Penny & Chris Goeppner are in the process of adopting two children from Russia.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Gotcha Day!!

Introducing Jadon Paul (our youngest) and Roman Christopher Goeppner!!!!
This is our gotcha day photo. The woman in the photo is Galina, the orphanage director.

The day I thought would never come has come! We picked the boys up at the orphanage last night around 7pm. It was a pretty quick visit, we just changed their clothes and put on their snowsuits and left. The car ride to the hotel went great. Our oldest looked out the window in amazement and our youngest quickly fell asleep in my arms. We got back to the hotel around 8:45 and played and had snacks and then at 9pm we started bedtime. Our youngest put up a fight for a few minutes and kept climbing out of his crib but he fell asleep soon after for the entire night. Our oldest had a rough night and was up crying every hour or so. Chris was a great Papa and got up with him every time.=)
Today we are trying to keep two very busy boys entertained in our small hotel room. I'm afraid to venture out with them without their passports as their are police everywhere (elections are tomorrow). So, we will try to keep sane in out hotel over the weekend.
Thank you all for your constant prayers and your encouraging comments. We are so thankful for all of you!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Oh the weather outside is....

.... pretty warm for Siberia. You thought I was going to say frightful, didn't you?=) It was in the upper 30s today so walking around town today was actually fun and not painful. The bad part about it is that all of the snow and ice has melted into black slush. The beautiful ice sculptures have melted and fallen over. We so wanted the boys to be able to experience the ice slides but there goes probably the only fun thing we had to do with them. Oh well, I guess screaming and running down the halls of our hotel will have to do.=)
We saw the boys today and yesterday. It's neat getting to see more of their personalities as they get more comfortable with us. They are very much into routine. Today instead of going straight to the play room, we went to our youngest's group room today and when he saw us he threw himself on the floor and cried. It took him a while to get over it but all was well again once we went to the playroom. Our oldest definitely has some problems with listening but he is very sweet natured and I hope he stays that way. Yesterday as I held him he put his hands to my face and softly touched my cheeks and pushed back my hair from my face, it was quite a moment. I'm a little worried about how these munchkins will do in our hotels for 10 days. Any constructive ideas about entertainment are welcome.
Dave & Beth leave tomorrow for Russia, they'll be going to St. Petersburg first but will meet up with us in Kras next Monday. I am so excited for them to get here! We really miss our family and friends. Sometimes I think we'll never leave this place!!!!! Lord willing, we will one week from tomorrow.=)
We found a new tasty restaurant today which is always very exciting. The typical Russian food gets old real fast and this place was out of the norm, they had waffle fries for goodness sake!!!! On another exciting note, today was clean sheet day at our hotel! It's so sad but I LOVE clean sheet day!
That's all for now. Next post will be Gotcha Day!!!! Woo Hoo!!!!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Happy Birthday!

My sweet baby is 4 years old today. We were able to celebrate with him yesterday and it was great. I'm so looking forward to future birthdays spent with family and friends. Happy Birthday my son! We love you very much!

German Food

There's a restaurant across from the hotel that serves German food so we've been avoiding it. Come on, who can truly say that they like German food? Anyway, one of the other couples here have been very adventurous and they've eaten just about everywhere around here and this place was one of them. They gave it a big thumbs up so we decided to go with them tonight to dinner. Wow! The food was amazing! I'm sure they had some German food on the menu but I got grilled chicken on skewers and sauteed potatoes and it was incredible. I am full for the first time since arriving in Russia. After dinner we went sliding down a huge ice slide, that was fun. Some of the local teens were sliding down sanding up, craziness! There was frozen blood at the end of the slide where that method didn't work out too well for some kid. There really is nothing else for them to do in this boring town.
Tomorrow begins our long weekend of not being able to see the boys.=( Saturday is a holiday so we might not get to see them on Monday either. We'll have to start all over again with our youngest if that's the case. What do we do for 2-3 days? Walk around and try new restaurants is about it. No wonder why people are so grumpy here, it's cold and there's nothing to do! Please pray that our weekend goes by quickly for us.
Thank you for your prayers and uplifting comments!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Hangin' Out

