Monday, June 30, 2008


I don't think I have mentioned that we have court tomorrow and again on Thursday. I guess the judge is busy on Thursday so we have a preliminary hearing tomorrow to probably go over all the paperwork and then hopefully Thursday will be a quick decision. Please pray that all goes well with the judge and that he sees us fit to raise these four children. The two court appointments is not the norm and so we aren't exactly sure what to expect.

Also, several people are asking here and in email about the language. The kids are picking things up in English every day. We are picking up a tiny bit of Russian as well. We get along just fine with the kids. We all use charades and pointing to communicate. Alina and I have even started drawing pictures when nothing else worked. For the most part we are communicating just fine. It is more difficult with adults. :)

What We've Been Up To

This is the restaurant/bar with WIFI where we check our emails and post on the blog. We come every day, usually for lunch and sometimes again for dessert. Luckily they have a menu in English for us to order from. Some of the translations are pretty funny. We have been ordering the Caesar Salad frequently because it is pretty good. It is called "Caesar - Salad with the sauce of Caesar." There are lots of other funny ones too. Not even Kostya really knew what the "Fish in Fur Coat" was. There is another one called "Peper Steak - Carefully Inflammable!" Must be steak with a spicy sauce on it. There are more, I will have to make note of next time so that I can post them too.

Julia has been taking Alina home with her frequently so that we can hang out with them in the evenings. We took these pictures on Saturday afternoon when we were all walking to the orphanage together two see the two little ones. We stopped in the park to play.

Julia always has Alina's hair done nicely to go see her mama and papa.

Being silly with her mama.

She loves it when her papa chases her.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Playing with the Kids

We are allowed to visit the kids twice a day. We are allowed to come any time from 10 in the morning until about 12 or 12:30 and then again after 4. We usually stay for a couple hours then as well.

The orphanage seems to be a very nice one and they are very accommodating when we come. When we play with the children inside we use a big playroom. It is a therapy room so it is full of fun large motor toys for the kids. There are bars to climb, a big tunnel they love to play in, hula hoops. a slide, a small ball pit, pianos, and other toys.

We really like playing outside too. The playground is where the children usually are at the times when we visit so we often pick them up out there. The weather has been so nice so we like to play under some of the shady trees. The kids pick berries and apples from the trees, play on the playground, and love to play with our camera and video camera. They have already mastered using them for the most part. Alina knows the video camera better than we do. She loves the videos of Keaton (our dog) that are on there and she even kissed him on the screen. So cute. We always bring them some healthy snacks and they love to picnic outside with us. They always share with us and try to feed us their juices (like nectars) and snacks.

A couple days ago when we took these pictures Ilona was with her groupa at the park. So we got to play with our oldest and youngest alone. :)

We brought some food for Alina to give the kitties. They are apparently both named Leeza, by the way.

Family picnic, minus two kids.

They don't have many toys and they play with whatever they have around. They have wonderful imaginations. Alina is using the back of a dump truck toy as a bowl and making "soup" with berries and leaves.

Picking berries

Reading "Russian at a Glance"

Little guy loves his juice! He drinks it and then shakes it next to his ear to hear if there is any left in there. Then he tries to take his sisters' juice if they leave it sitting around.

Friday, June 27, 2008

More About Our Kids

Alina adores kitties. There are several strays that have become orphanage pets. We have seen bowls of food that someone leaves out for them in the courtyard. The other day it had a broth soup with potatoes, pasta, and a few vegetables in it. Alina’s favorite orphanage cat is a cat named Leeza. Leeza has got to be the most tolerant cat I have ever seen. She is a really soft, gorgeous young cat who has already had a litter of kittens. Alina picks her up and holds her like a baby. She rubs her head and under her chin. Alina sings and makes Leeza dance on her hind legs. Leeza never even hisses. Sweet kitty. I told Kevin there may be a cat in our future. Neither one of us loves cats as much as Alina does, but this little girl may be able to convince her dad to get one for her someday.

