We received this AMAZING quilt Wednesday night at choir rehearsal. The members of the worship ministry got stuff together and a couple of the ladies made it. We were ASTOUNDED and SPEECHLESS when we saw it. I’ve got the whole quilt and then broken down the blocks into separate pics so you can see the amazing details. The choir and others wrote blessings and they are included in the blocks. The support we have gotten from our friends and church family has been more than overwhelming. At the end of this post, there are some long-promised pics of our last few days in Ukraine and the trip home. We hope to get some good shots of all the kids tomorrow at the Down syndrome Easter Egg-stravaganza! So the whole quilt is about 5’ x 7’ (maybe a little larger) They got new pics of the kids at a local park while we were gone… They got pics from the blog… They chose some of our favorite shots out of the many pics we posted. Does God even care about what pics end up on a quilt??? All we can say is WOW. That’s a great gift!!! Here’s some pics from our last few days in Ukraine and on the way home… Yuri and Micah. Micah LOVED Yuri. Yuri, Sveta, Matthew, Mary, Chris, Micah Sveta & Matthew Yuri & Micah Micah was on his way. Don’t know where, but he was on his way. Aiden & Emma Some new friends… Sasha & Natasha The last night with our good friends the Loux’s. We had such a great time on this journey together. God did some amazingly incredible things in our lives. We anticipate meeting halfway sometime when we are ALL WELL and having a big get together of some kind. Can’t wait!! Micah, our good friend Jamie, Matthew Yuri & Micah (Is Micah wearing Matthew’s shirt???) Some quite time while waiting for Papa to cook breakfast. This guy is all personality! Who could resist this face?? This was the very beginning of a LONG and somewhat scary day. Scary because anything could happen. ANYTHING!! We/I like to have plans and know what’s going to take place. With these two guys, anything could have gone wrong. Nothing did. They were GREAT! They didn’t sleep much (Micah about 2 hours until the last leg then 2 more hours. Matthew about 1 hour then 2 1/2 hours last leg). God was SO GRACIOUS TO US!!! AND WE THANK HIM!!!!!! Man this guy is funny! I’ll be sharing some bits of info that we never posted in Ukraine because we weren’t ready to make them public… Here’s one. We are so grateful to God that we have Micah. He is definitely a challenge and will be a handful, but what a blessing he already is to us and to our family. His unconditional love goes farther than anything I’ve ever experienced. Really. The first day we met him was one of the hardest days of our lives. When we met him, we were with him for almost 4 hours (which was too long for the first meeting for those of you reading this that will be going to adopt in the future). He screamed, tried to escape. Wouldn’t let us touch him. Spit at us (not accidentally got spit on us…spit AT us). Only wanted to eat. Was unruly. When he left the room for the last time to go back to his quarters, Mary broke down and then I broke down and we pretty much sobbed. There was no way we could take this child home and make him part of our family. It wouldn’t be fair to our other 5 kids. We couldn’t survive it. On the other hand, we COULD NOT just leave him there. We could do nothing but pray. So I prayed and asked God to make is CLEAR to us if this was what He was asking us to do and if it was to give us grace. I had no doubt in my mind, even as I prayed, that this was what God wanted. We just weren’t sure if we wanted to or could do it. We were terrified to be frank. We began to pray that if God did not want this to happen, then put roadblocks that would prevent it from happening. We did NOT feel the immediate love for Micah that we had developed for Matthew over the months. So we didn’t see how we could survive the future with this behavior we had just experienced. On the way home from that terrible time in our lives (funny…I just referred to Novograd as home…scary!), George, our facilitator, told us that there was a major problem with adopting Matthew in that there was no abandonment from the father and it could take months to get it. On the other hand, the people at Romaniv were, by all accounts, going to make it easy for us to adopt Micah. I was SO CONFUSED. Why God!? I was confused, scared, felt very alone, guilty, ashamed… We went back the next day to see Micah but we had a plan. We would limit our time with him, begin disciplining the behaviors we didn’t feel were appropriate and we would take food for him. It was still a difficult visit because it was way longer than we planned, but it was so much better. This day, we really surrendered to God and accepted His will. And we were happy about it. This day, we found out that not only had they found Matthew’s father, but he had already had the legal documents done and Matthew was ours for the taking. That’s how fast things turned on their ear in Ukraine. That’s how fast God worked. So over the next few weeks, God gave us a love and patience for Micah. Honestly, I can’t imagine my life without him or Matthew. (Or any of my other kids, of course). But what I’m saying is, they have not only been grafted in to our family, it’s like they are REALLY ours. I don’t think I could love them more if we had conceived them and bore them. That’s God. So, I told you that we kind of secretly hoped that there would be a roadblock that would stop us from adopting Micah. Well the day we were to pick him up, there was an official that had to sign off on everything (from the Ministry of Social Defense) who basically was not going to do it. We were told that we could NOT take him and that appeared to be that because the guy had left town to avoid dealing with it. I tell you this to express what God had done in our hearts. This was the road block we had originally hoped for…only now we didn’t want it and wouldn’t accept it. We prayed and God moved. I sent out a text to the people I had a number for in Ukraine and asked them to pray that the directors of the institution would let us just take him and then they could deal with the “ministry” later. I couldn’t imagine that they would do this because everything else had been BY THE BOOK to the LETTER! But not ten minutes after I sent out the plea for prayer, we were signing the papers and driving off with out sons to go get their passports (which we also got in 1 hour!! But that’s another story). So…that’s what happened in Romaniv, in our hearts and in God’s heart. We are SO GRATEFUL to Him for Matthew and Micah. They are Malones. Part of the clan. Praise God. Blessed Be the Name of the LORD!!! >>>PS>>> Wayne & Megan Dickinson go their kids’ visas today and are coming home on SUNDAY at 9:20 p.m.!!!! Praise God!!!!!! We can’t wait to see them and meet the new Dickinsons and introduce them to the new Malones!!! Pray for their trip that it will go smoothly and that the kids will do GREAT! Also…Wayne will go back to work on Monday…so pray for a QUICK adjustment to the new time his body will be thrown back in to.