Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happiest of Thanksigving

Wow its sure has been awesome and busy the last few months. Its now 7 months since God expanded our family, and it feels like they have been here forever. It's totally normal and the kids all get along amazingly. Homeschooling is also going good. I cant imagine life with them all in school. I would have to spend most of the days driving, dropping, picking up, and then the dreaded homework. It would be hard for me, to do homework with them, if I didnt understand the lessons. At least as the teacher, I teach the lesson, so I can always help them. Our new children started a little behind were they would be in school, but it's so I can fill in any "gaps" in their  learning, and it certainly solidifies their english. Their english by the way, is incredible. There is nothing they cant say, and alot of the time now, they can pick the right adjectives to use. If anyone reading this has ever heard a Russian speak, it's usually missing a, an, the, that, those etc. Well they are getting really good at speaking. This year I am able to school the younger 3 together, and the older 3 all have individual time with mom alone for math. Grammar, history, science and english are all done together. Very fun that way.
Nicolas, Marcus, Heidi and Logan are fully immersed in their sports. Soccer and baseball for the boys, and ballet for Heidi. Gabirella is loving her piano lessons and Julian is content with Lego engineering. So instead of days driving around, we are driving around alot at night and on Saturdays. But as long as we sit down every night together as a family to eat, its all good. Steve and I think its very important that we eat together as a family every night. Its becomes the best part of our day. (That and then bedtime - lol) Speaking of bedtime, thats getting alot better too. I think the boys have finally realised, that lights out means play time is over. The goofing around in the boys room could go on for hours. Luckily that has ended. (for now, maybe..)
We are also busy with the dentist and orthodontist still. It takes along time to fill all those cavities, do xrays and cleanings. But we travel everywhere together, so it's just priceless to see the expressions on peoples' faces as we all enter a waiting room. lol - again.
Needs - we are financially going under water abit, so if anyone reading this has a heart to pass it on, pray about it, or help in anyway, please let us know. Nicolas' molars were pulled by an oral surgeon, and he was generous with his fee to us, but his braces are going to be $5,698. Thats what we could use help with.
This Thanksgiving we have much to be thankful for. Beautiful, healthy children, the roof over our heads, a big meal on the table to share with loved ones, and freedom from our sin. The truth of Jesus has saved us, and His Spirit dwells within us.I love my husband, my children, my pets and basically - everything about my life! We are truly blessed and very thankful! Happy Fall to you all!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Mother's Day

So this Mother's Day I will be celebrating with my mom, Franz, and our beautiful 6 children! How blessed I am. I was at work today and one of my most nicest clients had a good word for me..."Life begins when you leave your comfort zone." Love that. She also noticed how many wonderful friends I have. I was like, yes, I am blessed beyond my dreams. I serve a loving and amazing God. When asked if I was happier than ever, I pondered that a moment. I realised that ofcourse I'm happy, but I am really content is the better word. I finally feel like I'm doing what I'm suppose to. There is no longing for something else. Besides more of Jesus that is. Just utterly content. Satisfied. The Lord has shown up daily in every way. Not that He didnt before, but maybe it's just more noticeable to me now. I dont know. Monetarily we were also blessed with new rollerblades for Gabri, Nic and Marcus. With all these blessings for the kids, we are able to start saving for Gabriellas birthday. Its in September. We hope to take them to Disney for a family vaca. She has always wanted to go. Cant wait to see their faces when they see the magic of Disney. Anyway, once again, I urge everyone reading these blogs to do what God has placed in your heart. You cant go wrong with God on your side. You are able to do all things thru Christ who strengthens you. Do not let fear stop you. Signing off with love - and wishing all the moms a Happy Mothers Day!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Day 12

Okay so another trip to the dentist. Today they had the fun experience of getting the icky plaster in their mouths to make a mold. Dr. Eckelson is the real deal. He says it like it is. "With a big brood like yours, let me tell you who needs what and when." So only Nicolas and Marcus need something soon. Nicolas sooner then later. Gabriella gets away clean.  Blessed with a great meal tonite too. Taco's in bag. And the kids all loved it. It was really really tasty. I'm happy because it didnt seem they were too fond Mexican. More swimming and then prayer time and bed. I really want to shout out to the sweet and humble giver of new soccer cleats and shin guards, (never even thought about those). What joy. Looking foward to work tomorrow and the awesome women I will see. The kids are adjusting perfectly, but could use your prayers to ask to speed up the english learning.

Monday, May 2, 2011


Yesterday we took a short bike ride to try it out. See if they all listen and follow etc. Julian and Nicolas rollerbladed because we were short 2 bikes. Fast forward to 8:00 am and a knock at the door. A forerunner for Christ says a little bird told them we needed 2 bikes and hands us money to buy them. Amazing. Then a few hours later, Steve goes to a job, and they have a beautiful Jenn Aire grill, practically new that we could have. (Just a week ago, he mentioned our grill is deteriorating and we should be on the look out for a sale) Blessing no.2. Then Friday nite we rescued a baby bird. Well he is stronger and bigger every day. Like we didnt have enough to do, we now hand feed a bird every few hours. Lol. Anyway, after days of checking online to find out what kind, we discover today its a dove. Awesome again. Blessing no. 3. Anyways, its fun all taking turns caring for this bird. Gabriella, Julian and Nicolas have been great at spoon feeding it. Logan tries tomorrow. Should be able to release the bird "joe" at the end of the week. We all went back today to try to find the nest. It was in the "Y" of the Robb and Stucky sign at Mizner. Only about 20 feet from the ground. Oh well, it seems they fly the coop 14 days after birth anyway. Sad actually, they dont return home again. I rather prefer the turtles, who go back to the beach they were hatched on. After 2,500 or so of traveling around, they can navigate back and lay their eggs. And that goes on and on. Pretty cool. That must have just happened that way huh?? No perfect design? Really now. Oh ye of little faith. Our God knows exactly what He is up to and why. Thank you God. I wouldnt want it any other way. Our life is in your hands.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Adopters

