Saturday, June 30, 2012

A Drive into Town!

Mark and Andrew got to leave the orphanage for a few hours this afternoon. They went into the little town that is 20 minutes away. Andrew got a new pair of sunglasses, fedora hat and man purse. ;) Then they went for a bike ride around the park! Andrew did get to drive, but he, being a typical teenager, tried to get it up on two wheels!

Mark went to church tonight with a good friend. It was a two hour drive, but Mark said it was great! He enjoyed being with Christian brothers and sisters. He wanted to take Andrew, but there is one more paper to sign and stamp and the powers that be are on holiday. Mark is hoping they will do it tomorrow.

Sunday afternoon will be Andrew's going away party at the orphanage. Monday morning early, if the papers are signed and stamped, Mark will pick up Andrew and he will not return to the orphanage! They head for another town to get the five day passport started. Then they will take the train to another region and stay for a couple of days with the Browns who are adopting Evan. It will help save some money and Andrew gets to see some of his country!

Thank you again for the prayers and donations! We are blessed to have amazing support from all of you! I'm still in awe of this wonderful journey the Lord put us on. I can't wait to see what God has in store for Andrew!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

It's Official!

This is the new birth certificate! It says that Andrew Mark Mickschl is the son to Mark Joseph Mickschl and Hansina Ann Mickschl! It's official! Only one more document to have signed by the orphanage director and we can break Andrew out!

He asks Mark every day when they can come home. The process is taking a lot longer than we thought. They will probably not be home until the middle of July.

If you would please continue to pray for Mark and Andrew. They still have a long road ahead of them before they come home. We raised enough money for a certain amount of time in Ukraine. We are going over it by almost two weeks. If you would like to make a donation, you can through the chip in on the right to Project Hopeful. Thank you so much for help us bring this precious son of ours home!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


The facilitator will be here Wednesday to start the next round of procedures. We will pick up the court decree, new birth certificate, paperwork for a new passport, etc. We were anticipating to be in Kiev the end of this week to finish up but it seems it could linger as long as July 10th!

Please help us pray that the Lord will make a way that we can get home by the 7th.
We need to get to the family painting business.


Saturday, June 23, 2012

Missing My Guys!

Andrew and Mark are enjoying their visits together. Mark said Andrew has been asking how to say certain words in English and he wants to know when they can come home. These two guys are ready! But the court decree won't be ready until next Wednesday. Then it's five days for the passport. Then it will be two days in Kiev. Neither one of them want to wait that long. I would LOVE both of them to come home. I can't tell you how much I miss my husband and my son. I just love these pictures of them! Andrew's friend Sasha was hanging out with them today, so he's in one of the pictures.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Music Man

Mark was able to go today and listen to Andrew's music lessons. He plays piano and horn. He said the music lesson lasted about ten minutes, but he was glad he was invited to come in and watch Andrew.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

I am not complete

Let us pretend...Imagine (image-in), leaving everything you've ever known familiar to you. The sights of people you are used to seeing. The tastes that bring you comfort and joy. Smells that bring back wonderful memories. Sounds of family and friends and strangers just talking (and you understand what they are saying). You are relocated to a different residence, a new world.

Think, if you can, how scary, lonely it might be. No one near totally understands you.
What has happened? What now? I have no point of reference for theses feelings as I've never experienced anything like this. I am not complete, what is missing? Family.
Pretty spooky?

Yea, I know, I am living this. I get it, kind of.
(We all might think of Andrew, and rightly so.) But my bride flew home.
It has been the most challenging of feelings. I am by myself. Without my best friend, partner, lover, wife, my completion, family.
Lonely. Tired. Hungry. Perplexed. Challenged. A part of me is missing.
I bet quite similar to Andrew's life at times. Not something to envy.
And that's the thing that captures me. This is a small season for me but for him,
it's been all too common. Yikes.

A part of him has been missing too. But now family is here, and not soon enough, we will be going home! Where we all will become whole...complete.


Saturday, June 16, 2012


What's in a name? Mark and I like the meaning behind names. It's important when you are naming your children. It's also about heritage, what gets passed down through family generations.

People have been wondering about changing Andrey's name. He asked us what we thought, we asked him what he liked and it was unanimous....we all liked the name Andrew because it is close to Andrey. He likes it! He's never had a daddy, so being named after Mark for a middle name was a bonus for Andrew!

