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!