We made it! We’ve been back in Ukraine for almost a week now, and all is well. We hit the ground running. I guess I’m learning that that’s kind of our style. We don’t really know how to ease into anything. 🙂 The travel was great (minus a four hour stint in a Kyiv parking lot due to a busted belt on the van…but that’s another story). Our puppy made it with us safe and sound too, for all the curious animal-lovers out there. No one left behind!
It’s great to be back with our team, with our friends, with our church. It’s a relief to know that our family is all together and we’re going to stay that way indefinitely. No more trying to live on both sides of the ocean at once. It may take a while for my heart to settle into that fact. Whew!
The big, huge news is that on Monday we purchased the Wide Awake property!!! It’s official!
The property is in a nearby village called “Ivanivka”. We chose Ivanivka because it’s super close to Zhytomyr, but with plenty of awesome land for sale. We will be within a community and close to the city, but with space to grow and garden, and space for our boys to enjoy nature and peace without being isolated. Our team and friends can easily take the city bus to Ivanivka, and our property is not far off the main road, so it’s easily accessible, since most of our friends don’t have cars.
The property itself is a little under 2 acres. There is an old house at the front of the property, and our family will live in that house after we do some renovating. It’s not a house that would ever be ideal for our boys, but it will suit our family just fine. There are established gardens behind the house, several mature fruit trees, and a big grassy field where we plan to build two more small houses that will be home to 4 boys each. The back of the property is bordered by huge trees. It’s just beautiful! There are several small outer buildings on the property that have had various uses over the years. We’ll keep some of them and tear down others.
The plan of attack, after deciding on a contractor and work crew, is to tackle plumbing, kitchen, and heating. The floors have to be taken out to do the heating, and right now there is no indoor bathroom or kitchen, so those three things have to be done before our family can move in. Once we are in we will begin work on an addition to the back of the house. The addition will be home to the first four boys who come out of the institution!
So, we’ve got our work cut out for us! The house is old, but structurally sound. The property has great potential, but a lot must be done before anyone lives there. It can be a bit (or a lot) daunting when we think of how much needs to be done fairly quickly, so it’s imperative that we just put one foot in front of the other, one day at a time. Yikes. In the meantime we’re renting an apartment that we lived in during our first year in Ukraine.
We are so thankful to each one of you who gave to make this property a reality. Thank you for your generosity. Thank you for believing in the vision. Thank you for loving our boys and for loving us. Thank you for your YES!