Monday, May 14, 2012

Christmas 2011


Monday, June 27, 2011

Eighteen wonderful months home!!

Sasha and Olya are being weaved deeper and deeper into our hearts and family culture. We continue to homeschool and English is becoming the predominant language! NOW WE HAVE TO WORK HARD TO MAINTAIN SOME RUSSIAN. One highlight this past year was the girls involvement in a ministry called... Praise His Name with Dancing. They are learning ballet, meeting new friends, following instructions beautifully and have performed in two AMAZING productions... June 2010 and June 2011. (See Sasha in purple and Olya in royal blue costumes.)


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Journey Continues... Back in the USA!!

As we approach the 5 month anniversary of bringing Sasha and Olya home with us, we wanted to share a bit of the story of life back home...

So many... MANY changes...where to begin? How 'bout this - our grocery bill has increased by at least 30%! You may ask... how could two thin little girls eat so very much? (What can we say, other than we've heard this is typical.) The good news is that they like just about everything: especially bananas, chicken, chips, ice cream and pizza!

Nowadays we hear so much talk about going "green." Well, the Work family has gone "pink." Sasha and Olya have brought much beauty into our home... sparkle, lace, ribbons and curls abound. Then there is their artwork, homemade cards (lovingly tucked under our pillows) and dandelion necklaces for Mama and Babushka. Life in the "pink zone" has added breadth to our family rainbow.

And, then came the dolls... quite a procession, I might add! There are big dolls, Barbie dolls, मिनी dolls and Raggedy Ann dolls. We've got antique cradles, rocking cradles and Pat even got out the old baby stroller... so the girls could walk their "babies" up and down the sidewalk!

English/Russian language learning is going well. Every day the girls speak both languages. The boys are learning lots of Russian words and the girls like teaching their new brothers Russian words. Sasha leads the way with English and often interprets for Olya... each month they learn lots!

Jesse and the girls do a Saturday paper route together and they must have made $100 all total shoveling snow for neighbors this winter. (Oh no... we found out... the girls LOVE shopping!) Now and then Mama and Papa "hire" the kids to do extra big chores... last week Sasha, Jesse and Olya dug out two huge stumps from our front yard. (They have "earned" their last name... WORK! Ha!)

Extended family and church friends have received the girls warmly (cousins Christianna and Melanie are huge blessings) and our neighbors, the Grices and Dorothy are always waving to the girls as they ride bikes back-n-forth... the Haumessers' across the street even gave Sasha a bike!

Life is good and very, very full with six children. God has been faithful to provide the extra love and money and wisdom to navigate these new waters. The girls seem very happy and our readoption court date here in OH was nothing short of "heaven on earth..." literally the counter opposite of our day in court in Kotovsk, Ukraine.


Showers of Blessings!!

Within the first three months of returning from the Ukraine we were blessed with TWO showers. The first was organized and hosted by Marla Holmes, proud Auntie to Sasha and Olya. We gathered in Chris & Marla's home just after Valentine's Day with friends and family. First there was a Fun Fact game about our Adoption Adventure, then some good food and finishing with gifts and stories about our adoption. The girls wore matching dresses and our new friend, Sabina (originally from the Ukraine) translated for us!

Then on March 14th, 2010 our church hosted a "family shower" for us... giving us gifts like a Zoo membership, horseback riding venture, baseball tickets for the whole family and free Putt-Putt passes. The idea was to provide avenues for our "new" family to bond while doing special activities together. The girls received homemade Raggedy Ann dolls and lots of "PINK" movies and computer games. The decoration theme was "girlee girls" and each table had a theme... dolls, nail polish, girl books, etc... At the closing of the party everyone prayed for us and the girls and the adjustments our family was facing. Very Special Day!


Sunday, January 3, 2010

Gifts from Ukraine...

Of course the most precious gifts this year are Sasha and
Olya themselves. But, Mama and Papa brought a few other things home for the "fam" to enjoy.

The boys really enjoyed all of their Ukrainian gifts. But, we have to admit that what THEY gave us
was a true highlight this year!
May we share the boys gift with you?

Go to the web @ -


Monday, December 28, 2009

Full Circle...

