Friday, August 26, 2011
We are continually amazed at what the Lord is doing!
Firstly, we've had the pleasure of meeting some of the Saints here and have very much enjoyed fellowshipping with them in their homes. They have been such a blessing to us; feeding us, speaking English with us, sharing music and ministry videos with us, showing us around town, and just generally being available to help anytime we have a need. These same special people have even managed to procure a 3 bedroom apartment for us, completely furnished and with a kitchen and washing machine, 2 necessities when you have a crew as large as ours! The apartment belongs to a beautiful lady named Nina who was happy to move in with a friend just so that we could stay in her home for the remaining 3 weeks of our stay here at ZV. Thank you Jesus for shining your light on us, through these people.
Secondly, we HAVE received our COURT date; Sept 7th is the BIG day! We were hoping for something a little sooner, but when we looked at the calendar and worked out the dates, we discovered an extra surprise. The court date is the date that we go before the judge and he reviews our documents and questions us. He will then officially deny or approve the adoption at that point. But, we still are not allowed to remove the children from the orphanage until a 10 day waiting period has expired. The ten days are an allowance for anyone who wishes to file an appeal to the judges decision. If no one appeals, then the children are officially Boohers and we can start the exiting procedures. We will be able to take them out of the orphanage and they will live with us from the first working day after the 10 days have expired. That same day that we will be able to finally all live together as family just happens to work out to be on Lisa's birthday. What an awesome birthday present!
Thank you all for your continued prayers and a special thanks to all of you who are taking care of our home and animals etc. We couldn't do this without you supporting us. Now all we do is wait until the 7th and continue to build our relationship with the children and our new friends here.
Thank you Jesus, for your grace and love abound!
Chris and Lisa Booher and Family
Monday, August 22, 2011
We went to the orphanage today to meet Rema (the orphanage director) and discuss our desire to adopt the children. It was a little intimidating with her behind the desk and all of us in row, being asked question after question; but we knew that the Lord was in control. We answered her questions via our interpreter, Roma, and then she called the children in. They spoke for a time (all in Russian of course) and then we left. As we were walking out the door, Roma asked the children if they wanted to be part of our family, they said yes, then we filed out to the playground at the orphanage where we awaited the city inspector (Ukraine's version of a CPS officer.) When the inspector arrived, she took the children into an office, where they stated to her their desire to be adopted, and were then required to write a handwritten letter stating the same, all while we waited outside. It seemed like forever, when....
Finally, here came Sasha with his big grin. He played ball for a time and then out of the blue he held up three fingers and said, "Tre Das!" (3 yes!)
Next Katya and Shurik arrived, and Katya said excitedly in English, "We are all 1 family!" What a happy day!
Now we move forward with the paperwork and court procedures. We are praising God for His wonderful blessings! Thanks again for all the prayers and encouragement.
Chris, Lisa, and family
Friday, August 19, 2011
Lisa and Marina prepare the fish (picking off the heads and other unwanted parts)
Lisa prepares herself for that first bite of delicious fish!
Here goes nothin!
A moment of uncertainty...
Not so bad, after all!
We continue to be amazed and awed by the way God works, and we are so blessed! Roma spoke with Rimma (the orphanage director) today. She seemed very favorable towards our adoption and has agreed to allow us to see the children again this Sunday from 10:00 till noon. So, we are going to rest up tomorrow, and if all goes well, we hope to know something from the kids by Monday. If all goes well, then the next phase of the process will start.
Blessings to you all, and thanks for continuing with us!
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Monday, August 15, 2011
Here it is Monday the 15 already, and looking back on the past weeks' events I can only think what an incredible week it's been! First the amazing trip from Kiev to Zholty Vody, then on to Berdyans'k, then back to ZV for one day (two nights) and finally back to Berdyans'k (300 miles, 6 hrs driving one way) where we have been enjoying sun, sand, surf, and most of all, interaction with the children we hope to adopt; Katya, Sasha, and Shurick. It's truly something that only God could have brought to pass! All the details that fell perfectly into place in order for us to have this wonderful opportunity to be with the children in this amazing setting could have never been scheduled or orchestrated by us! It's been amazing to Lisa and I how quickly our children have bonded in spite of the language barriers: truly, love knows no bounds! I spent some time today teaching Sasha and Shurick some chords on the guitar, which they really seemed to enjoy, then Sasha picked up Kenneth's fiddle and sawed away like there was no tomorrow... Marina, the assistant orphanage director, and Lisa went down on the street in front of our hotel and bought dried fish from one of the numerous vendors there. After bringing it back up to the room, she showed us how to pull the heads off and pick the little salty, dried chunks of flesh off the carcass, a really tasty treat, apparently-if you can just get past the smell! We have been enjoying meals at "The Potato House," a restaurant that serves, of course, baked potatoes any way you like, plus a great burrito with all sorts of goodies, and topped off with a ultra-strong espresso-or americano-your choice. The espresso here is excellent, and is served almost everywhere-many hotel lobbies have a machine right in the cashier's area, and for a little over a dollar they'll whip you up something that'll put some pep in your step... Usually just two shots in a small cup, unless you specify something else. However, we have run into some difficulties due to our inability to speak the language... Yesterday Lisa ordered burritos with a variety of stuffing, but instead we received four baked potatoes, topped with all the ingredients she had ordered for the burritos... Not quite sufficient for our large family! A rather inebriated gentleman from Belarius (who spoke fairly good English) struck up a conversation with Lisa and I this evening, and upon finding out that we had six children here in Berdyans'k with us, slapped his leg and informed me in an incredulous voice that we were "completely insane!" I'm assuming he was referring to the idea of bringing a family of six children to Ukraine, but I couldn't be sure... We didn't dare tell him of our intentions of adding three more to our family! Well, guess that's all for now... Friday we leave for ZV, where an uncertain future awaits, but we know we are in the Lord's hands, and are constantly in amazement at the way He takes care of everything! I was reminded of that wonderful verse, Romans 8:28 this morning: "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."
