Sunday, August 29, 2010


PSALM 63:1 “O God, you are my God; I earnestly search for you. My soul thirsts for you; my whole body longs for you in this parched and weary land where there is no water.”

     A dreary Sunday in the village. Rainy, cold and depressing. It’s hard on a day like this not to long for home with deep yearning. We miss Virginia. We miss our house in the country, our daily routine and we especially miss our boys. The end seems so far in the distance at this point. We are so grateful each time we are able to log onto the internet (which is a lesson in patience and perseverance) to find e-mails, comments on the blog and face book messages. The Bible verses, prayers, video’s and words of encouragement are helping us keep our heads above the sand in this dry and weary time. Please don’t stop. We can’t even put into words how we are feeling at this time. We are so vulnerable, waiting for a verdict that will decide the fate of one little lost boy whom we desperately want to call ‘son.’

     Oh I wanted my camera this morning. They brought our little guy to us in the funniest outfit possible. A long blue sleeve striped shirt that was way too big with sleeves that hung dopey style over his hands. Wool pants. Ugly, brown striped wool pants. He looked so absolutely precious in his mismatched-too big costume.

     Shoes are a BIG problem for Aaron. His feet are about the length of a child’s 12 shoe but are extra wide. We brought an 11 sandal that have a tie on the top and a Velcro strap to hold them onto his feet.. They just barely fit length-wise, but width wise - definite issues. We are adapting them so that they will work temporarily. When we get home we need to figure out what to do. Any suggestions from those who have children with Aaron’s issues; we would love to hear what you do in the shoe department.

     Rob keeps me from completely going to pieces at times. He is my rock, the one who dries my tears and at my lowest times, he just plain cracks me up. He is determined to learn this language and for those who know him, know that he has the mental capacity to accomplish that goal. His increased conversations with our dear landlady make this quite evident. His problem is proper pronunciation. He is learning so many words but is defeated when he walks confidently up to people using his newly discovered words only to have them look him blankly in the face. They don’t get what he is saying because he can’t twist his tongue and spit the words out with the proper sounds. Last night we went into the store to get ‘no gas’ water. Oh he was confident. I’m standing beside him when he asks the lady in her language for the water. She stares. No idea what he wants. He tries again. Nothing. I say in English “No gas”. She lights up, understanding immediately what it is I want. No gas water. Yes. She brings it to us. Poor Rob. He walks out of the market banging himself on the head trying to figure out what he is doing wrong. We laughed all the way to the institute. In this dry and weary time in our lives, it is good to laugh. I am so grateful he is walking by my side.


  1. I read an article last night, that the marriages that last the longest are among people who can make each other laugh, even in dire circumstances. You and Rob have something very special. It shows. Cling to each other. Delight in each other. And trust God. He will see this through and the outcome will be more than any of us can imagine.

  2. My husband had the hardest time in Estonia. He is very animated and with his facial expressions and body language. Here, everyone LOVES him. In Tallinn, people did NOT like him AT ALL. He was way over the top for them. It was VERY hard for him. He couldn't understand what people were saying even when they spoke English! He was miserable there.

    About shoes, one of my sons has extra wide, short feet. We found Keds, Reebok, and New Balance had the best selection of extra wide shoes, especially if the widest part of his foot is the front, just before the toes.

    Still praying!

  3. I remember our trip in Ukraine was in Mid March through the End of April. It was a "melting" time. Ice on the ground, wet, dreary, slushy, cold, and oh so awesome! I felt like I was living in a 1945 post war movie.

    My trips to the local market were always humorous. I would write down what I needed, get in line, and then speak my broken Russian to the same girl every day. She bore with me, and I quickly learned not to try to hand her my money but put it in the funny tray and she would return my change to the same tray! NO hands must touch!

