Monday, August 29, 2011

Home again...

Yes, we did make it home. Sorry to all who worried about us with the terrible weather on the East coast. We connected in DC about 14 hrs ahead of the storm, again God's grace in action. Total trip: 10 planes and 8 connections with not a delay or missed connections...thank you thank you thank LORD! Its so good to be home, so good to hold Seth and Grace again, I think we were missed....but the work is not done and two Van Dykes are still in Russia. So please continue your prayers that God would hold them close, keep them safe and help all paperwork, court stuff and travel to go smooth. Have I said yet that we appreciate your prayers? We can feel them.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


We headed back to Kansk this morning for our last visit this trip. Some of you must definately be praying for me not to get car sick because that fact that I havn't is nothing short of a miracle. Thank you (Sarah, I know you have). We had a great time again with the kids. When we got there today, Asher came at me at a dead run and threw himself into my arms...that melts a mommy's heart. We got out playdough today. Faith was not impressed with how it felt and Asher of course wanted to eat it:). We also got to take them outside. Asher immediately wanted in a stroller and as soon as the buggy started to rock him, he stuck his thumb in his mouth. I think both my boys are going to be thumb suckers:). They both LOVE to swing! We did find out this morning that our court date is Sept 27th!!! That means we will be heading back here by Sept 21st...less than 4 weeks! So grateful God has worked out those details. The judge is already asking for a couple more documents so please pray those get completed quickly and that all goes well and smooth with court. We fly home tomorrow morning. One of our connections is Washington DC and it sounds like that could be tricky with the earthquake and hurricane. Please pray all goes smooth and that we make all our connections. We appreciate you all!!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Exploring Krasnoyarsk

Since we didn't get to see the kids today, we tried to enjoy the chance to explore Krasnoyarsk. We did have to spend quite a bit of time at the notary getting our final papers done before our paperwork was submitted to court this afternoon. It was more time consuming than expected but its done now and we should know by tomorrow morning when we get to come back for court and to bring them home! We spent the morning walking around downtown. We found a grocery store and the large market and to Paul's delight, a coffee place that had "to go" paper cups (something VERY rare in Krasnoyarsk). You do not see everyone walking around with their latte' like you do in the States. After the notary this afternoon, we rented bicylces and rode across the footbridge of the river to a large island that is for walking/biking only. It was beautiful! The week has flown by so quickly. Tomorrow will be our last day with the kids before we return home early Friday morning. Please pray that God would hold them close and keep them safe while we are away and that our travels home will be safe and smooth. We are definatley anticipating the other two cute faces waiting on the other end too. Thank you everyone for all your prayers.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Day Two...

Pictures of the orphanage
 We left early this morning for our second visit to the orphanage. We had a bit more time with them today which was good. Asher is a wild man! Lots of energy and personality. Faith has a beautiful smile and is very bright. By the end of the visit. She was pointing to each of us in the picture album I had made her and was saying, Mama, Papa, Seth and Grace (and sistra which is sister in Russian) to the appropriate person. She also started saying "ball" and spent lots of time throwing a red ball with Paul. We are getting to submit our court papers tomorrow and so by Thursday morning we should know when we will be returning to bring them home. We don't get to go see them tomorrow which we are bummed about...we have paperwork here in Krasnoyarsk that we have to do. We will probably have some time to go to the market and do some shopping and more sightseeing. Please continue to lift up Seth and Grace as we are away and all are missing each other much. Thank you again for all your prayers!

Monday, August 22, 2011

The First Meeting!

The day finally arrived! Our coordinator picked us up at 10:15 this morning for a 10:30 meeting with the Inspector at the Ministry of Education. She is the lady who makes the referrals. She asked us some questions and we signed written consent to visit the orphanage. Then we headed off for the 3 hr drive to the orphanage. That was an adventure in itself...let's just say that the very few traffic laws that they do have here all seem to be fairly optional:). The drive however was just beautiful the whole way and, praise the Lord, I did not get carsick. We met first with the doctors and caseworker and finally then were able to meet the kids. They are just beautiful and I look forward to being able to share a picture of their faces with you after court but for now these will have to do. Bubbles, horses, books and peek-a-boo, it was a great first visit. We just wish we could scoop them up and come home today...but all in the Lord's time. We will drive the 6 hrs round trip each day to see them this week and we don't stop to eat along the way. Between that, the lack of beef (for Paul) and my limited allowed diet, we may both come home a few pounds lighter:). God has continued to be so very faithful and we can feel your prayers.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Krasnoyarsk, Russia

View from our hotel room

 We made it safe and sound and are working hard to stay up all day today so we can try to sleep all night tonight. Krasnoyarsk is a strange mix of natural beauty coupled with the old concrete architecture of the soviet era. Our hotel is very nice inside and overlooks the river and the beautiful hills on the other side.Our little bit of Russian is getting better. I have stopped accidentally saying "please" when I mean to say "thank you" (something I got laughed at a couple times for yesterday in Moscow:)). We enjoyed a walk along the river today and spent some time with another couple from the states who are getting ready to head home with their little girl they just adopted. We meet our kiddos tomorrow afternoon and we are so excited!!!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Sitting for hours in Moscow

We are in Russia and "enjoying" a 10hr layover and getting lots of chances to practice our extremely limited Russian. It is quite an adventure. Next stop, Krasnoyarsk, Russia! Thank you for your prayers

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Here we go!

You know those rare momments that don't catch you quite so off guard when you can sit and contemplate that life as you know it is about to change? That is one of the continual thoughts on my mind this week. In less than 30 hrs we will be on a plane to Russia to meet our new son and daughter. Not sure if I could even articulate the myriad of thoughts and feelings swirling in my heart and mind. I get asked alot what I am expecting it to be like when we get home. The answer to that is, "I'm not". I don't have a clue what it will be like, how difficult, how smooth, how each of our children will respond, how long it will take for life to feel some assemblance of normal again, what issues may arise....but I know who holds tomorrow, and He has very clearly asked us to surrender to Him, our lives and those of our family's. He has been so very faithful to continually affirm to us His plans and purposes for us in this even when we can't clearly see. So what else is there to do but let go, throw up your arms and enjoy the ride:)!!! We are so excited to meet the sweet little faces in person that we have been growing to love through pictures. Thank you for your prayers, we will do our best to email you with the blog link each time we are able to post to the blog. Lord willing,our plane leaves the ground at 8:30am on Friday!

The referrals!!!

What a whirlwind its been! We received our referrals and pictures of our kiddos on August 1st! That was a surprise we were not expecting. There was still a family in front of us who had yet to get their referral but a match came up and they sent us our referrals first. Faith is about 2.5yrs old and Asher is about 1.5yrs old. They are cuties! Just wish we could post pictures but won't be able to do that until after court on the 2nd trip so be patient!!!