Open Arms

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

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

This weeks update!

It has been a non-stop two days trying to gather documents for completing all the paperwork, saying goodbye to new friends, a congratulation party/dinner at the home of some dear friends (that was an unexpected blessing and surprise), more running around for documents, another visit with the children's Grandma, Jenya hanging out, friends stopping by and, in the midst, trying to deal with the realities of life for a family of 6 like food 3+ times a day!

The Lord is so amazing though; He provides each step of the way and continues to encourage us to just do the next thing and not try to control the timing or outcome. We are in His hands and our job is to be obedient and follow Him.

We now have birth certificates with their new names (and our names as their parents). We visited the passport office and will return there tomorrow with more documents. Natalia continues to work on various deed issues. Our hope is to have the passports in hand and leave Odessa by Monday and arrive in Kiev on Tuesday morning. If that works, we should make our flight out on October 1st. If not, we will have to wait in Odessa for passports and we will keep you posted of our travel plans. Please pray for Monday! Financially it will be difficult to wait much longer.

Tomorrow and Friday will also be very busy with trips to lots of different offices. When possible, Carol has been traveling with Natalia to try to accomplish things and Steve has been keeping everyone occupied with walks, board games, and visits with friends. Fortunately, there is a nice park and playground nearby. Tonight, Steve took them to the small group prayer meeting, while Carol and Natalia remained at the passport office until after 7pm. It was nice evening for the walk to Ron's apartment (it's about a mile one way) and the group offered a prayer of blessing on the children's lives, that the languages barriers would be quickly overcome and that the children would quickly integrate into our family. We are so thankful for the Church.

Thanks so much to everyone for all the encouraging emails and comments. We eagerly anticipate those each morning. Your prayers are more precious than you will ever know. Looking forward to seeing you soon.

Steve and Carol


Monday, September 21, 2009

In His Hands


Hi Everyone,
The weekend was nothing that we thought it would be. For that matter neither was today, but all four children are finally with us and we are praising Jesus!

We arrived at Internot #4 this morning at 11:15 as planned but as we let the children change into the clothing we brought and waited for a regional representative to arrive, the director left the property. She walked right past us with not a word. We were told we would have to wait for her return. By 3pm Carol called Natalia, as she had walked down the street to get something to eat, and told her something needed to be done. We were ready to file a formal complaint with the SDA. (We needed to get to Internot #9 by 4:30 to meet with Andrei's director.) We had a court order, we had waited our 10+ days and now we needed the director present to sign the children out. Within 30 minutes of Natalia notifying the director's secretary of our intentions, the director returned to the Internot, signed the documents, apologized and wished us a happy life. It's that way with a lot of things here. I guess, if the truth be told, it is that way with life anywhere. Power and control are the only things some people have. Pretty sad actually. We pray the Lord will bless this director and radically change her life. He sure had plenty to deal with today in our own hearts and attitudes.



Steve left Internot #4 with Lyonya, Pasha, and Galia by bus while Carol and Natalia proceeded on to #9 to sign out Andrei. The difference was night and day. The whole process took about 45 minutes, 15 of which was spent with Andrei hugging his teachers and classmates. By 5:30pm Carol and Andrei were on the bus headed to meet everyone else at the apartment.

The whole lot of us were very hungry...especially since some of us missed we made a quick walk to the super market. That was a sight. All six of us walking thru this narrow market and loading up on supplies. We made pasta with a a white mushroom sauce and salad (without lettuce). Andrei ate the most! Three helpings! They are all so very thin. We can't wait to see them a month from now.


After dinner, showers, one flood in the bathroom, reading of Jesus calming the storm in Russian then in English, many hugs and kisses, all four kids fell asleep amongst giggles. We wondered if they even remember the last time they were all able to sleep in the same place.

Tomorrow we will head out early to work on their new birth certificates. We will let you know the outcome....we have no expectation and that's probably a good thing. It's all in His hands.