Thursday, January 31, 2008

Ma-Ma and Pa-Pa

Russian for Ma-Ma and Pa-Pa.

Charissa's new sling gadget. Too complicated for me, but she looks
great holding Ava in it.

Thats me feeding Ava her Borsch soup.. beets, cabbage and stuff.
Tasty, but not in a bottle.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

play rooms, man holes and mittens

Ava's playpin in the summer

Here's that man hole again, marked by someone who decided to dump their Christmas tree.
Proper attire for 85 degree play room... I'm watch'n you Wasowski, always watching..
Dang, we got busted by the head nurse! No coat, no hat and no blanket! Col-ad-na means, its cold in here, put her hat and coat and blanket on.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Interesting Pictures

No taxi needed. Just a cold, 2 block walk.

Ukranian breakfast at the Tax Building

Is that a Mac? Our room at the hotel. Warm and cozy.

Bizar. Is that a dog in the QuikTrip?

My favorite! Elasti-Girl.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Someone really likes the iPhone..

We will get busted if we take her hat and blanket off in the 80F room.

Boy, this thing has come in handy. It has been so nice to communicate in seemingly unreachable places. Ava has taken a real liking to my iPhone. Maybe I'll get her one when she is 21....

Train Ride

Pics for anyone interested in the train ride...

We arrived in Konstantinovka.

Lights and music....

2 on one side, 2 on the other side.

I tried to sleep below, here. But, I couldn't.

Hallway to the berths.

Viktor set me up with a cell phone and internet!

Oh, and you can't go to the potty while the train is stopped! You figure that one out.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Update and Picture From the Mother Land

Ok folks, here are some interesting photos of Artemovsk:

Mash potatoes and tasty meat roll.

Ukrainian QuikTrip

This isn't Russian Vodka, Its water with Gas (Carbonated Water). I prefer water w/o Gas. Don't drink the water!

Watch your step. The locals steal these man hole covers and sell them for Grivnas(Ukrain currency)

So cramped? No where for my legs. And, what is that a toilet paper holder? Lookout, its a decoy..

Ukrainian TP is like sand paper, and ah... there NO hole to hang this stuff on! Dang! They may as well just take the holder down. Its misleading.


Had a great day with Ava yesterday and again just a few hours ago. She's a doll, just like her 2 sisters Liesel and Hope. Simeon and Jude will love playing with her and making her giggle.
Weather: Snowy and cold
Food: Really good. They have flavorful meat for breakfast. Sauerkraut and fish too if you'ld like. We just found cereal and milk at the store this morning.
Water: CTOROBA BODA = WATER WITH CARBONATED GAS.. you probably won't like that.. just order w/o GAS
Accomadations: Nice and warm. Buildings are heated with water flowing through pipes from a boiler... very cozy. Toilets are always cramped, I suppose it is because I have long legs. I'll post a photo later of those interesting details.
Location: I gave bad GPS/Google Earth coordidnates earlier. These are the ones to Ava's home for the next few days: 48 35.184N 037 59.980E
Careful!!!: They don't cover pot holes, so don't be taking photos while you walk.
- Friday - All papers complete in Artemovsk and sent on train back to Kiev.
- Saturday and Sunday - see Ava 2 times a day
- Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday - see Ava and wait to hear for court date. We hope it will be Friday

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Made Hotel In Artemovsk

Safe and sound.

We hope to see our little girl in the next few hours.

GE: 40 35.186N 38 00.126E

GE Update

Just left little town....

49 21.778N 35 27.406
324 ft
44 heading
30 mph

Clear skies bright moon

John Urban

Google Earth Update

49 26.411N 34 54.559E
Alt 341 ft
Heading 120
Speed 44mph

On train now..

Max speed 72
170 miles east of Kiev
Alt 590 ft
2-3 inches of snow

Headed to Ava's home town

Unspeakable Beauty

I'm about to have 3 beautiful daughters.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

appointment went well..

We saw her 4 month photo! She is a doll. We leave tomorrow evening to go see her. We'll see her on Thursday morning.

interesting facts...

flight from Chicago -> Frankfurt:

- 8.5 hrs
- very smooth
- avg speed 650 mph
- coldest outside temp: -83 F
- max altitude 37,000 ft

other interesting things

- always locate the barf bag when you first sit down
- frankfurt has small glass smoke rooms where folks cram in to suck on a cigarettes
- when going to Europe, its a good idea to learn 2 more languages
- man, russian alphabet is hard!

