Sunday, February 28, 2010

Flight Info - Preliminary

The plan is for Felix and Rimma to fly home on Wednesday. They will be on the Lufthansa flight from Frankfurt which arrives at DIA at 3:50 p.m. Usually it takes an hour to get through passport control and customs. Stay tuned in case something changes. It's Ukraine!

It's been two years and three months since we first met Rimma on our first UOO camp. It's been a long road! It's hard to believe that (1) she is really our daughter even though I haven't seen her for a month and (2) she will be joining us forever in just a few short days.

Please keep Zina (how can I call her Lizzie!?! we'll have to work on that) in your prayers. I talked to her today and she is very upset. Nadia translated a couple things for us and even Nadia started crying. It's hard to console Zina and say, "Honey it will be OK." Because no, I don't think she is OK in the internot. There is little supervision, but there are pregnancy tests. Two girls have recently jumped out of windows of their internot trying to commit suicide. After getting off the phone, Nadia told Kolya, "No, Zina is not OK there. Who wants to be in an internot?"

I held it together until our church service today when I turned into a sobbing baby. (Thanks for the support Heather!) Following along with the message, I was trying to figure out what God is trying to teach us from the pain we are going through. What is He telling us? Is it that we should adopt "blind" instead of "pre-selecting"? No - we really believe God's plan for Zina is to be part of our family. We also believe that God has a plan for Zina to help others in Kherson this year. But the pain? What is the purpose? We can handle it as adults and we will be preoccupied this year...but she will not.

I'm digging deep for forgiveness for our "friend" Big N but it's just not there. Shame on him. What he is doing is evil.

~ Heidi ~

Day 44 - Kiev

Me & Rimma at the SDA, where it all started 43 days ago

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Day 43 - Saying Goodbye

I picked up both Rimma and Lizzie this morning at 10:30 am, sharp. Today,a young girl has walked out of an orphanage never to return and she is on her way to a new life, a family who loves her, and to a forever home in the USA. Rimma Roge is an orphan NO MORE.

We had our last day out in the town of Kherson. I held it together for the whole day, right up until the last hour. I had an uneasy feeling all day and at 6 pm I lost front of my Cafe Monia. I'm sure the staff was wondering if I didn't like the food.

There I sat sobbing like a baby, both girls patting me on the back and telling me, "It's OK, dad. It's OK". Imagine! Them, consoling me! The cry virus spread like a wildfire and soon enough, I had Lizzie crying, unintentionally I assure you.

We just dropped Lizzie off at the orphanage. She sobbed against my shoulder, her tummy trembling uncontrolably. I held her for a few minutes until her favorite caretaker arrived. She took her and "mothered" her. I asked her to stay with Lizzie for the rest of the night, she assured me she would. I left and went outside to compose myself. No dice, I cried the 15 minute walk to the Bible House.

The train leaves in an hour and we are sitting now with our facilitator, waiting on the taxi. Next post will be from Heidi or from me in Kiev.

It was a great day and a hard day. I am taking one daughter home and leaving another behind. Everyone, please pray for Lizzie.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Day 42 - Passport in hand!

Yep, got the passport! All done here but the crying, which will be prolonged into tommorow. There were no train tickets tonight so we will be leaving Saturday night. Got the first-class cabins too! Ha ha! The curse has been broken and I'll get to ride in Volf family style at last!

Rimma was officially signed out and released today after an act of God! I was freaking out around 2pm today. Me, my facilitator, Roman the orphanage lawyer and "Big Nick" met in the lawyers office to sign the release paperwork. "Big Nick" balked when he discovered that I was asked to sign for Heidi. He refused unless she too was present or I had an original power of attorney. It looked like I would have to call Heidi and tell her to book a flight! A faxed POA wouldn't work for them either.

