Wednesday, April 8, 2009

We are home safe and sound, and we are happy to be home again after a wonderful trip! We had a slow start having to sit on the airplane 3 1/2 hrs. before departure due to some mechanical problems. They also had to let anyone off who did not want to remain on the flight and then get their luggage off.

On Mon. we helped on the boat for a cleaning day that they were having after their prayer meeting in the morning. My job was to take care of Olyvia while Laura worked on the nursery or children's room. It was tough!! ha, ha! It was another beautiful day, and it was actually hot so I was able to walk alot with her. She loves being outside and sleeps well outside. Joey took Stan, Natalya, victor and Sergey to the Lavre, a place where a lot of Russian Orthodox priests live and there are some very interesting things there. They did not go into the catacombs which is a little weird.

Now it is back to the real world. I think I am on load 13 of laundry. The kids went back to school and are doing well as far as the jet lag goes. We will see how they are doing after church tonight.

Stan took Kareel to the Bronx today for a Dr. visit with the neuro-surgeon who will assist in Kareel's surgery next Tues. It will be quite the intensive surgery on his skull and cheeks. He will be in intensive care for a day.

See you around.


Sunday, April 5, 2009

Thank you all for your comments! It has helped us stay a little connected to home. I am finally hooked up to the internet here, and we have 2 days to go. We have continued to stay busy and have had lots of excitement. We are having such a wonderful time, but there are those moments when thoughts of home become a desire as well. So as usual it will be bittersweet when we leave on Tues.

Just to catch up a little on what we have been doing. On Fri. Stan, I, and Kareel went to the CBN headquarters here in Kiev. The Webbers are the representatives here, and they have a niece, Karen who works with them. Karen is the one who did the interview, she is such a nice person. We had met her before and she put the last DVD with Kareel's adoption on it. It was such a beautiful day that we were able to do it outside. Might I add that we have had exceptionally warm weather here for this time of year. Kareel was asked a lot of questions and handled it very well. A segment was also done in a park, playground area near by. We were quite the spectacal there. I think everyone was wondering what in the world are they following this funny little boy around with a camera!! We've had some kids actually afraid of him at the playground, and the mothers hustle the children out of there.

Fri night Laura invited Phil and Lauri over for dessert. They are the main base leaders at this time. Great people, and we had a great time with them. They have 2 younger children here and they are incredible soccer players and Serg and Victor have had a lot of fun playing with them. Serg and Vic have even had opportunity to play with some Ukranian boys from the neighborhood, so that was neat. Everyone here is quite good at soccer.

Yesterday we got our souvenier shopping done in the morning. The first time there without feeling frozen! It was quite an accomplishment to have everyone find what they are looking for. We stopped at Mc Donald's for a few burgers and then headed out to the property where they are doing all the construction. The accomplishments are unbelievable. There are still property disputes going on unfortunately. We spent the rest of the day there with Kelly and Vicki Hoodikoff. What hospitable people! It was so warm that the kids were actually barefoot at one point. We had our first barbeque of the season! They did not have a grill it was more of a homemade pit, but it worked and we had delicious food. We celebrated Inna's birthday there. Laura made a cake and Vicki helped make it very special.

Another beautiful day and later we hope to go to the circus.

Sandra, I think that Lena might show us tomorrow how to make vereneke. Lisa, the poem was so special as usual. I am going to make copies and the kids will put copies in their scrapbooks.

The alcoholism here still is so overwhelming, and it is hard to see many young people early in the morning already drinking. Everyday we see many showing the effects.



Thursday, April 2, 2009

Good Morning Ukraine Time!

We are still having problems with my computer connection, so I am using Laura's.  We will be leaving soon for an interview with CBN for an interview in regard to a follow up of Kareel's adoption.  Yesterday we had a great visit at Kareel's orphanage and it went so well.  The Dr. who was closest to Kareel was crying.  All the workers were hugging  Kareel and he handled it all like a trouper.  He was given a box of chocolates, a remote car, a calendar from the orphanage, and a Ukranian story book with writing in it from the Dr.  We brought some gifts for the workers and lollipops for the kids that they allowed Kareel to hand out to the kids as they were eating lunch.  CBN wanted to come and film while we were there but were not allowed because of insufficient paper work, so Joey used one of their cameras.  It was definitely worth the trip.  Joey drove the YWAM van and so all of us were able to ride out in that instead of public transportation.  Sonya went as our translater, and Brenald, who is volunteering here for 3 mo, and she is from the Farell Islands.(sp)?  Such sweet girls!

Last night we all went to Family Night on the boat and Stan did the sharing and he did a great job.  In the morning we went to prayer.  Every first Thurs. morning all of YWAM around the world prays for the same nation.  Everyone was given statistics and needs for that nation.  It was very good and even Kareel participate in the group prayer.  He prayed for clean water.

It has been so great too for the kids to meet so many people from foreign countries.  We have seen Lena and Andre several times and their baby is beautiful.  He just loves to laugh!  Mon. Lena will come here and show our kids how to make vereneke, which is kind of like perrogies.  They can be made with meat, potatoes, or fruit.

We miss you all so much, and do think of home a bit.  Stan and I miss our bed!  Yesterday we "celebrated" our 44th anniversary.  Sat. we will celebrate Inna's 14th birthday.

Time to go!

Love to All,


Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Well we had quite a day yesterday at the three oldest kids orphanages!!  The first orphanage that we went to was one that all 4 had been at, and they remembered a lot!  Inna really didn't remember too much, but seemed to remember one of the workers there, and she remembered Inna.  She said Inna was always singing, which she still does now.  Sergey remembered the most and I think for him it was if he had just stepped back all the years, and was like a little boy there.  He remembered exactly where his bed was at and his little locker.  Natalya and Victor remembered where they sat and had their meals etc.  Some of the same workers were still there and remembered them, and our kids remembered them as well.  

