Hope's Journey

Hope's Journey

Monday, September 28, 2009

Update from Dobro ... Nadia is with us

WOW,our last few days have been amazing. We are at the school(orphanage) using their internet for our update. The home that we are staying in does not have internet abilities. We saw Nadia on Thursday the moment was wonderful. She looked beautiful and was thrilled to see us. We had our meeting with the Guardian Counsel, a city counsel, regarding for us to move forward with her adoption and the vote was 15 yes 0 no. So, that evening she was able to leave the school and stay with us. We invited our friend Elivra to join us in Dobro as our interpretor. She is a true godsend in speaking and understanding for us. The city is beautiful, wild flowers and roses everywhere! The people have welcomed and embraced us. Our time at the orphanage has been great, the kids are a joy to see each day and they love Nadia. When we have spare time she wants to spend it here. Many of the children are asking to come home to America with her. On our way to type this message we were greeted with the word that our court date has been set for Friday, October 2. This is amazing news as many of the court dates are set at least two weeks out. This court date will make the adoption official. Nadia's birthday is September 30 ... we are planning a party with many of her friends. She will be 14 years old. The home we are staying in is hosted by a lady named Tamara, just think a Ukraine "Paula Deen." She is hilarious and one amazing cook! I have never tasted cream of wheat that delicious, of course the fresh cows milk could have had something to do with it! We are unable to post pictures at this time, but there have been many taken. We will post when we return to Kiev early next week. The Lord has given us favor each step of this process, His hand has led us every and each step of the way. Thank you for your prayers and continued prayers, they are being heard and answered.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

We are finally with our Nadia!

Darrin and Kristi arrived in Dobro (the region where Nadia lives) on Friday, September 25th.  Since they do not have access to the internet or Facebook, I (Grammy) am updating this for them.  When they arrived in Dobro, Nadia and Alexy, director of the orphange, were at the gate of the orphanage to meet them.  Kristi said Nadia had the biggest smile she had ever seen and was so happy to see them.  Nadia is able to stay with them some at a home near the orphanage.  Unfortunately, no one speaks English and their interpreter won't be with them until Monday.  Life will become easier when the lines of communication are better.  The weather is beautiful, cooler on some days than others.  Monday is supposed to be in the 70's.  The remainder of the week will be cooler. 

This morning they went to church...didn't understand a word, but worship is worship anywhere in the world.  They feel so blessed that each step has been such evidence of God's sovereignty in this process.

As far as the process...they are waiting for their court date (in Dobro).  This may be 4-6 days.  After that, they will be able to go back to Kiev, where they will wait on Nadia's visa and passport to be issued.  Once they have those documents, which can also take 4-6 days, they will be able to come back to the states.

Please pray for them to have their court date in Dobro by Friday, October 2nd.  And pray for the legal documents in Kiev to go through super fast.  They would love to be able to leave earlier than firt thought.

Many of you have asked how Kendall and Cole are doing.  We had a rough start to this journey. Cole became very sick on the Sunday night that they left.  Monday he was diagnosed with strep and was given antibiotics.  He has continued to improve each day and hopefully will be back to normal this week.  Kendall has had a busy, but good week.  So now...week two begins for us all.  We are excited and look forward to everyone being together soon.

Thanks so much for your prayers and encouragement!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Today Is the DAY!

Today is the day we have be longing for one year and longer .... we get to see Nadia.  We will leave this morning around 11:45 and drive 4 hours to the community (region) where she lives. While in Dobro we will stay in the home of Tamara.  Some of the families that have gone before us have stayed with her and have established a very special friendship, we desire to do the same.  Tomorrow we will meet with the guardian counsel and present to them ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL (yes that is a lot) of our adoption papers.  From there we really know nothing ... that meeting can take many different avenues.  Our desire is to receive guardianship of Nadia on Friday and then possibly travel back to Keiv while waiting 5 days for our paperwork to process.  Then we would go back to Dobro and meet with the government regarding her adoption.  If we do not receive guardianship Friday (or if we do receive guardianship and they ask that we stay in the region)  we will remain in Dobro, stay at Tamara's for the remaining days until all paperwork is completed and court dates completed as well. There are many scenario's we are just waiting to see which direction we go. Flexibility is the key word in this entire process! 

Yesterday our friend Elvira came and gave us a tour of the city. on foot. So once again we walk, and walked and walked. It was wonderful, this is a beautiful city.  We went and saw an opera for $2.00 per person.  It was really good, the costumes were extravagant. Following the play we had dinner and walked home.

We talked to the kids last night using skype, it was so great to see their precious faces.  Our faces might have scared them a bit since the call was at 1:30 am and we had been asleep for some time ( ha ha ) We miss them so much! This could be our last update for a while as ther is no internet connection in Dobro.  Hopefully, my mom can post updates via our phone conversations if we are unable to connect.

We are so thankful you can rejoice with us today in our reunion with our beautiful daughter Nadia!  I will post pictures as soon as I can.

Beautiful Church

Outside our apartment window

Ukraine Day Three

Today is a very exciting day for us ~ at 4 pm we will receive our referral papers for Nadia.  Last night we ate dinner at a lovely cafe in downtown.  We then walked in the underground shopping mall.  The stores are much like ours in the states.  One thing we did find interesting is that on the food menu you can also purchase cigarettes.  Hummmm??? Following dinner was sleep.  We are trying our very best to stay on Ukraine time. This morning we found a great little cafe for breakfast with delicious tea.  We just received a call from our friend Elvira ~she is the sister in law to our facilitator Konstantine.  We met Elvira last summer, she traveled with the children and was an intrepreter for us all.  She is a delight and we are so excited to see her today and spend some time with her this evening following our meeting at the SDA.  What a blessing to have friends in Ukraine!