It was resloved when Roman pulled out the Ukrainian statute and read it to him. It stated that the parent or parents had to be present to take the child out of the orphanage. Roman quckly opened the Word document, erased Heidi's name from the document along with her signature line and we all resigned it. This all took and hour and was the longest hour in my life! We had to make a quick trip to the inspector's office to have it restamped by her, a process Roman had already taken care of on the previous voided document.

So, we will arrive in Kiev Sunday morning, go to church with Karen and stay at her apartment. Monday's embassy visit and medical has already been scheduled for us by our facilitator there. We will fly out on Wednesday barring any more unforeseen obstacles. I may not have internet or I may too busy to blog and if so, I'll ask Heidi to keep you informed. Thank you so much for the prayers, we could feel them!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Day 41 - See, I'm not making this stuff up!

While we await word on the arrival of the passport, I thought I would humor you with a few pictures and prove to you that I'm not going crazy. However, having a lot of time on your hands does give one time to pause and ponder the mundane and often overlooked little things in life. But, not to worry, it has been in the 50's this week with lots of sunshine and all the snow and ice is gone except that which is in the shadows. Therefore I have been able to venture out and walk the city with ease. My friends, such as the dangling paint chip that I keep talking about on Facebook, have missed me though. We made a connection, you know!

The Bee Gees singing "Staying Alive" at Oskar

My friend, the dangling and spinning paint chip (over my bed)

The Michelle DeYoung duct tape job is still holding up well!

Lizzie's contraband hamster sleeping in my house slipper. A friend bought it for her after I said "No". Of course, once it is ever discovered, I'm sure she will catch heat over it from the staff.

Me at the Dniper River

How the adoption process makes me feel, sometimes!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Day 39 - My Busy Day

We are done! DONE, I say...with all adoption work in Kherson! The ONLY things left are waiting on the passport and traveling to Kiev for a medical and visa appointment. So, everything "Ukrianian" is done! It's all up the good ole US Embassy once we get the passport. Let's see, today we...

- Traveled 2 hours to the region,
- Worked for an hour there to change the Birth Certificate (BC)
- Traveled an hour back towards Kherson
- Almost hit a car head-on when right front tire blew upon hitting the world's largest pothole
- Almost rolled in the opposite direction when the driver overcorrected
- Changed said tire on the side of the road
- Had the car fall off the jack when a gust of wind from a big rig blew by
- Watched in horror as the driver narrowly escaped falling car
- Searched the ditch for big rock to place behind rear wheel because the emergency brake didn't work in the 80's model Lada
- Jacked up car again, replaced tire, got back on the road
- Arrived in Kherson, safe but soiled!
- Went and received Tax ID # from goverment office
- Made an copy of BC for passport office (PPO)
- Went to notary to get notarization on a copy of Birth Certificate (BC)
- Went to different goverment office to "officiate" the new BC
- Went to a bank to pay for official stamp on BC
- Went back to office to show receipt and get official BC
- Picked up Rimma from orphanage for PPO photo
- Argued with Rimma about pulling hair back for PPO photo
- Won argument, but dealt with unhappy teen for rest of the day
- Took photo and application to PPO
- Went to bank to pay PPO fee
- Went back to PPO and completed everything
- On the road at 6am, done at 5pm!
- Took my daughter out for desset to celebrate!

Our facilitator thinks we should receive the passport Friday afternoon. If that happens, Rimma and I will leave on the Friday night train to Kiev. That will have us enjoying the sites with Karen this weekend and doing the medical & Visa on Monday. A flight on Tuesday morning could occur.
If the passport doesn't arrive Friday afternoon, it will arrive on Monday. We would miss the weekend with Karen, but spend it with Zina. We would board the Monday night train, attempt the medical and visa appointment on Tuesday, with a flight out on Wednesday.

Help us pray for that passport on Friday...and please pray for Zina. She's already crying.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Day 38 - Got-cha Day!

