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Live from Kiev: Part 1

We arrived in Kiev after a very long flight. We got absolutely no sleep on the fight so we were awake for about 26 hours of travel. During the 7 hour flight from DC to Frankfurt, we were blessed to sit next to a young lady traveling with a tiny, yip-yappy dog.  Our flight from Frankfurt to Kiev was a breeze, and we managed to get through passport control and customs without a question asked. We were picked up by a driver holding a sign with our name. He whisked us out of the airport to our car after yelling at several other drivers and even getting out of his car to shake his fist at one. Yep, just like the movies! 

After arriving at our apartment, we took a few deep breaths and a 2 hour nap (short so that we would be able to sleep all night). We then met up with our facilitator who took us into the town square to acquaint us with the area. There we were able to stop at a small grocery store and buy groceries. We picked up fruit, bread, yogurt, juice, water and a few other items- a very inexpensive shopping trip and my first to try to mentally convert to grivnas (the currency here). The US dollar converts to 8 or 9 grivna depending on the rate of exchange.    

We then went to a Mexican restaurant that was very American friendly, but nothing like our favorite “Dos de Oros” in Kansas City. At dinner we went over the procedures of the next few days with our facilitator. Fortunately, we have had those before us at Reece’s Rainbow and Derek and Renee’s recent adoption that have made us very aware of what to expect. 
We returned to our flat which is a one room apartment with a kitchenette (mini-frig, microwave, two  burner gas stove, etc). We have a nice bathroom with a washing machine as well.  We are sleeping on a pull out couch that is less that cozy, but we were too tired to care!  We stayed up until midnight playing cards so that we would be sure to fall asleep amidst neighbors barking dogs and city traffic.  We then proceeded to sleep for 14 1/2 hours! Apparently we needed it.  
Tuesday afternoon, we ventured out on our own to the town square where we managed to order American coffee. We were served espresso with a pitcher of hot creme. Spectacular!  Sadly we were unable to maneuver to get internet connection. Thankfully a little Skype phone call with the Bohlenders has resolved that for us!  
We then made another quick stop in to the grocery store to get meat and veggies for the next two days so that we can cook dinner here in our apartment and save the cost of eating out.  Tuesday’s dinner was salmon, mashed garlic potatoes, broccoli and salad.
 The salmon was priced comparable to what it would cost in the US- but we wanted to load up on Omega-3’s!  It’s been a long time since I cooked dinner for two. 
We have been able to speak to our kids daily thanks to Skype phone service. It is always good to hear their voices. I see they have been giving you updates as well.  
We are about to head in to our SDA appointment (Wed. 12PM). We will update you with more after we are finished with that and will hopefully have some exciting news for you. 
Keep in mind we are 8 hours ahead of central time in the US. So we’ve already finished 1/2 a day when you’re waking up to start your day!
Children,
We love you so very very much. We are incredible proud of you. We are praying for you daily that you would be protected, healthy, and that the Lord would guard your hearts and keep you in peace as you walk through this journey with us. Your part in this, the sacrifices that you have made, simply blow us away, and we know that the Father is so pleased with you.  Remember this is but a breath in the scope of eternity. With this incredible sacrifice comes reward beyond anything you can begin to understand right now. We are certain of that.
Nicholas, you are such a champion. You are our hero. At 16, you could be consumed with yourself, caught up in seeking after the pleasures of this world, but instead you have willingly set out to walk a life of obedience to God and have laid not only your incredible gifts and talents at His feet, but you have also said yes to this adoption and have allowed the Father to teach you about His heart through it. You are truly a “victorious warrior” as your name indicates. Saying “yes” to these precious ones for you has been a true war for justice, and we are so proud of you.
John Taylor, our precious quiet one. We have watched your heart quietly process all that is to come and embrace it with a peaceful determination that is so beautiful. Aiden and “Little Loux #6” will learn so much from you about the love of Jesus. You stand for what is right and just. You have always been one that sees things as black and white. Right and wrong. And in your heart, you have said “This is right, let’s do it.” You amaze me at your confident obedience to the things that please the heart of God. We love you, son.
Isabelle, our dreamer with a fiery spirit. With your impetuous heart for anything that burns within the heart of God, you have stood as intercessor and dreamer holding the spirit of adoption deep within your heart.  You dream big dreams. Dreams of adoption, dreams of orphans coming in to families, dreams that you are confident will come true. We are walking out your dreams, our sweet dreamer. They are coming true  before your very eyes. Two precious ones are coming home to you, a sister who will teach them to know the passion of Jesus and will speak life over them and dream big about what is to come for their lives! Remember this is but a vapor, this time away, but it counts big time in Eternity, precious girl.
Elia Jane, our joy and our delight. It was the graciousness of God to bless us with your life. Our journey to YOU made our hearts become gripped with the Father’s heart toward adoption. You very life serves to remind us every day of how much He loves us and that He, the King of all the Earth, stopped at nothing, gave all, and pursued us with Divine Love so that we could become His sons and daughters. Every day your daddy and I are blown away that God chose us for you. Our hearts will never be the same again. We pray little one, that though you cannot understand this separation and all that is to come, that He will protect your heart and give you peace. One day the shepherd walked away from 99 to save 1, but He came back. We ARE coming home.
All our love,
Momma and Daddy
(Now wipe up your tears and read John’s post- to be posted soon– for some comic relief!)
 

3 thoughts on “Live from Kiev: Part 1

  1. Ditto…..these kids are amazing. They understand the sacrifice they are making, giving up there parents, is part of the call God has on each one of their lives.

    I have the privilege of hanging out with them the first week, and I am amazed by their courage. They are so kind to one another and always thinking of the needs of each other. Willing to help out wherever needed and not complaining once. And so grateful for everything.

    Tracie and John have raised them well for such a time as this.

    Aunt Tara

  2. Oh my… I can’t believe you are in “my” part of the world…I have a Skype…too (iwka.onething)…What’s yours?

    Can’t wait to see you back here.

    iwona

  3. This made me cry — reading all your sweet words to your children, especially. Wow — what a huge testimony to the world your family is. Thank you for loving Jesus with all that you are!♥

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