Edik will be away at the Black Sea for almost two more weeks. We wish we could have spent more time with him. We have watched the videos we made when we visited him over and over. The other three love to see their brother playing with Papa on the video camera. We can’t wait to get the four of them back together. They are very close siblings who share a special bond.

Ilona is a very happy little girl. Her sweet smile (with missing front teeth) lights up the room. When she laughs her deep belly laugh you can’t help but start laughing too. She loves to play with us and her favorite game is when her papa turns her upside down. She lays down and puts her feet in the air and says “clease.” (This is how Ilona says please in English.) She is possibly as stubborn as her mama (uh-oh) she knows what she wants and doesn’t want. She loves to do puzzles and play outside on the playground. She can whine like a pro. She gets this pathetic look on her face and starts to wimper. Sometimes she even laughs at herself. She is going to be learning very soon that this behavior will get her nowhere with her mama and papa. Poor little thing is going to have several dentist visits in her near future. Many of her baby teeth are filled with cavities. ☹ I hope they aren’t hurting her.

How funny is her little hat? It has holes on each side to put her pigtails through!

Ilona gets two pictures this time because I thought this one was cute too. The blue stuff on her legs is ointment or something they put on all the kids for scrapes and cuts. Ilona and Igor are always covered in it because they always have scabby knees and elbows from playing so hard! :)

Igor is such a sweet little guy. He and Ilona are very close. He is fun, energetic, and a little bit mischievous (in a silly way). I think there are some gymnastics or soccer lessons in his near future. Both he and Ilona love to be picked up and carried. They both just giggle with delight when they are held. He is a little daredevil. If any of our kids breaks a bone or needs stitches, it is likely going to be him. Hopefully we will be able to prevent that though.

Our posts shouldn’t be so few and far between now. The next week or so we will have lots of free time. Hope all is well with all of you. We really appreciate all your sweet notes and emails. It is good to hear what is going on with all of you, even the mundane things.
Love from Lugansk,
Krista and Kevin

Where We've Been

It has been a long time since our last real update. We have been very busy. We spent the first couple days this week running all over Lugansk getting paperwork for the judge. He is a very thorough judge and had us redo some of the paperwork he didn’t like. So we had to drive an hour each way to the town where the children were born and get some of that redone. Then we had to go to the both orphanages and get medical letters to say the children were all healthy enough to come home with us, lots of that sort of thing. The town where Edik’s orphanage is has never done an international adoption before so they are very unsure about how to do any of the paperwork. The social worker from one town is helping the social worker from Edik’s town.
On Tuesday night Kevin and I had to take the overnight train back to Kiev to update one of our documents at the U.S. Embassy. The social worker in Edik’s town was finishing up some paperwork and we were down to the last minute. They took probably three minutes longer than we had to spare so we were going to miss our train. We didn’t even have tickets yet. We grabbed a taxi and drove by the station, the train was still there but we wouldn’t have time to buy tickets and get on before it left. So Kostya told the taxi driver to drive to his hometown (an hour and a half away) where we could catch the train at it’s second stop. It takes the train two hours to get there. Olya and Nikita met us when we got to their town and Olya had packed us a lovely picnic dinner to take on the train with us. Homemade food! We got to the train station and found out they had no more tickets for the train we were trying to catch. Kostya had tried to call ahead but wasn’t able to get a hold of anyone who could check for us. Apparently he has a good relationship with the conductor (he does ride on the train several times a month) so he called and Kevin and I were able to use the conductor’s room for a very reasonable price. It was a private room with bunk type beds. It was small but very comfortable for us. We had our wonderful meal from Olya, watched a show or two on our computer, and fell right to sleep. We slept all the way to Kiev with very few wake ups.