He sent us a text last night that said "Mickschls are the best forever!" He has a family. That's what is important to Andrew. Someone wants him. They want him for a son, brother, grandson and nephew. When the judge read the court's notes, it said that no one ever visited Andrey in the orphanage and no Ukrainian wanted to adopt him. He sat there with his head down looking at the floor. How must he feel? But now there is a family who wants him! Who love him! I'm so thankful to the Lord for this amazing boy! Thank you, Jesus, for letting us be a part of Andrew's life!


Friday, June 15, 2012


When we got to the courthouse this afternoon, Andrey was already there with the social worker. He was very distant. Wouldn't look at us or hug us. I must confess, it made me a little nervous. Mark and I both commented his demeanor reminded us of the first day we met and he said he didn't want to be adopted.

So what do we do? Go into prayer mode! Start speaking words of life! Claim this victory for God! It's not going to be a defeat. We've spent time with this precious boy and have started bonding with him and he with us.

Over an hour with the judge and this is the result....God did it and Andrey took a giant leap of faith!

Andrey told the judge "Yes," to being our son! May I introduce you to the newest member of our family..... Andrew Mark Mickschl!


Court today

Today is court at 2:30. We will not have Internet access until Saturday, so I will post then about court.

Andrey has texted and called us several times this morning. I don't know if he's nervous or what he's feeling. I know I'm feeling a little nervous. Even when I did court reporting, I didn't like court. I'd much rather do a deposition.

It's been an amazing journey to see the plan of the Lord unfold. Mark and I were just the obedient servants. God called and we said, "Yes." This is God's mission. This is His plan. This is His miracle. This is for His glory. I'm humbled and blessed to be a small part of it.

Thank you for your continued prayers.


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Pizza and Soccer

Today we took some pizza and a soccer ball to Andrey. He loved the pizza and enjoyed playing soccer with Mark.

We have never been to this side of the orphanage. It's closed down from the road, so we always enter in the back. This is definitely the front.

One more day down. One more day to go before court! Yippee!! Friday never looked so good!

Thank you for your continued prayers. We feel the presence of the Lord with us and Andrey.


Monday, June 11, 2012

Quiet Day

We've spent a little more time on the computer with iTranslate the last couple of days so we can communicate with Andrey. Sometimes it's clear what he is saying and other times.....well, we don't understand. He probably doesn't understand us either! We did understand when he said to tell his siblings at home that he loves them!

I met Andrey's English teacher today. What a sweet woman! She truly has a heart for these kids. She told me which ones do well in class and which ones don't. Andrey being the later of the two. He's trying now!

Our first 11 days I was so focused on Andrey that I didn't really look around. Today I was sitting in the shade on a bench not to far from where Mark and Andrey were. A little girl about 4 or 5 came out of the orphanage holding a big girl's hand. She reminded me of Millie with braids in her hair, blowing on a little whistle, walking across the courtyard. When a bigger boy came and teased her, she smacked him in the arm! Yep, my Millie would've done the same thing! It still troubled me. She didn't belong here. I wanted to scoop her up and hold her tight. Give her kisses and hugs and tell her what a dolly she is. I'm glad she has a bigger girl looking out for her, but it doesn't take the place of a mom or dad. I think of how much Millie blows me kisses on Skype and tells daddy and I she loves and misses us. I sure do miss my kids.

Tomorrow we will go later to the orphanage because Andrey and his class get to come into town and go to the river for a little outing. He will be back in the afternoon and we'll go see him after that.

Thank you for your continued prayers. They're what keeps us going!


Saturday, June 9, 2012

Go Fish

We are card sharks around here. We play the meanest game of Go Fish you've ever seen. Here are the guys in one of those hot games!

This is serious stuff! It actually is helping Andrey with his English.

Everybody has a good time! They all like to gather around and play, but they have to speak the numbers in English. They all do very well!

We had wi-fi today so we Skyped home with the family. Andrey wanted to see the kids at home. Then we did a little translating back and forth on the computer. Mark asked Andrey what was the one thing he wanted to do when he got to America. His answer, "Meet the family." :)


Thursday, June 7, 2012

A daddy!