Yesterday was one week. Things are going great. During prayer last nite, Logan said our last name should be the Adopters. Steve and Caroline Adopter. Funny. He prayed that there would be no more orphans. Okay friends, step up to the task! Its awesome. Live life on fire. (thanks for reminding me Rachel) We have done a litre version of school all week and played games. Had great meals delivered - thank you all - what a treat! We went to Baja Cafe last nite. Wanted to try mexican with them. First of all, even at the cheap places its too much $. Well I guess not too bad. About $10 a person. Chips and salsa yes. Refried beans soso. But add a chip and their favorite - sour cream, and it was yes. Sauteed veggies were a yes to the boys. Chicken fingers and fries yes. And yes they have that on the kids menu there. Swimmming is also a favorite. But we must get them to bed earlier. Because no matter what, they wake early. Also, Gabriella prays out loud now. Just a little bit but thats great. Nic needs more hugs. He is a bit stiff. Marcus is doing great with english. Suprise visitor today for them. Uncle Hank from North Carolina, drove down to see them. We stoppped by drama class and the kids got to meet the whole Stars troupe. They had fun, and ofcourse they got to see Miss Sherry and DeeJay. I do hope more in our midst open their homes ands hearts to ophans. There are many more young ones at the Ark and we can show you pictures or give you contact info.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Home Life

So settling in has been smooth and easy. Except for the usual or occasional (don't know which is the better word) boys' not listening, they have all been remarkable. Julian, Logan and Heidi have been quick to lead, guide, teach, and show whatever needs to be done, so that Gabriella, Nicolas, and Marcus can do their share of chores around the house. Wow, did I mention how fast the food goes? A dozen eggs and a loaf of bread for breakfast. Whatever... they are so worth every penny or ounce. Plus, I'm secretly trying to fatten Marcus up a bit. Spaghetti is their favorite so far. We have been blessed with meals from friends. And we even got invited out after baseball practice tonite. Burgers and hot dogs. They loved it, ofcourse what kid doesnt? So school has been good. We have done 3 days now. Just very lite stuff. Routine and repetitive math facts, calendar, colors, shapes, phonics, easy readers, and handwriting. Their penmanship is PERFECT. I had them copy the alphabet today in cursive. They care about their handwriting thats for sure. It's funny and neat the way they all mesh together. God has made it perfect. Unbelievable really, the way He is so in the details. I am constantly amazed at His handiwork. About 9 months ago, I had Steve make a round homeschool table instead of the square one we had before. We had 4 chairs around it. Now I need 6 or 7 chairs, and you know what? They fit perfectly. Details. I'm telling you, whoever reads this, that God has a plan for you, right? well, He wants you to be crazy and just say yes. To whatever is deep down in your heart. Be reckless. He was reckless to the point of crucification for you. Just do it, as the old slogan goes...

Monday, April 25, 2011

Day 3 & 4

What an amazing Easter celebrating what the Lord has done and finished! Literally. Easter we went to church, then home to meet Oma and Opa. They all hugged and got easter baskets. Oma cooked amazing lamb chops and everybody loved them. Swimming with cousin Riley and cheesecake for dessert. After they left Steve took the boys and Heidi bike riding at the park, and Gabriella and I snuggled on the couch and watched a movie. Next day = structure. Need routine. With 4 boys playing ALL the time, it could get out of control. So we did our devotion and schooled a bit in the morning. Calendar, numbers, phonics. Just the essentials. Next a short word factory movie. Lunch - a loaf of bread and a pack of cheese for grilled cheese. haha - food will go quickly. Steve is fixing the sink so both sides of the double vanity can be used. 6 kids brushing their teeth one at a time takes too long. Next swimming and Costco, again. I may even sneak Target in. Towels hanging everywhere wont work. I'm too OCD for that. I'm not giving up my clean house just yet. Note to self, cook dinner at lunch. Thanks to Rori we will also implement quiet time with reading or books for 30 min. late in the day. Thats all for today. Hey! I got a chance to blog. Yipee.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Home Life

4/23/11 Day Two. But let me back up 2 days. Thursday I woke our bio 3 up at 11:30 and made a new record's time drive to MIA. They touchdown at 12:10. We park and run in to greet them. So exciting. We see them, they see us, we run arms outstretched to eachother. Kids to eachother, then Steve and I, then Steve and kids and me and kids. Great feeling. Luggage arrives, drive home, and see their excitement as they walk into their rooms. The boys were like , woah! And Gabriella has a huge smile on her face and says, soo big! Play till 2:30am, or should I say the boys all play till 2:30; then we crashed. Friday morning - breakfast - cereal and oj. They do not like their drinks too cold yet. Early swim time for the boys and Heidi. Then Gabriella, Heidi and I started things out right.. pedicures. A little girl time and we all chose blue colors for our paws. Then lunch of Mac and cheese. Okay, at this point it starts to dawn on me that food is going to go fast and in large quantities. Large quantities. Like 3 boxes of mac and cheese, without me and Steve eating. I was like Costco every 2 weeks, but it may be every week. Okay then - we'll cross that bridge when we need to. Afternoon swimming, shoe shopping at Rack Room, then baseball practice for Logan. The kids all played at the playground and Logan is hammering it in the field. Steve throws a bit to Nicolas, and he's a hitter. But not sure if he likes it yet. Probably have to spend alot of time at the fields torn between both baseball and soccer. (Football) Going back to shoes. Ukranians wear their shoes very small and tight so they have small feet. ? Well poor Marcus' toes are smooshed together so we will have to untrain him and get him to be a real Floridian... barefooted!  Working on that today. Nicolas is alittle sunburt and Marcus too, so we will spend most of our noon time inside playing games. Thankyou to my friends for understanding that we need to bond inward for awhile. We will have lifetimes together to grow all our kids God's way. Well, this is surely a very special Easter time. Resurrection Day. Amazing God that has placed this in our hearts, fueled it, and then sees it thru till the day we will be complete. Thank you God for your life and your heart.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Last Day

