We’re here! We landed in Ukraine on Saturday night and made it home in time to ring in 2018 from our little village home. It’s always an adjustment being back in Ukraine (10 hour time difference, outhouse instead of toilet, no kitchen…) but we’re excited to be here! God has already been affirming us in our being back. We decided to move back with very little in the bank account, but trusting that God would continue to provide. And then on January 2nd, we were notified that received a very generous donation from a special donor – such an encouragement to start off 2018! Thank you again!
You may have seen on social media that we were able to go visit and bring gifts to Vika and Tolik in the hospital/shelter that they were in near us. There were four other little kids staying there, probably all from the same type of situation the Tolik and Vika are in. We came with an entourage – Dusya and her two kids, Vala and Andre, as well as Vasya who was visiting from Sumy. Dusya, Vasya and Sasha all grew up in the orphanage and it was neat to see them all loving on these kids. All 3 of them were eager to go to the store and buy cookies, candies, dolls, trucks, and other treats, not just forTolik and Vika, but for these kids. They excitedly told them that Ded Moroz (their Santa Claus) had dropped it off for their New Years presents. The kids were so excited for some outside interaction and little gifts. Plus the kids were just adorable so it was fun for all of us.
As for Tolik and Vika, they’re doing ok, though understandably having a hard time with it all. Tolik in the short time that we had there, brought up multiple times how bad things are with their mom. It was heartbreakingly hard to watch him visibly struggle through it all. While it will be better for them in the long run, it’s pretty sad, lonely, and scary right now. We’re waiting for a call from them to hear an update as they should now be in Sumy at a more long-term shelter. It’s not exactly an orphanage, but a place where neglected, abused, and/or orphaned kids generally stay up to 9 months before being moved back into their homes or a more traditional orphanage. Our sweet friend, Ira, will hopefully be able to visit them even sooner than we will. Please keep them in your prayers as this is such a hard transition for them both. We will keep you posted as we are able to get updates and visit them when we’re in Sumy.