The director and the workers were very welcoming and we had tea with the director and two of the workers.  The worker who worked with Inna had tea with us and she shared how she remembered different things about the other 3 kids as well.  After tea we were given a tour of the facilities there.  Everything has been redone and everything was nicely painted and very neat.  The windows were new as well as the entrance.  The place was much improved.  We were able to see some of the older [that orphanage only has children 
up to age 7], having lunch, and then saw the younger ones laying down for their naps.  They were so cute, we wished we could take all of them home.  When we went in by the ones taking naps some of them looked at me and were asking, Mama?, Mama?  Is that sad of what.

Natalya had a hard time about 3/4 of the way through our visit.  They were asking questions about what each of the kids do, and I think she began to feel uncomfortable and started to cry.  Later we talked and she said she remembered the big fence and gate to come in and it made her remember how afraid she was.  The gate seemed much larger then, but the connection was there.  She also had some bad memories of a couple of the workers, who were mean to her.  Victor and Natalya showed us where they each slept when they were not allowed to come in for the night.

We stayed at least an 1 1/2 hrs.  The director said it was very encouraging to see and hear about children who have been adopted that are doing well and are happy.  Our visit was much appreciated, and they would love to have us come again.  Stephan, from YWAM did a great job translating and was able to share about the ministry and the dental truck.

The next orphanage was one that Sergey was at for quite a short time.  We thought it was about a year, but it was more like a few months.  They said he was already in the process of getting adopted.  That was a very good thing because these were older kids and some of them have certain mental or retardation issues.  I guess some of them are normal.  You could just see the harder looks and it was so sad.  The director there said that few children are ever adopted from there.  Population there 210!  The first one 70.  One worker here remembered Sergey and she remembered us getting him.  She remembered that Stan was a pastor and she remembered things about Laura.  We got a tour of the facility, and this place had also been fixed up.  It was a bit dreary and depressing here. We had another visit f or about 1 1/2 hrs.

We started out at 7:30 in the morning and got home around 8.  It was a long somewhat tiring, emotion packed day, with a number of questions and blanks answered.  Overall the kids were very happy they went, they did not regret it at all.  We asked them if they had any good memories and sadly they said none.  We are still doing a lot of talking together about it all and that has been good.  They did have a younger sister, but is no longer living.  Well, there is much more that I could write but this gives you an idea of our very big day! 

Laura has a very bad cold, mostly struggling with the cough.  Today we took everyone but Andrew out for a couple of hrs., so she could get some rest.  We had delicious borscht for lunch and the men and boys have all gone out to the property where they are doing the building.  Joey has a meeting there so Stan and the boys will hang out there.  

Thurs. we will go to Kareel's orphanage and it looks like CBN will go as well to follow up on Kareel's adoption.

Love to all,


Sunday, March 29, 2009

Hello dear friends and family,

You are probably wondering why you haven't heard anything, and I am sure you are thinking that it is my ineptitude in operating my computer, however it is because I have not yet been able to connect to Internet here.  Joey is hoping to get my set up tomorrow with some help from an expert, other than Peter.

So a little catch up:  Our flight started out 2 hrs. late.  We had a 1 hr. delay before boarding and then another one in the plane due to congestion.  We were happy to be on our way, and were served our dinner at 10:30 PM.  None of us were able to sleep to much, but we were in pretty good shape when we got here.

We dropped our luggage off at our apartment and for the kids that was the beginning of culture shock.  For some reason our "retro", 50's apartment was not quite what they had expected.  The kids were actually afraid that it wouldn't be safe there.  The elevator doesn't help much.  Now we have slept there 2 nights and they are adjusting to our new "home".  They still have a hard time thinking that many people here live in these type of apartments.  We have 2 bedrooms and I told them that Lena's apartment is smaller than ours and doesn't have the 2 bedrooms.  We are about a five minute walk from Laura and Joey's apartment.  Their apartment is very nice and we are certainly enjoying our time with them.

Yesterday the kids, Joey, and Stan went to the Iron Mama (mother Russia), a very large statue near here.  There is a soccor field right near L & J's apartment and Sergey and Victor have been playing soccer with some neighborhood boys, who were also able to speak some English with them.  That was a neat experience for them.  The girls are being more shy.  The weather was very nice.

Today we went to church, an International church, which was in English.  Most of the worship was songs that we knew.  We saw a number of people we had met before, mostly from YWAM.  We were able to talk to Steve Webber who is the CBN contact here, and they definitely would like to do a follow up DVD with Kareel, maybe going to the orphanage with us.

Tomorrow we start facing real life and will meet Stephan for a trip to the older kids orphanages at 7:45.  We have permission to go to both orphanages tomorrow.  The one for Serg, and the one for the other 3.  It will be a full day since it is a bit of a ride.  We also hope to drive through their village as well.  A woman on staff with YWAM will make a Ukranian dinner for us at night.  I have had some of her cooking before and so I am looking forward to that.

A couple that runs the dental truck here mentioned to me this morning at church that her children were best friends of the family's children whose plane went down in Montana.  It was such a comfort to know they knew the Lord!!

Time for the dedication.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


We have weighed our 12 bags and done some juggling and we are ready to go. The kids went to school for a half a day, ate all the left overs, and Peter is giving me last minute technical instructions to a mind that is a bit frazzled at this point. We are excited and blessed for the opportunity that God has provided!