3/31 So it's my last day. Sad to say dasveydana for awhile. Don't know when or if I'll be back. I'll definitely miss the ark and it's beautiful inhabitants. Last nite we handed out all the shoes and clothes we collected for the kids back in America. Very fun. Everyone was very happy. I still need 3 pairs of shoes. Artur, Nastia and Ileana's shoes either didn't fit or they didn't get any. Let me know if anyone has it on their heart to supply them. I have their sizes and we can mail them. Also barbies and barbie clothes are wanted. The girls were all grateful and didn't want more than their share. There were extra clothes and I told them to keep them all. It was really sad to say goodbye to a few girls in particular. If anyone is remotely interested in adopting, please please come see me. It's now a count down till my family comes home. We all can't wait. 20 days. Logan is going to make a countdown calendar. The first thing my biological 3 said how much they are looking forward to April 21st.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

It's Official

3/29 A new day in history! Today we gained 3 more beautiful children, all at the same time. Praise the Lord, for He is Awesome. Headed into Kiev at 12:00 and stopped at the mall for lunch with the kids. They tried sushi! Gabriella liked it, and the boys said so-so. Then while the guys were exchanging money, the girls did some serious bonding while window shoppping. Actually, we have alot of the same tastes. Good stuff. Then over to the court early. Once there, a tall attractive lady comes over to Gayla, and introduces herself. I tell Gayla to tell her she has a great jacket, and then Gayla turns to me with a smile and says she speaks very well English. ok then. Turns out she is the prosecuter. Good thing I really did like her jacket right? We are ushered immediately into the small court room. The prosecuter comes in, the secretary, the shloozba lady, the director at the Ark, Gayla, and the 5 of us. The kids are asked to wait outside and the judge, a very attractive young, underline young, lady enters with 2 jurors. One is a young female and the other, well lets just say he was an older gentleman with a not so happy look on his face. The judge goes thru all the formalities of our names, addresses, dob, jobs, etc. After 20 min. of this, she looks at Steve and wants to know how you met these kids and why do you want to adopt them. I stand with him and answer some questions. Now this whole time, the older gentleman is practically shaking his head at us. I think I may have heard him growl too. Then the question of homeschooling comes. I take this one, and explain how and why we do this in America. Then just to solidify it, I mention the public schools are not so good. The man then replies, in perfect English might I add, I send my son to public school in New York. great. So an hour more of questions like how can you afford it, manage 6, and do your kids want them, we begin to wrap things up by hearing from all the other people in the room. They each stand up and say it is in the best interest of the kids that they be adopted. All except the judge and jury at this point. Oh, the man also asked if we homeschool due to our religious beliefs, and what kind of church do we go to. Looks like he read the file too.  Anywho, they then bring in the kids and ask them each indivdually if they like us, like America, what kind of food did they eat, do they like the food better in Ukraine or America, what do they call us and much more then I can remember right now. They answered all respectfully and seemed to even make them smile at the same time. Then the judge and jurors leave to discuss their verdict. The prosecuter and I converse, and she has a few more questions for me, but compliments too. She mentioned how the kids already look like us. We speak easily now, and she tells me not to worry they are for sure yours. Enter the judge and gang, and they officially read the verdict. Yes, the court recognizes and grants you full and sole custody of Gabriella, Nicolas and Marcus. Congratulations!

Volleyball vs. Paner Ball

3/28/11 After our 2 square meals, homework and computer time, and 4 haircuts later, we went outside to play some ball. Very fun. The kids wanted to play paner ball (?) and a few of us volleyball, so we compromised and played both. Actually the paner ball game is very fun. Nicolas is some player. He rushed in almost every time to save the ball. Nice to see him in action. Then 8:00 and my suitcase arrives - yah! Rushed upstairs and brushed my teeth. Good feeling. More tomorrow...

Sunday, March 27, 2011

They're Back

3/27/11 After 3 decent flights and a good sushi dinner in Detroit, we are greeted by our lovely daughter Gabriella and our close friend Barbara. Except for the sad fact that MY suitcase, carrying almost all the kids shoes and clothes bought for them by all the saints, was left in Amsterdam. It was not checked thru all the way to Kiev. Prayerfully, it will be delivered here tomorrow and the contents can be handed it. The weather is sunny and about 36. We arrived at 5:00pm and after a quick bite at McDonalds, we make it to the Ark. (Btw they even have good multigrain buns here.) Nicolas and Marcus had been waiting outside and came rushing to us as we pulled in.  So nice to back! After hugs and hello's, we had a heart to heart talk with Anya, their guardian and caregiver that has been here with them the longest. God totally used her to establish trust and an example of what family is supposed to look like. We are very thankful she has begun to fuse together some of their brokeness and rejections. It's the forerunners again Theo! I took notes on all her memories and will treasure it. It's neat how you can have a connection with an almost perfect stranger thousands of miles away from home. We are tied together forever in this process God calls us to.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Step Out

Just got this amazing blog on an email...if you want more of what this amazing foundation does, look up
What are we doing, Church? Maybe the questions we should be asking are what AREN’T we doing and WHY aren’t we doing it? I know we have heard the adoption speech so many times, but maybe that’s the problem. We’ve approached this topic with too much of a familiar attitude and we assume that someone else is taking care of it since we’ve heard it so many times.

