Saturday, April 11, 2009


Yesterday we left our apartment at 4:30am and headed for the girls' region. It was not a bad drive, especially since I gave the boys Dramamine before we left and they slept most of the way there. ;) Serge drove and Marina and the rest of us pretty much just slept.

As soon as we arrived, Marina went to the social worker's office to get permission for us to meet the girls. We then went to the orphanage, knowing we wouldn't get to stay long as we had a notary appointment at 11am. The goal was to get all of our pre-court paperwork done in one day so it could be back on its way to Kyiv that night with Serge and Marina.

When we got to the orphanage, we ran into Dana in the hallway. She was a little bit shy but very cute and happy to see us. She was on her way to music class, so we went to see Eve first.

Eve was a surpise. While we were prepared for her cleft palate, we were not prepared for the neurological issues that she appeared to have in our very short visit. We played with her in her groupa for a few minutes and then went to see Dana in her music class. We didn't get any pictures of Eve today as we weren't in her room for very long.

Dana's class was preparing some sort of musical program and they were dancing to music played by one of the caretakers (at the piano--she was quite good!). Dana was dancing and running around with the rest of her class. Although her gait is a little off, she is very functional with both walking and running. We got some great pictures and video of her and her class (and no, I won't share them until after court ;) ).We were in there for a few minutes and then headed out to the notary. Even though Eve's issues are more than we were prepared to handle, we feel that we are already committed to her and Dana and that God has chosen us to be their family.

Dana and her bed

After the notary, Marina ran across the street to the social worker to try to get that paperwork moved forward, and then after a few more stops we headed to the hotel to get our rooms. Unfortunately, we had to get two rooms because they would not allow more than 4 people in a room, but this turned out for the best. We got settled in our hotel room, only to be told that we needed to move because they had accidentally given us a room that was already reserved. We moved up two floors and shaved 200 grivna off of our bill in the process. :) Two rooms are costing us 600 grivna per night, and the exchange rate right now is 8 grivna/dollar (so about $75/night for two rooms--not each, total). We got settled in our new rooms and got a call from Serge and Marina that they were outside and wanted to show us to the cafeteria they had mentioned earlier in the day. While we were driving around, they got the call that our last document was done so we went and picked that up and then they dropped us off at the playground. I feel like we have a new goal of playing on every playground in Ukraine. :)

Along with that phone call we got the news that our court date is next Thursday, April 16! :)

We let the boys play at the playground for awhile and then went back to the hotel rooms. We've got a couple of stores right next to the hotel so we're able to pick up groceries easily, and they have precooked meats so it doesn't matter that we don't have a kitchen. We're pigging out on great chocolate, my favorite soda (Schweppes Bitter Lemon which I can't find in the States), and lots of different types of cookies (we just found the cake section today--be prepared for some cake reviews over the next few days)!


Diana said...

Congratulations on meeting your girls, and for moving forward! I know all about those feelings that come when you realize you're in over your head, but this is what God intended and sent you to do. Never, never forget that if he brings it TO you, He will bring you THROUGH it.

Hopefully your hotel stay will be short lived and you'll be able to get into a place with a kitchen. I guarantee it WILL matter in the very near future that you don't have a kitchen. :-) We didn't have one for a month and lived on pre-cooked meats, peanut butter sandwiches, cold cereal, yogurt, and anything else we could stuff in our tiny mini-bar fridge that didn't require cooking. We still ate out once a day though. Even a cafeteria that has a changing menu would have been nice. Pretty much our only option was the pricy hotel restaurant.

Plus, we'll see how you feel about hotel living after the weekend. Ours was so noisy all night long every night with traffic and constructoin and and city noise, and then on the weekends the hotel would host marriages and other special events. The music would blare until 2:00 a.m. and then they'd spend the rest of the night dragging tables and chairs back into their regular restaurant position.

May God bless you on the rest of your journey. I can't believe how fast your court date is! That is wonderful. Even though we accepted our first referral and committed to them the day we met them, we were still in Ukraine for 3 weeks before our court hearing...and 3 more after it.

Sheryl said...

My daughter had a cleft palate at birth. It just effected the top of her mouth, not the gum or lip. It was repaired when she was 14 mo. old. Has Eve's been repaired? or are they not able to do that since she's an orphan. Just curious about how things work there. I have been to an orphanage in Ukr. and saw kids with severe delays lying in bed, with cleft lips unrepaired. If you don't want to comment publicly, you can leave a comment on my page and I will not publish.

April said...

Hi Courtney. Wow, it has been so fun to look at your pictures & read some of your posts. We loved Ukraine & we miss it. We also brought our two sons with us when we adopted our daughter & we had a blast living there for one month & visiting "all of the playgrounds in Ukraine" (they are so great!). Yes, we were in Khmelnitsky in Feb & March of 2008, and we also used Marina and Serge (LOVED them!!). I am so sorry to say that I don't even recognize your girls though. They are beautiful & I wish you congratulations. :) If you would like to look at our adoption blog, I'm not sure if you already have since you left a comment on our other blog... it is found at: princess sophiya at blogspot dot com. We took tons of pictures of the orphanage and Khmelnitsky and if there are any that you would like just let me know & I can email them to you. Do you have any questions? We lived there for a month, so we got to know the place pretty good. :)

April said...

Oops, I mean There you go. :)