Saturday, November 8, 2014


Yesterday, after 10 months of separation we finally saw our boy again.  He did not know we were coming with the team from Nasledie.  As the children streamed out of the school to greet the team, Jim and I hid behind a van and Laura grabbed Igor (and my phone) and led him over for a surprise...
(I'm so sorry!  It's sideways and I don't know how to fix it!)
Igor was so giddy with excitement!  He grabbed my hand and drug me over to the other children to introduce, "Kimmie, My Mama!"  He kept hugging us, as if to convince himself that this was not a dream.  A few minutes later we were ushered into the director's office for her to greet us and ask us a few questions.  We were thrilled to be able to deliver 120 hats and gloves for the children.  She was very grateful for them and we decided together that it would be best for the teachers to deliver them later in an orderly fashion.  If we tried to hand them out it would have been mass I'm afraid we have no pictures of them receiving these.  But for all who donated, please know that the school was so grateful for your gift.  We had been a little uneasy, anticipating the director's reception, but she was very welcoming and gracious.  She gave us freedom to interact with Igor and the other children as much as we wanted.  When we finished with our meeting with the director, Igor immediately began asking us if we were taking him to America.  I was evasive in my answers, until we could grab Laura (to interpret) and find a quiet corner.  Then we had the very difficult job of telling an excited little boy that this was just a visit.  Igor did not react well.  As Laura tried to lovingly and patiently explain our situation, he began to withdraw and was very upset.  It was so painful to watch...How do you explain to a child the frustrating circumstances of not being able to get a referral simply because there are no hard copies of the paperwork???  Finally, I think he understood enough to know that we loved him and we were still fighting for him and we came because we wanted to see him even if we couldn't take him home right now.  We did not breath a word about the possibility of returning on Wednesday with a referral because we did not want to give him false hope. 
The team from Nasledie then did a two hour program with the children in the auditorium. 
After the team left we had about an hour alone with Igor to visit and share with him the gifts and clothing we brought.  Too soon the taxi arrived to take us to Balta, the nearest town with a hotel.  We assured Igor that we would return the next day for another visit and climbed into the taxi for a 30 minute jostling, stomach shaking ride to Balta.  You've never experienced a road with potholes until you drive on the backroads in Ukraine!  We were a little apprehensive of staying in a foreign city, where we didn't even know the alphabet, without an interpreter.  But God has been our amazing Provider continuously!!  When we arrived at the hotel, there was another tenant who spoke English and interpreted for the landlady.  When we walked next door to dinner, the waiter spoke very good English and has actually served with our facilitators as an interpreter for adoptions.  He was able to tell us about a restaurant in town that would be open for breakfast the next morning, and even drew us a map and gave us his cell number.  Although the bed in the hotel room is not much larger than twin size, there was a fan!  And for a couple who has gotten addicted to falling asleep with the sound of a fan, we were elated!
The next morning we set out with our little scrawled map to try and find breakfast.  We soon realized that two Americans, trying to find a restaurant in a strange Ukrainian town (even with our simple map) would be like finding a needle in a haystack!  I'll save you the long story and suffice it to say that by God's grace alone we finally found the restaurant he was referring to and enjoyed a delicious breakfast.  We then walked through a little market place and picked up a few things for lunch that day.

Soon it was time to head back to Pishana.  Our friendly (non-English speaking) taxi driver (Boris) showed up and we climbed back into his car for another roller coaster ride to the orphanage.  When we arrived we were greeted by lots of friendly children, but no Igor.  The children told us Igor was in school (on Saturday?) and took us up to his classroom. 
 Igor's classmates

Igor's teacher graciously dismissed him for the afternoon and we had a fabulous afternoon playing with him and the other children!

We even had a chance to see Igor's room:

And here is what happens when you let your camera loving boy get ahold of your Iphone...
All too soon it was time to say goodbye...I can't begin to describe how hard that was for all of us...but especially for Igor.  We held each other and prayed together, each of us beseeching our Father in our own language to please reunite us together soon.  Then we climbed back in the car with Boris, leaving our hearts and our boy at Pishana.  We were so very grateful that as we were leaving, Vanya, an older boy walked up and we were able to use the translator on the phone to ask him to help Igor as we left. 
Thank you for praying with us continuously through this journey.  We have felt so carried by the prayers of so many.  We are overwhelmed to tears every time we think of how many of you are praying with us and sharing this burden with us.


  1. Gosh, tears for you both and Igor. Praying hard for your family. I hope Wednesday gives you the news you have been waiting for.

  2. You all are on our mind and in our prayers continually through out the day. Here is another Jesus calling passage for today:

    I continually call you to closeness with Me. I know the depth and breadth of your need for Me. I offer rest for your soul, as well as refreshment for your mind and body. As you increasingly find fulfillment in Me, other pleasures become less important. Knowing Me intimately is like having a private wellspring of Joy within you. This spring flows freely from My throne of grace, so your Joy is independent of circumstances.
    Waiting in My Presence keeps you connected to Me, aware of all that I offer you. If you feel any deficiency, you need to focus your attention on Me. This is how you trust Me in the moments of your life.

    Psalm 131:2; Psalm 21:6; Psalm 37:7

    The Harrells