In John 15:13-14, Jesus lays out a command to us:
“Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command.
I am beginning to think that we don’t have a grid for the reality of what will happen when abortion is made illegal in this nation. 4,000 babies are aborted every day in this nation. Where will they go when Roe v. Wade is overturned? The ending of abortion in the U.S. leaves 28,000 babies A WEEK who will need to be matched with families. We cannot pray the life prayer and not consider that God may be asking us to be the answer to our prayers. That day has to come to an end. RIGHT NOW. Seeing the end of abortion in this nation is going to take laying down our lives for the sake of another. It’s going to take us getting out of our comfort zones, giving of our finances, and trusting that God’s leadership is perfect even when taking a child into our home doesn’t make sense to our co-workers, friends, family, or fellow church members.
Lou Engle states in the opening scene of the documentary Justice Waiting:
“When you have set your face to go after God, He will disturb your peace. And if you’re willing to follow Him, the voice will come and the voice will mess up your materialistic dreams, the security of your home. He will send you on circuitous paths that you don’t understand; people will not understand you. You’ll have to make decisions to leave the familiar to go to a land that is totally unknown. But if you take the risk, you’ll find that God is on the other side of that still small voice telling you to step out into the world of crazy.”
Too many of us are relying on the wad of cash that we place in the offering plate passed around at church for the cause of adoption, thinking that we have fulfilled our duty of looking after orphans (James 1:27), and not enough of us are considering taking the road of “crazy” and filling out the paperwork for a home study. The cash is good, don’t get me wrong, but there is so much more that we can do!
In this nation, it is considered crazy to adopt a child when you already have four of your own. Who am I kidding? Having four kids will get you strange looks nowadays. Refusing to be given over to the idea of retirement and adopting or fostering a child (or children) at the age of 50 looks crazy. Taking in women that you don’t know into your home because they have no place to go since their family has rejected them due to their pregnancy looks noble, but still can be considered a little crazy since they’re a girl you met outside of a Planned Parenthood one day while doing side walk counseling.
It was never meant to be the responsibility of the homosexual community, the Muslim community, or the social justice community to save the orphan. It is the calling of the Church to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters, even the smallest of them. 1 John 3:17-18 states this heavy truth:
“If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need, but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and truth.”
Clean out the spare bedroom that you really don’t use anyway and open up the doors to your home for one mother or one child. Cut off the cable TV and forfeit the daily purchase of a latte in order to save some money to feed an extra mouth at the dinner table. Squash the lie that says the wait for having a child placed in your home will be too long. The wait WILL be long if you’re waiting for that perfect child with the perfect hair, eye color and the gender you desire. In reality, if you’re really about embracing the Father’s heart for the orphan, you will welcome a child in regardless of those things. And for the men reading this, we need you. So many of you are willing to wait in the freezing cold for Super Bowl tickets that cost hundreds of dollars, paint your face and belly the color of your favorite team, and tell the whole world about your team winning the big game, but when challenged with speaking up for the ones in the womb, it’s too crazy and controversial. Stand up, men! We need you to be the protectors that God created you to be. Read Malachi 4:6 and go from there.
Let’s stop putting so much stock into temporal, materialistic things that, as we saw this week with the earthquake and Tsunami in Japan, can be swept away in an instant. Store up treasures in heaven by putting aside what you think are the dreams and desires of your heart and cloth yourself with the dream of the Father’s heart. He longs to save these children, and He wants us to be the instrument in His hand to do so.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Thankgoodness For Skype

3/9/11 We fortunetly get to Skype with our kids. It's fun to see them and hear their voices. After a few minutes of checking in, our kids here promptly grab the notebook and start chatting away and walking them thru the house and even outside. They built a fort out back so they couldnt wait to show it to them. They are very excited to have them as siblings. Heidi usually mentions it daily. She cant wait to have a big sister. Although she has also asked if I can still have a baby. She wants to hold a new baby, all the time. But I'm not sure I could handle 7 kids! She'll have to settle with her baby dolls. Looking forward to going back to Ukraine. And surprised that I am looking foward to it. Seeing our kids again, and the generally slower pace. Wish Jane was there this time though. But thankfully Barbara, Debby and Gayla will be company. (And Nikka.) Please continue to pray for finances and most of all a smooth and speedy court hearing. The judge said all our paperwork is in order; so thats good. Just cant wait start life together!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Torn Between 2 Worlds

3/5/11 (SS) Well we're back in the states after a long hop, skip,and a leap over the pond. Strange... these times we live in, you can be in Ukraine, a world away at 9:00am in snow and cold, then get on a plane and by midnight your'e in another part of the world. Almost surreal. Anyway, we are home, and its nice to be back. Caroline and I are so, so thankful for all who helped take care of our three while we were away. You all put in some much of your time and hearts to help. Our three had such a hoilday, I feel they almost were dissapointed that we were home. I believe they sensed that school would be starting again. Many thank you's go out to all of you for your prayers, time and the love you shared. I must say that my heart was touched when we got home early Monday morning (1:00). The house was just he way Caroline loved to walk into it after a time away. Hats off to Angela, Rori and Lisa, well done.