When we got off the train the next morning we were supposed to look for Sasha, Kostya’s friend who is the driver he uses in Kiev. As soon as we stepped off the train Helen, one of Kostya’s associates, was standing outside the door to greet us. She said Sasha had food poisoning and was very sick. Poor guy. So we got another taxi and went to the U.S. Embassy. There lots of people in all different lines waiting outside the embassy. I guess they were all trying to get travel visas to visit America. We got to walk right in and go to a room where they serve American citizens in Ukraine. There was another couple in there ahead of us and we quickly figured out they were there for the same reason that we were. Kevin started to tell them we were there for the same reason and we started talking. They are adopting a little girl from Odessa. We figured out that not only was his name Kevin as well, but they live about 15 minutes away from us in North Carolina! They live in the nice area where Kevin works. It was so nice to talk to such a nice couple about the adoption process, the orphanages, and that sort of thing. We plan to stay in touch while here and to get together once we are all home and settled. I think they are reading our blog now, so hi to Kevin and Stephanie! It was so nice to meet you, and we hope and pray that the three of you are home very soon.

Then we were off to the SDA with Helen to turn in some paperwork there. We all went to lunch and we shopped around Kiev a bit. Right outside the SDA there are some tourist type stands that sell Ukrainian souvenirs. Kevin and I bought Ukraine soccer jerseys for the boys and stacking dolls for the girls. We got each child a traditional Ukrainian shirt (a dress for Ilona) so we can get their picture taken in them once we are home. They are really nice. Those were the things we were really hoping to find to get for the kids to remember their country.

We spent the rest of the afternoon in a nice park talking with Helen and walking through a few shops. It was nice to relax for a couple hours, then Helen left to return to the train station for her trip home. Our train didn’t leave until a few hours later. Kevin and I walked around Kiev to find a coffee shop where we could use the WIFI and get a drink. Kiev has several Starbuck-style coffee shops that are their own chains. I think one is called Coffee Time and there are a couple others. In Kiev, like in America, there are coffee shops on pretty much every main street. Kiev is a really pretty and busy big city so we knew we could find one just about anywhere. We were starting to get hot from walking around the city, we were really tired, and our backpacks were feeling heavy on our shoulders. We hadn’t seen the kids in three days and we missed them. We headed down a street Kevin thought was probably in the direction of the train station to find a coffee shop and we saw a Gloria Jean’s! They don’t have Starbuck’s in Ukraine yet so we were surprised to see Gloria Jean’s. Gloria Jean’s is a coffee shop chain they had in California and I actually don’t know if I have seen one in North Carolina since we have been there. We went in and were so happy to see they had WIFI, an English menu with all the familiar items on it, and the employees spoke pretty good English as well. They couldn’t believe we were there from America. We each got a frozen blended drink and had a little bit of internet time to catch up on emails and take care of some things we needed to. Gloria Jean’s felt more like American soil than the U.S. Embassy had. ;)

We finished our drinks and Kostya called us. The U.S. Embassy had our INS approval already. This is the approval that states we are now approved to bring home up to 4 children, through the age of 9. We were previously only approved for 3 children, through the age of 6. It wasn’t expected to be ready to pick up for another day or two and our judge decided that he needed to see a copy, though technically it is generally only needed for the U.S. side of things at the end of our trip. We got a taxi, swung by the Embassy to pick it up and headed to the train station. We grabbed some dinner and water to bring on the train with us and headed to our train car. We had paid the extra money to have a deluxe room. Normally there are two bunks, four beds in each cabin. The deluxe cabins have just two lower beds. We ate our dinner, watched a couple TV shows on our laptop, and slept all night again. Kostya got on the train in the morning when we reached his home town and we all headed back to Lugnsk.

We hadn’t showered since Tuesday morning (it was now Thursday) so we took showers and then went straight to see the kids. They were happy to see us, and we were so happy to see them. We are glad to be back in Lugansk and done with all the running around. Pretty much all we have to do each day until court is to play with the kids! ☺

Thursday, June 26, 2008

We Are Still Alive

We are doing well. The kids are great. We have had a very busy couple of days. I will explain later. Either tomorrow or tonight. Things will be slowing down soon and we will have more time to write.

