Friday, August 1, 2014

A few photos of daily life

Here are just a few random photos.  This is me getting off the bus in Kiliya.
Yesterday Preston and I discovered the market in Kiliya.  It has over 270 vendors.
This is the market in Izmail.  Since I talk so much about it I thought I would post a few pictures.  There are at least 500+ vendors at this market.
Today we let Logan pick our flavor of yummy yogurt.  They give you samples on the side of your hand.  Logan chose mulberry. 







Thursday, July 31, 2014

Court date

This morning we dropped all three boys off at Preston's Dad's apartment, which is just around the other side of the building from our apartment.  It is very close considering there are only four apartments in our building.  We took the 8:30 bus to Kiliya to meet our adoption facilitator.  We arrived  a little early so we spent some time walking through the local market and had the most delicious peach.  I am going to miss all of the fresh fruits and veggies from local farmers.  Once we met our facilitator we walked over to the court to turn in all our paperwork to apply for a court date.  After meeting with the clerk she asked him to come back at 2:00.  The three of us walked around the town for a while and then went into a local restaurant.  The facilitator went back at 2:00 to finish applying for the court date.  We were given August 8th at 10:00 a.m.

What to pray for now:
-Monday is Logan's birthday!  Please pray he has a great day and feels very special.  I think it will be a little hard for him to be away from friends and family on his special day.
-Tuesday Karis will be back at the orphanage.  Please pray for our continued bonding.
-Friday is our court date.  Please pray everything will go smoothly.  Also, after we have a successful court date Karis will go back to the orphanage for 10 days.  We have the legal right to ask for these 10 days to be waived if it is in the best interest of our child.  We will be asking for the waiver of the 10 days so she can get settled and things rolling for school more quickly.  This will also allow the boys to stay here for the entire process.

Thank y for all your prayers and support!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Adoption Petition Approval

We received our adoption petition approval from the DFC in Kiev today!  Our adoption facilitator is on the overnight train from Kiev to Odessa and will then take a taxi to Kiliya in the morning.  Preston and I will hop on the bus from Izmail to meet him in Kiliya to start the process going on getting our court date.  Please join us in praying for the quickest court date possible.  We even prayed today that they would just have an opening tomorrow and we could get it taken care of right then.  Preston's Dad arrived today.  We are all really enjoying having him here.  He will babysit the boys tomorrow while we are in Kiliya.

We are enjoying our time in Izmail.  We decided to take several pictures of the beautiful town.
Flowers outside our apartment.
All the boys love to swing.
There is a lot of outdoor eating at the restaurants in the park.
Stray dogs are everywhere!
This park is the length of the entire city and runs down the middle of the main street.
An ambulance.
In an earlier post I showed the tractor pulling a lot of Kvas tanks.  Here is a vendor selling the drink.
The boys love to play on these playgrounds located throughout the city.
Two to three times a week we shop at the local market.  They have everything....we even saw kitchen sinks there.  We love getting fresh fruits, veggies and Greek yogurt there.  It is really yummy.




















Thursday, July 24, 2014

Why adopt?

God has blessed Preston and I beyond our comprehension with four beautiful children.  Through each of their lives, and Mia's death, we have learned more about His character, love, peace, provision, presence and so much more.  Our lives are full of the joy, excitement, sense of accomplishment and tender love that only children offer with their innocent heart.  Parenting is one of the most difficult and amazing jobs ever!

So why adopt?  Why now?  About two and a half years ago Preston and I were riding to a Christmas party for the boys at Glenwood (a home for troubled boys, most with autism but the group we work with has behavioral problems) that our Sunday School class was hosting.  A few weeks earlier I felt God stirring in my heart to start praying about the possibility of adoption.  I mentioned it to Preston on the ride home and he told me that God was working in his heart too but did not want to say anything until I brought it up...knowing we had a lot going on at home and he did not want me to feel overwhelmed.  We committed to pray about it for a while and just allow the Lord to lead us in His timing.  For the next year and a half we would pray about it, talk about it, but knew the time was not yet here.

