…very likely. Several weeks ago we had the idea of coming home through Washington DC for a special intro to America. We continue to love the idea and when we got airline tickets $1200 less by coming into Dulles, that sealed it. We’re going to stop by and see the sights and do a living history lesson on the way home. The kids will be American citizens when they step foot on American soil, what better place to do that than in DC. Cool!!!
So, our flight from Kiev leaves at 1:15 p.m. tomorrow, Friday, June 17 and will arrive in DC at 8:10 pm. And no, it is not that short 🙂 There is a 7 hour time difference we gain going home.
We know they will not grasp all of it, but the idea is to instill the basics of what America was founded on and stands for and let them see the incredible monuments, flag displays, and other major attractions. With Alex to translate for them they will get the idea and hopefully catch the spirit of freedom and pride in being Americans. Many have fought long and hard that we might be free to worship as we please, bear arms, speak freely, even against the government, and pursue happiness. The right to liberty, life and the pursuit of happiness. We’ve talked about it alot and we want them to see it in symbolic form. So, here we go. They may be worn out, they may get overwhelmed, we may say that was the dumbest thing we’ve ever done…we’ll be honest if so. But, after 5 days in Kyiv, the capitol of Ukraine we’d like to do them back to back and say Welcome to America in a special way.
Our trip from DC to Louisville will be determined when we arrive and can make calls and check out options. We will let you know the plan.
We are counting down the hours from here…we will be headed out the door to the airport about this time tomorrow. After 95 days in this incredible country with these gracious, precious people it is not easy for us to leave…muchless for them. But, excitement is high, the questions about America are flowing continually and they are pumped. Yesterday was a great day with submitting documents to the US Embassy, which went flawlessly, getting medical exams for all four of them, which all came back totally clear (PTL!, even no TB which is almost guaranteed to be positive) and a second trip to the Embassy for fingerprinting for the three older ones. They were all troopers and never lose sight of the vision. They are ready to fly…literally and figuratively. We just hope we can keep them young enough, long enough to get to love on and care for them and let them be sons and daughters for awhile as we make up for so many lost years.
We want to pass along God’s intricate miracles in the little things so we remember and hopefully to be an encouragement to others. Here is the one from yesterday. My mom is handling our financial department on the home front. She has been trying to get money sent over by Moneygram or wire for a couple of weeks and every time hit a roadblock or something changed or we did not get her the info she needed. Yikes. The $720 cost for the US Embassy for the I-600 for the additional unrelated child and $404 for each child’s visa ($1616) and what was estimated to be $175 each for 3 medical exams (the fourth one was included in our facilitator’s fee) was going to leave us with $19 US dollars in our pocket. We had several hundred grivna and all was going to be well as she was going to send more by Moneygram Monday. When we returned Monday night to learn that transfer was unsuccessful I knew Tuesday was going to be a faith walk. Because if there were any additional expenses we did not have the cash. But, God knew and I was not going to sweat it. We’d deal with it and perhaps could get money from an ATM if needed. Forget it and rest. I did.
God showed up big time…the medical exams were only $125 so we gained $150 there and there was not one additional expense. 🙂 That left us with $169 which is plenty to get to the US where our credit cards will be accepted nearly universally. (Public service announcement – this is not an endorsement for typical American use of credit cards – we only use them for the rebates and convenience. They are every one paid in full every month, automatically withdrawn from our checking account. We have never paid one penny in interest or fees and make $100’s of dollars a year in rebates in 30 years of having them) To add more interest to the story the ATM would not allow a transaction from our account yesterday. It worked flawlessly on Sunday but no go yesterday. We tried numerous times at two banks and denied was the response each time. We contacted our bank last night and explained we were still here and they unlocked the card. We should be set to go. For some added insurance Mom was able to get Western Union to work yesterday so additional cash is awaiting us this morning. It was amazing for what we had to be so nearly exactly what we needed. God wants us to remember this as we head into this journey…many times it is going to look like we are short or lacking, but His grace and provision will always be enough. Lord, help us to remember this every minute of every day.
We look forward to seeing many of you soon and introducing you to these beaming faces!! After way too many days of no play, they got to play a round of soccer last night and are back out this morning to play again before we head to the US Embassy to pick up their visas…the absolute final step of this season of the journey. Amazing…there were so many weeks we could not see this day ever coming…but God in His infinite wisdom and perfect timing knew there was only way it could be to fill those two full rows on that plane headed for home. We are forever grateful…and want to never forget the way we feel today.
God Bless each of you who have walked with us…we are forever grateful for you too!! And cannot wait to give you each a hug x 6!!!!!!!!