Friday, September 18, 2009

Home and Happy!!!

Hello Everyone!
We arrived home on Tuesday, September 15 just in time for Savannah and Andrew to go back to school, an answer to prayer! The boys are in heaven as they explore their new home. They have been sleeping in their new beds(bunk)very well and for the most part the transition has been very good. I am ever so thankful to be home again with my husband and Luke and to have Derek parent with me these two extra Carlsons. As we start from scratch with basic training up in the Lord I have felt the prayers of the saints. It has been amazing to see how the Lord has carried us all the way back to America! Thank you all so much for your prayers on our behalf and I know we will need them all the more as we transition here at home! I'll post more later, don't have the time now.

Praise God and God Bless America!!


Friday, September 11, 2009

Got Passports, Train to Kiev Tomorrow

We have the boys passports and we are leaving tomorrow on the train to Kiev! In Kiev on Monday the boys will have medical exams and go to American Embassy for Visas. It is possible we could fly home as soon as Tuesday, maybe Wednesday. I can hardly believe we are this close, I felt it would never happen!!! I miss my family and friends so much and this is the toughtest transition time for us all. We spent the day at our missionary friends house and Denyce appreciated the company as her husband Rob is out of town. So we will say goodbye to this place we called home for almost 5 weeks and amazed at how the Lord has been merciful to us and answered the many, many prayers even being able to leave right when school starts!! I can't wait to see my husband and son and the rest of my family and friends!!!!!! My sweet daughter and son have been such an incredible blessing and I can't imagine doing this alone. I might not have internet service in Kiev so this could be my last post. So if you don't hear from me that is why!!

Again, thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your prayers, encouragement and comments! I look forward to them at the end of my day.

Pray for me to be able to get tickets to fly home for all of us.

Blessings in Christ,


Thursday, September 10, 2009

Waiting For Passports

Trying to find things to do to pass the time as we wait for passports. Once we get them, off to Kiev by train, then medical exams and American Embassy for visas and Lord willing, fly home on Wednesday September 16!!! After a long, hot day at the zoo, our missionary friends Rob and Denyce called and invited us over for dinner. This is how the Lord is sustaining me. I was sooooo thankful as our flat is two rooms and it is hard to keep them preoccupied with only a few things to do and the language barrier doesn't help, but the boys are using more english words. George hasn't gotten back to me on tutoring, so that has been a bummer. Anyway, the much needed encouragement of being with english speaking Christians, who speak Russian and can talk with my boys was the boost I needed. We visited and the boys played with all the toys and seemed to be content. We took the metro home, all by myself, with help from Rob's directions! Today we will spend the day at Rob and Denyce's!! I am so happy about the plan!! Tatiana will call me today if the passports are ready, we have been praying it will be so. If not, they will be ready on Monday and we will leave for Kiev on Tuesday and hopefully arrive home on Friday September, 18!

Thank you sooooo much for your comments and prayers, I look forward to them as they bring me to tears, longing for home and all my family and friends.

Please pray for perseverance and expedition of paperwork!!!!!!

I love you all and can't wait to see you!


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Officially Ours!!

WOW! What a busy day started at 7 am and went to Zolochev to get papers from court, then to Dgergichev to get birth certificate for Peter and then to Kharkiv for Viktor's birth certificate then to about 5 different departments for other various things then on to Zolochev to pick up boys! As we arrived the boys were at the door
in their new outfits, they were so cute-no longer orphans, but American boys!!!!! I signed lots of papers and gave the Director chocolates and cookies and juice for the children and said farewell! It was emotional saying goodbye to the caregivers and some of them cried as they said goodbye to the boys, but everyone was also joyful!!

After we left orphanage we had to apply for passports and get passport photos and photos for Visa. Kharkiv is a big city of 1 1/2 million and the traffic was horrendous, but we were able, with God's help, to get it all achieved and all our paperwork went to Kiev on the 11pm train last night!! This will enable us to be able to go to Kiev possibly this weekend and have medical exams on Monday and American Embassy on Tuesday and fly out Wednesday. If not, hopefully flying home on Friday next week! Please pray that our passports will be done this Friday.

Back to yesterday, sorry for the jumbled entries but all the kids are up and trying to get this done. We capped off the night at McDonalds at about 8pm. They were so excited to have Happy Meals, they have only been there once. Before we headed to our flat they played on the toys at McDonald's. I was so tired and had a splitting headache. Ukrainians don't stop for food so we went all day in about 90 degree temps with no water or food and no air conditioning. The boys were so hyper and into everything when we got here to our flat. They would not settle down. Finally after about 200 no's and very firm demeanor they got into bed but would not go to sleep until I got into bed with them. I hardly slept a wink, but they did!!