:) Krista

Sunday, June 22, 2008

More Pictures...

because that is probably what you want to see. :)

We only have a few minutes to post and I didn't type anything ahead of time so I will keep it brief and share some pictures. The kids LOVE to play with the camera and they take pictures of everyone and all kinds of silly things. They pose each other and add props and everything. So far we have pictures of toys, orphanage pets, and even a dead cockroach. "Bi-oog"

Alina took these of Ilona and Igor yesterday. We don't have many of Edik since we only got to see him once. Now he is away with his groupa (group) at the Black Sea for a couple weeks so we won't see him for a while. :(

Igor playing with his Papa.

We got to take Alina to a place called Children's World yesterday with Julia. (Kind of an arcade or Chuck E. Cheese) It was on the third story of the mall. We were getting on the escalator to go up and we realized Alina had never seen one before. She carefully stepped on and giggled the whole way up. It was so cute. She stepped off cautiously at the end and stared back at it because she couldn't believe she just rode up moving stairs. :) How fun is that? We probably could have skipped Children's World and rode up and down all afternoon. Here are a few pictures of our fun. She had clearly never done anything like this before either. The trampoline was so fun for her!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Long Story and What You Have Been Waiting For

This is us in Kiev before our appointment at the SDA. The picture was taken in front of the Capital Building, not the SDA Building.

(Written Friday Night)

Okay, finally a minute to sit down and type. We have been running, running, running non-stop for days. On Wednesday we planned to take the overnight train from Kiev to Lugansk. We spent the day trying to get something that we needed notarized, had to pick up our paperwork from the SDA, and then only had a few minutes to catch the train. We dropped the paperwork at the notary before lunch and then went with Kostya, Olya, and Nikita to the mall to pass the time. When we went back to get the documents the power was out at the notary and the documents were finished, but not yet printed. We had one hour before we needed to rush to the SDA and then onto our train. We sat in the notary’s office for nearly the whole hour while the power was being worked on. At the 11th hour (and after a couple quick prayers) the power was on and we signed what we needed to and flew out the door.

We took a taxi to the SDA and then had him wait while we got our luggage from the apartment. Then Kostya, Kevin, and I headed to the train station where we met up with Olya and Nikita to catch our train. They were headed home after spending time with us in Kiev and we all got to travel back together. The train stops in their city a couple hours before Lugansk. Lugansk is the last stop at 15 hours! We played cards, ate a picnic dinner, and watched a movie together. Then Kostya was kind enough to go sleep in the other room so Kevin, Olya, Nikita, and I could sleep in the four bunks in our room.

Once we got up the next morning Olya and Nikita were already getting off the train. We slept pretty well but we were warm when we got all packed up and ready to get off the train. We were ready for a shower and a meal, but we had more important things to do. One of the children has been staying at a different orphanage about 40 minutes from Lugansk for the past several months. This meant we had twice the work to do. We had to go to each city and get permission from a social worked to visit the children. Then head to the orphanage and hear about their case history and medical information. Then we found out that the boy in the other orphange was at summer camp two hours away. So we made a trek out their in a taxi (think Ford Focus) with a cab driver who smoked a whole pack in the time we were with him, a social worker from the city (this is the first international adoption in that city, by the way), a representative from his orphanage in Shastia(?) where we stopped, Kostya, Kevin, and I. It was a bit crowded!

