Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Backpost #3

Waking up late meant I didn’t have as much time to be nervous before our appointment. We headed out, walked down an enormous(!) hill to a bank for K, grabbed lunch (I couldn’t eat much but had delicious cottage cheese crepes and a prune roll and Mark had cabbage rolls and a poppy seed roll) and then went to our appointment. Along the way we stopped at an internet café but it was full, so we waited in a coffee shop until it was close enough to our appointment time (it was cold and drizzly outside). When we got to the SDA, we waited outside the gate for about 20 minutes before we were let into the building. When we went inside, Kostya was not allowed into our appointment. He told us to take our time and “make sure she is translating everything correctly”—I think he was nervous too. :)

Our appointment was interesting. We had requested two siblings under the age of 4. We were first asked what type of child we were looking for, and if we had ever been to Ukraine before. We were then told it is very difficult to find two siblings under the age of 4, and offered a referral of an 8 and 4 yo, which we stated was outside of our age range. We asked for any other files, and were offered 5 yo twin boys, one with Hep C, which we also turned down. We were then offered two boys, 4 and 5 yo, with developmental delays. We kept this one for consideration and continued to ask for more files. We were then offered a referral for two boys, 6 and 2 yo, which we stated was outside of our age range. We asked about special needs, specifically physical abnormalities or deafness, and were told it would be very difficult to find a young deaf child. We were offered a referral for a 5 yo girl without any ears with a hearing impairment and other neurological issues, which we turned down. We continued to ask for more files and were repeatedly told there were none. We also continued to ask questions about the 4 and 5 yo brothers—what exactly are their delays, etc. The psychologist stated that they are walking and talking and dressing themselves, but have attention and memory problems. We asked what region they are in and were told Donetsk. At that we both started laughing and the psychologist and out interpreter both looked at us like we were crazy and asked why we were laughing. We explained that our interpreter is from Donetsk. We were told our best option was to visit these boys and if they do not work out they will offer us a second appointment, but it may not be for a few months. We decided to go visit Dima and Zhenya (the 4 and 5 yo boys). After we had accepted the referral, the psychologist told us that that orphanage director is “mean” and does not like for parents to adopt her children—that she makes up bad medical information to put into the files. We left our appointment but the SDA staff needed to give the information to K, so we called him. He was making copies of our dossier and said he’d be back within 10 minutes. When he returned, he went inside and we waited outside in the drizzle and talked things over. Overall, we felt good about the referral, and truly felt that we had asked as much as we could for different files to make sure these were the kids God wanted us to go see. We were told to come back tomorrow between 5 and 6 pm for the paperwork to go visit the kids.
After the appointment, we tried to visit the internet café again but it was still full, so we stopped and got a dial-up internet card and bought a phone card for K. We reimbursed him for his train ticket to Kyiv as well. We stopped at the ticket place to get train tickets to Donetsk, but both trains tomorrow night are sold out. After 9pm, any tickets that have been reserved but not paid for will be released, so Mark and K will be going to the office again tomorrow to try to get tickets. We made it back to the apartment and I worked for an hour before we went out for dinner. After dinner and dessert, we went boot shopping for me as I had blown out the side and heel of my snow boots and was reduced to wearing tennis shoes. Comfy, but very conspicuous. I found a pair of boots that I think will work well and that were within our price range. We’ll see how well they work tomorrow. After shoe shopping it was back to the apartment where K tried to set up the dial-up internet, but my computer refused to cooperate. So as of yet, no one even knows we made it safely to Kyiv, although they have our cell phone number and could call if they were really worried. :)

So how do I feel about our referral? I’m not sure. I’m not anxious about it, but we did find out tonight that it is a special needs orphanage, and that is concerning. We are willing to accept special needs, but physical more than neurological. There are a lot of issues that they could have that would be too much to handle. However, we’ve also been told to take the SDA file information with a grain of salt, as it is often very inaccurate. There is nothing we can do but wait until we see the boys, and trust God to let us know if these are the children for us.

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