So onto the news. Ukraine gov. appears to be trying to correct it's misguided ways, but we had figured our dates based on an earlier protocol. It seems that they have advanced to a computer system, choosing the Judge and court dates. We estimated that our court date would be end of Feb, but the Judge had informed us that she would not hear this case till end of March ( 29th ). That of course has changed our plan. Up until this little glitch, the process was moving uninterupted. Caroline and I were not going to stay another month waiting and she was home sick for our three in Florida. So, we made the decision to come back and work for the month, then return for the court date.
After the court date the children would be ours. There is a 10 day waiting time for the paper work to be processed. Caroline will come home directly after the court date, I will stay another 3 weeks to finish all the other doc's that have to be obtained.
That takes us to this: We need your help once more to raise 4200.00 for all the airfare tickets that will have to be changed. We both have missed alot of work time and are presently hussling to generate some cash flow to store away for the time I will be gone again. Please help us out by donating on the Help page on our blog site via Paypal, or give directly. Any and all help is appreciated and needed.
I get up around ­5-6 am to spend time with Pax (our dog) out in the front yard playing catch with her ball. This morning while out front, as the clouds were rolling away and the sun was peeking thru, I was brushed with the Spirit as I saw our new three home in this house. They had woken up early to be with their Poppy with hugs and appreciation for rescuing them and now starting to restore their hearts back to the Father. Such a joy rushed thru my soul.What a fine day it will be when they come home. . . Thank you my Lord, for your word and your promises are true. For His glory.

Friday, February 25, 2011

March 29

We finally got the date. A bit of a bummer, its March 29th. Torn between 2 worlds. We will go home together for a month. Super glad to go home to my kids, my amazing friends, Pax, warm weather, and work. Cindy, I will work on Thursday. :) Sad to leave my kids here behind. Thankfully, they are optimistic and resilent. They didnt know the date could have been Feb 21 or 22nd, so they were dissapointed it was another month away, but glad it was going to be final then. After that, we spent the nite playing ping pong and goofing around with the boys, and that was great. On a serious and sober note, this change in dates will cost another $3650. We could use some help in this thwarted plan. We hadnt anticipated the cost of additional changes in airfare. So if you're reading this and want to hep, please donate on paypal, give to us directly, or mail it to us?. Any and all help is appreciated. More tomorrow on our day. Vicki, I will tell you why via email or fb messaging. We'll miss our friends and family here. Especially Debby and Gayla who have been so generous in translating and just hearing my feelings out. Barbara and Jane for being sooo hospitable, kind and most generous with us here crashing at their compfy pad.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

No Date Today

2/24 Thats all for today. Too homesick now and am having my own pity party. Lord you are good and your mercy endurith forever.

Today's the Day

2/24 Yesterday we all went to a Home Depot /Expo type store. This place was huge! It literally was like HD, Expo, Walmart, and Kmart all combined. And as big as all of them too. Its called Epi Center. Then came home for a goodbye party for Dasha. She is going to the home of Ange and Ella, where we had that lovely dinner and fellowship last Saturday nite. Yesterday was also "Mens Day". So there was a party for them too, and the boys here, and we had cake and jello mad by 2 of the girls here. They are the newest girls, and very sweet. Ira, is 15, (cant read or write) and Nadia, 11, (smart and quick at Blink - a card game I played with her.) Steve and I painted the hallway railing to the upstairs apartment late last nite. "It looks really good Jane." So today is our day to find out our court date. Hopefully. And prayerfully she will give us a date as early as Monday or Tuesday so I can come home. Will update you all as soon as we hear. A huge huge thankyou to Dawn, Rori, Angela and Lisa, Dick and Barbara, Oma and Franz, and Kathy - we couldnt be here without your help. May the Lord bless you, and keep you, and make His face shine upon you!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Snow Snow and More Snow

2/21 Today was a first for me. Debby and I went cross country skiing. Actually worked up a sweat. Kinda fun, sliding along like that. Although I totally admit, I am not a cold climate person. At all. Tomorrow we pray for mercy and we would get a court date. That's all for today. Sorry not much into talking right now. Trust in the Lord, and lean not on your own understanding.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

God's Word at the Right Time

Nothing in this world comes without pain. Dreams and wishes that God puts in our hearts are like roots in the Kingdom. You have the choice to live life comfortably, but you can also make the decision to bear fruit. When you want some fruit, you have to go thru some pain. It will make you call out to the Lord. If you considered the cost of giving birth; the finances, the pain, and the sleepless nights, would you still do it? Giving birth is painful. But there is fruit. If you think that following Jesus is a stroll in the park; well Jesus said to pick up your cross daily. Also giving birth is irreversable. The most painful thing isnt the birth process, its the expectations you have.   Anyone who bears a dream and participates in it, then it will bear fruit. Jesus did not want to suffer his death but did so for the glory set before him. Life as a Christian will cost you something. But it will also be a blessed life. If God created and birthed something in you, you know that He will see you through. 1Cor 10:13 God is faithful. To build a house will cost something. To grow a family will cost something. It takes time. And encouragement from others. Spiritual support. Seasoned people of the faith. Your faith has saved you. Jesus said this. If you start this process, then God will finish it. You need faith to finish. You need to know God and His character. Know who He is and how He feels about you. You need to believe that God exists. Heb 11:1 Faith is the confidence that what we hope for is going to happen. We believe that He is good, faithful, loving, and that He can sustain us. Is. 54:1-2 Feel joy. Enlarge your house; build an addition; spead out your home. Do not be afraid. Run the race set before you Caroline. The realisation of your dream will cost you, but can you step over the pain to see your children grow up and give God the glory?
This is the message from the Lord this morning. Awesome timing God.  Why should I be suprised? Thank you father God.