Anyway, happy to have that day over!! George will come tomorrow and tutor and today I am getting these kids out of here to go to the zoo!

Please pray for Peter's eye (infection) I got antibitics last night for him. Also we need prayer for expedition for passports and for me to parent these little ones in a way that pleases the Lord and will be affective for them and Us!!

Love in Christ,


Monday, September 7, 2009

I will fix pictures tomorrow!!!

Last Night At The Orphanage!

Today the boys asked a lot of questions about what we will do tomorrow. This is their last night at the orphanage! They seem excited to go with us tomorrow. Tatiana, our facilitor, said I couldn't take Sav and Drew tomorrow so they will spend the day at Rob and Denyce's(missionaries).George has never had banana bread so Savannah will make him her killer banana bread over at Denyce's. Our day will start early, 7:00am- that's early for us here in Ukraine. First, we will head to Zolochev(orphanage town) for some papers and then to Dgergachev where one of the boys was born and then to Kharikiv where the other was born for birth certificates. The new birth certificates will have Derek and I as their parents! Isn't that crazy? Then back to Zolochev to pick up boys and take them to apply for passports and get their photos!!! This will be an all day adventure traveling at least 150 mies. Today we took them their own outfits to wear tomorrow,as I have said before,the clothes they wear are owned by the orphanage. Also, we brought 2 backpacks with us, one of them we bring with us everyday. I told Viktor he could have the pack we have brought everyday, it is Drew's pack and it looks brand new,( 2 yrs old LL BEAN lizards all over it)he has taken ownership of the pack& that is goodasthey haven't seemed to respect gifts very much. I told them we would be doing some fun things as we wait for the passports to be processed(one week), like going to McDonald's. They have only been once when they were in the orphanage in Kharkiv last year. So today they said, "Can we go to McDonald's tomorrow?" Of course!! I can't think of a time when I will be this happy to take my children to McDonald's!! There are many things to do here and George said he will be glad to help us. So the plan is for him to tutor in our flat in the mornings for one hour and then off to the park etc. Here in Kharkiv they have a Dolphinariam that's what they call it. It is a show with Dolphins and also they have a large zoo.

Peter has pink eye or an infection that has made his eye all red and puffy. They are treating it somehow, but it has gotten worse. I told George that he needs antibiotics and he said they wouldn't give this to him until a last resort. I can't wait for Dr. Crawford to take a look at him. When we arrived today Viktor had caught a mouse and Savannah about lost it!!! She hates mice! I told Viktor what the mice do to the cherry trees during the winter, how they eat the roots and kill the trees. I explained that we have to spread poison to help control the mice population and protect the trees. Viktor said I will help Derek spread the poison. These are all signs of him bonding to our family. Both the boys sit close to me and they seem more and more like they fit right in with us. Viktor loves Savannah, he is always enticing her to chase him.

All I can say is the Lord is so good to His people and we are so blessed to be able to bring these boys home with us as new members of our family!!

Thank you for your concern and prayers for us!!



Sunday, September 6, 2009

Under The Weather A Bit

Hello Everyone! I caught what Peter had and haven't felt very good today, so we didn't see the boys. I asked George to let the orphanage know. They don't use the word "orphanage" in Ukraine. It is called a children's house. They always look at you strange when you say orphanage. Russian cannot be completely translated word for word into english. I asked George(our driver) to tutor the boys next week while we are here in the flat waiting for the passports. He was delighted to do so! I am so happy. George is really good with the boys and I will write down some phrases that the boys will need once we leave that they can be working on. The American dollar is going up, it is almost 9 to 1. When we arrived it was 8 ghrivnas to 1 dollar. The economy is not very good here in Ukraine. Hence, we continue to enjoy low cost meals for dinner!!!
Another thing we are loving is chocolate-especially Drew! European chocolate is the best! So tomorrow the boys will spend their last night as orphans!!! Praise the Lord! We cannot wait to bring them home. Some of our conversations lately with George have been about Washington state. I am so thankful for the beautiful place in which we live, actually the amazing country we call our own. Our friendship has grown with George and I am convincing him to visit us. He says he misses Derek and Luke too! So my point is, I have been intentionally trying not to think about home ,so as to avoid homesickness, but as we started to tell George about all things we would show him when he visits, I longed for USA!
Many of you have not been able to post a comment-sorry about that! When I followed other people's blogs I had the same problem. I kept on trying and sometimes it would finally work. Blogger must have a problem with this. Thanks Carole,Tracy and Julia for your comments and also Sandi!!! Love you all and I am so thankful for the people the Lord has blessed our family with!! Tuesday, September 8 is the transition date and the first night they will spend with us-Please pray for them as they leave what they have known for 2 years and become Carlson's!