Sunday, February 28, 2010

Photos of Apartment in Mykolaiv

Looking from our balcony towards the road and train tracks. Notice the dogs.
There are strays everywhere.
Looking out our enclosed balcony

Outside our kitchen window - laundry on the line

Master bedroom

Den with our laptop set upDen - please excuse the ironing board

Kitchen "table" - it rolls on a track

Kitchen - gas stove, washer behind lower cabinets beside stove &
hot water heater in upper vented cabinet

Stove & sink - Tim was cooking supper, but wouldn't let me take his picture.

Cabinets in entry hall. The refrigerator is behind the first door.

Entry with our dirty boots. Notice the cable - it is for the internet and
we have it pulled into the den

The outside of the apartment is not that great. The inside is very nice! One of the ladies who works at the orphanage actually moved out to rent us her apartment. That was really nice and a chance for her to make some extra money as well. We are just a 5 minute walk from the orphanage and about 15 to the market.
Have to run. Just got a call that the owner of the apt. will be here in 40 minutes to water her plants and get some more clothes.
Until later,
R & T & A

Today, we stayed in and rested all day. We have both been having some back problems and the cold weather has all of my joints hurting.

Tim did venture out to the outside market and came home with tangerines for A's groupa, some apples and some delicious pickles homemade by a sweet little babushka.

We are excited to see A tomorrow.

Enjoy the photos.

Moving Right Along

We had two great visits with A yesterday. It was very cold, so we stayed inside and played in the playroom - which is a long hall filled with windows, benches, swings, small rope gym, playhouses, rocking horses and large pull-toy trucks. A went running to another family who was visiting and Tim ran after him trying to intercept him and they both took a tumble. Tim got the worst of it, falling on the concrete floor. They are both fine. A and the other family got a good laugh out of it.

The other family is adopting a little boy from the same group plus a sibling who is in another city. They are from Spain and even though we speak different languages, we can communicate somewhat. It is funny when we take the boys back at the same time because we are all saying bye-bye, chow and paka-paka.

In the morning, we were afraid that A was sick because he was so much calmer than usual. He was all snuggles and just wanted to look at books, play with his machina (car) and be tickled. A little tickle can change his mood in a heartbeat and helps when he has a meltdown.

When it was time to go back to his groupa, he did not want to go and did his little "I'm not going to walk" trick. Tim just picked him up, tickled him and along we went. He was so sweet when we got back upstairs - giving hugs and kisses without being asked or told to.

During our afternoon visit, we went outside and spent about 1 1/2 hours. It was cold and they did not take the group out, so we had lots of time just to ourselves. A is much calmer when there is not a big group.

The cold weather yesterday took a toll on me and my joints are aching today, plus sinuses are bothering me. So, we slept in and will not visit this morning, but will visit for a while this afternoon. It is hard to visit with him for 2 1/2 hours every evening because it is colder outside and it gets dark before we can get back to the apartment.

I will upload and post photos of the apartment later.

We are taking lots of photos of the orphanage for everyone to see because it is so nice. This is not what we expected after seeing photos of the ones our church visits out in the village and after our visit to the special needs orphanage in Kharkiv. We are quite impressed. The caregivers are so loving to the children and the children are so good and sweet to the caregivers.

Well - my sweet husband just finished cooking some brunch, so I will get off and have a bite to eat.

Thanks again for all the prayers and support.


R & T & A

Friday, February 26, 2010

INTERPOL Clearance

The INTERPOL clearance has been received by the SDA, so we are right on track for our court date next Friday!

Papa learned an important lesson today. - "A" is not ready for suckers. He had the idea to buy a sucker at the market this morning. He gave it to him this afternoon and he said NEVER AGAIN! We were all three sticky! Tim had to clean all of us up!

We have decided to move into the city as soon as we can take custody of "A." It will be more convenient, nicer and cheaper to rent. We have to move again with all our luggage, but I am planning on leaving some things behind. Of course, I am sick of some of the clothes I brought already and will be glad to part with my brown Old Navy down jacket. I bought it several years ago for 1/2 price and Tim laughed at me. But, I have worn it almost every day here. He, on the other hand, hasn't taken his out of the vacuum bag!

Thanks to everyone for the prayers and support!
We are about to grab a sandwich for dinner and watch some Olympic hockey! At least we think we can turn off the sound and understand what is going on.