Friday, February 18, 2011

No Court Date Yet

"Trials make the promise sweet; Trials give new life to prayer; Trials bring me to His feet, Lay me low, and keep me there."
This will be 2 days blogging. Yesterday, we met with the psychologist again, and she had us make "perfect kids" out of play dough. I did Kristina and Igor and Steve did Denys. When we were finished, she told us their story. Not nearly as bad as alot I have heard, but still dysfunctional. Parents started drinking after kids, and then split. They split up the kids too. Dad got the older ones, and mom got Denys. By the grace of God, intervention came, and the three were reunited, and brought here to the Ark. The grace and favor of the Lord on their life is beautiful. Fast forward to today. Drive into Kiev and hit the Austrian Embassy. Got the paper clearance we needed and courriered it to Interpol. Got the name of our judge, and only by praying for God to open all the doors, will we get a date of Tuesday. Not sure if I should fly home and wait, or postpone for now. Really need the date... On a happy note, I went with Debby to the girls house and snuggled with Kristina. The boys were there too. They went home after a bit, and the girls huddled together for a devotion and a great time of prayer. Awesome hearing the girls cry out to the Lord. Most of their prayers were for us and our adoption documents. Unbelievable that in the midst of what they are feeling, they lifted our family up.
They also prayed heavily for their own mothers to get clean and come get them so they can be a family again. Wow. Wow. Wow. We are invited to dinner at a neighbors tomorrow night. They have 2 boys and have adopted a girl, and now hopefully are coming back here for a beautiful little girl we just adore. So the girl they have now.. was literally treated like a dog, fed under the table milk, and at about 8 years old had no vocabulary. She looked like an Ethiopian child. Unbelievable. Praise God she is in this wonderful home now. Cant wait to meet her. I'll let you all now how it goes. Good nite.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Prayer Request

2/16 (C)Another ride into Kiev with Gayla and Eger for the dropping off of papers to be filed and then notarized. Lunch at the mall, sushi again-yea for me. Came home cooked mexican and it actually turned out great even with guessing at the seasonings. Got to cut Igors hair tonite and they have drawn their family pictures.  The boys drew us with them but not including our bio 3. Gabriella drew us all and grandmothers too. Yeah. The pysc says the boys are enjoying this time with us alone and Marcus even drew himself in between Steve and I. I'm going to have our kids do the same at home and look at them.
Prayer request - the interpol report from Austria is mia, and Gayla and I are heading to the Austrian Embassy first thing to try to get another one. Pray for that, or better yet, the old one is found on a desk in Kiev Interpol. Thats the best scenerio. Also pray that we get a court date Tuesday. (or Monday) and a good judge :) Thank you!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Family Drawing

2/15 (Steve) Today was a slower day, we did not have to go anywhere. Caroline and I slept in this morning.
I awoke and went directly to work trying to finish cutting the tile for the foyer, and had a good day. I'm almost finished. We did meet with the in house psycologist. Talked with her for an hour, she had some info about the children, all good, mostly FYI stuff. Interestingly enough, she seperated Caroline and I, and had us draw in a circle that she had drawn, a picture of our family. We drew it differently, but both passed the test. She wanted to see how we each viewed our family. Kinda cool actually. Tomorrow she will have the kids do it too. Cant wait to see their pictures. She asked Kristina alone today, if she felt accepted and a part of our family already, and she said yes! Also she encouraged us that she will attach soon to us. Mostly Caroline. It'll be awkward with me at first as she has missed her childhood with me. She is in the inbetween child and teen. More teen in body, but child inside. Thats good. We had dinner with all the children, then went back to the apt. talked, responded to emails then we (Caroline, Barbara, Gayla, Debbie and myself sat to watch One Night with a King. Tomorrow we will be back in Kiev processing papers. Will meet with the lawyer and try to encourage him to get us a quick court date so we can seal this union and Caroline can get back home to our three. Thank you all for reading along,
Dawn, glad Caroline could give you a laugh at my expense. Your the best.. On a good note the Ukrainian people make the best soups I've ever tasted and great, fresh breads. Tomorrow nite is Taco Wednesday - we're cooking upstairs! So grateful that we have the amenities of living upstairs at Jane and Barbara's.
Peace out.

Monday, February 14, 2011

A Little Piece of the Pie

2/14/11  All righty then ... Woke up at 7:15am to get ready to go back into Kiev by waiting in turn to use the shower. Went all the way down stairs and into the school bathroom to relieve myself of the fluids I obtained during the evening prior. Once I was back in the kitchen making my instant " gold Nescafe" coffee, I took a moment to look at the morning activities outside the window. People walking to and fro,children going to school and "what!" As I peer down to check the temp I saw the gauge read 9 degrees. WOW, OH fun. Needless to say I had to break out the heavy artillary and, yes thank you to Chris Barber. I put on the full armour of your protection. That right, everything I had was on my person. Did I mention it was very cold?
Our first stop was to catch a bus for a while and to catch another bus to the court house to file some papers.
I figured this might be a good bet for using the bathroom, well, let me tell you. If I could attach the photo I took I could save alot of lines in this blog. Their toliet room: first you could smell a hint of deer permiating from the far end of the hall, first floor north end. As I push thru the door I immediately knew I was in the right place, but my eyes and mind were not quite yet prepared for this vision. Now this is locked into my hard drive until I can download and delete with the help of the staff at Harbour. (Book me for an encounter please) In Ukraine, a hole in the floor is acceptable to do your business whether standing or squating. Thank you Jesus, this was not a number two moment. Now onto the bus stop. Think of a short yellow bus with rustic overtones, and a chipping paint motiff. Circa 1970. As I find myself being the good Samaritan, I let everyone on the bus, then quickly stepping on before the doors abrubtly shut without warning or concern. I squeeze my way onto the second step, the bus driver is stopping for more riders. A petite young lady steps on and muscles her way in. Now remember, she is on the step lower than me, and my back is facing her.  Because she is applying her Ukrainian heritage into my back and causing me to rise up on my toes and arch my back, all the while, trying not to intrude on the Ukrainian wrestler that is in front of me. I immediately relapse into a Yoga class moment - think Morning Salutation. As I am holding this arched back, tippy toed balancing act, hanging from the overhead bar, I look at my trusted companion, Caroline. And because she loves this type of humor, find her laughing hysterically. Finally reaching our next stop, we fall out of the bus. (Onto an icy sidewalk ofcourse) We shoot into the mall for some skin care products, yea, no more dry skin for me. Thank you Nivea. Lunch at another mall to kill time. Sushi for Caroline and Gayla. And 2 Geese for me (chicken and salad). Across another street, to the metro (you remember the subway from a few blogs ago?) and then bus, and finally American soil. We are at the Embassy to sign passport and visa papers.  American speaking peeps, clean water and real toliets await us. Well almost. After finding the WC, I did my business and finished. As I was turning around to flush, I read a sign which is posted on the wall behind you," Do not put paper down the tiolet". Now at this point, I am looking around to see where in the world are they asking to put this paper. I see a small lid covered container under the sink and said... "Oh well, should have posted the sign so I could read it while sitting, not squatting. Anyway, I did inform my wife of the sign. However, I did not ask her if she followed their request. Harisho, (ok), repeat the travel process back to the Ark. Back in time, you guessed it. Dinner. Beef with kraut, potato pancakes and bread with butter. Going to end my day now. Got to go. Catch you Wednesday.

