Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Well, first to update...Katya FINALLY made it back to the orphanage from the hospital on Sunday - which was Easter in Ukraine. It is a huge holiday and I think most things are closed this whole week. I heard that she was extremely happy to be out of the hospital - of course!!! We are supposed to be able to talk with the girls tomorrow.

For those who do not know, we are officially planning to host the girls for the summer! The cost turned out to be much less than what we thought and we get to have them for the ENTIRE summer (pending visa approval)!!! Ukraine has been incredible slow with adoptions right now and things are unstable in general, but our facilitator thinks/hopes that we can submit our dossier by late summer - which would mean traveling several months after that. So it will likely be after Christmas at the very earliest. Of course, that is just the best guess I can have right now and could change at any time :) So much for my nature to be a planner.... I am learning to not look to far into the future and how very little I am in control of.

We are not even 100% sure that they will be able to get the visas to come this summer - I am a little worried about this as Ukraine seems to be tightening up on hosting trips and apparently larger groups do fine but small groups like ours are a little iffy. So we are praying for those visas and are so excited about them coming. We will get to finally meet Katya in person - we kind of feel like we know her from all the phone talks, letters, and pictures. God has given us a love and compassion for these two girls, and I know that He has caused our lives to intersect at this time... It is amazing to see the plan unfold, there are still lots of unanswered questions and some things are quite frightening, but we trust not in ourselves, our ability to figure things out, but in the God who created us and who created these girls. Okay, in all honesty, at least this is what we aspire to do - sometimes I freak out :) We are praying for God to work in their lives, to pour out His mercy on them, for His glory to be shown in this journey. For His perfect will for them, which He knows far better than we do.

So now it is ONE MONTH FROM TODAY when they are scheduled to come! We are trying to prepare and plan for what our daily plans will be, chore lists (yes we will put them to work), fun things we want to do (swim, ride horses, roller skating, swim, ride bikes, swim, paint nails, art camp, swim, fish...) Okay so we are really excited about swimming. My parent's have this amazing natural pool that we pretty much live in every chance we get. It is sparkling clean but with practically no chlorine. Although I want them to learn English, get some dental work done, and other important things - I do want them to just be children - lighthearted, carefree, laughing children. I want to tube the river, play games (how I have missed those uno games), watch movies, and I want them to just be able to let down a bit and feel taken care of and loved. I pray that even though we may not have the words to explain, that we can reflect the love of Christ to them. That they can sense His presence and His love and that they can drawn to Him. I pray that they would get even a glimpse of God's special love for them...that this time would plant seeds in their hearts.

I will post as soon as I get word on the visas - maybe in about a week...

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


Here is what I just found in my inbox today! I hope to talk to her tomorrow. Hopefully Katya will join her soon!!! Thank you to those who have been praying for them.

Hello Stephanee,
Today Nastya has come back from the hospital to the orphanage.And she seems to be very happy about that. Unfortunately Katya is still there. Hopefully she'll be back pretty soon.Nastya immediately asked about you. I told her you'd call to talk to her this week. She was excited :) as always.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Still In The Hospital...

I talked to the caretaker who translates for us today. I called because I had not heard if the girls were out of the hospital from the chicken pox yet. I was sure that by now they would be out - it has been about two weeks at least. But no - and I was told that they would most likely stay in the hospital for maybe two more weeks. WHAT?!? That is like a month in the hospital! I guess they feel that until the spots have completely healed - I guess no scabs or anything - that they need to keep them quarantined? I hope to get some more details on how they are and maybe ask the missionary we know from their region can go visit them. I just feel so sad for them and I can't even imagine the boredom. Please pray that God will comfort them and heal them very quickly. Katya has a birthday coming up very soon and I hope that she will not spend it in the hospital. I will update as soon as I know anything.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Guess What We Got!!

No not our 171H form that we are looking for in our mailbox every day....


A LETTER from the girls!!!

I tried to post a picture of the letter but for some reason uploads are not working...

They mailed it about two months ago but it just got here last week. Then we couldn't read it because it was written in Ukrainian of course! But if you have been following this story from the beginning - on our other blog - then you will remember that I was in a Bible study last Fall with a lady who is a nurse for a Ukrainian doctor! What are the odds of that?! It was definitely a God-ordained situation so that I could be put in touch with this whole group of Ukrainian people in our area. I mean what are the odds that I would be randomly put into a group of about five women and one of them is connected to this Ukrainian group, and all this happened just weeks before we hosted Nastya? So, all of the families who hosted this Christmas were able to attend the Ukrainian Christmas party at the doctor's house. While we were there, we met a sweet woman who now lives here but who grew up in Ukraine. Liliya gave me her phone number and offered to help in any way that she could. So, I contacted her, we met today, and she translated the letter for me. I wrote it down while she read, so here's the translation - as best I could write it while she read it. Katya writes in a mixture of Ukrainian and Russian and then throws in a little English here and there :), so Liliya had a hard time following some of it at first...

Good afternoon Mommy. How are you? How are things with you? Happy Valentines to you. Natya and I say hello to Allee and Jadon and Ben. Nastya and I miss you very much and want you to come visit. I have a birthday in May and I want you to come and visit us. Please say hello to everybody. If you were to have badminton and if you can, please send badminton. Would you please tell me when your birthday is.

Hello papa. How are you doing? How's your work?

What are we doing? We are studying and trying really hard to study and draw. We have a new friend Olya. Olya and her brother were going to come to America last summer but they didn't come. Now this summer they are getting ready to come.

Papa, please send shampoo and soap for face and hands. I love bananas, it is no secret. Please send some. Grandmother, Granfather, Aunt, and Uncle and everybody Nastya and I say hello. I will draw more pictures for you. When I grow up I will sing. That is my dream.

I love you very much! Write back very soon.


Ashley - do notice that they said hello to you :)

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Chicken Pox

We have been having trouble talking to the girls due to problems with the translator's phone. We actually have not talked to them since Easter but have been communicating via email with the translator. Anyways, we were supposed to talk Saturday morning, but when I called we were told that they both had been taken to the hospital at the end of last week with chicken pox. A number of children have had it at their orphanage and going to the hospital seems to be standard for any illness. Nastya had been in the hospital for a cold a few months ago. Maybe it is how they quarantine illnesses and try to prevent them from spreading.

Anyways, I wish I could know more how they are and I am so sad thinking of them feeling so bad with no one to comfort them or help the long days of feeling miserable pass. We are praying that they get well quickly. I have heard that chicken pox is worse the older you are, but I am hoping that is not the case for them and that it is very mild. Children in Ukrainian orphanages are typically vaccinated for just about everything, but I guess the chicken pox vaccine hasn't made it there yet.

We may be able to talk to them while they are at the hospital, and I am praying that this works out to just hopefully bring them a small amount of comfort and at least distraction!