The 10 day wait is over! It is official now. We have Rimma Roge'. Today, our facilitator picked up the court decree and I accompanied her to the registrar's office to sign documents for who knows what. I think it was to get a tax ID number for Rimma, an authorization to change the birth certificate tomorrow, and paperwork to get the passport ball rolling. And then there's that whole registering and de-registering of an Ukrainian citizen, a throwback to former Soviet times.

Tomorrow at 6am, we travel to the town where Rimma was born to change the birth certificate and to get our copy. The last half of the day will be the passport application work. Then it's a wait until we get the passport. Last word is that the passport issue has been resolved and it will take up to four days to get it.

I'm fairly certain that we will not make our flight on Saturday. Everything has to fall into place by Wednesday night so we can get on that night's train to Kiev. Medical & Visa appointments would have to be done before the Embassy closes on Friday at 10 am (note to PAPs: the Embassy closes the last Friday of every month at 10 am for training). Barring a miracle, the passport wait will push us into the weekend.

Fair enough! I realized that during the 10 day wait and it's no biggie. I'm OK with being here a few more days and we can certainly change the flights. Last time we bought our own airfare, this time we went through Golden Rule (Eldo) for the same price and I don't have to sweat the details! We just call him up and he takes care of us.

So, we should be flying home sometime between Saturday the 27th to Wednesday the 3rd. I told Rimma that this will be her last week in the orphanage and Lizzie is getting prepared, albeit sadly. I am attempting to get as much love in as possible and I'm gathering friends to be with her when we leave.

Game on! These next several days promises to be a busy and fun week. Keep reading as we make our eventual homecoming! Here we come!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Day 36 - God Moments!

Last Monday, I was invited to "Friends Club" by Oksana and Andrey. FC is a program put on by AGAPE. They meet in the basement of the Baptist church here in Kherson every Monday night. it is primarily for aged-out orphans to hear the word of God and the Gosphel.

O & A kept after me all day to go and I really didn't want to sit through another 2 hours of something I didn't understand with a bunch of teenagers who would stare at the oldest person in the room. But, I could feel God pulling me there for a reason, so I gave in and went. Did I mention that I really didn't want to go! I was wet and soggy, it had rained for 3 days. Water was and still is everywhere, my feet were wet, my cap was wet, my coat, drenched!

Upon entering the room, I was beseiged by two young men that I had seen before. Igor & Sergey from the 2007 UOO trip! I had not seen them since April 2008 and we were told that they had left the orphanage. Here they were at FC!

We spent the entire 2 hours together and they couldn't take their eyes off me. We talked of the trip and of what they were doing now, both are going to technical school. Igor for construction, Sergey to be an electrician. They, of course asked about Kris & Clarke and they remembered all the names of the Stoesz kids. They kept asking about Heidi and the Carmens, too.

I was asked to speak about what love was to me. So I talked about Christ's love for us and how He went to the cross for all of our sins. I talked of how God's love transends all borders and how He urged me to come tonight to show witness of how God brings his children example being Igor, Sergey and me. The boys were just beaming with smiles.

At the end, the boys spoke fondly of the UOO trip and how it changed their lives. I told them that there were two main objectives to our UOO camp trips in addition to enjoying yourselves. One, to show them the possibility and opportunity that they can achieve when they want improve their lives Two, to expose them to Christ's love through His chidren around the, to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Igor and Sergey, especially Igor said that the camp worked then! He was going nowhere and didn't want to do anything, but now he is in school and doing well to learn his trade. Secondly, because of that trip, he became a Christian. Sergey stated the same. Praise God!

Both boys want to meet up with me tommorow and I promised them a Skype call to the Stoesz's. Igor said he lost Clarke's address, but I gave it to him with a UOO card. I have their address and phone number (he has a cell phone). They are so big now and they looked good. Both were wearing nice, clean clothes. I promised them letters and a care package from the Stoesz's, so sorry...get busy K & C! They have written letters to the Stoesz and asked me to deliver them when I get home. Kris & Clarke, you made a huge impact on them, they spoke about you a lot. They asked if you were going to come one day and I told them that you may be considering a trip.