Concentric circles... there's the bigger circle of 2009. We applied to Building Blocks Adoption Services on December 31st 2008. So in a very real sense this calendar year was set apart to pursue our international adoption... full of LOTS of paperwork, homestudy, fire inspections, long distance travel, looking through books for the faces of children that seemed to have "Work" written all over them... and now we're HOME where we all belong. Guess when we arrived home? Yep, December 31st 2009! The smaller circle was our "in country" circle... our plane landed in the Ukraine October 31st and we arrived home exactly two months later. (At the beginning of our trip we faced a "flu ban," at the end of our trip the flu had hit the girls orphanage...round-and-round we went.)

What a wonderful reunion we had with our sons! Jesse is beaming... we're all "pinching ourselves" trying to decide whether this is real or a dream. Our guys have been great with the girls. Yesterday we all went sled riding... maxed out fun! Tim and Debbie were driving home and aggreeing that we both had enjoyed our sleding time and how many different combinations of people there are to go down on two-man sleds, when you have 8 people to share your family sledding adventure with. Tim concluded, "Eight is great!"

Full circle... expanding circle... it's a process and GOD always finishes what He begins!

"Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him."
- Psalm 126: 5-6

PS - Look for a video... comin' soon...!!!!

PSS - Thanks for carin' enough to read our blog... we'll update "HisNewWorkCrew" several times over the next months... So feel free to take a peak back now-and-then! May God bless you all this New Year!


Sunday, December 27, 2009

Playin' Hide 'n Seek in our Flat...

Sasha has found out something about her new Papa... HE LIKES HIS COFFEE! So she came up with an ingenious idea... whenever Papa is not looking... HIDE HIS COFFEE!


Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas in Kiev...

Greetings from Patrick, Deborah, Sasha and Olya Work...from our very comfortable flat in Kiev...complete with jacuzzi tub for our soaking pleasures! We are counting down the 3-to-5 day waiting period for the girls passports. It is a good opportunity to make connections with the girls, in our slow-but-steady type of way. Our first 24 hours with the girls were very, very difficult because of how much we needed to get done in Odessa, sloshing through horribly thick slosh on all of the sidewalks, soaking wet feet for hours and hours and two train rides. (It must have been so confusing for the girls... this is adoption? Where is the USA? We've heard all this talk and seen pictures of Tim, Justin, Jordan and Jesse... when do we get to meet them? Debbie asked Zhenya to explain that we have to do all this to get passports SO THAT we can take planes back to Ohio and finally be HOME!)

We had a nice breakthrough in Kiev when Debbie invited the girls to help make eggs in the kitchen. They loved cracking the eggs, stirring, frying, scooping, setting the table, pouring juice, etc... Sasha wouldn't let Pat into the kitchen until everything was ready. It was so cute! Now we were seeing those smiles back again! Then in the evening we filled up the jacuzzi tub with deliciously warm water and the girls climbed in and took a LONG bath with jets bubbling full force! Now we were adding some laughter to the mix!

Today is Christmas and we are taking our daughters to our favorite Ukrainian restaurant, translated means... Fat House! Yum, yum! Another special memory was sitting together on the couch, Sasha holding a Russian version of the Bible and Pat and Debbie holding English versions. Pat found Luke 1 in the Russian Bible and Sasha read a verse in Russian and we repeated the same verse in English. It was one of the most powerful readings of the Christmas story we ever experienced! The last special memory we'd like to share is the present that Pat gave to his special ladies... we all received sparkling pink bracelets from Papa! He said that we were his special, beautiful girls! (See picture!)
May the Lord bless you and yours this Christmas and
throughout the coming New Year!


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

FLU Epidemic hits the orphanage!

Can you believe it? (Remember our FIRST obstacle... a 3 week flu epidemic shutdown!) Their orphanage school is closed down. Everyone is wearing masks or scarves. Many children are sick and they are quaranteened in the dormitory. IRREGARDLESS: We are picking up the girls TONIGHT! (Debbie has visited the last two days, with her own mask firmly tied on. Sasha and Olya have slight coughs, but do not seem bad at all. They are very excited to come with us! Tomorrow we take them to Odessa on train to get them scanned for their very own passports. There is a 3-to-5 day waiting period for passports, so we'll head back to Kiev to wait... which will afford Zhenya some much deserved time with his wife and son and will be fun for us, cuz the girls have never seen Kiev and it'll be gorgeous with Christmas lights! Looks like Christmas in Kiev with our "angels!") Love you all!