We have been truly blessed these last couple of days for the rest we have received.  Rest physically, mentally, spiritually. This past year has been challenging for us in those three areas as we have prepared for the place we are today.  We cannot wait for the moment we see Nadia face to face ... ohhh how sweet.

Special prayer request our sweet Cole is sick with strep.  We were able to talk to him yesterday on skype and he seemed much better.  Kids respond so quickly to antibiotics ... but my sweet parents please pray for extra comfort and rest for them!

Thank you for your continued prayers.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Laverne and Shirley's house in Ukraine (like the TV Show)

First Meeting Complete ... we have the papers to prove it!!

Ukraine Day Two

Wow, this has been a great day!  We had a wonderful meeting at the SDA (in the states this would be like meeting with Child Protective Services ... though on a national level.)  They approved our meeting and tomorrow at 4 we will receive our referral papers for Nadia.  We will then travel 4 hours by car to the region where her orphanage is located.  Good thing ... our facilitator is a big fan of the Bee Gee's and plays their cd's all the time.  I say good thing ... good for me (Kristi) Darrin not so much.  We cannot wait to see our Nadia. While in Dobro we  will begin the meeting process with the local goverment. I will attach some photos taken today .... we walked and walked and walked.  This is a beautiful city with amazing attention to detals in their building structure.  You will see in one of the photos I found where Laverne and Shirley live ... it looks just like their home on the TV show!  Thank you for your prayers and continued prayers, they are not only being felt but being seen as we walk through this process with no snags! 

Monday, September 21, 2009

We made it to Ukraine

Wow, we made it!  The travel was great ... no problems at all.  We do feel a little sorry for our driver Andre' ... he had to carry our bags up three flights of stairs to our aparment.  Let's just say when in larger quantities the weight of crayons, soap, skittles and m & m's, snicker's etc ... do add up.  Thanks you all who helped us stuff our bags with items for the orphans.  They are going to be thrilled ... Andre was too once we loaded him up with sweets for his kids. 

Tonight we had dinner with our facilitator at a little cafe in the center of Kiev. The food was outstanding and they specialize in "flavored hot tea's."  I (Kristi) had Borsch soup and a cabbage salad ... yes, I love cabbage.  Darrin had a homemade soup and meat wrapped in grape leaves.  We are so excited about SDA appointment tomorrow at 10 am (2 am for those of you in Texas.)  We will receive our referral for Nadia on Wednesday complete additional documents and travel to Dobro to see Nadia her on Thursday.  We will stay in Dobro where the orphanage is until our court date.  During that time we will not have computer access.

Thank you for your prayers ... we appreciate and feel them working daily in our lives.  We will post some pictures tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

We are preparing for our trip to Ukraine

We are so excited to share ... we leave in just 4 days!  Please pray for us as we prepare to leave ... the thought of leaving our children is heartbreaking!  My (Kristi) parents will be staying at home with the kids ... we are so very thankful for their amazing love and sacrifice! 

Nadia's Story

Nadia's Adoption Story

“A father of the fatherless…God setteth the solitary in families…” - Psalms 68:5,6

Many of you have heard of our exciting summer with Family Hope ~ an organization
that brings orphaned children to the United States. Family Hope introduced us to
Nadia ~ an orphan from the Ukraine. For those that have not heard her story, we would
love to share it with you now ….
August 2008 Kendall shared with us that she was saving her money for an “older” orphan sister. We began praying with Kendall about this sweet and tender desire. One week later we received a call regarding an opportunity to host an Ukraine Orphan in our home for 21 days. They sent us pictures of the remaining orphans that needed host homes. Kendall was sitting at the computer when the pictures popped
on the screen. Immediately she pointed to Nadia and said, “There she is … that’s my sister!” We were amazed at her little insight, Nadia was one of the three children needing a host home. Two weeks later Nadia was with our family.
Nadia is a beautiful twelve year old young lady from an orphanage in Ukraine. Nadia had a heart breaking life of abuse and abandonment the first five years of her life. At age five she was brought by the government to the orphanage. She loves music, movies, is an amazing artist and adores animals. She is very shy but extremely polite and we are told a strong leader to those in her orphanage community. Instantly she became a part of the Brown family. Together she and Kendall learned how to ride bikes. Much of her time in Texas was spent riding bikes, swimming, watching Disney princess movies and eating popcorn and gummy
bears with little brother Cole. Nadia desires and longs to be adopted into our family and with each phone conversation shares her longing to quickly return to her American home.
Nadia's name in Ukraine means "Hope" ~ we are blessed to be on this amazing journey..."Hope's Journey."
Why adopt internationally ??? For a couple of years we’ve felt so clearly directed by God to adopt internationally that we want to obey Him, and we also desire to give an orphan child a family that he/she otherwise might not have. Having Nadia in our home opened our heart and eyes to the need. Plus as we said above … it was love and first sight!
God desires for orphans of all nations to be loved, cared for and adopted into Christian families – ultimately so they can become saved, and be adopted into His eternal family through Jesus Christ! There are so many things God has used to prick our hearts and move us to adopt, here are a few:
Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction… James 1:27
Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will – Ephesians 1:5
In Ukraine children once they reach the age of 16 are made to leave the orphanage. Statistics show 70% of boys are involved in organized crime/drugs .. 60 % girls become prostitutes … 10% after leaving the orphanage commit suicide. Did you know it is estimated less than 10% of all orphan children are adopted into evangelical Christian families? According to current estimates, if only 10% more Christians in America would adopt, it would be equivalent to providing homes for all the orphans in Eastern Europe (1.5 million), Latin America (400,000), and the US foster care system (150,000).