The girls and I have made two trips unsuccessfully to go ice skating over the last two weekends. Today we made it. When I walked in with them, there were Igor and Sergey, again! Imagine this happening twice in one week in a city the size of Longmont! I learned further that they live in one of the AGAPE houses that boards aged-out orphans. The house is brand-new and they have a really nice place to live. The AGAPE house Mom & Dad had brought them to the ice rink and to the FC meeting last Monday too, they usually go every Monday. The couple is hired by AGAPE and all the homes are Chrisitian based. I'm glad that Igor and Sergey have such a loving home to go to after their vocational schools. I hear that there a dozen or more boys in this of several with boys in different homes, girls in others. All with AGAPE house parents.

Here's a photo of four 2007 UOO camp kids that haven't seen each other since that trip Sergey, Igor, Rimma & Lizzie!

Day 36 - Up!

I leave my camera with R & Z most every night after visiting the girls at the orphanage. They take better pictures than me and they, along with the other girls in their room, usually let their guard down after I am gone. It makes for some interesting pictures. I have pictures of girls in makeup, girls wrestling, girls playing dress-up and girls...well, just being girls! I keep all those hundreds, and I mean hundreds, of photos to ourselves on my laptop. But, I just had to share these with you. They are hilarious. I'm sure the director and caretakers know nothing of this. My question is, "Will I have to pay for the damages if they finally break one of these particle-board beds??!!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Day 35 - Stayin' Alive, stayin' alive...

...ahh, ha, ha, ha, STAYIN' ALIVE STAYIN" ALIVE!! Feel the city breakin' and ev'rybody shakin', and we're stayin' alive, stayin' alive. C'mon people...sing with me! Whoo-hoo! I've gone the Ukie paddy wagon!

Moments later after Felix awakens from his nightmare...

No wait, I'm still the nightmare...that is Ukrainian adoption! Sorry folks, the futile atempt at the afore-written humor is an effort to let you know that I am indeed, STILL ALIVE! That's what happens when you are constantly exposed to the eighties and nineties music that Ukraine is in love with. I don't mind the music so much and it is a relief to hear English lyrics. However, I caught myself humming along with Elton John's, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road on the martshutka the other day.

We are in the 10 day wait and indications are that we will not catch our plane on Saturday, the 27th of February as originally scheduled. Word is that passports are being issued again, so we will have to get the electronic ones which will take 3-4 days. My facilitator thinks we can have that all wrapped up by Friday next week. The US Embassy in Kiev closes early on the last Friday of every month for training, which is next Friday anyway. If medicals and visa can be done the following Monday & Tuesday, the 1st & 2nd of March, then perhaps I could fly home Wednesday the 3rd.

But it's all up in the air. Sorry for not posting, there isn't much to post about when all you're doing is waiting. Seeing the girls for 2 hours each school night and having them on the weekends is the highpoints of our predicament. The real work starts next week, so do stay tuned.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Day 29 - Being Dad

That's what I do everyday besides wait...Be a Dad. Why is it that 5 or 6 days work, really when you think about it, takes 6 or 7 weeks. Lets see, there's one day for the SDA appointment, one day to get the regional inspector to go with you to the orphanage for the refferal (not needed 'cause we know Rimma), one day for court, a half-day to change the birth certificate, a half-day to get a passport. a half day to do medicals and a half-day to get the immigration visa. I mean REALLY! Can you tell I'm getting to the end of my rope?

But here is the reason I hang on. Here is the singular, solitary reason I didn't fly home to wait on the Interpol check and why I won't go home during the 10 day wait. My time with Rimma has been great, but she and I will have lots of time together over the next year before Z comes home. Lizzie (Z) had an impossible situation, a registration that we were told would never happen. She runs to me every single day, holds my hand and sits by my side. If an arm is tugging at my side, it is her's. She will have to wait another year due to a silly rule.