Onto the good stuff. I won’t bore you with all the details about waiting and driving, etc. Three of the siblings are at The Lugansk Orphanage #1 in the city. We got to meet them in the early afternoon. By the time we got to the fourth one to meet him we it was about six in the evening. We didn’t get back to Lugansk to find an apartment and pick up our luggage from the train station until after 9. We were so tired! We ate dinner (our first real meal of the day) at about 11:15, I think. But it was a great day!
These are our children. They are sweet, polite, and charming. They are also full of energy and are going to keep us very busy! We have already started the adoption process formally and until then we are going to use their birth names. We have requested to change their names and use their given names as middle names, but since we just met them yesterday we haven’t told them yet. ☺ We will share them once the kids know. We would have liked to ask them (at least the older ones) their opinion, but we had to make the changes in the paperwork and there just wasn’t time. We actually only had about an hour to decide this morning. Hopefully we will find the right time soon to talk to them about this.

This is Alina. She is 8 years old. She is a happy girl who smiles all the time, but not much in pictures for some reason and not when we first met her. Kevin is sitting next to me telling me to caption this picture "My daughter can kick your daughter's butt!" Kevin's first impression of Alina was Pippi Longstocking meets Annie. Joking aside, she is a sweetie. :)

This is Edward “Edich” (Ed-dik). He is 7.

This is little Ilona. She is 6.

This is Igor (Eeg-er). He just turned 5 last weekend.

They all stole our hearts the minute we met them and we can’t wait to bring them home forever. I will make a post to tell you a little more about each one next time. There is so much to say. They are wonderful children who will thrive in a loving home. I can’t wait to put some more nutrition into their little bodies and clean them up a bit. You can tell by their skin and the ones’ hair that they need some vitamins and sunshine. They are definitely not afraid to get a little dirty! We are going to have so much fun together.

In the meantime:
Thank God that Edich’s possibly health issue appears to be a false alarm.

Pray that Alina is able to continue to bond with us. She is old enough to know that she will be leaving her friends and caregivers soon and going with people she just met to a place that she has only seen in pictures. She is pretty scared of all the change ahead, I can’t blame her. There are also some kids and even a couple care givers who are giving her a hard time about it and trying to make her think something bad will happen to her if she comes with us. They are likely feeling jealous that she will soon have a mama and papa of her own. Thankfully there are some wonderful people working to take care of all of this. One of her favorite caregivers Julia (Yulia) lives in an apartment building near where we are staying and brought Alina home with her for the weekend. We were able to spend this evening all together eating ice cream, playing with the Mac Photo Booth (a great toy, no language needed ☺ ), walking around the city, and playing in the parks. Thank God for Julia. She was so sweet to bring Alina home with her on her own days off and spend the evening with us. We will see them again tomorrow. Alina has already started to bond with us. I think things will be just fine.

This is Alina with Julia.

The language barrier with the kids (and everyone really) is so hard. We have Kostya with us to translate when needed but we miss so much. Our kids and others around us look at us with smiling faces and say something or ask a question and we have no idea what it is. I am sad we are missing the things that people have to say. On a positive not though, there is nothing cuter that the way Alina says “Hal-low,” when trying to say hello to us in English. She has a little bit of a raspy voice and a very thick accent. ☺

I know this was a long post, but I didn’t want to leave any important details out. It was hard enough to make the post this short!

Love from Lugansk,
Krista and Kevin

P.S. Though I won’t legally be their mom for a while I had an official mom moment today. Igor was playing with a tube of bubbles he picked up somewhere and put it in my purse. (He has a fascination with my purse and the things in it.) The top wasn’t closed all the way and the whole thing spilled all over. It was in my nice, new purse that I got just for the trip since it is big enough to hold my camera (my Mother’s Day gift from Kevin). It got all over our passports and customs information, it got inside the screen in our brand new video camera and many of the buttons no longer work, and about two dozen less important things. Oh well. I think it was my baptism into motherhood. At least it was soap, right?

Friday, June 20, 2008

Everything is Good!

