Open Arms

Open Arms
...caring for orphans and adoptive families...

Friday, September 11, 2009

So far this week....

The court hearing was pretty much as we expected. Seventeen people in a very small room. All of the representative could ask any questions they wanted of us, however only 3 had questions. The judge, the prosecutor and the deputy official. The rest of the representatives spoke on our behalf that they were in agreement that this was in children's best interest. It took a little more that 2 hours and then the judge read about 2 pages and said congratulations. Leaving the courtroom we were able to catch the judge's eye and mouth "Thank You". He smiled.

Now we are counting down the days until the judge signs the final documents and we can sign the children out of the orphanage for good. After our hearing, we had dinner at a friend's apartment along with Jenya and Marianna. It was so much fun to relax after the emotional day.

Wednesday morning we took a taxi to pick up Andrei and the nurse from #9, while our facilitator picked up the older kids along with the nurse from #4. We all met at a clinic for the children to have their blood work done. They were all troopers. Their friend Andrei G. also came along with them as his new parents are here to adopt him this month. This should speed up the process for the medical exams in Kiev because we won't have to wait for the test results.


We spent the afternoon at #4 watching the children have sports games. Kinda like PE at school. It was quite an interesting afternoon of social interaction between all the age groups.



The kids are so excited about leaving soon. Lyonya wants details like a timeline. When will we leave Odessa, how long will this take, how long will that take, can we have dinner with Grandma before we leave, do you have tickets home yet, etc, etc.
Galia asks more questions about home, wondering what life will be like there. Pasha just smiles and hugs. He hugs a lot. He loves to read. Reminds me of JD at that age.
Andrei just asks how much longer.

We took the bus back toward the city center around 5:30pm to attend an evening prayer/small group meeting at the apartment of a gentleman we met through the church on Sunday. Carol took a catnap on the bus. Kinda scary to start getting that comfortable here! The meeting was like old CCC "group" days for those of you who remember that. It was comforting to be with believers. Afterward we had a nice evening walk the mile back to our apartment. The city is really nice in the evening.

Thursday we went with our friend, Lena, to the local SecondHand store and the Privoz Market to buy clothes and things the children will need for the next few weeks. That was an experience! We prayed for deals and the Lord blessed us abundantly. Each of the children have at least an outfit, lightweight jacket, socks and shoes.

Today we will visit both #4 and #9, so it will be a busy afternoon. Please continue to pray for all the children at both locations. They are all so deserving of a family of their own. Also pray for the directors, that the Lord would touch and soften their hearts toward the children, and that He would show Himself to them both in a very personal way.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

It's Done!!!

It's done. The Judge said "YES." Now just the ten day wait.

Meet the newest Ellisors:

Steven Pavlo, Andrei James, Galina Faith and Lyonya David

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Stand Firm

We had a wonderful time of worship this morning with a church that meets just a short walk from the apartment we are renting. We were able to enjoy worship, testimonies, the Word and communion.It was so nice to gather together and be encouraged. One of the members sat behind us and translated the whole service. That was an unexpected blessing. Even without the translation though, there is comfort in being in a corporate gathering and feeling the presence of His Spirit. He is the same in all languages. Before we left Columbia we were told to Stand Firm, and that was the message of the sermon today. There was a pastor visiting that had been sent out from this local body as a missionary to Siberia 2 years ago. He pastors 2 churches in Siberia and had so much to share of what the Lord is doing in that region. The Lord really used this body to encourage our faith. We hope to visit their small group in a few days.

Yesterday we spent the afternoon with the older kids at #4. We had a lot of fun just hanging out and playing. There is another family here from SC that was visiting with their new son as well. The children are excited to know that they will be in the same area. There is one boy in Lyonya's class, named Andrei, that asked us to please try to find him a family when we return. He says he prays every night that God would send him a family. He doesn't understand why he hasn't been chosen. Please pray for Andrei to have a family. He is a really big guy physically, with a really a special 14 year old heart. He's just a kid that wants a family to want him.

It is so hard when you want to bring them all home or at least find them all families. There are so many kids with no parents. Please pray for the Lord to touch hearts and raise up families that would want to embrace these children that think they are forgotten. We know that God knows each of their names, but they have a hard time believing that when they feel unwanted.

Andrei, Pasha and Lyonya

Thanks so much for your continued prayers.
Carol and Steve


We have a court date. Tuesday September 8, 2009 at 11:45 am. That will be 4:45 am EST for all you folks back home. Please ask the Lord to grant us favor with the judge.