Along the way, we had a few different friends of our family to adopt.  God was painting beautiful pictures of adoption right before our eyes.  Some friends of ours have four biological children and God called them to adopt two girls from China, 10 years old, one with physical disabilities and one with some cognitive delay.  We have another family of good friends that is finishing up their adoption of the most precious little boy.  Their little boy has down syndrome.  As a mom of two children with special needs, these adoptions are one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen.  These parents see and understand the perfection in God's creation... just as God planned it to be, not as society said it should be.  Any thoughts that tried to creep in to my mind about this task being too overwhelming, God put to rest when He brought a particular scripture before me.  I felt God saying these words found in Deuteronomy 31:6: "Be strong and courageous.  Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is The Lord your God who goes with you.  He will not leave you or forsake you."  For me, the dread was just the unknown of the entire process.  It was so reassuring to watch God walk with our friends and to know that God would walk with us through the process.  We had another family of really close friends who were finishing walking through this process as we were starting.  They were so wonderful guiding us in every step, praying with us and for us, motivating us, etc.  They now have the most precious little girl!

In October we decieded to attend an information session on adoption from China (where we initially thought we would adopt from), orphans in general, etc.  We felt God telling us this was the time to get started.  Learning there are 153 million orphans in the world just rocked my world. 153 million children with the danger of a life without parents.  There is nothing I could physically do for all 153 million, but God could use me to change the life of just one.  If all Christian families in the world adopted just one, there would be no more orphans.

So, why adopt?  God has clearly called our family in James 1:27, "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."  He has been and will continue to be with our family in Deuteronomy 31:6.  Looking back on the process so far I can honestly say the dread of the unknown left the day we went to that initial meeting.  God has guided us every step of the way through this joyful and exciting process.

Now we are here in Ukraine, just waiting for the day we can bring Karis home with us.  God knew from the beginning that Karis was part of the Hite family.  We are so blessed beyond measure by all five of our children.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Beach time Saturday

We declared Saturdays to be beach days!  This morning everyone got ready and we headed out.  The first time we opened the door it was raining.  We only had to wait about 20 minutes to try again.  It ended up being a beautiful day.  The beach is about a 45 minute walk away from our apartment.

On the way we found a huge snail.  It is about the size of my finger.  As we passed the same area on the way home the snail was trying to cross the street. Logan picked it up and carried it safely to the other side. We were surprised it had made it about half way across on its own without being killed. On the way home we found a different area filled with about 25 huge snails.

All the boys had a great time at the beach.  They all loved the water. We were careful not to get any water in the boys ears.  We also spent lots of time playing in the sand.

Our sand sculptures.
Logan enjoyed playing on the high bars at the playground.
Logan free jumping down from the high bar.

Friday, July 18, 2014

While we wait

We are now in the waiting process of our adoption.  We are making the most of our days here.  Preston is working 9+ hours a day, but has it arranged so we spend some good family time in the mornings together and then some good family time in the evenings together.  Here are some pictures of our activities yesterday.

There is a really big store about 5 blocks away that we call Sam's.  Of course that is not the real name, but it reminds us of Sam's at home.  They have a play place in the upstairs area by the restaurants.  We went there yesterday and played for about an hour.


 Logan doing some flips on the rings.  He is ready for gymnastics when we come home!

 Owen was attracting all the girls.  He is such a little flirt.


 Here is a picture of Sam's from the restaurants upstairs.  And here is another of us in the restaurant.
 The roads here are crazy.  Here are some photos of the good roads in town.  You should see the roads between here and Kiliya.






                                     
                                     




                                        
Every day a tractor comes and picks up these tanks of Kvas.  It is a drink sold on the street that is a tart carbonated beverage back from the soviet era.  I have not tried any yet.

 Logan always enjoys having his photo with all the statues.


This is our bus station where we catch the bus every day from Izmail to Kiliya.  The station has closed for the evening so all the busses are at home with their owners.
 Logan enjoyed another play place in the town square last night.

 Nathan and Owen enjoyed ice cream while Logan played.

 Here are some photos of our apartment.  Living in Ukraine for the summer is good for the imagination.
                                     This is our main room.  It is also good for...
                                      
a playroom...
 an office...
                                 a living room...
                                     
Logan does his "school work"...reading, math, English and science and Preston and I also sleep in it at night.
Here is our kitchen and laundry room
 along with my workout area every morning.
 This is the boys movie area and bed for all three.  We put suitcases on both sides of the bed so it goes from wall to wall.  They don't sleep on the suitcases but it keeps them from falling out.


 Here is our dryer.  Ukraine has a wonderful breeze, everywhere.  It is so pleasant.
 Logan used his imagination to make a double bladed lightsaber.