Stephen and Karina, our neighbors, who have graciously volunteered to look in on our place every day, sent these pics today of our new kittens. We are always amazed by the beautiful things God gives us to enjoy, even when we are thousands of miles away from home! Thanks, Stephen, Karina, and kids, for taking the time to take these great pics and send them-you really made our day!
Saturday, August 13, 2011
We started out our day today here in Berdyans'k (near the Black Sea) with a walk to find the nearest supermarket. After stocking up on some bread, cheese, moloko (milk) and cream (slivka) we headed back to our hotel and proceeded to get ready for the beach. We're staying only about 3 blocks from a sandy beach here so we couldn't have asked for a more beautiful spot to bide our time until the afternoons when we are allowed to visit the children. The water was a little chilly since it was morning, but the kids didn't seem to mind. They had a wonderful time swimming and splashing around. The beach was quite crowded, and there is a lot of skin showing, which we are not used to. I think we probably stick out with our modest swimwear. Of course if we were hanging out in LA, it would probably be no different. While we were at the beach, we noticed some other "white" people (being from Oregon, we haven't had much time in the sun and everyone here is tan) that walked up, got in the water for about 5 minutes, then stood up and gradually turned in all directions with their eyes closed and their heads bowed. We think they were covering the beach with prayer. It was a neat thing to experience. After the beach we came home, cleaned up, had lunch, waited for 45 minutes for a taxi then finally made our way to the camp to see the children. We had an amazing time with them, first walking for a very long time back to the area where our hotel is to hitch a ride on a boat. The children really enjoyed the slow ride around the bay, making shadow figures and feeling the wind on their faces, and then when the boat took off and zoomed through the water, it was a joy to hear their squeals of delight. After the ride, we headed back to the camp walking arm in arm, just enjoying the time of closeness. We don't have an interpreter with us now, but we have managed to communicate fairly well using gestures and by looking up words in our Russian phrasebook. Sasha (10 yr old boy) loves taking pictures, in fact he has taken most of the ones we have of all of us. We ended our day by visiting with a local here that speaks English. She showed us where another grocery store was (bolshoy) a "large" one, directed us to the internet cafe, then showed us how to order pizza, not exactly what we're used to, but delicious nonetheless. We love experiencing new things, so we are having a wonderful time here. There are fruit and vegetable stands lining the streets here and all the produce is deliciously fresh from the farm and inexpensive. We have enjoyed melons (dinas) and watermelons (arbus), cucumbers and tomatoes so far. We haven't worked up the courage to try the hanging, dried fish, yet but we are working towards it. We'll let you know how it tastes. Thank you all so much for your prayers and encouragement! We are blessed beyond belief!
Sorry, we forgot to post to the blog, but posted only to Facebook, so we are backtracking for those of you who don't have Facebook.
We got to meet the children yesterday! We are in love! After a 5 hour drive from Kiev to Zheltye Vodi to pick up the social worker (It is amazing how things work here. A social worker would never up and leave the office to travel round trip 10 hours, not to mention spend the night in the car with us) and a 5 hr drive to the camp where the children are staying we were able to meet and talk with them and the their liasons for about an hour. It was a little awkward at first, but pictures and our little Eli broke the ice and by the end of the meeting, we were getting hugs and preparing for our next visit. After the initial meeting, we got back in the van and drove the return trip, another 5 hours, back to ZV to pick up the part of our group we left behind at the hotel and set to work arranging for transportation and lodging for all of us to travel back to the Sea, where we will continue to visit the children for the next 10 days. We'll be playing and visiting and just having fun together. Please pray that we will be able to bond with them and for them to be able to open up to us during this special time.
Things are going "ochen harasho" (very well) here in Berdyans'k with our children. We've visited the local zoo, seen a dolphin show, ridden a boat, walked the beach, ridden in little electric cars, and seen a 5D movie show. We've been busy, but today was wonderful to just hang out as a family in our hotel room; playing games, eating watermelon, playing with clay, teaching guitar and fiddle to the children, and eating the FISH!!! (We've finally got up the nerve to try it. We know that these are our children without a doubt, and I'm pretty sure they know it, too. Katya is calling Lisa, "Mama," and our girls, "Sistras." It's such an overwhelming feeling to know that after all the paperwork and waiting,wondering and anticipating, we are finally here, about to bring our children home! Now, all we're waiting for is a written letter of consent from the children stating their wishes to be adopted by us, and the orphanage director to return from the States so that we can begin the paperwork process. This should all happen around the 19th, which is when the children return to their orphanage, and the director returns as well. We pray that everything will go smoothly with the courts, and that the process will be expedient. We love Ukraine; the culture, the people, the food; but we are beginning to miss America, and are looking forward to returning and sharing our home with our new children. We have so many wonderful pictures to share of our kids and our time here, and can't wait to share them with you when they are officially "Boohers."