2/7/11 Leaving

Hope this posts in the right order because I am just adding this from my phone notes...So here we go. Saying goodbye to my kids was very emotional. Not too mention the lack of sleep. Could hardly speak to say goodbye. Looking at my mom who has the brunt of the responsibilty (along with some dear friends), and her saying farewell to her only child, that was about to embark on a journey that would forever change her life, was major emotional. It will be last time its the 7 of us. Got to the airport and texted some close compadres, to type it out. If I had spoken my feelings, I would've choked on my tears. Basket case right there in FLL. On with the show... God totally gave us seats together in the very first row. Extra leg room. Thank you Lord for caring about the details. You're in them, I can not be. I certainly try but even with a thousand lists, I cannot do it. I look out the window over the ocean, and picture my kids around the dinner table with Oma, as we set off for the unknown. Comfort, grace and peace to us please Lord.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Emotional Sunday

2/13/11 Lond ride in the freezing cold to get to church. Debbie, (the intern here who speaks German and English), says, "This is a sacrifice, coming all this way for church." I am reading this book called Radical, so it was funny that she mentioned that because in the book, going to church for us Americans is so easy. A comfy ride in a cooled or heated car, music on, a nice parking space, laughs and fellowship while at church, and a good time had by all. Hillsong Kiev is a great church, and the worship is as we know it at Harbour. Btw - did I mention its 14 F today? Headed back after church and took a long hot bath to warm my bones. Down to the dining hall for a Valentines celebration. History lesson on St. Valentine and a discussion about the different kinds of love. "Agape love Heidi",just an inside thing for me and Heidi. We ended with worship and prayer. Very emotional time. Debbie played guitar, and watching the kids sing with their eyes closed was beautiful yet sad. I wondered what they were thinking and silently praying about as they worshiped the King. Then it was prayer time. The kids started right out, and not knowing what they were thankful for and asking for, I can only imagine. Either way I was speechless and teary eyed. Hugs and kisses goodnite and now for a spagetti dinner that I prepared today.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Snowy Day

2/12/11 My turn to blog today, guaranteed not to be as funny as Steve's. Woke up to snow falling, and at the time of this writing, it is still snowing. Baked cookies with the girls, after a morning haircut to Debbie. A quick lunch, soup only for me, then a brisk walk to the tram. The trams are antiquated. Looks like they are still riding from the 1940's. An experience for sure. We rode into Kiev because the teenage girls went to youth group at Hillsong Church. Very cool church. Great music. While the kids were there, Barbara and I hit the stores. New sweater dresses for us. $30. Its really fascinating here, the women are decked out! Nice high heeled boots, and mink coats or some other fancy coat, just for every day outings. Its cultural here. Because they couldnt get anything while under the Soviet Union rule, they now have this sense of freedom, and spend most of their earnings on nice clothes. It is how you look here. People will actually dress up to go to work, change into work attire, then back into fancy. Funny. I look like a poor person here, minus the alcohol breath. Hung out with Kristina on the trips in and out which was lovely. Missing home and the warm weather. Hope all goes smooth and we can get back to Florida sooner than later. More tomorrow.

Friday, February 11, 2011

An Adventure Out

2/11/11 Up at 7:30am and down to the mysteries of the breakfast house. Today we had mac & cheese, pickled tomatoes and roasted chicken.(see kids... it is OK to eat pizza for breakfast) That is a first, again for chicken at breakfast, but tasty, and good.  Then our driver, Eger, took us and all three kids packed into a mercedes benz wagon, back into Kiev so we could meet the Shlouzba (Childrens Services). Here is where we watch our three get questioned about being adopted by Caroline and I, then they had to hand write an affadavit stating that they were willing and accepted being adopted. Then, (you guessed it) the colors of blue stamped over their signatures and the sign of the head lady.OK, breathing again...We where then able to leave. Caroline, since we were out, wanted to see the city. So off we go to the Water Museum. I'm going to let you just hang on to that thought for a moment. So we enter this nice old, well preserved building, and ofcourse my first thought is where is the water? I then proceed to pay 17.00 US to take a tour, which is in Russian, that just captured my complete attention. Come to find out shorty after passing thru several displays, that this "museum" was a tour about the water and sewer distribution in Ukraine.
The tour ended with me using the W.C.
We all then took a short walk in the frigid weather to view a scene looking over the Dnieper River at an elevation of 1500 feet. Quit the view, nice. Now it is about noon and off to the pizza place for lunch, 239.00 Grivna . 40 US. Once again the boot store across the street was summoning Caroline. We all look and I must say Caroline did well. No Grivna spent. On the way home we ended up at their version of Super Walmart with a Costco flair. Bought some groceries and headed back home. Took nap, wild dreams, up again for dinner. Potato stew, Greek yogurt with raisins, sliced pickles and bread no butter. Filling and tasty.
Tomorrow I install the tile in foyer. Check back for more moments in Puscha-Voditsya.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