We only have a couple minutes until we have to go , but just wanted to let everyone know we are doing really well. We just found a bar with WIFI (luckily that is an international symbol) and we will have a lot of time tomorrow to post and update, hopefully with pictures. :) The kids are so cute and sweet. We met them yesterday and already started the process to adopt them. More details to come, we have to go play with one of them right now. One of the orphanage workers took the oldest girl home for the weekend so we could spend some time with her and we are going to go meet them at our apartment.

We have pretty much been going non-stop since we were in Kiev. Hardly had time to sleep or even shower and this was our first time to update.

Love from Lugansk,
Krista and Kevin

Promise we will write more next time!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Good News!

Well, our appointment was today and it was a little intimidating at first. We were shown lots of profiles of siblings and some individual children and none really stood out as "our kids." Then we were shown a sibling set that was not exactly what we requested, but we can't wait to meet them. We will be traveling by train to Lugansk to meet FOUR siblings! Two girls and two boys. The oldest is a girl who turned 8 in February. Then a boy who turned 7 in March, a girl who turned 6 in March (same day, a year later), and a little guy who just turned 5 last Saturday.

It was obvious as soon as we saw their pictures and heard about them that these were the children we would go meet. We just feel like they were meant to be ours. They were smiling and happily playing in the pictures. Anyone who has adopted before knows the referral pictures are usually not flattering, which is really kind of sad. The kids are said to be in good health (possibly one may have a health issue, but sounds like he will be fine), are all smart, funny, and happy. The oldest did really well in school this year and they said she is a favorite of her teachers and care givers. They have been in the detsky dom (baby home) for a year and a half.

We will write more when we know more. :) Thank you for all your prayers. We feel like they have been answered. We can't wait to see what God has in store for us when we meet them. (Likely on Thursday or Friday.)

Love from Kiev, Krista and Kevin

P.S. Kiev is a gorgeous city, the weather is wonderful, and we have felt like we have been on vacation with our facilitator and his family. I will try to post pictures soon.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

We Are Here!

We just arrived about a half an hour ago. We are staying at an apartment in downtown Kiev. We made it though customs with no issues at all, just took a long time.

We pretty much just went straight to bed but I decided to get out the computer and see if the Internet worked and apparently we have high speed Internet access here. :) Kevin is already asleep right next to me. I think I got more sleep over the last couple days. Tomorrow is a holiday here and we are going to do something fun (maybe go on a boat tour in the river) with our facilitator and his family. That should be nice and relaxing. Sounds perfect to us.

Our apartment is really pretty and old on the inside. The outside didn't even look like apartments to me, but it was dark when we arrived so I will check it out tomorrow. The elevator was so small we came up one at a time. Nicer than carrying our luggage up the stairs though. We are on the fourth floor. I think our bathtub is one of the biggest I have ever seen. I wasn't sure what to expect but the apartment we are renting with Kostya and his family is very comfortable. We will be here until probably Wednesday and then we will know where we need to travel.

Okay, better get some sleep.
:) Krista (and sleeping, but thankfully not snoring, Kevin)


We are in Germany! Our flight was really nice (about as nice as a red-eye in coach can be anyway. :) We were served snacks, dinner, and breakfast and got to watch movies and tv shows on our own tvs. We fly fairly often but mostly domestically so this was a treat for us. Even when we have flown in first class we have not had our own tvs to choose what to watch. The restrooms were downstairs from the main seating level. Can you tell we are easily amused? They were a little larger and cleaner than most. I would highly recommend Lufthansa.

Our flight left about an hour late because some door wouldn't close properly and some weight had to be redistributed. (?) So we sat on the plane an hour longer than we would have otherwise. We still have a nice long layover here and plan to get out and see the city of Munich in a little while. Our flight to Kiev doesn't leave until this evening. We had made reservations at one of the airport lounges for this afternoon but we decided to come early since we felt tired and a little dirty from the flight. So we have had some snacks and Kevin's checked his fantasy baseball scores and the news. We are going to take showers and get into clean clothes and then probably take a bus tour of the city. The airport lounge is nice. Some random observations:

-Everyone who works here speaks very fluent English (we talked to a bunch of people because the lounge was in another terminal). All the signs are in German and English as well.