The last couple of days have been warm, but today is cooler with a little wind and sprinkles. We like to be outside with Andrey, but it started raining so we went to his classroom.

He really likes Mark! It's the simple things Mark does with him. They play golf on paper (thanks Uncle Chris), the dot game where you draw a line and if you make a box you put your initial in the box, paper airplanes, football with paper, guy stuff! They play and laugh and I...well, read a book or watch them. It's how he looks up at Mark. Mark's a daddy. Andrey has never had one.

I'm so thankful for Mark and the man he's become. The father and husband he is. He's warm and inviting and loves the Lord passionately. He has a commanding presence and people gravitate toward him. I sit back and watch, because for me, he's my sweetheart, best friend and confidant. I think he's like a big bear...warm and mushy! It warms my heart to see Andrey attach himself to Mark and the other boys like him, too!

I watch the boys around here and see how much they all need a daddy. There is something about a dad. He's the one a young boy looks to, to become a man. What does becoming a man look like? How do I do it? Dads teach you good work ethics. How to love and treat your spouse. To give a good strong hand shake. To not be afraid to cry. To worship the Lord with abandon.

I know what a lot of you are thinking...moms are important, too, and they are. But that's another post. :) Right now these young boys are hungry for a male figure to lead and guide them in the right direction. If the body of Christ doesn't, who will?


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

A Week Ago

Can you believe it's been a week ago that Andrey said he didn't want to be adopted? The army of prayer warriors got together on his behalf and through the night, his heart was changed. I'm still amazed at my God! There was a part of me that thought it might be over, but there was also a hope. That hope is only found in Christ.

We take one day at a time. And each day that passes, we get to know one another a little bit more. Slowly the bonding starts to happen. I am thankful that Andrey is taking a courageous step in allowing us to be his family.

When we are lost and don't know Jesus, something is missing. And when He calls us unto Himself, we are home. We've been adopted and grafted into Him. Thank you, Lord, for calling me Your own and being my Father!

To really make my day, Andrey called us this morning! He wanted to tell us good morning! Really? Oh, my word! That absolutely warmed my heart! Each day we spend with him, I can't wait to see him the next day.


Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Day Six

It was an early, long, warm day. We started before 8:00 to go to the orphanage for some paperwork. We took a break this afternoon, got back together to do more paperwork and just finished up 8:15 p.m. our time. Boy, are we tired. :)

We saw Andrey for a short time tonight. Usually, we are there in the afternoon, but there is never a set time we come. He will ask us at the end of the visit, "What time tomorrow?" We never know, so we tell him that we'll be back. When he asked us on Monday what time for Tuesday, we said we'd be there early in the morning for paperwork, then we'd be back later in the day to see him.

Well, our day was longer than we thought it would be. We didn't get back to the orphanage until 6:00 tonight. He let us know when he got up this morning, he looked out his window and saw our car. He got ready and came down, but by the time he got downstairs, we were gone. Then he waited for us this afternoon...2:00, 3:00, 4:00. I felt so bad. I would've much rather been with him than doing paperwork. But this was an important day for that and we accomplished what we needed to do. He's a sweet, gentle boy who understood all that needed to get done. Do you think he missed us? I know I missed him!

He and Mark spent time throwing a softball back and forth. He seemed to enjoy that! It's fun to have a dad you can play ball with.

Our lovely facilitator, Alla with me and Andrey. Alla is holding Andrey's phrase book. He is working on learning English and might I add, speaks it very clearly!

Continued prayers would be most welcome. Lots going on, but Andrey is doing amazingly well! Thanks to all of you who have been there for us and him. Mark and I speak often of our wonderful friends....all of YOU!

Love and Blessings,

Sunday, June 3, 2012

To Adopt an Older Child

When Mark and I did our first adoption we wanted a healthy baby. We didn't want a child with special needs or an older child. That was eight years ago. Oh, how we have grown and changed during those years. Those of you who know me, know my heart is not the same.

In the autumn of 2010 we adopted a precious little boy with Down syndrome from Ukraine. Summer of the following year we came back and adopted a beautiful little girl with Down syndrome. Most people do not want these children. They feel that they will be a burden. When in reality, they are the complete opposite! Not a burden, but a joy!

True treasures! I can't tell you how much I love these babies! They bring such happiness and laughter into our lives! We would not be a complete family without them.

