All our paperwork has been submitted. We have been given a court date of May 4th, and are eagerly waiting for it to come. We have spent several wonderful hours with both Alex and Alona, and we are all looking forward to coming home. We have had some good heart to heart talks about the difficulties that Alex will face in leaving. Jeff also has stories of moving and leaving friends and different hardships that allow Alex to know that he is not alone and has parents who can empathize with his position. It will be hard, and a loss of friends and "family" on the one hand for him, while the gaining of a new family on the other. Talking about the realities of the hard times to come, especially the final good-byes are the best way for us to prepare him and walk with him through this time. He is aware and talks about it some, but also asked if we would be throwing the customary farewell party in the orphanage for him and Alona - which of course we will.
So now we wait until May 4th. (Amy should be coming home with Dahlia shortly after the court has finished and only one of us is required - so maybe by May 7th she will be home!!) In the meantime we have traveled down to Kherson. The best way was to use our Lugansk taxi driver, who has a long relationship with our facilitators in the region and was happy to take us all this way for a good price. We have come to our friends home in Kherson and have been blessed with generous hospitality - wonderful food, Christian fellowship, kindness and love toward Dahlia (Sergeys mom is watching Dahlia while we visit Agape Ministries leader Alex Fedorchuk). We have had a great time relaxing with them this morning, and talking about all sorts of things. Then off to Agape....
Here we met Alex Fedorchuk and his wife and made plans for the coming days in how we can be a part of the ministry work and visit friends from last time. It was great, he asked how long we would be staying and then gave us the amazing news. Not only are we staying in the Joshua house for 5 days, we are actually in responsible for it! We will be the house parents for the group of boys living there and help oversee the place while the normal parents are gone for a few days attending to personal affairs. In addition, they are allowing us use of a car (good thing I brought my drivers license with me!) and I will be driving around and doing different things here in town for the group. LOL crazy... It seems that God continues to reveal how we may be serving him here in the future with this "taste" of reality in serving as temporary house parents and navigating the city. We will continue to listen to his voice and attempt to discern his will as it is revealed. This is certainly an unexpected thing that we are now doing. We thought we would be only visiting friends from last time, and now we find that we are given personal transportation and responsibility of one of the houses during our stay.
Anna, Grace, Jeffrey, Levi, Price, Joel, Caleb - we love you so much and miss you terribly. It was sooooo good to Skype with you tonight. Thank you for being good for Angela and Craig and Grammy and MiMi and Papa. We are proud of you and cannot wait to see you again soon. You are on our hearts and minds every single day. Love you!!