- The Fanta (orange) Kevin got from the soda fountain is yellow here, not orange. He said it tastes similar.

- They have Manzana (Mexican apple flavored soda, yummy!) but it tastes more like soda water and apple juice. Melissa, you would have been disappointed.

- There is a nice spread of cheese, crackers, and chocolates - so we are in heaven. I even tried a sausage for my brother-in-law, Kevin. :)

- Also when I went to sign into Blogspot to post this the page came up in German. It asked for my nutzername and passwort. :D

We haven't taken any very exciting pictures yet so there are none worth posting. Maybe later.

We will check back in when we have time and internet access.
:) Krista and Kevin

P.S. Happy Father's Day to both of our dads! :)

Last year we spent Father's Day flying to Hawaii. This is our second Father's Day in a row spent traveling and in airports! Where will we go next year? I think Kevin already booked Disney World tentatively. It may have been for this week.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Leaving on a Jetplane...

We really don't know when we'll be back again. :)

We are at the airport and should board in about half an hour or so. We have medium sized suitcases, a backpack each, and my purse. I think we brought everything we need and if not then we can find it there.

Thank you to everyone who has been sending us good thoughts and prayers through telephone, email, the blog, and in person. We appreciate them all.

Next stop is Munich!

:) Krista and Kevin

Friday, June 13, 2008

Last Post From Home

I am finishing up some packing and charging some electronics and then I am off to bed. I can't believe that we are leaving tomorrow. (Well, actually later today!)

Thank you to all our family and friends who stopped by tonight for our open house send off. We really appreciated all your support and your prayers. The food was great too! A house full of friends was just what we needed to keep our minds off of any worries or nerves that might have tried to creep in. You guys are the best! So many wonderful wishes and prayers and sweet and sentimental things. Karen, I wore that bracelet all night and it is so special to me that you though to let me borrow it. I will keep it close by for the whole trip. And thank you Wiebke for all the ideas for when we are in Germany on Sunday. Now we know just where to eat and visit.

I am not sure where our next post will be from. Probably an airport. Not sure which one.

Since our flight doesn't leave until tomorrow afternoon we are spending the day tying up loose ends and my friend Christina and I are going to go for a relaxing pedicure in the morning.

Hopefully we will have pictures or something to post soon!

:) Krista


What is appropriate summer attire for men? I have several nice but comfortable things I can wear but I am wondering about Kevin. For our everyday orphanage visits are cargo shorts okay? Maybe a little nicer shorts? No shorts at all? I think he might melt.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

And We're Private

Now that we are private I will share a couple details I haven't shared yet on the blog. We are leaving Saturday afternoon, taking the red eye to Munich, spending the day in Munich, taking an evening flight to Kiev, and we will arrive very late that night. Monday is a buffer day in case we have any flight delays. If all goes well we should be able to spend the day touring Kiev. My facilitator told me Monday was a holiday so that should be fun. I will have to check what holiday it is. Then our appointment at the State Department for Adoptions is on Tuesday! We will hopefully got our referral then and if all goes as it usually does we will get to meet them on Wednesday or Thursday.

Please pray for:

Safe travel and good health. I tend to get sick when I get over tired so I am trying to rest up now because with the flights and time change I am sure our defenses will be down. Who knows what new germs we will come into contact with on the planes and in other countries. Also, our weather forecast is calling for scattered thunderstorms on Saturday.

A good referral at our appointment. The SDA often tries to show families very sick children first for some reason. The whole international adoption process in Ukraine is on a bit of shaky ground since the change of directors a couple months ago. We are praying for the choice of which referral to take to be obvious to us. We are open to some special needs but some others we would be uncomfortable with taking on.