That's what we've been up to lately. We visited the boys yesterday and this morning and will again tomorrow but we won't see them over the weekend.=( The time we've had with them has been great. I think we are really connecting with them. Our youngest is still very much attached to his caregivers so I'm praying that we don't upset him too much by taking him away next week. Our oldest is ready for anything I think.=)
We've been hanging out with the other familes over here also. We just had lunch with them at a restaurant where I actually ate until I was stuffed. I've been perpetually hungry every day because the food is not very appetizing and the portions are kiddie sized but the buffet today was pretty tasty, except for the cake (the icing tasted like soap). We are trying our hardest today to stay awake during the day and not nap. Our naps have been 8 hours long and we can't sleep at night so we're really trying to get on Kras time now. It's hard, we're both exhausted. It was -9 degrees when we left fort he orphanage this morning! My nose hairs froze!!! It's been pretty cold today but it hasn't stopped us from going out for a long walk. The people here are crazy, they don't even wear hat's or gloves. Chris and I bundle up so much, we look like the little boy from The Christmas Story movie! No wonder why they laugh at us!!=)
I can't wait to post pictures of our sons, they are the cutest! We have some pretty amazing video for you all as well so get ready to be bombarded on gotcha day!
Well, that's all for now. Please keep us in your prayers. We are so ready to come home with the boys but we still have 3 week left! Thanks so much!

Monday, February 18, 2008

The judge said "Da"!!!!

Woo hoo! It's official! We're Mama and Papa to two beautiful boys! We are humbled and beyond thankful for your prayers and support. All glory and honor and praise to our Lord Jesus Christ who made it all possible.
Pictures will come after our 10 day waiting period of our sons, as well as their new names.
I can't believe I'm a Mommy!!!!!=)

Court Tomorrow!

Our first visit with the boys went great. Our oldest is a ball of energy and just does not stop bouncing off the walls, literally! Our youngest really warmed up to me and I had him laughing and smiling before we left. We were prepped for court today as well and we are very overwhelmed and a little nervous. Chris will be "cramming" tonight all of the information that they expect the judge to ask him. I'll be "tutoring" him.=) Anyway, court is at 10am for us so 10pm for you. Please pray for us. Pray that God would give us peace and wisdom as we answer the judge's questions and for favor with the judge. Thank you all so much, we love you! I'll post the results tomorrow as soon as I can.=)

Saturday, February 16, 2008

We're in Siberia!!!

We made it safe and sound thanks to your many prayers and by God's grace. There were many prayers answered so thank you all for praying. When we got to the airport in Moscow, we were sure we would have to pay a fee for our overweight luggage but we didn't, praise the Lord! We went to get on the plane and it was brand new!! No more old, scary airplane! Yay! Whoever prayed for that, Thank You!! We had more leg room and felt a lot more safe. There was overhead storage as well!=) So, the trip couldn't have gone any better.
Anyway, we're at Hotel Kras, another prayer answered! We're unpacking and hanging out today. Tomorrow we get to see our boys! We're very excited!!! We won't be able to post every day as we would like as it gets pretty expensive but we'll let you know how our first visit went.
Thank you all so much again for your endless prayers. We love you!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Return from Red Square

We just got back from our tour of Red Square. It was very informative and interesting. We saw the Kremlin, Lenin's tomb, St. Basil's Cathedral, Goom (a famous mall) and many other stores along the way. It was pretty cold outside but we were warm except for our faces. Our tour guide really knows her Russian history. She knows way more about Russian history than I know about American history, very sad. She also filled us in on the Russian Orthodox religion and the meaning of all of the russian holidays. My brain hurts from information overload!=) My body hurts from walking many miles, I'm so out of shape.
Anyway, that's the extent of our day so far. Tomorrow we will leave the hotel for the airport around 5pm. Our flight leaves at 9pm for Kras. I'm so excited to get closer to our boys!