She reminds me every single day that she wants to go home. I remind her everyday that we will never forsake her. Yep, I'll gladly return and sit for weeks, doing it all over again.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Day 26 - Cleared!

At 9:30 am (12:30 MST), our facilitator called with the good news! We have our Interpol clearance and the SDA has sent our consent for court form. We are moving ahead! Court is next.

Thank you all for the prayers and support! Last night I felt a peace that I haven't felt in awhile. I had a feeling that the clearance was on it's way, perhaps at the end of the week, but it was coming! Praise God! Now on to the next "unforeseen obstacle", as my friend Jim Volf said.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Day 25 - Vika's Birthday

Still no news on the Interpol clearance. I knew I shouldn't have fenced that rock in Bangladesh!

Today, February 9th is Vika's birthday. Vika lives at the same orphanage as R & Z and she was on the 2007 UOO camp trip. She turns 17 today! I have learned that if the kids are good students and good persons, the director lets them stay longer in the Internat. I wonder what lies ahead in her future.

The girls asked me this weekend if I could get her a present and a cake. She wants boots and the girls were going to choose a pair. I offered to get the cake and give her a reasonable amount of grivna in a card so that she may get to choose her own boots. I based the amount on what R & Z's boots cost and they were happy with it. They understood that Vika would enjoy the shopping experience at the Bizzare (open outdoor market) and she would get a pair that she wanted, not a pair R & Z wanted. So off I went to the orphanage with cake in hand.

Change of subject. I may lose my man card over this one...I like chick-flicks! Behind "period films", they rank second as my favorite. The ever busy Heidi hardly ever slows down to watch a movie with me and when she does, it is for a chick-flick. This gets me valuable couch snuggling time with her, a commodity in rare occurrence these days being that we have 3 and soon 4 new additions! So you see, I have a reason! Why do I tell you all of this?

Well, one of our favorite films is Pride & Prejudice (the Keira Knightly one). Being an English Lit minor in college gave me an appreciation for the fine art of eloquent and precisely spoken English. I love the way they talk in that movie, but I digress. Elizabeth, or Lizzie as they call her, is the main character. Elizabeth is also the name that Zina has chosen as her first name once we adopt her (her idea, she doesn't like her name).

So all week, I have been calling her Lizzie. It is close in comparison to Zina, what with the Z part and all. She responded the first time I used it and it makes her smile every time, a scene worth repeating every chance I get. I just love that nickname, LIZZIE!

Also, I hope the facts that my major was Aeronautical Science, I love to fly fish, I love to fly airplanes, I love my family and I love Jesus redeems my man-card and overshadows my taste in movies. :)

Monday, February 8, 2010

Day 24 - Felix goes to SB!

I ventured out to Stara Zburievka, or SB as we at UOO call it. I have had this suitcase of gifts sitting here in the room since we arrived and I have really been wanting to get out there. For those of you who don't remember, SB is in a remote village an hour from Kherson and is where some of the UOO 2007 kids and all of the 2008 kids came from. During good days, the roads are barely passable. I had to wait for a frozen tundra day like today to get out there. Last week, the higher temperatures caused the ice and snow to melt to the point that getting there was impossible.

No sooner had the driver turn off the engine, Vanya and Vova ran out and gang-tackled me. They hugged me forever! Vasya wasn't far behind and he did the same. For the entire two hours, Vova and Vasya had their arms around me. I didn't mind as I reminded them that they are always in our thoughts and prayers.

Vova, Vasya and big boy Vanya teared up when I had to leave. I too, choked back some tears as I kissed them on the head and said goodbye. I don't know if or when I will return. This might have been the last time I ever see any of them this side of Heaven.