    Every day I came in, she would give me the look of "oh no, here she comes again".... ON my last day, she smiled when I came in. I guess she was finally used to me. I told her in English, with hand motions, we were leaving and going back to America.... her response was "bye-bye"..... That always cracked me up. I wonder if she remembers me like I remember her? :)

    Our prayers are with you this day as you worship the Lord in a country that did not allow free worship just 30 years ago! May the Lord richly bless your hearts this day and give you his perfect peace.

  4. thinking of you Julia!

    You're husband sounds like a funny guy :) I'm so glad you are able to laugh and enjoy the little things.

    Praying for only good things :)

    On a different note, do you think you saw Brady? I would sure love any tidbits of information if you get them. Anything! :)


  5. I am glad you know the Lord and have friends who are praying for you. That is the best and only way to get through these tough times. Praying that the Lord will continue to wrap His arms around you! Blessings!

  6. I've just started following your blog, and I'll be thinking of you so far away! Praying it'll work out soon.

  7. Fingers crossed that everything goes smoothly. Maybe contacting the pediatrician when you get home maybe he may know of a place that can custom make him some shoes.

  8. Julia, I tried to leave a comment but I think I hit post comment to many times...anyways it went blank and turned into Russian. Well anyways I wanted to tell you that we probably will not have court till sept 8th either. I hope it gives you guys comfort (it does for us) knowing that there are several of us from RR here. We missed seeing you guys in Kiev. Hugs talk to you soon.

  9. No, I didn't get an email Julia.....Can you try again? Now I'm dying of curiosity!

  10. Hang in there and keep on laughing. Wish I could have seen that outfit!
    Love ya,

  11. I must say, regardless of the way you say it, rolling you sounds and trying your best, I have found it just isn't good enough. EVERY time we said something,in their eyes it was dead wrong!!! After someone would tell how to say a word, we would repeat it and we were wrong. They never would give us the satisfaction of saying something like, "close." So, it got to a point, just to make me laugh, that my husband, every time they tried to say something in English my husband would correct them at least 10 or more times, even if they were close....we had many laughing moments doing this. When Alexander, the taxidriver, would teach us a word, I would put my hand over my mouth, mumble it the best I could, but muffled from my hand, and say "perfect!" He finally understood they I (personally) didn't care to say it perfect, only good enough!

    Praying for you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  12. Julia,
    Glad Rob can bring laughter and excitement to the day that is wonderful! Keep up the good work learning the language. Jim and I haven't hardly even attempted because we know we'll flat out butcher it and just can't make the right sounds and the few times we tried we definitely did butcher it so only English for us folks :) I think of you often each day and am praying for you all!!

    Keep your head up! Love the scriptures you keep posting that is definitely what will get you through these rough times! Praying for strength!

  13. My little brother has very wide feet, but they aren't real long. It can definitely pose a problem! We've come to realize we've just had to buy a bit more expensive shoe at times . . . not always, but sometimes.

    Airwalk or Vans shoes work well, since they are made so wide.

    Nerf sandals (although not expensive) work well, since they have adjustable straps.

  14. Thinking of you and praying every day... it's a joy to see so many tuned in to Aaron's story here, following you and loving you all from afar!

  15. Stride Rite was our very best friend with our daughter. ALSO. . . we found out that we could get them cheaper at the Stride Rite Outlet stores AND once we knew her size . . . even snagged a few pairs of foot-gear online from E*bay. ;-) I too remember Sunday's while waiting . . . we had taken one CD of encouraging hymns along and played that each Sunday and that was our "Sunday church" ;-)

  16. Julia, it is good to read your words. I want to tell you how much you were talked about this weekend. My friend who is a missionary was in town from Belize and she was touched at the fact that Belize was the tie that first bound us as friends. I finally joined the church this morning when I realized how much I should not take it for granted after also speaking to you about finding a good church. I cannot tell you how much it was the right thing to do! As soon as they upload the service onto the internet from this morning I want to send it to you. It is one man's story of how God used him when he had "no idea"...and it was an out of the park homer! I am looking forward to sharing it with you and Rob if you are able to manage the stream (the technical kind). I am coming out of the vortex of complicated faith attacks and I am telling this to you because it means I can pray for you so much better....and that is what is so important to me, to be there for you as a spiritual warrior. Sending you bigger hugs today than the last commentary post:) Love to you both, Cathy
    ps I am filled with confidence for your journey. I just thought you should know.

