she would MAYBE do it Saturday. Maybe?!? Basically, the way our schedule was going, and how long it took to do the Zap. passport, if she didn't do it on Saturday, we were definitely NOT going to make the Wednesday flights. She was being a real pain in the rear!

Friday, Nataliya (our facilitator) said we should take a chance. We went ahead to the Zapareezha office to sympathize with the head person of passports to see if he could help. We were just hoping he would make that, I mean...Berdyansk office her job. Instead, he said he would just go ahead and give us the international passports, which is all that we needed anyway!!

Praise God, Thank You, Lord!!!

We spent the whole day in Zapareezha processing them, along with tying up some loose ends. Then Nataliya said that we were done, and since she had to drive back to Kiev, too, she could arrange a van to pick us up and take us right away, and she would lead the way! Didn't have to ask us twice!! We called Sveta, and told her to get her sisters packin'...because we were on our way! Sveta got crazy excited. She had been waiting for that message since we got here. We picked them up after normal hours at the orphanage, thankfully the director stayed to see them off. It was very tearful for everyone. About a gillion friends and some employees were there to say goodbye to them, AND US!! It was difficult to say goodbye, to say the least. I was a little thankful that we were in a hurry, so that we did not prolong the goodbye.

Then we ran to the hotel, and spent a few hours packing, and then skee-dadled at just before midnight. We arrived in Kiev, 9 hours later, and are just now settling in (Saturday morning) at my friend, Steve Weber's, house (where we stayed when we first got here). The car ride was awful. The van was new, but you would swear that it didn't have any shocks, and the road was like an old county road that needed to be fixed up...potholes, crazy bumps and dips, everything. Not really any rest, as we had hoped during the night's ride, but, we made it in one piece. Unfortunately, Steve's family is gone now on a summer vacation back to the States, so we are here by ourselves. But, it still feels good to finally be on the direction of home.

Hopefully, we will complete everything and have our visas at the beginning of this week, and then head for home!!

Thursday, June 7, 2007


Sorry, but this will be a short update today, just to get everyone up to speed on our schedule for coming home.

Currently, we are being 'held hostage' here in Ukraine. We have been at the mercy of some very incredulous and insensitive gov't people, who just don't "feel" like doing their jobs and processing our paperwork in a timely fashion. One woman actually said, "I just don't feel like doing it today"!!! What should have taken two days, we are now going on 5 days and counting.

So, where once we had a week buffer and were thinking of coming home early, we are now barely going to make our original schedule, and are in jeopardy of overshooting that.

Please pray for favor for us these next two days. They are key to us getting out of here.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Today...we are Ukranian parents!!!

Today is Monday, June 4th, and our 10 day waiting period is officially over. Legally speaking, the kids are ours, at least here in Ukraine. Now we will begin the work to have them be legally ours in the United States and to get the visas to come home. For now, though, we are Ukranian parents!!!

We lucked out today, as our facilitator figured out a way to save us a 3 hour car trip for doing paperwork that most of the parents have to do. So, we have the day off and are going to do some more shopping for clothes, and a few other odds and ends. 'Mom' is starting to go into packing mode.

Tomorrow, we have to travel by car all day to at least 2 cities to finalize some documents. Then, Wednesday, we make one more 3 hour car ride to another city to finish the paperwork we have to do down here, and then we head to Kiev!! (i.e. we'll be coming home soon after that!!!) :)