Sunday, January 13, 2008

Today and tomorrow and the next day...

The doors where we first saw Max. He came to these doors and then stopped in the doorway, nervous and so vulnerable looking. Our hearts melted!

Vitali snuggled under Steve's arm

Tomorrow, we check Max out of the orphanage! Yep, starting tomorrow, we will start our parenting duties officially. I am not really sure what it will be like. He will be leaving everyone he knows, his group, his Mot (group mothers), his home and very soon, his homeland! All of this and then his language too! I ache for him but I ache in the way a mother does when she knows that what is best for her child may hurt him for a while. You can understand, right?

I am glad that Max will not be going to America alone but will be with his brothers. This will be one thing from his home land that he will not be separated from!

On Tuesday, we will check Misha and Vitali out of their orphanage and then we will all catch the train to Kiev. There, we will spend one full day all together and then I will head back to America (by way of Austria--I am really nervous about this--please pray for me! To connect, I have to switch airlines in a foreign airport with all its signs in a foreign language!)

Steve and Alla will stay with the boys and, while I am flying home, Steve's mom and sister will be on their way here! They will help Steve to get through the airport. This will be important. We realized how important when we had the boys for the day in the city. Misha has no fear and wants to see everything and if we weren't actually watching him directly, he absolutely would leave the room! Not only that but if we called him, he would laugh and run away. Needless to say, this will not be good in an airport!

Today is Sunday. This morning we met "Papa Dima" as he is called by the children. We attended his church with him (Russian speaking) He is a man here in Kharkiv who takes Sunday school to the orphanages and the TB hospital in the area. We were able to give him a gift from our Sunday school class that will help him buy quite a few Bibles, Sunday school materials, and small necessities for the children he serves! He was very thankful and since he has known our boys for five years, he asked to come to the train station to see us off. Isn't that so nice for our boys? Their final goodbye from their city will be from the one guy who has been Jesus to them every week. I am so grateful for this man and his ministry. There are several who have come to help him on mission trips or whatever and it was from some of these that we have heard stories of our boys and gotten pictures of them before we knew them! God is good!

Just now, we are in the internet cafe and our translator will meet us here and we will go to lunch. After that, our friends, Keith and Wendy will meet us again (just Steve and I) under the statue of Lenin again and we will go to their church service (in English). After that, we plan to go out to dinner with them since their home is getting new windows today--yes, in January--brrr!

We are continually blessed by the people we have met, by our friends and family back home and by this great opportunity to love these boys! This is quite an adventure, let me assure you, but well worth it!



Tami said...

I looooove those pictures! They are so precious! Yea! You're almost done!!! Meshack left Odessa last night for Kiev...he'll head home tomorrow. I'm lonely already, but am getting some good, quality one-on-one time with Maddie. She is a different child already - and even cried today when I had to leave.
Can't wait to hear that you all are reunited - at home. Hugs!

christie said...

We are so happy that you were able to see Papa Dima! He is a treasure to the Children. What a great thing for Papa Dima to see you off at the train station! Our girls last experience in Kharkiv was dinner with Papa Dima and leaving for the train. He is so excited for the boys, and I know he and Galya will miss them and are so happy to have been a part of their lives in Ukraine.
Our girls have forgotten much about Ukraine; language, names, friends names, workers names, experiences, but one they have never forgotten is Papa Dima!
Praise the Lord that He cared for your children before you knew them.

DoveFamily said...

We switched planes in Vienna Austria. It was a breeze. The only hard part was Delta security gave us a very hard time about William's Ukrainian passport with a permanent address in Atlanta. Other than Delta, everyone there was great and most spoke very good English.

Anonymous said...

We are so excited for all of you to be on American soil at long last. Loved the McDonald's story, Steve! We all laughed so hard. We're all continuing to pray and always checking the updates.

Uncle Steve and Aunt Susan

Nataliya said...

I love the picture of the boys - they are soooooo adorable!

I'm going to connect in Vienna on my way to Odessa on Tuesday morning, so I'll let you know all about it!

Grandma Falk said...

It won't be long! We're eager to see these little boys in person and get to know them. I surely wish I spoke Russian.

Such momentous things are happening to you, Melissa and Steve, and to Max, Misha and Vitali, and to the girls. It's hard to take it all in and grasp the significance for everyone. But the rescue is almost complete, and we will all deal with the adjustments together!

We'll be praying for you all--for your return flight, Melissa, and for Steve, Wendy, Laurie, and the boys as they make their way to Knoxville. Happy days ahead!


Stange Family said...

OHHH, I am so excited for you (and a bit nervous, too), but then God tells us to help carry burdens for each other, right?
I will be praying for your first moments together, for the boys' separation from all they know, and for your trip through Austria, Melissa.

Anonymous said...

How wonderful!! We are very excited for you :) Love, Aunt Bonita

Miraculous said...

Congratulations on your adoptions! I just started following your blog tonight. My husband and I would also like to adopt a sibiling family someday and your story is inspiring. As I was reading through old blog entries, I couldn't help but notice the one of you all at a funeral for someone you called "Great Grandma Payne." I'm related to a family of "Paynes" in NY and couldn't help but wonder if we are also related.

Irina said...

I shall repeat: boys are similar to the daddy :). As it is good, you have found them! I was glad to watch your history. I have some to say goodbye to you sadly. Though... I shall continue to read, how boys will get used to a new life. I read three histories, and all of them safely come to an end. I am proud, I know remarkable people, and I shall live in your country too.
Steve, you can speak boys: "ETO NE KRASIVO" (It is ugly) or "NE NADO TAK SMOTRET'" (it is not necessary so to look), or press a finger to lips "TSSSS", as though speaking "it is our secret, speak nobody" :))))))

Leslie said...

What a journey you guys have had! Thank you for sharing the process with us!

memalang said...

My daughter, Robin, is a friend of Steve's sister, Laurie. Robin had told me about your website, but until today, I hadn't looked at it. Today I read through the whole thing. As I read the last entry, I realized that at the same time I was reading it, you and your three new sons are finally on your way home to your three little girls and your family will finally be together. What a thrill for all of you!!! These children will be such a blessing to all of you!!! So many people are praying for your special family!!! Isn't our God amazing - He had this planned all along!!! God bless you and your wonderful family!!! Marion Lang

Nataliya said...

Melissa, I connected through Vienna yesterday, and it was a piece of cake! Airport is very small, the signs are in English, so you should be fine!