Monday, February 16, 2009

Blessed Be the Name of the Lord (A great day in Kiev)...  

Okay... I'm going to go through the whole blessing of today, but just to give you the quick answer, things went great!

We started the morning EARLY! We got up at 5:30 this morning. Unfortunately, I only went to sleep at about 3:30. Ugh... But when the alarm went off, up I popped!
We headed to town about 6:30 a.m. and got to town very early. Our appointment was for 10:00 a.m. but we were at Poshtova Plosha (the Metro stop we got off at) at about 7:30 a.m. Yes...2 1/2 hours early. But I am the type that would rather be early and wait than be late. And with the schedule of the driver that took us to the metro and the traffic patterns, they decided that we could either leave at 6:30 or 7:30. If we had left at 7:30 we would have hit major traffic and very crowded trains. I'm not really interested in that. :-) So we went to McDonald's and had a cappuccino (me) and Mary had an egg mcmuffin with sausage. Hmmm...weren't there some stray dogs around this street yesterday? Just kidding. :-) We ENJOYED the warm because it is COLD today. And WINDY. And a bit of snow. Brrrrr...but Bless the Name of the Lord.

So...we left McDonald's and walked and walked and walked to stay warm. We got on the funicular (cable car) and watched a woman berate a man who got a little too close. Yikes.

We got to the SDA building way too early (of course). Since it was so cold, we walked down St Andrew's hill and back up. That kept us warm. :-) We sat for a while and got really cold again so we paced back and forth. On one of our paces, an American got out of his car (we had seen him earlier and presumed he was American) and asked if we wanted to get in the car, that we looked cold. (I wonder why he thought that. Maybe it was blue lips and one of my ears had frozen off...) We gratefully got in. (Yes mom, I know that we shouldn't get into a stranger's car, but he had this great candy!) :-) (For all you worry warts, we did not eat candy in his car). It was so warm after being out in the cold. God does the most incredible things. He even cared that we were freezing cold and gave us a safe, warm place. We found out he was helping a couple with an adoption and had been helping couples since the country opened for adoption. He helps with/runs a congenital heart defect surgery center in Kiev. We had great fellowship. We sat in the car for about 40 minutes.

We hopped out when his friends came out from their 9:00 appointment. Our facilitator arrived right after that and we met him for the first time and liked him immediately. He has a great heart for orphans and seems to specifically care for special needs orphans. He spends his "free" time working with a foundation that helps street kids (volunteer). He gave us some pointers and told us what to expect them to ask us and that told us again the problem with getting more than one referral for non-related kids (it's not a new law, just a new interpretation). I'll explain more in another post.

We got into the office and sat down. It was very informal (thankfully) and the psychologist was very nice. She was a young woman and very professional. We expected several questions that we needed to be prepared to answer. She asked us about ourselves and our family. I told her we have been married 17 years, met in high school, told about our kids, told about Eli who has Down syndrome, told about my work at FBC Moore, told about our work in Ukraine. Then we waited for the next question while she talked to our facilitator and shuffled through papers. We explained to her about Dima (who we had requested a referral for but he was adopted by the Loux family) and then told her about Misha in Romaniv. We still expected to answer some more questions, but she left the room and someone else left the room and came back with Misha's referral. She asked if we had any questions (I considered asking, "Is this what we have been keyed up about? Can't you ask us something really hard to answer? Glare at us, or something?" But I decided against it). She told us to come back tomorrow between 5 & 6 and get the two referrals. And it was over. 10 minutes. It seemed so abrupt...over so soon and after all I had worked a couple of hours on a scrapbook to show so I asked her if she wanted to see pictures of our family and she said yes. I figured she was just being nice so I showed her a group pic of the kids and then a pic of Eli and said she didn't have to look at all of them if she didn't want to. She said she did want to see them all and looked at everyone and commented on the kids ages (hey, she listened when I told her about them and she remembered). Then we left the office and went outside. It was REALLY WARM in the office (as it is in most buildings that have heat. It's either on or off. When its on, it's ON!). So we had been so warm, and when we went outside, we both immediately started our teeth chattering.

****You may have figured out that you are getting the LONG version. Sorry, but this is our journal to remember everything by too. You are just getting to read over our shoulder.****

We got outside and met our regional facilitator. He's very nice and we were told that he has a big heart for special needs orphans. That's great! His name is George (American rendition). His Ukrainian name is Georgey (guh sound, not juh). He went through our papers standing out in the wind (is that really a good idea? Didn't we just spend months getting all that together? Were were preparing to CHASE every last one down St. Andrew's Hill LOL). One thing that we still didn't know was whether we had a place to stay in Novograd and if we did, could we afford it? Our facilitator told us that he had indeed found a place for us to stay and that it would cost 1,500 UAH (Hrevna- the Ukrainian currency). I asked if that was per week. He said, NO PER MONTH! Now would be a good time to tell you that 1,500 UAH is $180 USD. THAT IS FOR A MONTH. He had checked it out. It's the same place a recent adopting family stayed in for free. I didn't understand everything about it, but I got that it is WAY LESS MONEY THAN WE THOUGHT!!!!!!! I can't tell you how amazing that is to us.

Obviously we were on cloud nine. We heard an American voice say "I hope you brought long johns!!" I said, "have em on now!" We struck up a conversation and told her a bit of our story and she told us about her's . She's here visiting two older kids they are adopting this summer. As soon as she found out we were adopting DS kids, she asked if we were with Reeces Rainbow and knew Andrea. It was so good to meet someone who understood what we are doing and why we're doing it. We went with her, her soon to be daughter and our facilitator to a little cafe/coffee house and had more cappuccino and tea. We sat and talked for over an hour. Shared stories, needs, blessings. It was a great time of fellowship. Please pray for their son, Harrison. He's 14 and was hit by a car back a few months ago. He is having to learn to walk, talk, etc all over again. He had a severe brain injury. Please lift him to the Father...the Great Healer.