While heading home, it started raining. We made it back to the main road after 5 km or so of skating on several village dirt roads. The Lord held up the weather just long enough to visit for two hours. It is sleeting now and the roads here in Kherson are the worst I've ever seen. Natasha, the assistant director says she has never experienced such a severe winter as this...and she's my age! Just my luck!

Some notes of interest from the visit:
  • Most of the 2007 kids are gone. Sergei, Igor, Inna, Julia, Sasha are in trade schools
  • Katya was moved to another orphanage and hasn't been heard from
  • Denis & brother haven't been heard from since that one call a year ago while in Foster care
  • Zhenya & Vitalic haven't been heard from since 2008 when they left for Foster care
  • Ruslan & Katya haven't been heard from since they were moved to another orphanage
  • Illona is in the sanatorium, I wasn't able to give her gifts directly to her. I left them with Natasha
  • All the kids form the previous camps want to come back to "Amerika"
  • Natasha wants more pictures and e-mails from Sasha (Joshua)
  • Sasha Duchsin (Josh's friend) has his mother in his life again. She picks him up on weekends and he is happy about that (she just got out of prison)
  • Little Natasha was the most animated and freely smiled, giggled and laughed while she read her letters and opened her gifts. Quite a change from the timid girl I knew. Your letters and gifts have had a huge impact on her. I wish the pictures adequately described what I witnessed.
  • Director Nikolai once again asked me for a van while eyeing the AGAPE one!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Day 21 - Eternal Camping Trip

First, no news on the Interpol clearance. Ugh! We need prayer!

Felix with R & Z's roommates

Whoo-hoo, got my first shower in 3 days! Of course, I had to wake up at midnight to do it. Kherson is experiencing rolling black outs this week, so no electricity or steam during the day. No power means no pumps to pressurize the BH water. No steam means no heat in the building.
I get up about seven everyday and the power is always on and the room is warm. Time to take a shower and wash clothes, right? Nope, promptly at eight, the power and steam disappear all day until the evening, when by the way, I'm at the orphanage. When I get home from visiting and going to dinner, I assume that I can shower up. Nope, power goes off again and comes back on sometime in the night while I'm sleeping. It takes a couple of hours to heat up the water tank again each time the power/steam go off, so I've been missing out. It took a few repetitions of this for me to catch on.

Sasha tells me this is normal and is a way to alleviate over usage when the plant cannot keep up with demand. It has snowed everyday this week and it is cold, but not like the sub-zero temps of last week. This week is actually OK. But I guess a lot of people are using a lot of power.
This is different from when the circuit breakers trip downstairs. Through trial and error and watching the staff goof, I have deduced that you cannot run two major appliances in the building at once. Any combination of two or more of the following kills power to most of the building and drops the Internet: portable heater, hot water kettle, vacuum cleaner, washing machine, lights on. I really feel like I'm on a camping trip that won't end. However, days like this picture makes it bearable. And it only keeps getting better.

Rimma opens up a little more each day and is talking a lot more to me than in the past. She's becoming more affectionate, but gets jealous of the time I spend with Z. Rimma wears her heart on her sleeve and it is always apparent if she is happy, jealous, upset or mad. I'm careful to give Rimma equal time...I wonder what it will be like once we get home.

Rimma told me two days ago that she is ready to go home and get out of the orphanage. She really likes our weekends out on the town. This weekend I will have both girls during the day for awhile. They both want to go to the salon to get their hair done and Zina needs new shoes. Normally, this isn't my bag, but what else am I gonna do? Hang out here at Bible House campground?

The girls asked me to tell them the story of how Heidi and I met. I love that they want to know and be part of our family history. I told them about how Heidi's friend Anita took her dancing and how my friend Jeb and I went to the same dance. Anita and Jeb had dated once upon a time and they introduced me to Heidi that night. I told the girls that I knew then at first sight that I wanted to marry her. Just like, when at first sight, I knew they would be my daughters. They laughed as I recounted the day after our first real date when Heidi called me to have lunch with her. I was at church and there was a message on my phone after Sunday school and service. I "Bo Duke'd" it across town, jumping hills and straightening curves as I raced there for the opportunity to see her. They were hysterical as I told them I stopped at a little store and bought a tooth brush, tooth paste and bottled water and brushed my teeth down the street from her house. However, I didn't get that first kiss that day after all.

