Monday, March 24, 2014

Caregivers Chocolate Drive

Our recent visit to Ukraine took place during a very turbulent time. Massive protests, threats of violence, opportunities for hooliganism and fear were the topics of many conversations. The political scene was changing fast, too fast to keep up.

In the photo, we prepared to have our vehicle searched at a check point outside of Kyiv. 

Within days of our departure, unidentified, presumably Russian, soldiers took control of the whole of Crimea. Orphans who were previously available for adoption are not available. Some adoptions in process were halted. Their future is uncertain. The future of all the Ukrainian orphans is always.

One thing that is certain is our commitment to the children. They need us more than ever. 

On the heels of our miraculous fundraiser for Dmitry yesterday, we would like to turn our attention back to our caregivers. The patience and love they show to a grouppa of hard-to-handle boys is honestly priceless, but we do need help to continue supporting their work.

Thank goodness I had space in my suitcase to bring back a nice selection of Ukrainian chocolate. And, I have successfully avoided the temptation to gobble it all up. Now, this chocolate will be used to care for the children we love!

Do you want some? Trust me, you do! For a gift of $25 to Project TLC caregivers fund, we will send you the Ukrainian chocolate bar of your choice. First come, first pick! For a gift of $50 or more, you may choose one of three types of boxed chocolates. We will continue until we run out! 

So take a look at what we have to offer...and thank you for loving these wonderful boys.

Milk chocolate truffles, 145g, two available. Yes, Valentine chocolates, but not outdated.

Ukraine souvenir chocolates, total 160g, ONE available! Almost too pretty to eat! 

Corona Venetian Night - chocolates with whole hazelnuts. 210g, ALL GONE!!

Olenka milk chocolate bar, 35% cocoa. Stephanie's favorite! 100g, three left! 

Dreamy white air chocolate! 100g, ONE available. 

Milk chocolate air chocolate. 100g, one available. (The other was damaged on the flight home. Boo!)

Milk chocolate with whole hazelnuts. 100g, one available.

Classic milk chocolate. 100g, one available.

Extra dark chocolate with whole hazelnuts. 100g, one available.

Milk chocolate with chopped hazelnuts. 100g, one available.

Dark chocolate air chocolate. 100g, three available.

Milk chocolate with biscuit drops (cookies!). 100g, one available.

White chocolate with biscuit drops (cookies!!). 100g, one available.

White chocolate with chopped hazelnuts and cranberries. 100g, one available.

Interesting! Milk chocolate with roasted sesame seeds. 100g, one available.

Korona brand milk chocolate. 100g. six available.

Korona brand dark chocolate. 100g, four available.

Use the donate button below to send your Chocolate Drive gift. Include your first and second choice and shipping address. Thank you!!


Sunday, March 23, 2014


I'm seriously overwhelmed at the moment. It took me hours (had a few distractions!) to write up a blog post about Dmitry and his urgent medical need. In far less time than that, about an hour, our fundraising goal was met! 

In addition to our Lord Jesus, big thank you's go out to the Fritz family, the Mynk's, and Ed Dickson from Loads of Love!!  

More details when they become available...

Dmitry needs our help!

While in Ukraine last month, I received a message with a photo attached:

"Would it be possible to find a family to adopt a child in this condition?"

I was in total shock. How is this child still alive? Three years ago, some very committed and loving people I know tried to help Dmitry receive treatment for hydrocephalus. One family even attempted to adopt him. 

I will never understand why children must suffer so. The doctors in his region refused to operate on him. His biological mother refused to allow him to be adopted. All efforts failed and he was reported to have died. Untreated hydrocephalus is a horrible way to die.

But apparently, he did not die after all! In fact, I was able to find a family who recently visited his facility and interacted with him! They reported that he is full of life and hope, playing peek-a-boo and laughing and squealing with delight.

Yes, I believe we could find a family to adopt such a child, but that takes months and nothing is certain except Dmitry needs medical attention and right away. I set out to find a way to get him the care that he needs. Over the past month, doctors in Kyiv and doctors in his region have cooperated to come up with a plan. Finally, we have a plan and a cost estimate. Yesterday, I received this from the good doctor:

Now he need assessment and evaluation by pediatric neurosurgeon in Kiev clinic.
 The approximate costs of visit to Kiev : 500$
 Train tickets for accompanying person and child: 100$
 Taxi and food: 50$
 Analysis and tests: 150$
 Medicines : 100$
 Assistance : 100$

 Approximate cost of surgery: 2600$
 Equipments( surgical kits): 500$
 Medicines : 400$
 Food: 200$
 Hospital stay (room): free
 Surgeons blessing (fees) : 1200$
 Assistance : 300$
 Total : 3100$

We would like to raise this $3100 in the next week and get this child the care that he deserved to have 3 1/2 years ago. The surgery will be done immediately after the evaluation, if needed, so we do need to raise the entire amount. You may donate by paypal at the link below, or email me for instructions on where to send a check. We are so grateful for your prayers and concern for sweet Dmitry!

6PM UPDATE - I just removed the "donate" button for Dmitry because his surgery is funded!! Thank you all!! 


Monday, March 3, 2014

February 2014 Trip

We were very fortunate to visit Ukraine this past February. Here you see the locked gates of the adult mental institution in a small, poverty stricken village in the countryside.

We took some of the boys at the children's mental institution, which is right next door, for a walk in the yard. The weather was warm and sunny. It was a real treat for the kids to get some fresh air and exercise. These kids are considered behavioral problems, but they seemed like typical boys to me!

We spent a relaxed morning outside with the children and the Project TLC caregivers. These ladies are a true treasure! SO patient and SO kind to the children. They help care for the children while others work on their individual lessons. One boy needs constant supervision to keep from harming himself. Another boy's shoe fell off a hundred times...Our ladies never had a cross word for him, just bent over to put it back on. True servants.

One lady's story was very moving...that she has a genuine love for children and wanted to have lots of babies. She is grateful for this opportunity...thanking God constantly. I know that this job was not easy in the beginning and that it was difficult to be accepted by the orphanage caregivers.

In the photo above you can see the boy with CP who kept losing his shoe. This sweet boy's heel is raised due to spasticity and he walks on his toes. BUT, he does walk and I cannot wrap my head around the fact that he will live out his life in this compound.

While outside with the big boys and group of tiny little people marched right by us. My sweet Betty, shown below, was in this group! I was so pleased to see her walking! And to see her hands uncovered!! This darling girl has been available for adoption for a long, long time, but not yet chosen by a family. We are praying for this to change very soon!!

We received an urgent message about this darling boy while in country. He will be four this coming fall and like all the other orphan children with health conditions or disabilities, he will be transferred to a mental institution. He is available for adoption as well, and this might be his only hope to live to see adulthood. 

During the trip, the whole country was mesmerized by the protests in Kyiv. When we arrived in the city on February 19th, the situation was really heating up. We had to pass through checkpoints and have our vehicle searched to even enter the city.

These piles of tires were lit on fire on the afternoon of February 20th when dozens of protesters were killed by snipers and we were encouraged to get out of the city while we could! Even the US Consulate closed up early that day. The consulate workers advised us to get out of the area before the titushkiy arrived. It was a very intense experience.

Now you have probably read about, or seen on the news that Russia has since taken control of Crimea. This is a very serious situation for the orphans who live here. If the region is returned to Russia, the ban on American adoptions would likely ruin the chances for any of these kids to have a real family life.

Please pray for peaceful resolution to the stand off in Crimea. The situation seems to be changing so quickly that it's hard to get a grasp on what is truly happening.

Email for information about the adoption process in Ukraine. We can get you started in the right direction!