R & T & A

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Court Date

Just for Conethia...a self portrait of "A."
We got a call this morning while playing with "A." Our translator and driver/POA came to pick us up from the orphanage to go and sign paperwork for submission for court date.

Our court date is next Friday, 3-5-10.
We did not visit this afternoon as we were gone most of the day submitting paperwork. We got Olga & Sasha to drop us off at the market and bought food for supper and walked back to the apt.
We had a great visit this morning. We have bought some clothes for "A" and yesterday, as I was tying his boots, one broke. We took his new shoes to him today and he was so excited! Then, he really wanted to break them in. I bet we walked around the grounds at least 5-6 times in an hour. He was pushing a little play stroller with a balloon in it. He worked so hard on that task that he rubbed a blister on his little hand. Made me feel like a bad mama.
So, we just had a great supper prepared by Tim. Some type of beans - pintos, we think and cabbage. Almost like at home!
We are so excited that we found this wonderful little boy and can't wait to get him home to meet his family!
Keep praying. We still have no news on the INTERPOL check.
R & T & A

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

In Mykolaiv we are in Mykolaiv. We officially petition the court tomorrow to adopt a precious little 3 year-old boy. This little boy, who I'll call "A" was shown to us at our first SDA appt., but we did not choose to visit him. I was drawn to him immediately, but due to a medical condition, we decided to visit the other little boy in Kharhiv. We arrived here on Monday and got to meet him Monday morning. We got to visit a little again on Monday afternoon. We ran around all day Monday getting the proper paperwork processed. This little boy has a 6 year-old brother who is in foster care, so we had to get that verified. He is not available for adoption since he is in foster care.

We doubt that our little one remembers his brother because he has been at the orphanage since he was 5 months old. The brother was never there.

We get to visit "A" each morning 10-11:30 and then again 4:00 - 6:30 each afternoon. We have had fun playing on the swings and slide. Like any little boy, he gets really dirty, but then doesn't like it when his hands are dirty.

This is a nice "family town" - especially the downtown area. We spent Sunday and Monday night in town. It has a "walking street" where the street is closed to motor traffic. There are many shops and restaurants on the street.

Speaking of restaurants - so far, we have had authentic Ukrainian food such as borscht, potato pancakes and a spread made of baconfat and garlic, spread on bread. We have had "Dixie" barbeque ribs and crackle jack. We have had pizza twice. We really miss fresh vegetables and eat salads every time we get a chance. But, there is little lettuce to be had. Salads consist of onions, bell peppers, cucumbers and tomatoes. There may be a little bit of lettuce.

The orphanage that our little one is at is so much better than the one we visited is Kharkiv. We found out after we got here that the first one was an orphanage of special needs children. At the current orphanage, it is bright with murals and they have music lessons and they go outside twice a day. There are some precious little children here and we are getting to know "A's" group and there is one little girl in there who loves Tim. She had to give him a hug and kiss bye today and she was holding our hands begging us not to leave. It just broke my heart. The caregivers here are wonderful and you can tell that they love the children.

We are renting an apartment from one of the ladies who works at the orphanage. We think she actually moved out to rent to us. We are about a 10 minute walk to the orphanage and about a 2o minute walk to a good market.

Keep us in your prayers. Keep the people of Ukraine in your prayers. The way they have to live is so different from the USA. Most have to walk or use public transportation. The cities are not that bad, but when we went to Kharkiv, we saw people walking for miles in the snow just to get to the main road to catch the bus.

We will post photos of the apartment and such later. Haven't really taken any. I want to show the real way people have to live.

If you are looking for a charity to support, we suggest that you support a Ukrainian Christian Ministry or an orphanage.

We know that each and every step we have taken here has been God's way of telling us that we should support and participate in the ministries here. The people here have been wonderful, nice and helpful.

Keep praying,


R & T

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Photos of Apt. #2

We love this apartment! And we have a dryer! We will be here until Sunday morning. I think I would have been much happier if we had been here the entire time.
We are right at St. Sophia's and it is beautiful.

Photos - Independence Square

As of Apt. #1

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

New Appointment & New Apartment

We had to move apartments today. We love this one. It is right around the corner from the Hyatt, larger, cleaner and just all around nicer. It has a washer AND dryer! Although the building is not newer, the apartment has been updated more recently than the first one. There is even a playground outside our window. And.. the cost is the same. We are much more comfortable here.

