As you can see from the photo, there are no such things as sidewalks. They are just viewed as more parking spaces.
This photo doesn't do the beauty of the square justice.
This is the first year we didn't decorate our house for Christmas and it felt odd not to. Putting up the tree, then the lights (always my least favorite part), and finally the ornaments, which hold so many memories of Christmases past, are all part of getting into the spirit of the season.
Nor did we get caught up in any of the hustle and bustle of Christmas shopping. Seeing others post on Facebook about getting ready for the holidays, we felt removed from all of this hubbub.
Even here in Kiev, the underground shopping mall was packed with people buying that item they hoped to be just right for a loved one.
Near the apartment we're staying in is a man selling small trees that we refer to as "Charlie Brown Christmas trees." They are even nailed to two pieces of wood that criss-cross each other just like the one from my favorite Christmas special. It was all I could do not to break out into "Hark, The Herald Angels Sing" just like the Peanuts gang do.
This year we are far from home and I'll be one of those people singing, "I'll be home for Christmas / if only in my dreams . . ." Or when we skype our families. And it's hard to be soooo far from our families at Christmas time. It's difficult not to be homesick. This experience gives a greater appreciation for military and missionaries who willingly serve and are away from their homes and families.
Unlike where we live, here we will be having a very white Christmas. It feels very much like the carol "In The Bleak Midwinter" as the icy wind does blow as the temperatures barely reach the teens.
On Christmas morning, we won't be unwrapping presents from under the tree. But how much greater is the gift of a child joining our family is!
Danelle and I will soon have a new son and Benjamin will finally have that sibling he has wanted for years.
We wish we could actually be with Cava on Christmas, but we will still be in Kiev. We are patiently waiting to hear if we will get our court date on the 29th before we leave. Every day we pray that we will. If so, then we will be traveling back to Cava's boarding school the day beforer our court date. If not, we will have to wait until mid-January.
Everything is on track so far and it all depends on the SDA and the weather as to whether or not we will have our court appointment before the new year. Please join in praying for our family that we will so that it will be that much sooner when we can bring Cava home.
This is our Christmas wish!
To all of you who are following our journey, our family would like to wish you all a very