The older child. No one wants an older child. I hear it all the time. The issues that will come with them. They are almost old enough to get out on their own. We all come with issues whether you're an orphan or not. For me, I'm 42 and I still call my mom for her words of wisdom. I need a mother. Mark talks to his dad. He needs a father. (Mark also has his mom, too!) It doesn't matter our age, we all need a mom and a dad and a family. People we can trust, and who love us unconditionally.

These are the two groups of orphans most people do not want to adopt. Yet they need families, too. Oh, Jesus, I am so thankful you have opened my eyes and changed my heart to have a heart like Yours or I would be missing out on the blessings you have for me and my family! My heart is full of love for all my precious children!


Saturday, June 2, 2012

A True Thinker

Andrey had a good question today. How come if we have seven children, why do we want him? How can you explain to a young boy how the Lord floods my heart with love for him? I knew when I saw his face, he was my son. My heart was filled to overflowing. You don't have to be born from me to have room in my heart. It's the love of our Heavenly Father. It's the love He offers to us. It's an unconditional love. Our hearts are big enough to hold these beautiful treasures from the Lord. It's hard for me to describe. Well, Mark and I did our best and God bless our sweet facilitator who translates for us! She does a great job and I believe he understood.

He's wanting to learn all the kids names back home and is doing a great job at it. He seems happy to be the oldest. :)

Today we got to visit Andrey's classroom. Here he is sitting at his desk. Handsome boy!

Andrey showed us some of his personal belongings today. One thing we found interesting was an old book. He said he found it when he was 11, out behind the orphanage. The pages were all wet and it had no cover. He took it inside, dried all the pages out, found a hard back cover for it and put it together. The book was an old Slavic Bible. He said he has read it and Mark said, "It is the compass that points you to God." Andrey said, "Yes, it is." Can you see how the Lord has been preparing him all along? Even back then, He was drawing Andrey unto Himself. Thank you, Jesus!

Here are my two guys playing checkers. Both are thinkers!

He did ask us to get something for him. He would like an English/Russian phrase book so he can start learning English while we are here. We are going to get one for him and take it to him tomorrow.

Spending time with him, I am amazed at how well he is going to fit into our family. Do you ever just stand back and go, "Wow, God!" You take a step of faith and watch what happens. Our amazing God! He weaves us all together to make a beautiful picture. Don't be afraid of the unknown and to take that step of faith. It may seem like you are jumping off a cliff, but the Lord has got you! Take that step and see what happens! I'm so glad Mark and I did! We are NOT the heroes.....Andrey is.


PS Mark agrees, keep your gaze on Christ.

Friday, June 1, 2012

To know him more

Day three. Each day we spend with Andrey we get to learn more about him. he's talking more, smiling more and gave me a big, tight hug good bye today! The first couple days he was hugging like a wet noodle. But today was a big old bear hug! Loved it!

The facilitator asked if he had any questions for us or concerns about moving to America. He said he had one. He's hoping when he comes home someone could help him learn English! We have several friends who speak Russian and we have Rosetta Stone in English for him.

Later he asked, after we have court, could we have a party at the orphanage to celebrate his being adopted and say good bye to his friends. Absolutely! We also let him know he could Skype with his friends after he's home.

We brought out the iPad to listen to music today. He was going through different songs, then would click to something else. After several songs he clicked on the group Avalon and the song was Adonai. He did not change this song. He doesn't know English very well, but there was something about this song that touched him. He listened to it all the way through. Unlike the other songs he would change before they finished. I closed my eyes, sang, prayed and worshiped while being with my new son.
"You're the Maker of each moment. Father of my HOPE and FREEDOM, oh my Adonai....
"One trembling heart and soul becomes a servant bold and courageous. You pulled across the mountains and the seas, I answer from the deepest part of me, Adonai!"
How fitting. The Lord is Andrey's father of hope and freedom. Andrey was a trembling heart who became bold and courageous to make the decision to have a family. When it was over, he let us know that he really liked that song. I do, too!

Here is a picture from yesterday with his best friend. (who has a mama and is not an orphan. He goes to the school at the orphanage.)

A beautiful, blessed day! Thank you mighty prayer warriors! Please keep going on Andrey's behalf. I'd like to see that smile stay. Isn't it a great smile?