Thursday, December 04, 2008

SDA appt--one year ago

(Tuesday) Our apartment was located not far from the SDA, but our appointment wasn't until the afternoon. If I remember correctly, this was the day that Kostya walked us all over Kyiv on errands. It was great exercise and a great way to take our minds off of the upcoming appointment. I was so nervous about the appointment that I had basically only eaten one meal a day since leaving the US. Between that and the exercise some of my pants were becoming loose pretty quickly! LOL

Our appointment was in the afternoon. We showed up about 10 minutes early and the outside gate (on the side of the building) was locked. We waited...and waited...and waited--and it was cold! There was another couple and their facilitator waiting as well. Finally a woman came and unlocked the gate and we all filed into the stairwell. A woman came to the top of the stairs and called our names, and all 3 of us headed up the stairs only to have Kostya stopped. After a discussion in Russian, Kostya turned to us and said that the SDA had changed the rules again and he would not be allowed into our appointment with us--that this woman would be our translator. And he said "...make sure she translates everything correctly." ROFL!! When we asked K about it later, he said he meant make sure that she fully answered all of our questions and that we understood everything she was translating, but the way it came out was really funny.

We went up the stairs and went into a door on the right side of the hallway. We passed through a small office with a couch and table in one corner and a desk in the other corner, and went through a door on the right into another office. One end of the very small room was filled with a large desk (maybe it just seemed large because the room was small!) and a filing cabinet, and right in front of the desk was a short round table and two couches and a chair. There was a beautiful, tall, thin woman with long brown hair sitting behind the desk. She had a kind face and smiled when we came in. Our translator sat down in the chair and we were asked to sit down on the couches. I don't remember much about the interview. I think the psychologist asked us to tell her about ourselves which we did briefly. Then she explained that there are very few healthy children available for adoption, etc. Then, without showing us any files, she described sibling sets she had available for adoption. The files were on her desk, and she looked through them, but she didn't hand them to us until we expressed interest in one. All told, we only actually saw two files--one for a set of brothers (4 and 5 yo) with a LOT of medical issues and one for a brother/sister sibling set (2 and 8 yo).

The 4 and 5 yo definitely fit our profile the best, but there were really a LOT of medical issues there, and we were particularly concerned about the oldest. We asked repeatedly to see more files and were told again and again "there are no more." We asked about children with hearing loss, and the psychologist said she had one little girl with no ears (Tami?? Is she yours??) but we were set on siblings. So we looked at the file of the 4 and 5yo again. Stalling for time and trying desperately to figure out what to do, I asked the psychologist where the boys were located.

"Donetsk region."

That sealed it--as Mark and I both started laughing. I hope the SDA workers didn't think they were sending crazy people off to see children. :) Our facilitator was from Donetsk, and we had joked early on about how it would be a great Christmas present for him if we could find some children in Donetsk. When the psychologist said the boys were in Donetsk, we knew we had to go see them, even if they didn't turn out to be the right children for us. After we had accepted the referral, the psychologist smiled at us and told us that the orphanage director for the boys was very mean. She said she just wanted to warn us--that the director was very anti-adoption and put lots of really bad, incorrect medical information into her children's files so that they wouldn't be adopted.

We left the appointment and I was feeling excited but discouraged. The boys really had a LOT of medical issues listed on their files and I just wasn't sure we could handle two with this amount of special needs--and we weren't even sure what needs they really had.

We waited outside while Kostya went in to get all of the contact information he needed for the boys' orphanage to be able to go visit them. When Kostya came out, he had additional information for us. The SDA did not believe the boys' medical information was correct. Apparently, not too long before our appointment, the social worker for the boys' region had called the SDA and asked why no families were visiting the boys as they had been available for international adoption since March(!). The SDA explained to her that due to the extreme nature of the boys' medical information that they did not feel that anyone would want to adopt the boys. The social worker stated the boys were in good health--she had seen them and worked with them and that their medical records were incorrect. So the SDA had decided to start showing their file to adoptive parents.

We were the first family to ever see their profile.

While we had hoped to be able to get our referral papers that day, since our appointment was in the afternoon they wouldn't be ready until the next day. We spent the rest of the day (well, Kostya did!) tracking down train tickets to Slaviansk (Donetsk region) on the overnight train for Wednesday night. We also tried repeatedly to post on the blog, but the internet cafe we were using wouldn't allow me to use blogger so we sent a few emails and called it a day.


Debbie said...

I praise God that He led you to your boys despite the medical information in their files--and you were the first ones to see their profile. Wow. God is good!

Tami said...

I think she is the same girl. Maddie doesn't have any ears...was three years old and lived in Odessa. I'm betting she is the same one you were told about. BTW - THANK YOU VERY MUCH for not accepting her referral. I'm pretty partial to my little girl! :)
I love how God worked all of this out for both of us. Although for the life of me I can't figure out why we weren't shown Maddie's file at our first appointment (which was the day after yours). In the end we never did see her file. I want to get in touch with Lev and see if he can get us the picture from her file.