Thursday, February 14, 2008


Hello from Moscow! It's about 7:15 here and we just finished a mediocre but cheap dinner of microwaved pizza.=) I don't think it was suposed to be microwaved but oh well. We decided to go to the market down the street for dinner instead of paying $70 for dinner at the hotel. It was a very nice market, I think we'll visit it again on our way back with the kids.
The medicals were a breeze. We saw 8 doctors each of which we spent 2 minutes with answering boring questions. One of the doctors asked if the crocodiles are a nuisance, how random! The best part was that I didn't have to have a breast exam! We left our clothes on, praise the Lord.=) The worst part was waiting for the doctors to arrive and then for them to complete our paperwork. We were very hungry and thirsty. It took about 2 hours total. For all PAPs waiting, don't stress about it. It was a piece of cake.
After the medicals we came back to the hotel and then walked down to the market for our dinner. Did I tell you we're at Hotel Tverskaya? We were supposed to go to the Rennaisance but for some reason we ended up here. It's very nice and everyone speaks english for the most part. We got a free upgrade because they were out of regular rooms so we're in a suite. This would be great for the boys since the bedroom is separate. Maybe we'll be blessed with a suite when we come back.=)
Well, that's the extent of our day today. We're going to have a tour tomorrow at 11am and we're looking forward to it. I'll let you know how it went.

Good Morning!

I slept for 14 hours last night! Yikes, that's a long time! I woke up at 6am and did a little internet catching up. We have internet for only a few hours more and all of you are sleeping right now.=( So, we will purchase internet again on Friday at 2pm our time, 6am your time. We will be available for Skype and I hope to hear from you guys!
We had breakfast this morning at $40 each! It was good though and we won't eat again until later tonight.
Anyway, our medicals are today. Whoopee! I'll fill you in on the details Friday. Until then, keep us in your prayers.=)

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Follow Up

Okay, Chris is taking a "nap" but I think he's down for the night. I just took a shower and it's given me a little bit of energy so I thought I'd burn it off with this post.=) We are very exhausted. We've been up for 24 hrs with small naps in between. One can't really get solid sleep on an airplane, even with exit row seats. It's 4:20 here now. We had "dinner" an hour ago at the hotel, very pricey but good. I'm not brave enough to venture out into the city and try and find a restaurant that makes good food but is also cheap. My Russian is not that good.;)
Our medicals are tomorrow at 2:30, sorry I didn't make that clear in our last post. We actually don't leave until Saturday night. I think we're going to try and get a tour on Friday.
Our driver is the sweetest man but he and every other Moscovite drives like a mad man! There are no driving rules in Moscow it seems. I do see the occasional light but for the most part it seems like a free for all. It's so scary driving on those streets! People make up their own lanes, they park literally wherever they want to as long as there is a wide enough space for 1 car to fit through and everyone rides each other's bumper. The roads are horrible too. I though Palm Beach County's roadway were bad, huh, not even close! I could go swimming in these potholes!;) Somehow they avoid accidents though so I guess it's all good.
Wow, I am really coming down from my energy burst. I think it's time for my nap!=)
Another quick story and I'm hitting the hay. When we arrived in Moscow we quickly made our way through customs and waited at the baggage claim for our luggage to come out. Well everyone's bag was coming out but ours and a few others. Then another spurt came of new bags and 2 out of 3 of our bags came out and then the coveyor belt stopped. Uh oh, I thought, we're down a bag but Chris ran down to the end of the belt and sure enough, our 3rd bag was the last bag out! Thank you Jesus!
Night Night!

We Made it to Moscow!

We're here, waiting in Hotel Tverskaya for a room. Check in time isn't until 4 pm and right now it's 11:45 am. Chris is speaking on the phone to our facilitator here to find out what's next. There are a bunch of families with their newly adopted children. I can't wait until we have ours! The ride from the airport was interesting. It was cool looking at all of the different buildings and houses. The architecture is so different here. Some of the houses look like they belong in Sweden or Norway. They kinda look like gingerbread houses. Then there are big beautifully built brick houses in gated developments. Okay, Chris got off the phone and found out that we're meeting our facilitator at 2:30 in the lobby to go get our medicals. Pray for that!=)
Alright, I'm getting the evil eye from Chris 'cause I stole the laptop from him. He wants to do some surfing himself. It's very expensive to use the internet service here so I don't think we'll post tomorrow but probably before we leave for Kras. We have service for 24 hours so we'll be in touch by email and Skype with our family today. Okay, that's all for now. Thanks for your many prayers!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

It's The Final Countdown!

