What does my honey like better than excel spreadsheets and making lists? Planning and preparation are her thing and like any supportive husband would do; I stay out of her way and watch the magic happen. Who am I to ruin all of her fun and give my input? When she’s ready for my opinion, she’ll give it to me! Besides, she’s the brains of the organization and me, well, I’m the pack-mule. I’ll be hauling all this stuff around until we off load it in Ukraine.
I’ve been on orders with the AF for a week and much too busy juggling two jobs to jump in until now. In my absence, Heidi has got together all the gifts for the five orphanages that we will be visiting in addition to the adoption. That alone takes up two suitcases! There are letters to be taken over as well from adopted children here in Colorado to their friends still in Ukraine, our kids included. The letters have a special place, somewhere, I don’t know. There’s a camera and possible laptop for our facilitator, part of the negotiated fee. Our friend, Becky, ordered a couple of items that we are bringing. Sergei needs new earphones for his I-Pod.
All these things we are more than willing to deliver. I love making our friends happy and seeing the joy in those children as we hand them a simple gift or a letter from a loving stranger on the other side of the world. So, if any of you have a last need, want or request, better get them in now. Heidi is a packin’!
She’s so cute doing it too! She gets excited when she fits another item in the suitcase and is still below the max baggage weight limit. She bought these huge vacuum-pack bags from somewhere. Everything is getting vacuum sealed to save room; gifts, our clothes, Rima’s clothes, etc. It all looks like those vacuum sealed blocks of coffee you see at the grocery store. With wild excitement, Heidi holds up each of them for me to see. Rima’s entire wardrobe looks like a giant Omaha Steak package.
I was given a little latitude in getting my clothes and stuff together since I was working hard, saving the country and all. However, I’ve now been put “on the clock” as Heidi puts it. Tonight I have to select the three changes of clothes that I wish to take for 6 weeks! Hmmn, I wonder what Fruit of the Loom looks like in the “shrink wrap”! Given the size of the ever-expanding gift list, I jokingly offered to wear all three said wardrobes. For a minute, the look in Heidi’s eyes suggested that she was considering it! Never make those kinds of concessions with a career project manager!
Friday night’s party was a huge success. The eats and the chocolate fountain were a big hit! It seemed like a 100 people were there, but I’m not sure. The usual UOO crowd was there, but I was pleasantly surprised to see Roger P, the Jensen’s (who just got home 2 weeks ago with their three new kids), the Hooker’s, and the Barrett’s. The Jensen’s kids took a little while to warm up to us. But, once they did, I got a firsthand explanation of why Jim calls himself the human-trampoline! My three have nothing on Jim & Teresa’s three!
And so goes the push for Rima. We are fairly certain that Zina will not be coming home this time due to some digging around we were able to do. But, we are still praying for her. Miracles do happen. Zina has been sent to a sanatorium for unknown reasons, but we will find out where she is and go see her. We still have plans to bring a boy home with Rima, too. That is, if there is a single boy available in that region.
We leave this Friday, the 15th at 11:30 and fly into Dulles. From there we fly to Frankfurt and then on to Kiev, getting there at 1:15 pm on Saturday if all goes according to schedule. We will be staying with Becky in Kiev and visiting the Boyarka orphanage were our kids are from on Sunday after church service. Our SDA appointment is that Monday, the 18th at 8 am. While we wait on the referral, we hope to visit the UOO 2009 camp kids at the orphanage near Kiev. Depending on when we get the referral, we should see the Rima mid-week, next week. A visit to the SB orphanage, home to the UOO 2007 camp kids, will be accomplished sometime during the adoption trip. Karen Springs wants to take us to see Ruslan, a boy we know from the 2007 camp that was sent to a different orphanage near his family. So yes, we will be visiting five orphanages, not counting the sanatorium where Zina is staying.
I must emphasize that we are overjoyed when we receive a comment on the blog or an e-mail from you. It is always welcomed, but it is especially uplifting when we are in Ukraine going through the difficult process of international adoption. Support and encouragement from home is like food for the soul! If you only like to read and not comment, please continue. I know that you are there. I can see the blog-counter scrolling upwards.
We will post as time and internet availability allows. Heidi will return home after the court date to be with our three kids. They will be staying with friends and family during those (hopefully) three weeks and attending school. I will stay behind to finish up the process in Ukraine, which I pray will be no more than three more weeks. I have return tickets set for Feb 27th at 3:30, but we will see.
Blessings to you all. Please keep us and our kids here at home in your prayers.
~ Felix ~