Flush, by pushing that button..

230 volts! Bring the right plug. Read your laptop power cord. It will tell you how much input it can handle and how much input to your laptop. Dell and Apple thought this already. Most laptop cords can take 240volts.

Monday, January 21, 2008

we are foreigners...

8.5 hour flight across the big pond. We are here, safe and sound.

If you have google earth...50 26.914N, 30 30.621E. If you'd like to come and see us, thats where we are. There is a McDonald's right up the street.

Saturday, January 19, 2008



Other private jet

We'll take this one instead. 4 engines.


TV at O'hare International.... Exciting! Are those Macs?

We board in 1 hour.

It's a great day by Charissa

we made it to Chicago. very fun to people-watch at the Chicago airport.
Had a wonderful good-bye this morning with lots of hugs and kisses but no tears!! Yeah!!
Almost finished a good book, The Connected Child...very informative for adoptive parents.
We were offered the opportunity to wait for the next flight to Frankfurt/Munich,and of course we took it!! That means our roundtrip tickets are free!! The Lord has interesting ways of meeting needs. Because of our delay, we met another family with 2 boys and 2 girls, a homeschooling farming family, on their way to adopt 2 more from vietnam. Of course we became instant friends and exchanged blogs.
We got to experience Chicago style hot dogs, and got free meal vouchers for giving up our seats. Nice. Regretting staying up so late but will have a bed soon. Flat Stanley is enjoying himself too. God is good and we sense His peace and favor.

Change of plans...

I married a risk taker.

They overbooked our flight, we volunteered to take the 1030pm flight.
We will now arrive Kiev at 1030pm.

John Urban

The Monster!

Our personal private jet to Germany. Airbus A300.

Turn off all electronic devices!

Downtown Chicago

Were on..

Here we come Ava!

First leg of the journey...

You like it? Looks fast!

through security

We got stopped with cosmetics, had to check an extra bag. More to come.

John Urban

Friday, January 18, 2008

... the time has come

Thanks to everyone who has supported us, prayed for us and been there for us time and time again. We are excited about our journey. We know our mission. Our path is clear.

My kids asked what will you do when you first see Ava dad? I said, I'll do what I've done with all my kids when I first see them... cry. She sure is beautiful!

Now, for the important stuff... If you want to watch us, we'll be on If you want our flight numbers, email me and I'll give them to you. You can watch us until we get to Canada.

Weather for our flight:




Tuesday, January 15, 2008


The title says it all. I'm taking lessons from my wife on blogging.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

stinking rat sleepover

You get the picture...

From my iPhone


John Urban

Testing latest technologies. You need to be prepared!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

WEATHER and Google Earth


Check out my weather link on the right. Its important to know how to dress.

Google Earth

If you don't have it yet, you'ld better GET IT if you want to know where we are in the world.

sorry blogger....

I stink at this.. I'll stick to planes, trains and automobiles and I'll leave the professional blogging to my lovely wife.

Rats in my living room...

Simeon brought home some rats from school. They are in my living room now having a sleep over with the children. They make funny breathing sounds and they are exercising now at 1130pm at night.

Jude wanted to sleep with one, but I convinced him that he/she would escape and Bliss have them for dinner.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Top 5 FAQ's When Getting Caught With A Reminder

5 - What do I tell me wife if she finds out I'm using reminders for birthdays, anniversaries, etc?

4 - What do I say, if my wife finds out I really haven't been thinking about her, I just got reminded and sent an automatic quick email?

3 - How do I keep my wife from accidentally reading my anniversary/birthday reminder emails?

2 - How long will my wife be upset with me if she finds out I'm using a machine to help me remember important sentimental dates?

1 - What is quickest way get out of the dog house if she finds out I had to be reminded about her birthday and didn't just "remember" it?

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Zoo Alien


Hope on my shoulders....

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Your Questions...

Do you have questions that you would like me to answer? Post your comments and I'll do my best to get your questions answered.

...what is the weather like?

I always wonder what the weather is like for my new beautiful daughter. Is she cold? Is she hot? Well, here are some links that will help you know too...

Artemovsk [orphanage town]

The other extreme...
Montego Bay, Jamaica