After I finished my story, the girls had one of their own. They both told me about the time they spent in our home in 2007. They felt like they were a part of a family on that trip and our house was full of love and happiness. They could feel the bond growing between us and didn't want to leave. They felt that God had brought us together for a purpose. A lot more was said about that time together, parts of which prove the need, the want for a family. Afterwards, the girls giggled about a particular occurrence. They confessed that they would get up at night and sneak down to the Christmas tree and open the tiny silver box ornaments that were full of M & M's hanging on the tree. I told them that I knew they were doing it, but I never knew when. Before they went to bed each night, I refilled the boxes for them. I have since earned that Rimma loves plain M & M's.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Day 18 - Sisters Reunited

These pictures are posted over on the side as well under 2010 Adoption Trip in "Our Photos".

The first call woke me up this morning, "I leave sanatori now" she said. "I love you Dad!"

Z called me a second time about 2 hrs later, "I Kherson soon, I love you Dad"

Z called a third time an hour or so later, "Dad, I Kherson Internat, I you and Rimma soon"

Suddenly, I don't care when they finish the Interpol clearance! That gives me more time with an Angel!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Day 17 - Back amongst the living!

Felix here, international man of mystery and Interpol's most wanted! With a flick of some hidden switch, I'm back up and running on the Internet at the Bible House again.

Heidi quizzed our facilitator and he found out that the first round of Interpol clearances have come back from the families that got it done last Monday. We got ours in on Tuesday, so we are hoping for some news of it this week. It only takes a few minuted on-line, a fact we keep sharing with the SDA, but who knows if they are listening.

Heidi is back home safe with the kids and they are no doubt happy to have her. I am doing fine here. It's been raining all morning and most of yesterday as well. I'm happy to not be freezing and I actually had to turn the heat off Saturday. Last week we couldn't get the room warm enough. I am able to get out and walk where i want to go now, not for fear of the public transportation mind you. Rather for the exercise and time-killing factor.

Andre the pastor's son will be here to go to lunch with me today. At 4pm I will go see Rimma. I hope to connect with Sasha of AGAPE ministries today so that I can hitch a ride out to the SZ orphanage on Tuesday. I want to deliver gifts and remind the kids that they are thought of and loved, by all of us, you included. If I do go, I'll be sure to blog about it and post some pictures.

I had a few questions on the blog and I want to let you know that I appreciate them all. Thank you for writing.

  • David, yes we are the family that Becky is speaking of and I see that Heidi has already e-mailed you. I'll let her answer you questions, thanks for writing.
  • Suzanne, I hope you are one of the cleared families and can return soon. I see that Heidi is e-mailing you too. Yes, of course you can comment on our post anytime. I didn't post your comment though due to your personal information. Comment again sometime,Thank you!
  • Twyla, your so funny! BTW, we still do the "Twyla Barrett" method of shopping! Open the door to see what the sell, close it if it's not what you need. We too call the department store "Jacobs".
  • Eilleen, when I said break a leg, I didn't mean it literally. Hope you are OK now! Love you!
  • Everyone, for your privacy, I tend not to post comments when personal phone numbers and e-mail addresses are included unless you give permission. Like I tell my daughter Nadia who wants to surf the Internet, "I just want to keep you safe".
  • Natasha, I will tell Alona (is it Alona or Illona?) She's a doll and a sweetheart too! These pictures are for you.

About Us

My photo
Longmont, Colorado, United States
Heidi loves to play sand volleyball, sail and garden. Felix loves to fly at the local aeroclub, sail and fish.