You know that song? It's been in my head for the past couple of days. But it really is! We are leaving for Russia in 48 hours!
Tomorrow I will do a final cleaning of the house and we will pack the rest of our stuff. We are spending the night at Chris' parents house so they can take us to the airport in the morning. I know this sounds cliche but this is all VERY surreal. I feel like it's a dream that I'm going to wake up from. Will somebody pinch me!=) I'm getting a little anxious, especially with all of the packing concerns but I don't think I'll be giddy with excitement until we are on the plane to Moscow. I am not excited about the Aeroflot flight to Kras though. What a nightmare that will be! Lord help me!
I must admit that I am going to miss our dog terribly! Isn't he cute? He has been our only "baby" for 7 years now and I love him so much. I know Chris' mom is going to take good care of him but a month is a long time to be away from him. Can I ask you to pray for me? Pray for Chris' mom and dad too. Not only will they have our dog but when Bethany and Dave leave to meet us in Kras, they'll have their dog and 3 kids too! Pray for God's blessing and protection on all of them please!
Today was such a blessing at church. Our church family showered us with well wishes, love and prayers. They are all genuinely excited for us to bring our boys home. After all, they've been praying for them and us for the past 2 1/2 years! We even have a pretty big group meeting us at the airport when we get home with the boys. I just can't wait for everyone to meet them! We are actually going to have a Welcome Home party for the boys in April so everyone can meet them and celebrate their homecoming with us. We are so blessed to have such loving and supportive family and friends! All of my bloggy friends are welcome to come as well! It would be a good excuse to come to South Florida and soak up some beautiful sunny weather!;) Thank you all for your prayers, advice, love and support. It really means more than you'll ever know to us. Please keep praying for us while we are over there. Our court date is sometime probably in the morning on the 19th so if you are EST you'll be praying 12 hours back which would be sometime at night for you on the 18th. Does that make sense?
We will do our best to keep you updated on the blog. It all depends on internet service.
One more thing, I've decided not to go private with the blog. I spoke to Chris about it and he plans to post pictures on his blog so there's no reason for this blog to go private then. I got tons of responses from you all wanting to continue reading our story. Thanks so much for your interest and support. If ever we do decide to go private, I've got all of your emails.
Well this is it! Next time you hear from us, we'll be in Moscow awaiting our medicals. Whoopee, I can't wait!;) Pray, pray , pray!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Guess What!

Our visas came today!! It's officially official, we are going to Russia! Sadly, I won't really believe it until I'm on the plane and in the air!;)
I've begun packing. What an ordeal! Trying to pack our bare necessities plus clothes and stuff for 2 children in 2 bags weighing less than 40 lbs each is very challenging. Thankfully my sweet SIL has offered to schlep some of our stuff over for us. I love her!
5 more days until we're outta here!!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Spring Cleaning!

I know I'm a little early but I want my house to be spic and span before we bring the boys home. Chris' mom and sister came over yesterday and helped me. I wish I had thought of taking a before picture because my kitchen is beautifully organized now thanks to my sister-in-love, Bethany! I cleaned the couches and re-stuffed the pillows. Joyce cleaned and vacuumed for us. Thank you so much girls! I finished the living room today by cleaning the floors, even under the couch! Dust bunny heaven!=) Tomorrow I'm cleaning my bedroom top to bottom and the next day I'll be tidying up the boys' room. I'll save the bathrooms for last and give the house a good once-over before we leave. I love coming home to a clean house, don't you?
Last night we went over to Chris' parents house for our weekly family night. Bethany got them special shirts to wear to the airport when we come home. Here they are posing with the shirts and looking very Russian.=)

One week from today we'll be on our way to Moscow!