Friday, February 26, 2010

Home at Last!!!

A quick and joyous note to let you know we arrived home safely to Cincinnati this afternoon, February 26th. Our flights all went well as we made our connection through Paris and onto Cincinnati with no problems. While the Kiev and Paris officials were not exactly friendly we did get approval and when we got to Cincinnati the immigration folks were down right warm and kind!!!

The girls were great travelers and were so excited to see their new home. It was especially beautiful thanks to my special Wyoming friends who really spiffed it up. We arrived to balloons, gorgeous flowers, home-made cookies, a hand-painted 6ft x 6ft banner hanging from the garage door, personalized gifts for the girls, a fridge full of fresh food for several dinners and a super clean house!!! What a joy and we so appreciated the welcome.

The girls are sound asleep and we are signing off with the same intentions!!! Love, to all and thanks for your prayers as they got us home!!!!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Visa in hand--Cincinnati bound!!!

Well, we have been through some anxiety producing days up to this point and this one has proven to be no exception. Being that we were out of the hands of the Ukrainian government and into the hands of our own, we thought that things might go easier today. We met with a snooty little red-head with a Texas twang in her voice from the consular office who led off with a, "sometimes we don't hear right away from Washington on these visa applications and it may take more than one day," after being told numerous times that our paperwork was in order and there would be no problems. This was not what we wanted to hear and I guess she figured out how we felt. After an anxious half hour of waiting, our faithful Ukrainian-born US official did produce the visas. We, of course, were elated, relieved and cried tears of joy!!!

So after putting the blog to bed, we are next!! We get up in the middle of the night and head to the airport, led by our trusty Igor and Sveta. Our first flight leaves at 6:30am and we expect to be in Cincinnati in the afternoon on Friday the 26th (which is actually about 17hrs in transit - because of time zones). Can't wait to be on U.S. soil!!!! Love, the four card carrying (passport/visa approved) Lentz family!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Kiev and Counting!!

Thank you all for your many blessings, prayers and comments. We are so touched by the community of support surrounding our journey!!

Today started early (4am) and went non-stop until mid-afternoon with much insanity and very little nutrition with the plane ride being the most relaxing part! The most amazing part of the day was being met at the airport by Sveta, our facilitator in Kiev, almost on the tarmac. We think she was guiding the plane in as it landed!!

Because of the heroic work of our handlers, we have good news again as the U.S. embassy accepted our paperwork and we got the girls through the obligatory medical exams. These milestones were only surpassed through the amazing secret talents of Sveta who has magic ways of getting us to the front of line, time after time!!! We have an appointment at 2pm tomorrow to finish the papers and receive our U.S. visas for the girls from the embassy. Yipee!!!!!! Things are looking good!!

We can't even begin to explain the fatigue we all feel - but we are also deeply grateful that things are looking to go our way:) Thanks again for all your love and support!!!! love, the Lentz family.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Unbelievable day

After an ordeal that began at 9 am and lasted until 7 pm, nonstop, and included extensive mishaps, misquoted legal articles, two trips to Balaclava, white knuckle cab rides, and last minute haggling with incensed officials, we were able to get two "special" passports for the girls. Whew!! This is, in our eyes, a complete miracle and we owe it all to Galya, Kostia and your prayers. So we are still on schedule and will leave for Kiev tomorrow at 4 am. We would love to tell you more but are too exhausted to do so. A tired but happy bunch...

Monday, February 22, 2010

Happy Together!!!!!!!!

Finally!! The girls. Tatiana Linnea Lentz (age 12) and Ann Victoria Lentz (age 10), came home with us tonight to stay and we are all so very, very happy!! The ten day waiting period is over and tomorrow the judge will have the court decree for us to pick-up at 10:00am. The rest of the day will be pretty insane, but we will have our girls with us and that's all that matters!!!

Tonight was full of good-byes at the orphanage and sad for all, but then we went out the door hand in hand, us all knowing we were a family and the spirits soared again!! We did lots of packing, had dinner, made up the bed in the Living Room, and now the girls are whispering themselves to sleep as David and I write the blog in hushed tones too:)

Thanks for all your prayers and love each step of the way!!! The Lentz Family:)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Preparing for Blast-Off!!

Beautiful day today, spent mostly in the marketplace buying gifts for the orphanage and things for the kids. Now we are packing and setting up the paper work for tomorrow and Tuesday. We are getting ready to "blast off" into the future and we felt that the illustration by our youngest (shown above) correctly portrays the sentiments of all of us. If today is any indication, our blogs may get shorter but the photos will be more interesting. Stay tuned...

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Another Lovely Dinner at Home_Sevastopol

Another fun day with the girls. We brought them home to make dinner again tonight and it such a delight. On the way home we stopped in the market to buy a few things...some potatoes for dinner, walnuts for Mama and an orange and apple each for the girls. They picked out their own fruit and it was so fun to watch them make such careful choices. We didn't have time for them to eat the fruit at home, but they eagerly took it back with them this evening. Fresh fruit is a true treat for them!!

I was better prepared this time to have one girl help me cook while the other had Papa's attention at the computer. He gave the youngest a history lesson with the pictures from Yalta and a home-made timeline, starting with their birthdays, adding ours and a request for Grandmother and Grandfathers birthdates to be added. While they reviewed the reign of Nicholas the 2nd, the older daughter was being a great help with dinner. We really had fun and it seems like it will be even nicer when we are home in Cincinnati!!

As we sat down for dinner the girls had their hands outstretched, ready to hold hands as Papa said a prayer of gratitude, already eager to join us in this family tradition. With many compliments to all the cooks, we all ate with great relish and soon it was time for their return to the orphange. No one wanted the time to end so soon, but our hearts are much lighter knowing we will soon be together permenantly!!

Thanks again for all your love, prayers and comments, Lorelle & David