Close this search box.

day one

Hello precious friends and family,

How can I ever thank you all enough for your outpouring of love yesterday? Thank you for all the enouraging comments, scripture, and words of advice. It was truly such a blessing to read them all.

Today is a new day–and I have been feeling so much better, I’m happy to report. When I got home last night I decided that if I’m going to make the most of my time here, I had better just put on my big girl undies, trust God with my heart and my family, and deal with it.  And so I did.

A lot of sleep certainly helped too. I woke up feeling rested, and ready for whatever God has in store for me here. A surprise chat with my family on the phone was good medicine for the heart too.

As my first full day in Kiev winds down, I feel like I’m getting the hang of things. My new BFF, Nickolai, came by late last night and gave me a phone (that works!) and paperwork to fill out so that I could get an internet modem. Now he was talking my love language.

Oh life is just so much better with internet. How in the world did we ever get by without it? I have no idea.

Being in Kiev feels somewhat familiar in many ways for me. Before getting married, I traveled a lot. I did manage to see some countries in Eastern Europe–Hungary, Turkey, Bulgaria and Romania. Kiev feels quite similar to some of those places, maybe just busier. The busyness feels like being in China. There are people and cars everwhere. And they sure do drive like the Chinese too (and the SA taxi’s, Dad). It’s crazy.

I’m learning how to grocery shop by looking at the pictures on the boxes. Some things I’ve been spot on with, others not so much. It’s hit and miss. Today I felt like something yummy to drink, so I looked in the juice isle of the grocery store. Right at the end of the line I found a bottle of something reddish that looked just lovely. Yayee, it even had three English words on it (bonus!), Cherry Fashion Mix. Sounded wonderfully interesting and I felt adventurous enough to try something different. I paid and headed out the store. Couldn’t open my juice fast enough. With the security person watching me intently, I opened my bottle and took a ginormous swig. No sooner had the sweet liquid hit my stomach, when all of a sudden I felt this very warm sensation in my tummy. A feeling I knew all too well twenty years ago. This was NOT juice at all. My guess was vodka with a bit of cherry flavoring somewhere in there. Fashion Mix–now I know what that is! Lesson learned–you just never know what you’re gonna find in the juice section.

No, of course I didn’t drink it all. I knew you were wondering. Most definitely not my thing. Yuck!

My little apartment has been a blessing.  I walked into the bedroom for the first time yesterday and totally laughed.  I imagined my Honey standing next to me and saying, “There you go, wife, it’s just your style.”

Ummm, no, not quite my style at all. 

I love standing on the teeny little balcony and watching the people go by.  Everyone seems to always be in a rush.  It is so busy.  That is some kind of victory monument from WW2  I’m told.

The view from the sofa–I know, I know…who cares, right?

As in China, cars are a major problem here.  The roads are poorly designed and just cannot cope with all the traffic. They park anywhere and everywhere. See a spot on the sidewalk–grab it as a parking place.  No problem at all.  Anything goes. Just hope and pray the guy behind you leaves before you need to.

Most people live in these ancient apartment buildings.  When we were in China the first time we adopted, we visited a few of these types of buildings.  Here in the Ukraine they are the same as the Chinese apartments.  Run down and old looking from the outside, nasty stairways on the inside, but when you get into the actual homes they are really nice and modernized.

A funky mailbox. How in the world do they even know who’s is who’s with the numbers all missing?  Beats me.

I loved watching these two lovers enjoying their meal together.  So sweet. That little strip of grass runs down the center of a crazy busy road.  See the cars backed up behind them?  They didn’t seem to even notice. Nothing like having your lunch for all to see.

My view.

Today the weather has been glorious.  When Nickolai came to pick me up, it must have been close to 70 degrees.  I have not had a day even near that for months and months living in the mountains.  I was so tempted to wear capri’s, but thought I’d play it safe and wear jeans and a light long-sleeved shirt.  When I got to the car, Nickolai was horrified. “Where are your warm clothes?” he asked me.  I was like you must be crazy, dude, the sun is shining and it is beautiful out here.

Then it hit me as we drove along…these people totally bundle up.  Almost 70 and they are still in hats and coats.  Kids are bundled up to their eyeballs.  I’m talking the kind of stuff I put on my kids when we go sledding.  So crazy. 

I guess I’m going to be getting many a finger shook at me when I dress my girls in the summery things I brought with me for them to wear.  Happened to us in China too.  Oh well.

You go, ladies, make sure you bundle up now.  Oops, two are missing their winter hats.  Darn.

My home sweet home apartment building.

The view from the back of my apartment….more apartments. Actually, I think they call them ‘flats’ here like we do in Africa.

Tomorrow morning I have my appointment at the adoption office to receive Hailee and Harper’s referral letters.  Once I have those letters, it gives me permission to travel to their region and visit them in the orphanage.  I’m told that I may get those letters tomorrow, or I may have to wait until Thursday.  I’m trusting for tomorrow.  That way I can leave on the train tomorrow night and head to my daughter’s city. I’m so ready!

My heart is anxiously awaiting the moment I meet my angels.  I can hardly wait. As today comes to a close here in Kiev, it brings me another day closer to two little girls who’s lives are about to change so radically.

And they have absolutely no idea!

Hanging onto the ONE who holds my everything in the palm of His hands.