This morning started late for Miss Caroline. I on the other hand, woke up 8 min. past the time of breakfast call, racing down to get there in time to see the kids and have a quick bite.
Today was a bowl of some sort of spaghetti noodle cooked in a milky thick paste with a sweet taste. Visually challenging. This sat beside a pink, sausage type, swollen hot dog. I really only wanted to see the kids before they rushed off to school.
Directly after this excitement, I proceeded to go back to chipping up some tile in the foyer. Now it was time to go back into Kiev to get some docs notorized. Now, we in the states, know the notary only has to seal someones signature, here is a completely different proceedure. We get to the office and sat down, nice office just 2 people, one young man and a lady. A lady with a great haircut noted caroline. This was a 45 min demonstration of cascading colors of seals and pretty threaded documents. Thats right  . . .threaded docs. They sew a thread thru the side of all the pages and cut the ends at a particular length, then the color seals are stamped over top and signed by this lady.
The young man is now printing up a very formal, and colorful 2 sided document which Caroline and I had to sign. After this we had to sign a hand written ledger in several places. Did I mention the nice office?
All in all, it was a non-stressed event. We then proceeded back to the car which Eger (Jane's friend) was patiently waiting this entire time. He was a true blessing taking us so we could get back faster, to get there in time for the scheduled dinner hour.
Dinner was good, saw the kids again. Although lunch is really the best time,because these cooks make incredible soups.
Always loook forward to the soups and home made breads.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

We're here

Our flights went well and we had great seats. Smooth travels, and early arrivals. Off to a good start. Arrive in Ukraine and because of my female cycle, felt very emotional. The Ark is a great place, and the people who work here, care here and run the place are amazing. Their hearts so in tune with the kids. It is still an orphanage. I am reminded of that as I tour the boys dorm. Sad. All these kids should have a family and a home. Home Sweet Home as they say. I think of the excited looks on their faces, if they could only have their own place and space. Parents who are always around for a hug, kiss, or just to sit with them. So the hugeness of our endeavor sets in. To say I am shell shocked is putting it midly. Woah. My life is so easy and light in America. And now, major change is coming. It does get a little easier everytime I see Kristina, Igor and Denys though. She gravitates to me, and the boys to Steve. At lunch, I can hear Igor tell the other boys, "My papa", with a grin from ear to ear. So after freaking out for the first 12-18 hours, I begin to cut some of the ladies and kids hair here. It relaxes me, something I know. Kristina watched and hung around in the hair room after school. Her friend Ivanna hangs out too. Shes great too and they are roomates. Our first night ends with a gourmet meal cooked by Jane and Barbara and we celebrate Gayla's birthday. She is wonderful. Much younger looking then I had conjured up in my head, I didnt recognize her when we first met. Actually thought she might be an older girl here! Anyway, wise are her ways. A good nights sleep and some incredibly encourageing words from the Lord this morning. (Thanks Dawn for hearing my heart and sympathizing with me - I love you!) Jesus in the garden expresses his human heart when he says, "My Father! If it is possible, let this cup be taken away from me. BUT I WANT YOUR WILL, NOT MINE." later he says, "Keep alert and pray, otherwise temptation will overpower you. For the Spirit is willing indeed, but how weak the body is." Psalms 31:19 Oh how great is your goodness to those who publicly declare that you rescue them. For you have stored up great blessings for those who trust and reverance you. listened to my plea and answered me. (Heidi's verse)
SO CHEER UP! TAKE COURAGE IF YOU ARE DEPENDING ON THE LORD. Perfect. We are off to our interview with the SDA. A formality. More later...

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

In the Ukraine!

Prayers and more Prayers!
The Schardts landed safely in the Ukraine
and have spent time with the kids
last night and today ...
Awaiting interview tomorrow.

Calling ALL Prayer Warriors!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

New Names

The children have picked "American" names for when they come to the States. Gabriella, Nicolas, and Marcus. We are supportive and happy they chose this. We are keeping their birth names as their middle name. They all have a beautiful ring to them.

Ukraine here we come

So we finally have our dates to go and get our three! Our 1st appointment is on February 9th with SDA and then off to the courts about a week later. Very exciting.

We skyped the other day for almost an hour, and it was just what we needed. We showed them their new bedrooms which Steve and friends have been working on for some time, and basically just admired them thru a camera. Christmas was initially hard without them but with the wise words of a faithful friend, “The Lord is building your house”, I was able to let go and enjoy our last holiday with our precious 3 and family. When I looked at it that way I was like, “take all the time you need God”. Christmas was great and Steve’s parents and sister and brother in law joined us. It was really nice. I feel like although initially having reservations, both sides of our families are a lot more understanding and supportive. God’s timing is so perfect. Steve will be back home with the kids mid March.
I believe we’ll spend the rest of our school year and summer just teaching them English and phonics. Reading, writing and bonding as a family. I look peacefully forward to a beautiful union and closeness in our now large family. Wow - large family is right! A lovely friend got us the book Large Family by Kim Brennaman, and I am enjoying pouring thru it. I feel like some of my friendships have strengthened and been taken to another level. No more surface talk or bubble living. I am forever grateful and thankful for the community we have. It’s a really large family from a “Kingdom” perspective.
Prayer request: End of January, the government could vote for the 2nd time on halting all adoptions until an “agreement” is in place between countries. This could be devastating for all orphans! Stuck with hopelessness! Please pray as the Spirit of God moves you. That they would not get to vote, or they would stand up and vote NO! Mercy and grace upon that land.
I will keep you posted, more often than this last post…
Love and Peace to you all