Sunday, June 3, 2012


Finally, a video.  Just listen to our Big Boy's laugh.   It will make you smile, I'm sure. 
This morning we got up to go to church-- this time it was a Pentacostal Church with about 400 people.  The service was translated in English because many of its weekly attenders are foreign English speaking students going to medical school here.  The service lasted over 2 hours compared to our 1 hour service to which we are accustomed.  Afterwards we came home.
Since the baby house seems to shut down for the weekend and it is a holiday, we decided to skip our visit with the boys today.  Good thing since it has been raining off and on since noon.  We learned from our missionary friend that we could refill our water bottle for a fraction of the cost at a little kiosk right outside one of the big grocery stores right by our apartment.  What originally cost us 10 grivna, we were able to refill for 2 1/2 grivna.  During one of the brief periods where the rain let up Rachel and I wandered out to get something for lunch.  We decided to stop at a little kiosk that sells schwarma.  It was a pleasant surprise when the young man running it spoke English.  As we placed our order, we told him that if it was good we would come back many times.  We saw him pull out a lavash that was torn.  He quickly shoved it to the side and got out ones that were not torn.  He added lots of fresh veggies, a spicy sauce, a yogurt sauce, and chicken.  He then grilled the big burrito like sandwich.  When he was done with our two schwarma he asked if we would like a drink.  "Water?  Pepsi? Juice?  I also have coffee or tea?"  He was so nice and so eager to serve us that I ordered a 50 cent cup of coffee to go with our order.  
We took our food back to our apartment where John was working.
The food was delicious!  And at only $1 per person, it was cheaper than I could have made.
When we were finished we went back to tell him how much we liked it.  I think we made his day especially since we hardly ever see anyone ordering from his stand.  I guess middle eastern food hasn't caught on here yet.
 Sasha left a few days ago.  He had to do something back in Donetsk.
For those of you who do not know who he is, we met him back in June 2010 when we were adopting Anastasia and Paul.  He and Rachel had a crush on each other.
They began writing each other back and forth, and their relationship got as serious as a long distance, different language relationship can get.  But as time went on, Rachel's feelings began to change.  She has grown up a lot in the past two years and realized that the fairy tale love story she first dreamed of was just not going to happen.  Though our visit with Sasha was wonderful, it confirmed to Rachel what she has been feeling for some time now.   So they are just friends.
Still we will keep in touch with Sasha and help him out when we can.
He is such an amazing young man who has beat the odds.
Recently he had been working but when they didn't pay him what they promised, he told them he was going to look for another job.  He was supposed to be paid 1000 grivna per month and they only paid him 900 grivna.  Currently he found a hostel where he can rent a room.  He will fix it up and get a small salary.  Not a very bright future for a young man who just finished going to college to learn cabinetry, but at least it is something. 
Despite the hard orphan life Sasha has lived, he still finds reason to smile and praise the Lord.  He doesn't smoke or drink and continually stays in touch with his two siblings who are still in the internat/orphanage.  Since their mother is not a good role model and they don't have any relatives to speak of, he wants to be there for his brother and sister.
If you would like to join us in helping out Sasha please leave me a comment or email.  I am certain that any financial help big or small would be greatly appreciated by him.  His plan is to continue on with his schooling so that he could get a better paying job.  The orphan stipend that he receives from the government does not cover basic living expenses and so he is forced to take whatever jobs he can find which are not a very reliable source of income for him.  Please keep Sasha in your prayers.
Here is Sasha sweeping and mopping the floor.  When he found out I love a clean floor, he was happy to help.
Sasha has never had a father figure in his life.  He seems to really respect John and even look up to him.  Here he is with John listening to music.  

On Sasha's last night with us we went out to pizza.
The few nights he spent with us, we prayed as a family and ate all of our meals togther.  This was new for Sasha.  In the short amount of time that we spent with him, I hope that we taught him a few things about family. 


  1. I would love to help My Email is

    Kimberley McCollum

  2. I think it is very difficult to have a long distance relationship that is romantic. However, I still have friends that I met when I was 13 and 14 and was penpals with for years and years, so I can see Sasha and Rachel continuing to be friends far into the future.