We found out more about the boys' parents. They were both married, both employed, both abandoned the boys at the hospital, both have submitted paperwork expressing their desire for the boys to be adopted, both sets of parents were born in the same years as us. We got their parents' names and even their address (we may need it someday. You never know.)

So let me recap God's blessings of just this one day:
We made it to the SDA without any difficulty. Didn't get lost. Etc.
God gave us a warm place to wait and a good time of fellowship with a fellow American and co-laborer in "the work."
We found favor with the official.
We were granted the referrals of both the boys we hope to adopt.
We will get both referrals at the same time instead of weeks apart.
We met another woman who is adopting and got to spend time fellowshipping with her.
We found out we have a place to stay in Novograd that will cost us less than $200 for the whole month.
We will leave for Novograd tomorrow night and we'll be holding Matthew (Oleg) on Wednesday morning, Lord willing.

As I said yesterday, whatever happens today, we will bless the name of the Lord.
So...we are blessing the Name of the Lord today. He is faithful. He cares about His children. His plans will go forward without obstruction.

This morning, sitting in McDonald's I was reading my Bible. Often, though not always, I read the Proverb of the day. Proberbs 16 says:

"Mortals make elaborate plans,
but God has the last Word.

Humans are satisfied with whatever looks good;
God probes for what is good.

Put God in charge of your work,
then what you've planned will take place.

God made everything with a place and purpose;
even the wicked are included--but for judgment.

God can't stomach arrogance or pretense;
believe me, he'll put those upstarts in their place.

Guilt is banished through love and truth;
Fear-of-God deflects evil.

When God approves of your life,
even your enemies will end up shaking your hand.

Far better to be right and poor
than to be wrong and rich.

We plan the way we want to live,
but only God makes us able to live it."

It was such a blessing to have that Word from the Lord this morning. It was so appropriate to what were were anticipating today. It was just another reminder that this is God's work, not ours. It's God's power that will accomplish it, not ours. It's God's resources that will supply every need, not ours.

What a blessed day. What a great God. What an amazing day. Praise God.

All glory to the Lord. The only thing we boast in is in Christ Jesus. We are grateful that He is involving us in His work to save these boys.

Be Blessed.

***Sorry no pics today. Uploading through Blogger is just not something I wanted to experience today.***

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10 comments: to “ Blessed Be the Name of the Lord (A great day in Kiev)...

  • Malones
    February 16, 2009 at 9:58 AM  

    You guys...that is SO AWESOME!!! The Lord woke me up about every hour last night and I just prayed for you guys that everything would go well. The Lord is so good!!
    I couldn't wait to get up this morning and check your blog to see what happened. Please don't leave anything out...I want to hear about every detail, as I'm sure others do too!! So, now we'll just pray that Wednesday morning will come quickly so you can see Matthew and hold him...and send us pics of him!!!
    We love you guys and are in constant prayer for you!
    Ron, Deanna, Jacey and Carly :)

  • Beth
    February 16, 2009 at 10:25 AM  

    Praise The LORD!!! I loved reading all the details.

    It is so amazing to see God at work..his provision for all things and even things that you could live without. =]

    All is well here on the home front!

    Love you guys!

  • thedickinsonfamily
    February 16, 2009 at 10:52 AM  

    I just read your e-mail and now this post. I am so very EXCITED for you both and the boys too! God has truly blessed this process every step of the way. I know today's appointment was a huge relief. It was great that you were able to share your story and pictures too. This is a testimony to others what God is doing in your lives and the lives of these boys. Chris, thank you for sharing all the details so well. We are grateful to be on this journey with you both. Know that you are loved, missed and prayed for often.
    I'm looking forward to the next update. Keep 'em coming!

    Wayne, Taylor and Tanner are rejoicing with you today! They say Hello and are praying for you too.


  • MaryAnn
    February 16, 2009 at 11:25 AM  

    God is good! He is so personal and He cares so much about every detail in your lives. I loved the scripture He gave you today! How Malone it is! If there is anyone who is not pretentious and proud, it is you two. Keep on giving us the whole story because it helps us know how to pray!Mary Ann

  • Blake M.
    February 16, 2009 at 3:32 PM  

    that is sooooooooooooooooooooo exciting!! i'm so happy!

  • Malones
    February 16, 2009 at 3:50 PM  

    That's so wonderful how everything went so smoothly! Fantastic!! Are your boys in the same orphanage?

  • Silly Sally
    February 16, 2009 at 4:51 PM  

    Thank you for allowing me to read the long version. I get teary eyed reading it...yes, me that never cries. My heart overflows with joy reading this journal. I'm sure it is the Holy Spirit within rejoicing with us.

  • Amy
    February 16, 2009 at 5:16 PM  

    I am soooo Happy that you got both referrals.:):) Can't wait to hear all about those two little sweethearts of yours.:)

  • schoolmother
    February 17, 2009 at 1:11 AM  

    Yes! Yes! Yes! Praise God and keep the details coming!! :)

  • Malones
    February 18, 2009 at 8:55 PM  

    Saw the video in Choir reherasal tonight! Thank you for sharing such an awsome event in your life as well as in the church. Such a blessing to see you and Mary interact with Matthew for the first time. Super, super video!
    God is good. Linda