December-January Update

I'll start with family news this month because it's the most exciting! We are now a family of seven! Eric was born about a week after our last update. Katelin's mom made it to town a few days before the birth, and was a huge help the entire time she was here (about a month). Both the labor and birth went well, and I was able to be present at the birth. Eric is a healthy baby that is already about 50% bigger than he was when he was born, and while he's not the easiest baby we've ever had, he's also not the hardest! All his older siblings adore him, and have stepped up to the plate to help out with the extra work that a new baby brings.

It's Eric

It's Eric!

Of course, there's also the document side of things. With only a few minor hiccups, I was able to get Eric's Ukrainian birth certificate, on the basis of which we applied for his Consular Report of Birth Abroad (which will function as his American birth certificate) and passport. Thankfully, a consular official from the US Embassy in Kyiv came to Lviv for a visit, and we were able to submit all our paperwork to her, which saved us the overnight train trip to the embassy in Kyiv. We recently received Eric's passport, and we are all set to travel!

Eric's fans

Eric sleeps a lot, so the siblings have to soak him up while he is awake!

Furlough Prep

As mentioned in our last update, our family is leaving for a longer furlough in a few months. We will likely be leaving either the end of March or the end of April. Unfortunately, our residency permits are expiring at the end of March, so staying until April would entail going through the entire renewal process, just for that one month. Pray that God would give us wisdom about which way to go.

In the meantime, one of the more complicated parts of our return to the States has already been taken care of: Katelin's harp. We packed it all up and Katelin's mom took it back with her, and it arrived without incident!

Katelin's harp

Here's the harp, all packed up with warning signs in three languages. (And emojis for anyone who doesn't understand any of them!)

Steele Family

Our partners, the Steeles, are currently in the States on a short furlough. They will be returning on January 17. Pray that they will be able to get all the necessary negative Covid tests they need, and that their return trip would go well.


I'm happy to report that we finally got our legal issues with Bible First Online sorted out, and several people have already signed up for coaching accounts! For me personally, the things currently on my plate are proofing chapters 10 and 11 of By Divine Design and taking care of all ETO's financial reports and statements that have to do with the closing of fiscal year 2021. Not the most exciting job, but someone's got to do it!