We have our 2nd appointment in the morning at 11:00. Please say a prayer that things go well.

We will update when we find out where and when we will travel. Going to try to add some photos as well.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Requesting Second Appt.

We will leave here in the morning around 10am to to to the notary then to the SDA to request a 2nd appt .

Praying that we receive one this coming week.

It snowed all today and although it is pretty, it makes it miserable to get around the city.

There were lots of people out and about for Valentine's Day. We even saw a huge skating heart at the rink in Independence Square.

We have been watching BBC Entertainment and reading most of the day. We really missed attending our church today.

Please keep praying,
R & T

Friday, February 12, 2010


The meeting did not go well. The little boy has greater delays than we were led to believe.

We are spending the night in Kharkov and will return to Kiev in the morning. There has been heavy snow there and we felt it best not to drive in the dark. It was a long drive here and we are tired.

On Monday, we will go to the SDA and request a 2nd appointment.

Keep on praying!
Rita & Tim

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Appointment Results

We had our appointment this morning at 9:00. We saw files of 5 little girls and 10 little boys. We were surprised by the number of files we were offered.

We feel that we have found our child. He is almost 5 years old and is in the Kharkov region. We have gotten permission from the orphanage and will leave here tomorrow at 3:30 to pick up our referral. We will leave here Thurs night or Fri morning to travel. It will be a 5 hour drive, but we feel this is the best way to travel.

We have recovered from jet lag thanks to a good night's sleep, some coffee and McDonald's. We only ventured out once today on our own today to go to McDonald's which is actually attached to our apartment building. We figure we will save the sightseeing for when we return with our child.

Tim is excited about McDonald's and suggested that we go there for breakfast.

We are learning something every day here - like how to walk in the icy snow!

Will update as we can. Do not know if we will have internet access in region.

Keep praying!

R & T

We are here!

Finally made it to Kiev yesterday around 2:30 and to the apartment around 5:30. We had to make a stop at the market for a hairdryer and some groceries.
Our appt. is this morning at 9:00.
We know that all the delays are in God's plans and that He has our child waiting for us.

Will update as we can.


R & T

Monday, February 8, 2010

Not much progress

We are still in the good ol' USA. We finally left GSP at 7:20 last night for our 2:35 flight.
When we got to our Lufthansa connection, there was only one other passenger there - a nice gentleman from Ukraine who was trying to get to Austria.

All three headed to the United customer service - since we all came in on United - it was definitely an adventure = cursing, crying, screaming. They threatened to call the police on a 15 year-old girl for cursing at one of the United employees. Evidently it is a 3rd degree misdemeanor to curse in public in Virginia. Good law!

Tim finally got Lufthansa on the phone and found out that we are supposed to fly out at 6:10 tonight. So, we are at the Sheraton-Herndon - Dulles and will head back to Dulles at 11:00.

The main roads have been plowed as well as the drive to the hotel. Hope to get some photos when we go out today.

I hear the 2nd plane in the last few minutes, so hopefully we will get out of here tonight. Glad we left early and glad that we

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Leaving tomorrow

Thank you so much to everyone for all the support.

I am afraid we went a bit overboard on packing, but I cannot think of anything I can take out that would make a big difference. We have our two large rolling suitcases to check, laptop case, small rolling carryon, Tim's CPAP machine and a shoulder tote to carry on.

I have 3-4 books downloaded on my iPod Touch for reading and 2 small paperbooks. We have Tim's Study Bible and 3-4 movies to watch on the laptop. I downloaded some Sesame Street on the laptop and some games as well.

Kelly - thank you for your post. I needed that today. We know that God as led us this far and will "straighten all the curves and smooth all the rough spots," as my BFF emailed me yesterday.

I have been a bundle of nerves and emotions this last week, especially today.

Family and friends have been wonderful. My BFF and her sister - also my good friend and I went to get a pedicure Thursday night and it was nice to have some girl time and laugh with them. My sister, her three boys, my mom and ourselves went out to eat last night and it was nice to spend time with everyone before we go.

We will go to early service tomorrow and have invited family members to join us. After the service, we will come home and change and get ready for Tim's parents to take us to the airport.

We will try to keep the blog updated.

Again, thank you to everyone who has supported us in so many ways.

God's will be done....


R & T