Saturday, April 18, 2009

We Are Home!

Well, we've been home now for over 2 and 1/2 months now, and I didn't officially post our last post for this adoption blog site until just now. Sorry about that. Our trip was quite eventful! We traveled for almost 40 hours to get home, with 3 special need's children. Derek and I did have help. Derek's assistant Amy and his mom Mimi, both accompanied us there and back. They were a huge help and it would have been next to impossible to pull off the trip without them! Ethan had the chicken pox and a high fever when we came home. He was cleared to travel by a doctor in Ukraine. He grunted the whole way home and didn't sleep until right before we landed in K.C. It was unbelievable! Silas did pretty well. He slept part of the way, but Derek walked him up and down the aisle quite a bit just to get him to calm down. Sasha watched a few movies and slept part of the way. By the time we got off the plane, we were all ready! That is an understatement... ha!

We are so blessed to have these precious ones in our lives! They are amazing and bring us so much joy! There's been a lot of adjustments but things are going great and we are encouraged by the growth in our boys lives. All our boys had problems grinding their teeth and rocking their bodies back and forth for self stimulation when they first arrived home. They did this a lot at the orphanage. Now, only one of them still rocks and grinds his teeth, but only a little bit. There has been such significant gain in their little lives. They are much more secure and they know they are loved. They are thriving and we are so blessed by all the Lord has done in each of them. They are all having surgeries this Summer and we are looking forward to all the positive changes that will take place after their surgeries. Of course we are also trusting the Lord to heal each of the. He is able!

Thank you to all of you who have faithfully prayed and supported us through the entire adoption process! We are blessed by your love and kindness and are so excited to keep you informed of all the updates on our children at our other blog at

Blessings and love to all of you!

Renee', Derek and tribe :)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

We Will Soon Be Posting The End Of Our Ukrainian Adoption Journey For All Of You To Read....Until Then.....

You can access our main blog and see updates on the boys at

God bless you and thanks so much for your prayers and support!


Renee', Derek and tribe of 9

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Our Boys Are Finally Home!!!

Hi to all of you! We are so pleased to announce that our boys are finally home! It was a whirlwind of a trip... lots of stories to share with you. We traveled for 48 hours in cars, trains and planes with our little guys. I've only slept 6 hours since getting home, so, I am only posting 1 picture tonight but will add more pics and update all of you, in more detail in the next few days.

Thanks again to all of you who have been praying for us. We are so humbled by your love and your kindness!

God bless you!

Saturday, January 24, 2009


More from them when they land and catch their breath!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

2AM on the Train

Derek and Renee, Derek's mom, their friend Amy, their facilitator Sergi and ALL THREE BOYS are on the train from Novograd to Kiev. It's 2AM their time.

They are all exhausted and the boys are all sacked out asleep. It's been a lot of stimulation for the boys obviously since they have never been outside the orphanage walls, and are seeing so many things they've never seen before.

They should be at the hotel in Kiev by 3AM and will have to get up bright and early for 9AM medical appointments and a noon appointment at the US embassy for the boys!

The party went well. The worship team played some awesome upbeat worship songs and the kids LOVED it!

They fly home Saturday! We can hardly wait to see them and meet the boys!

If I hear more I'll let you all know. Continue praying for them all. For grace, strength and favor for Derek and Renee, and for peace and rest for the boys!

Brief Update

I know you're all waiting for an update.
I had a 30 sec phone call with Derek a few minutes ago.

They have the boys with them in their apartment, everything when great at the orphanage.

Derek asked me to call back later this afternoon. As he put it, "I've got to go. It's bedlam here. There are three little boys crawling all over the place, and we're trying to figure this out."

So, know that the boys are in their arms, they are happy, things are a bit crazy, and we'll get more of an update soon!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Last Lap

Well, I just got a call from Renee and she, mom, and Amy have landed in Kiev safely. They are getting some lunch and then heading to the train station to catch the 7pm to Novograd Valenski. Pray for them, by the time they arrive here, they will have been traveling 30 hours. They will be so tired. Tomorrow we are hosting a goodbye party for the boys at the orphanage. The Lord has opened some really wonderful doors here. Yesterday I was asked to play music for all the kids in the orphanage (John - you're next!). I started playing an up-tempo Irish jig on my low whistle and the care-givers and kids all started clapping. We were having a great time. About fifteen minutes into it, the director came into the room and stopped everyone. I thought, "Oh shoot, he's probably former KGB and I've crossed the line. Cold basement and electric probes here I come". I was mustering all the Jack Bauer courage I could when I noticed that the director had tears streaming down his face. He looked at me and then pointed to the camera in the corner and said he had been watching and listening to all the music and heard the children clapping and singing and full of joy. He said, "Thank you so much, thank you".

Because of this favor, I've been able to get a worship team from a local church in as the "live music", for our goodbye party! This worship team is precious .... and really good. This church is so full of the life and joy of Jesus. They are really excited about being able to minister to the kids. I am hoping that this will give them a continuous open door with the director so that they can go weekly and minister to the kids. Imagine these orphans feeling the presence of their Heavenly Father on a regular basis. Nothing could help or heal them more than that!

Yesterday when I went into the orphanage to play with the boys, Ethan saw me from across the room and he threw his arms out to me and broke out into laughter. No one could believe it. The workers were all pointing and commenting about it among themselves. I was shocked. He recognized me and clearly, far more than I realized had been sinking into his little heart and mind. When I picked him up, Silas began reaching up to me and crying ... he wanted to go with me to. So, with one in each arm I made my way back to the play room. I sat them both on the bed, gave Silas a bunch of stickers to play with, and I began to play my Irish whistle in front of them. They both sat there on their own listening, and looking at me playing with big eyes of wonderment and regular smiles for around 30 minutes. Ethan seems like a sponge, just soaking up everything he can. It hit me this morning while walking the snowy streets trying to buy potatoes, I love these little boys - I feel it. They are mine and in one day, we are getting them out of here and into a whole new world. Starting tomorrow, we will not visit them anymore, they will be ours forever and wherever we go they will be with us. I think I've felt some of the emotions of Jesus in John 17 when he cried out, “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am ..."