  17. When you are home sick....
    “I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Ps 23:6 NKJV

    When we’re young, heaven has limited appeal. We’ve too many dreams like love, marriage, children, career, etc. Aging is God’s way of keeping us headed homeward. And what about death? Christians don’t get buried, they get planted. Paul writes: “The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable…it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power” (1Co 15:42-43 NIV). Calvin Miller writes, “The world is poor because her treasure is buried in the sky and all her treasure maps are of the earth.” Have you heard the story of the bird named Putsy? When nobody claimed her the Humane Society gave her to Sue. They became fast friends. One day the little bird did something incredible; it perched on her shoulder and whispered, “Fifteen hundred South Oneida Street, Green Bay, Wisconsin.” Sue was dumbfounded. She discovered that the address actually existed, went there and found a man named John Stoobants. “Do you have a parakeet?” she asked. “I used to. I miss her terribly,” he replied. When he saw Putsy he was thrilled. “You know,” he said, “she even knows her phone number.” This story isn’t as crazy as you might think. You see, we all have an eternal address within us. God has “set eternity in the hearts of men” (Ecc 3:11 NIV). Deep down, we know we’re not home yet, so we must be careful not to live like we are. Would you set up house in a motel? The greatest calamity is not to feel far from home when you are, but to feel right at home when you’re not. And we’re not home yet, because “our homeland is in heaven” (Php 3:20 TLB)

  18. On the shoes...

    Tevas will work. They make a sandal with Nylon straps that close with Vel-Cro.
    Here's a picture:

    If necessary, you can extend the straps using Vel-Cro (available in any fabric store). We actually butchered a Nylon dog leash to extend the straps. You simply cut a section of Nylon to the length you need and you sew it on top of the existing strap. Sew the Vel-Cro on the under side (that's if he even needs an extension -- they have tons of give.)

    Tevas are made from a sort of rubber. The shoe that was the proper width was too long. So we cut it down (I have no idea what my husband used.) But you could always bring them to a cobbler (yes, they still exist) and they can do it for you.

    Hope that helps. ;-)

  19. Hi Julia and Rob,
    Hope that everything starts going your way soon. I really admire the way you both are rolling with all of the obstacles thrown at you!
    I have butchered a few Slavic languages including Russian and found I had the best luck with people understanding me when I took on my thickest Boris and Natasha accent and beat the words up a bit- Russian especially isn't a flow-y pretty language. A Russian speaking friend once told me, "you have to get mad at it! Its not French." :) I felt like a corn ball at first- but then I realized the goofier and more exaggerated my accent sounded to me, the more I got across. Go figure.
    Lauren Hubbard

  20. Shoes are a hard one. Sarah has a very, VERY wide foot, that is short, and then the top starts to go up to her ankle too soon. It is really hard to find shoes that fit her. We do buy wide shoes, and they have to lace up so you can loosen them enough.
    Her other foot is prosthetic, and it doesn't come in extra wide, so it is a bit of a conflict on what she can wear. She prefers Flip Flops or NO shoes at all, but that just isn't realistic. :)

  21. Praying for you guys daily. I made a big pot of borscht for dinner tonight. Thought about you guys in the process.
    Barbara DeLaurier

  22. I hope you find shoes that work well. As far as speaking the language, well...what can I say? I found that if I put a Russian accent on my English I was often understood!!

  23. I just started reading your blog so this response is late. Once you are home, ask his doctor for a referral to an orthopedic specialist. If Aaron needs special shoes to help his gait (walking) typically your helath insurance will pay.


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