Tuesday, October 1, 2013

National Adoption Day in Ukraine

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Hebrews 12:1-3

Today, September 30, 2013, is National adoption Day in Ukraine. We are so pleased to announce, that on this day, we offered adoption to 2 children we had never met....

More on that in a minute. Let me share what has got Bob and I to this point.

                                                  This is  a road map of Ukraine...

1 kilometer is equal to 0.621 miles. So far in country we have traveled over 4500km by car with Max, our facilitator,  to accomplish the adoption of our children. We are not nearly done. We have at least that many more to go... We have traveled from Lviv to Zaporizhia to Lugansk, with trips back to Kiev to file documents with the DAP office in between. We have seen more of Ukraine from Max's car than we ever expected to. But the togetherness and travel is helping us not only get to know each other extremely well, it is also helping Bob ad I get a much better understanding of the Ukrainian people.  Though out our travels we continue to see striking contrasts in the economic classes within this country. This experience has shown us the people of Ukraine are different than Americans. Not better, not worse, just different. Those we have gotten to know will be life long friends. They are solid, genuine and giving. We are blessed to call each of them our friend. As our journey continues, we hope to add many more to the list of friends we have already been blessed with.

                    On our way to Lviv we saw many horse drawn carts mixed with the traffic...
And roads that look like they have been here since the WW II... this road on the way to Lviv went on for what seemed like forever. It took us 3 hours to cover the last 30km.. 
and at times Max actually drove in the field NEXT to the road instead of ON the road!!
Waiting for the social worker in Lviv to join us. We then traveled to The orphanage where Oksana and Vasyl reside. Offered them adoption into our family.
 Fear kept them captive and they refused our offer.   
We then headed back to Kiev to file those documents with the DAP. It left Bob and I with a very BIG decision to consider... Do we get Nadiya and head home OR offer adoption to 2 children we have never met. We spent a great deal of time seeking God's will for our family. We prayed together and read His word daily. And we waited to hear from heaven ...
And then... we hit the road again. Referral in hand for our Nadiya. We had a delay as the Embassy here in Kiev could fine no evidence of our filing the necessary I600 form within the 180 days of our I600a approval date. I had to contact the immigration office in the USA, and request for them to send a scanned copy via email to me and CC Max. He then had to compose a letter requesting the Embassy official to draft a letter stating that, in fact, I had filed our I600 within the allotted time and stated Nadiya by name and DOB on that form. Thus giving us the opportunity to move forward and receive her referral. 
So, after picking up a social worker here...
 We FINALLY, after 21 months of waiting got to wrap our arms around our sweet Nadiya!! We met her at the Trade School she is attending. They are training her to be a seamstress.
Our visit was brief as we needed to take all the documentation from the local social worker and the Trade school, along with Nadiya's hand written "YES" to adoption back to Kiev to the DAP office.
24 hours later we are again at the DAP office delivering documents required to receive a court date in Nadiya's region.
48 hours later Bob and I are sitting in Maria's office with Max. We are discussing moving forward  on offering adoption to 2 children who are in their last days of eligibility to be adopted. We were presented with several options and settled on the children we felt God was calling us to. A boy who is already 16, and his sister who is 15. 
24 hours later, on Friday at 3pm in the afternoon, Bob and I go back to the DAP office to pick up the  referral. This is our third visit in the last 27 days to this small hallway where we wait to sign for and pick up official document allowing us to visit the children we are offering adoption to. 

Sunday morning finds us back on the road. This time for a 10 hour trip all the way across Ukraine to just shy of the Russian border.
Noticed some strange sights this trip too... Yes that IS an armored vehicle!
AND...If I go the rest of my life and never have to utilize one of these again... I am A-OK with that!!
Waiting in a classroom to meet our perspective children... This room measured about 5x10 and contained 4 student desks.
Getting to know you... Bob and Y walking to his sister's dorm.
Waiting for said sister outside her dorm...
Allowing them to show us "their world"...
This is his cot... about 2 feet wide with a 2"mattress in a room approx. 6x8 feet. He shares this room with 2 other boys.
365 days each year... these are their "facilities"... No running water. No plumbing per say. One for the boys, one for the girls. Inside these are simply multiple "squatters" in open bay setting. The smell is overpowering as you walk the grounds.
We were not allowed to take a picture of T 's dorm room. It is equally crowded and similar in size and condition.
We were given a tour of the school by the social worker in charge their. He is very proud of the school. In sharp contrast to the outhouses... they have the latest technology in ONE of the classrooms teaching computers. A 50" white board that works as an Ipad, with  applications similar to those on our Iphones or Ipad.
We remain here in the nearest city  to the kids with accommodations to house and feed us. Their "YES" to adoption was immediate. We will spend time with them each day after they are finished with classes at 2:30 for the duration of the 10 days allowed per law. 
 Today while visiting, I asked if they had coats as they were both wearing just hoodies, and it was COLD. -1 this morning. It has been cold and rainy this past month. Rain everyday except today that we have been here. They told us, "no coats."  So in the morning, Bob and I will find a shop to purchase them each a warm coat and hat and gloves. They both have decent shoes thanks to a summer host family.
As this journey to family continues for us, Bob and I thank each of you for your continued support and prayers for our family. We are humbled and so very grateful for each of you.
To God be the Glory!
"Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation." (Psalm 91:14-16)


  1. Thank you for this amazing update. As we follow your journey we are in awe of the faith and trust your family is showing the world. We praise God for the miracles and we pray continued protection and wisdom over you!

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  3. Praising God through it all...I know you must be tired but I pray that this time with God and Bob is blessed and bonding you closer than ever as husband and wife. My love and prayers continue for your family in the US and your new blessings in Ukraine. GLORY!

  4. Hi Diane, I thought of you when I was reading these verses:

    Psalm 37:39 & 40

    The salvation of the righteous comes from the Lord, He is their stronghold in time of trouble. The Lord helps them and delivers them; He delivers them from the wicked and saves them, because they take refuge in Him.

    I'm trying to find your e-mail address so that I can privately send you my e-mail address. :)

    Brenda A.
    Eau Claire