Saturday, April 30, 2011

Hello from Vlad

Well, we made it safely to Vlad. It was so wonderful to step into the baggage claim building and see Irina smiling and waiting for us. We are thankful to be here, thankful for safe travel and thankful for some time to rest. Irina drove us to the Vlad Inn and got u checked in. It's neat to be back in this place of which we have so many pleasant memories of becoming a family. By the grace of God, more memories will be created this week and in the months to come. After getting settled in our room we decided to venture over to the corner store to get a few essentials. It's very overcast and misting rain, not a great day to be out and about. So we're back in our room. It's time to get cleaned up and rest a bit. We'll have dinner in the restaurant and try our best to get a good night's sleep tonight. Our friends the Bridges will arrive here tomorrow. They have court on Thursday. Tomorrow (Monday) is a holiday, so no adoption business since government offices are closed. When the Bridges arrive we'll get together with Lana and Irina, change money and go out to eat. Should make for a nice day. That's all for now, folks. We'll be in touch again soon. Thank you for all of your continued prayers, especially from all of our brothers and sisters in Christ at Zion Lutheran Church in Staunton, Illinois. We miss you guys! Stay tuned!

Joel & Clarion

Greetings from Moscow

Hey everyone! The trip is going very smoothly. Our flights have basically been on time. We're currently sitting at Sheremetyevo airport in Moscow. It's about 6:42pm Moscow time. We've been here since about 1pm. It's a nice fairly new terminal, so the wait hasn't been to bad. We both napped a a bit. We've taken advantage of the free WIFI quite a lot the past few hours, especially Skyping the boys back home. We even ate at the Irish Pub here in the airport. Guess we'll save the Russian food for Vlad. Anyway, we're about an hour from boarding our flight to Vladivostok. Just wanted to say hello and thank you all for your prayers.


Joel & Clarion

Friday, April 29, 2011

Packed and Ready to Go

Good morning! It's 6:38am and we're packed and ready to go. We'll drop Slav and Nadya off at school. Sergei is riding with us to the airport to say goodbye to Mom and Pop. We'll post when we're in Russia. Thanks for your prayers! Please pray for Nathan and Melissa who are also leaving today to make their way to Vlad for court. We'll be in touch from Russia. God bless!

Joel & Clarion

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Six Days to Departure

We are now six days to departure for our first trip to meet our little guy in Vlad. Having been through this before, we're actually pretty much at ease. We know what to expect (at least we think we do!). However, much work remains to be done. Packing lists need to be finished. Preparations need to be made for Joel's parents' arrival. They will be staying with Nadya and the boys while we're away. Everything is on track. Oh yeah, then there was last night...

A severe storm (they haven't actually used the word tornado) blew through St. Louis last night and caused major damage to Lambert Airport St. Louis, the airport from which we are scheduled to depart in six days. Fifty percent of the windows in one of the main concourses were blown out. Thankfully, there were only a few minor injuries. No one was hurt badly. However, the official news release stated that the airport is closed indefinitely. They used the word "days" not "hours." Hmm. We're hoping and praying that our flight will still be on schedule for the 29th. If alternate arrangements need to be made, so be it. We'll be watching closely over the next few days. We're quite confident that one way or another we'll still be on our way to Russia on the 29th. It just might be a little less convenient than we planned.

Aside from all of the above, like I said, we're on track for departure. There is much to be done. We're hoping to get a lot done today. We have Clarion's family in town for Easter, so they'll be able to assist us as we prepare for our journey. It's always a blessing to have loved ones around at such a significant time. Of course, last night was Good Friday. Tomorrow is Easter. The death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus brings ultimate hope for Christians. What a hope we have in Christ Jesus in the midst of the storms of this life! He promises resurrection and life for us. Because He lives, we shall live also. Thanks be to God for the victory in Christ Jesus!

Joel & Clarion

Monday, April 18, 2011

We have visas.

Well, our visas to enter Russia arrived today. Exactly one month has passed since I (Joel) handed the envelope with visa applications and our passports to the lady at the UPS store down in Edwardsville. It's a very comforting feeling to have your passport back in hand after you send it away to get the visa. We are now eleven days to departure. Thank you to so many of you who continue to pray for us and encourage us through this incredible journey. The good Lord has blessed us with so many people who support us, even financial support that just blows us away. All glory be to God! Great things He has done, the greatest of which is upon us once again this Holy Week. A blessed Holy Week and Easter to you all.

Joel & Clarion

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Happy Birthday Kiddo! See you soon!

Hello everyone,

Our littlest boy turned two on April 8! Our sadness at not being able to be with him was slightly tempered by the purchase of airline tickets. YES! We bought our tickets and are on our way to meet little guy in 20 days. We are so excited!

We had a few people over last night to share our excitement and thoughts about our upcoming trip. It was great to visit with friends and anticipate sharing our Russian adventure with them.

We also found out that blog friends of ours will be having their court date while we are there. We are so happy that we will get to meet them and their children. It will be so great to share stories and thoughts.

We will miss the boys so much but know that they will be in good hands with Joel's parents. I am sure the week will go fine and they will have fun. We will be able to Skpe with them every day so that eases some anxiety.

So, there is a lot to do in the next 20 days. I am sure there will be craziness and stress over the next 3 weeks but it is all worth it. What a nice feeling it will be to board that plane of the 29th. Praise the Lord!

Thanks for all of your thoughts and prayers!
To God be the glory, great things He has done!
Joel and Clarion

Thursday, April 7, 2011


We are very excited to report that we are officially registered in Vlad as of April 5. We received the good news from our agency this morning. Thanks be to God! And thanks to all of you for your prayers! We should be receiving some concrete information concerning travel very soon. We are hoping it will still work to go the first week of May. We'll let you know when we know. Blessings!

Joel & Clarion

Friday, April 1, 2011

Maybe Next Week???

Well, we find ourselves at another Friday afternoon. We received an update from our agency again today, but not what we were hoping for. Another week has passed and the MOE has not reviewed our documents as of yet. Apparently there is some restructuring going on in the MOE office in Vlad and they are behind. Once again, we're hoping to hear something next week. We're thankful for our agency, that they keep us informed and updated, even when it's not the news we're hoping to hear. Please pray that our documents get reviewed next week so that our travel dates can be nailed down and we can soon be on our way to meet our little guy! Thanks!

Congrats to the Overstreets on their successful court hearing and Gotcha Day for their little one! Have a good weekend everyone!

Joel & Clarion