Our desire is to proclaim the excellencies of God who has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light!
(1 Pet. 2:9)
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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Six Pack Schlaack Pack

Jonathan, Vika, Sophia, Caleb, Gabi, Seth

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Day 52/53 or Day 1087 - Their Coming HOME!!!

Good News!!! All paperwork has been completed and Vika has received her passports!
Praise & Thanks to God for His favor toward us!

I decided to do the math to see how long it has been...
I checked some old emails, and my parents (John & Jane) & Judy Manna contacted us on April 11th, 2006 to consider adopting Vika (Vee kuh).

Yep, it has been almost 3 years coming to complete the process of adopting Victoria Grace Schlaack! Technically, tomorrow will be Day 1087.

The sacrifice is worth it! While this was a difficult journey, I know in heaven for all eternity we will never regret it.


Lisa, Vika, Gabi, Jonathan, Sophia, & my parents are expected to land in the good old USA tomorrow around 4pm!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Day 47 - Vika Says Goodbye to Her Great Grandma

Today, Vika, Lisa, & my Mom (Jane) traveled about 3 hours away to visit Vika's Great Grandmother. They also spent time visiting with friends in the village. Vika's Grandma desired to see Lisa, but she has gone blind. But they were able to spend time with each other and talk via of translation. They had a big meal and it was time of celebration and a sad time of departure for Vika and her Grandmother. Vika's Grandma said she had prayed for a Mom & Dad for Vika. Lisa expressed that Vika's Grandma was a special lady and very kind and gracious. May God pour His Grace & Mercy on her!

You can view more pictures here...

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Day 44 & 45 - The Roller Coaster Ride Continues...

Well, the Ukraine Schlaack adoption adventure continues to be the ride of our lives. The good news, as most of you know now, is that Lisa finally got the court papers, and was able to get Vika out of the orphanage yesterday (Wed.). They then had to travel further North to get her new birth certificate which they were able to accomplish. To say the least, it made for another long day, but we are thankful to God for another step completed.

Jonathan ended up being quite sick all day on Wednesday. He was not eating anything and experiencing a good deal of pain in his abdomen. By the time Lisa and Vika returned home, Jonathan was not doing well at all. So they thought they better call a doctor. They called Dr. Trish Brown here in the USA and an Ukrainian doctor. The symptoms seemed to indicate that he may have appendicitis. They decided that he should go to the hospital. Well, long story short, they ended up deciding not to go and watch him through the night. The hospitals in Ukraine tend to be a bit risky, especially when doing things like surgery. So that was a bit scary, but today Jonathan seemed to be doing much better. PTL!

So today, Lisa and Vika had to return to get her new Ukrainian passport. It was a 3 hour drive. Lisa brought the airline tickets that have a return date for Apr. 3rd in the hope that it would encourage them to complete the passport before then. Well, things got interesting because the passport lady decided that she needed some more money to process the passport. We would prefer to call it a $500 fee to expedite the passport. But most people in the world call it extortion. Lisa could have decided not to pay it, but there was a hint that if she didn't pay it would take 2 weeks and maybe longer to get the passport. After payment was made, the passport lady was much more accommodating. The good news was that she said the passport would be completed by next Wednesday. Of course that doesn't mean it will actually happen or that extortion will not occur again, but we're hoping for the best.

So here is the best case scenario at this point in time. If Lisa is able to get Vika's Ukrainian passport on Wed., we hope that she can make it back in time to apply for her U.S. passport. The U.S. Embassy can sometimes complete the passport the same day or the next day. If everything works out well, we hope they will all fly back to the USA on Friday Apr. 3rd.

P.S. They also got pulled over again today by the police. Lisa is not sure what the driver did wrong if anything, but it appeared that he got a ticket. You see, here is proof that I, Johnny, was not the problem. It was Lisa all along that was causing us to get pulled over by the police! (Ha HA!!!) :) LOL

Monday, March 23, 2009

Day 42 - Some Adoption Uncertainties??? Please Continue to Pray!!!

You know, I've got to tell you that living in a sin-cursed world can make you more dependent on God (2 Cor. 1:8-9) and long for heaven all the more. While we don't understand specifically why things occur in this world, we do know that the Lord always wants to grow us in our relationship with Christ. (Someone has joking said, "I just wish God didn't want to grow me so much.") :)

Ok, you've heard or read previously that we were suppose to get Vika out of the orphanage today (Monday). In Lisa's conversations with the lawyer on Friday, he said that it was being bumped to Wednesday. Well, it was unclear exactly why it was being bumped and Lisa didn't understand why she couldn't go on Tuesday.

So Lisa contacted the lawyer again today to get some more clarity on the situation and she learned some NOT so encouraging things. The lawyer said that apparently the judge was reluctant to have us adopt Vika. (We are not sure when this took place or why we never heard about it until now.) So apparently, the judge has deliberately postponed the final approval of the adoption until Wednesday. The lawyer stated that he felt it would be best to simply do what he wants rather than fight it.

So we're a little uncertain again what is going on and a little concerned what the judge is going to do. This adoption will not be finalized until we receive those court papers with the decree saying they approve us to adopt Vika.

So we continue to ask you to pray and hopefully we will have some good news to report on Wednesday! While the judge certainly has power over this situation, his authority comes from God. Yet, we have to trust God's timing and His ultimate decision!

Proverbs 16:33 - The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord.

Jeremiah 27:5 - “It is I who by my great power and my outstretched arm have made the earth, with the men and animals that are on the earth, and I give it to whomever it seems right to me.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


I (Lisa) am writing this as I am away from my husband, boys, family, church family, and dear friends. I am reminded by this precious truth from Romans 8:28 "And we know for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose". God is going to use this time away for my good and for my family's good. What a precious truth as we live life and face many things that are difficult, sad, or uncertain. I want to use this opportunity to encourage any of you who know and love God. Whatever trial you may be facing, whether it is a death of a loved one, an unhappy marriage, rebellious children, financial troubles, illness or any other thing, God will work it out for your good. How do I know this? God's word says it, so I must believe it. God is the giver of good gifts, "Do not be deceived , my beloved brothers. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change" (James 1:16-17). May you trust today that God is going to cause your current circumstances to work out for your good and that He only gives good gifts, even if we do not see or understand at this time.

May I take one last moment ts express to those of you who may not see God's good gifts in your life or Him working things out for your good. Nothing in life could be more important than the next following verses I share. Please listen and ask God to help you understand and respond to His word. I Corinthians 15:3-4 "For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that He was buried, that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures". When you place your trust in Christ, you can know that God is causes all things for good in your life, no matter how difficult life may be.

Thank you so very much for taking the time to read the blog. It is my prayer that it will be used by God to give Him glory and to stimulate you to live for Him.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Day 33, 34, & 35 - Johnny's Coming Home... - Extended Weekend Edition

Well, friends & family, tonight is my last night in Ukraine. My heart is torn. I desire to be here to pick up Vika from the orphanage and help Lisa with final paper work. But I also desire to be with Caleb & Seth who have been without us for 5 weeks.

I'll continue to periodically give updates of what is happening in Ukraine through Lisa. I also hope to elaborate a bit more on the questions that were asked of us in court.

I'm sure Lisa will especially appreciate your prayers as she finishes things up her in Ukraine.

Paca(Bye) to Ukraine!