    That video of your big boy is SO cute! He's adorable and his laugh is infectious.

  3. What a joy and what a giggle!!! I am hoping the papers are moving along? How is hubbie's breathing? Praying for speedy paperwork and easy breathing.Were you familiar with shwarma before or was it new to you? Sounds delicious! Also, I see John drinks Coke, but I'm hoping Pepsi can be found in U? I'm a Pepsi snob:-) Blessings.

    1. Coke is a different formulation in Europe & tastes more like Pepsi than it does here!!!!

  4. I am so touched by your care for Sasha (and once again wish I were rich)....but I have two boys and one young mom who are relatives of my adopted children, and I can't begin to help them out as much as I'd like (and they need). Too bad, though, I was wanting to imagine the romance-novel version of Rachel and Sasha.

  5. Thanks for the update on Sasha. It takes a good deal of maturity for a teen girl to be able to see a relationship like that for what it is. Kudos to her and to you and John for raising her so well!

  6. Absolutely love your boy's laugh!! Didn't know you knew the language. Does Rachel know it? Was she adopted from the Ukraine?
    Your boy is sooo cute and it was so nice to see the video!! I bet you cannot wait to bring him home!

  7. Hi! The story of Sasha is so sad but so true of all orphans in the Ukraine. Our minister just went to the Ukraine for a visit and has told us some stories about some orphans. So sad. But I am glad your two boys are finding their way out of the Ukraine. Pat

  8. Love the video! :) How much Russian do you guys know? If Rachel still pretty fluent, or has she lost some of it? What about your other kids?

  9. Thanks for introducing Sasha to me.

  10. I would like to help Sasha with a financial gift...would I send the gift to you or to him? Any info would be appreciated. I am not sure as I am not an International traveler how this works. would he need cash? A check? Let me know if I should email you.

    Liz D

  11. How can anyone donate a few dollars for you to give to Sasha?

  12. I am thankful to God for the time you, John and Rachel have spent with Sasha.
    He will continue to be in my prayers. Thank you for posting Big Boy's laugh. Rachel is great with him!
    You're all in our prayers. Praying for things to go efficiently...

  13. Please post how we can best help Sasha. My goodness, our son from Russia looks a bit like that young man. Makes my heart hurt!

    Allison in GA

  14. I would like to contribute towards Sasha. Please email me info at You are a inspiration. Carrie from MN

  15. I would love to help out Sasha. I can't give a ton but I could give $10 a month?
    chels.elwell at gmail dot com

  16. I love coming and reading updates on your family, and I think it shows how well you have raised your daughter that she could reach a mature decision like that. Sasha reminds me so much of one of my close friends who was adopted from Ukraine. I would like to help him somehow, you can email me at and let me know how to help. Thank you!

  17. Dear Christine,
    Hopefully Sasha is as grounded as he seems, and the loss of any "dream" of Rachel is not too hard for him. As I have tried to guide my 4 young men, based on personal failure and growing conviction I have shifted to an admittedly radical point of view against "Christian dating" or any teen dating. Once a teen develops an attraction, there is no point in denying their feelings, but I still try to gently guide them to guard the hearts of their loved one for that person's eventual spouse, who might not be them. One of my sons took the advice to heart and chose to court, now married to a fabulous gift from God. One ignored, was deeply hurt by a very devoted Christian girl who changed her mind but at least they had never kissed, and then he took the ideas to heart and he, too, is happily married. Now they are joining with me to urge our current teens to guard hearts. I read in a book that a married woman should avoid deep personal conversations with the opposite sex, and I now counsel my children to do the same, saving such talk for spouses or potential spouses. S.M. Davis gave a speech about the risks of Christian dating that I found very moving. I know you are exploring these topics with your teens, and I agree that we cannot dictate to them, but I would see the very real risk to Sasha's emotional health as a talking point for all your teens. I will be praying that he is as content as he seemed when you parted with him, and maybe Rachel successfully hid her fantasies from him so I am off-base on some assumptions. I just wanted to put in a plug for you and John to continue exploring how best to guide your upcoming crop of teens.
    Blessings and so excited for the adoptions! Sherry


Thanks for taking the time to comment! Blessings!