A praise that Kevin's parents arrived safely last night. We had some really nasty weather for a few hours last night and we are glad that it quit just in time for them to land. They will be house sitting for us while we are away. :)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

School's Out!

Yesterday was the last day of school and today was my last day of work. I am going to miss my sweet class and the wonderful staff at the school where I was working. Now I am running errands, cleaning, and starting to pack. I have set things we will want to bring with us on the guest bed for weeks now. So we have lots of "things" ready to be packed, but I still need to finish up the laundry and pack our clothes.

We bought our travel insurance, I picked up a few months worth of my prescription (just in case), and my doctor is giving us some other prescriptions we may need if we get a bug there. Our wonderful neighbors threw us a BBQ last Sunday (in the 97 + humidity weather) and that was so fun. We have all young families on our cul-du-sac and our kids are going to have so many friends. The little girl across the street from us who just finished first grade has been teaching herself some Russian greetings so she can talk to our kids when they come home. Her mom said she Googled them herself and learned them. How cute is that?

I ordered a picture book that I made on Shutterfly and it arrived yesterday. I can't say enough wonderful things about them. It was fun (though it took me a long time) to make, they have so many great choices, and it is gorgeous. I sent it late Sunday night (really it was early Monday morning). I paid for overnight shipping so it was guaranteed to arrive Friday. I came home from work yesterday at it was on the porch! It took only about a day to arrive. I couldn't believe it. The book has pictures of us, our families, friends, neighbors, our dog, etc. I included pictures of our home, the rooms for the kids, our city and community, etc. It turned out really nicely. It will be a way to show the officials in Ukraine where our children will be living and it will also be a way to familiarize our kids with their new family, friends, and home. Hopefully they will feel more comfortable having seen these things before.

Anyway, in the next day or two I will likely make the blog private. We will be back as soon as we can though. We just want to be able to use it as a place to communicate with family and friends in a more private way for a while. I just need to find some time to make that happen. :)

Hope you are having a great week!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

We Have a Winner!

The winner of the estimation game is.... Julie! There were lots of estimates but Julie was closest. I am happy to say that she was off as well. We actually had $530.86 in there! Since we turned it into an giftcard we didn't even pay a commission. We will probably use the money to order the carseats for the kids and a few other things. One less thing to think about financially. I already bought a back up battery for our camera with it too! So congratulations Julie! I wish I had some sort of prize to give you. :) If you haven't seen Julie's blog you can check her out at . She and her family returned about 6 weeks ago from Ukraine with their daughter, Halle Grace. Halle Grace is adorable and could be a poster child for Ukraine adoption. She is a good girl and is adjusting seamlessly to life with her family. God is so good. :)

We are counting down the days until we leave. I finish teaching next week. I only have four days left of teaching and I don't think there is actually any teaching going on between now and then. Tomorrow my first graders have two performance of their play, The Magic Treehouse. It is so fun! Then Friday is Field Day (what could be more fun then spending the morning outside in a heat wave! It is supposed to be in the high 90's and humid!) Monday is a read-in where the kids read and listen to stories. And Tuesday is our end of the year party. I have to get their report cards done and clean up the room and that is about it. The time has flown by! I have so much to do this weekend and we are also spending lots of time with friends to celebrate one of our last weekends before kids. There are sticky notes and lists all over the place of things we need to arrange, buy, pack, take care of, etc. The guest bed has all kinds of things on it that I don't want to forget to pack. The bedrooms for the kids have been painted in colors that match the bedding we like for boys and/or girls. Someone is coming out to measure for crown molding for the bedrooms in a couple days!

We will make the blog private in probably about a week. I have lots of requests for people who want to be added. I can add 100 people. Family and friends will be added first and then all of you blogger friends will be added. There should be room for everyone. Thank you for all your requests. We feel blessed to have so many people who want to follow our journey. Please pray for us as we head into this last preparation phase. Also pray for our SDA appointment to go well and that our children's hearts are being prepared to accept the love of a family. :)