Eddik and I are killing time for the next few days while we wait for his passport to come. I figured I’d catch everyone up to date on what is happening.
I left NC on Tuesday, barely missing the snow storm that paralyzed much of the southern east coast. My first flight was cancelled in anticipation for the weather (it was cancelled before any snow was in sight), but thankfully I was able to catch an earlier flight. I left at 9:30am to wait the next 8 hours in the Charlotte airport. I was nervous it would also be cancelled and then I’d have to figure out a way to get back home. Thankfully Lufthansa rarely cancels flights due to weather. I had many people praying it would take off and God answered our prayer! We took off about an hour late as they de-iced the airplane and plowed the runway. Tears ran down my face as it took off. Since most of the people making connecting flights missed the Charlotte/Munich flight, the flight was empty and I was able to lay across two seats the whole way to catch up on my sleep for the 8-hour flight.
When I finally landed in Kiev my 51.5 pound suitcase was the first to come out. I made it through passport control easily. When I walked through the sliding glass doors my translator, Luba, and driver, Roma were waiting for me with wonderful news. Luba had been able to pick up the court decree and Matthew’s new birth certificate without me being there. So we were far ahead of schedule. I was able to come back to the apartment and head straight to bed instead of running around with paperwork.
Thursday, January 30th, was the BIG DAY. We were supposed to meet at 8:30am, which turned into 9:30am due to traffic (we operate on a give or take 20 minute schedule here in Ukraine and sometimes give or take turns into one hour..LOL). We headed to the bank since Matthew had some money in a savings account that we needed to draw out. I’m not sure where the money came from, but I think it was his step dad who was paying a type of “child support” so Eddik would have money when he aged out of the orphanage. In order to draw out the money without Tim there, I had to see a notary to get a copy of the apostile power-of-attorney document to leave with the bank.
Finally, we were ready to head to the orphanage to sign his discharge paperwork. His director was pretty emotional. She told me that she would have loved to adopt him herself, but she was too old. She said he is a special boy that she loves him very much. He is well-liked by everyone in the orphanage, both children and teachers/caregivers. She had a stack of pictures that accumulated over the years he was in the orphanage. Last time when we were in Ukraine for court I’d asked her if I could have some pictures, but I didn’t think I’d get 20 or so photos. I was pretty excited.
The director set up a table for lunch for my driver, translator, Eddik, herself and me. It was delicious fried pastry with shredded pork and onion inside of it, a mayonnaise/egg/potato salad and fresh red grape juice. It tasted so good! Eddik has a hearty appetite. He ate 3 or 4 helpings of food. The director said there is no food he does not like. He will eat anything. That is going to be wonderful especially since our other 4 kids are picky eaters. I had the translator ask Eddik what he would like to eat when we are in the apartment. Eddik said, “Have Mama buy whatever she likes, and I will eat whatever she likes.” I thought that was sweet.
We took some photos with the director and Eddik said good bye to all of his friends. They were all sad to see him leave, but Eddik was super happy and excited. He could not wait to get in the taxi to leave. I felt bad for the director who we left standing there teary-eyed. She gave me her address and we gave her ours so we can keep in touch. I really loved the director. She truly felt like family to me after all the time we spent together since November. It meant so much when she told me she was glad that we were his new family and she loved us all. It was like she gave us her special blessing to be his parents.
We left the orphanage by 1pm and headed to the medical center to see if we could fit Eddik in for his physical. We weren’t sure if they would see him before we had his passport. Thankfully the doctor agreed to see him. Eddik is completely healthy and the doctor cleared him to leave for America. It was cute because when we finished Eddik held out his hand and shook the doctor’s hand and said what would be equivalent in English to “Thank you, Sir.” The doctor looked over at me and chuckled while saying, “He’s a GREAT kid, strong and healthy.” It was such a relief to get the medical clearance. I know a lot of people who were held up with the TB results of the medical clearance. Thankfully he didn’t even have the TB test because they are out of the supplies. Our translator said the country is concerned right now with the Revolution and are not paying attention to “small things” like the TB testing supplies. That works for us!!
We came back to the apartment, changed our clothes and walked to an Italian restaurant for dinner. It sure is COLD out there. The driver told me it was -23 degrees today. It sure felt it. Our faces were beat red by the time we got to the restaurant and back to the apartment. We got changed into pajamas and both of us were ready for bed by 8pm. He got right into bed and fell right to sleep. He slept all the way until 7am today. This boy had a lot of excitement for one day and was tired out!
Today we fixed breakfast together--hard boiled eggs and oatmeal with tea and juice. He cleaned the entire kitchen including the dishes without being told. Since then we have been playing with his suitcase full of toys I brought from the US. We purchased gifts for him for Christmas such as a Nerf gun, Legos, remote control car and matchbox cars. I also brought Katie’s old Nintendo DSi and he enjoys that as well. It is 1:35 this afternoon and he is getting antsy and stir crazy. I am hoping I can keep him busy until at least 4 and then we will head out to eat dinner before it gets too dark.
Our internet went down in the apartment and I had Edik call the owner of the apartment and he came out to fix it. I am so glad to be back up and running now. It’s nice because the owner lives in this building so he is close by if we need anything. We also have a concierge who lets us in and out of the building. She asks Eddik where we are going and how long we will be gone. I feel pretty safe in spite of all that is happening with the Revolution. After dark it gets pretty loud with popping sounding like firecrackers, people shouting into the megaphones and the crowd chanting. It’s far enough away from us that it’s not bothering us too much. We are safe.
We are staying inside most of the time because of unpredictable danger of the Revolution and also because it is so bitterly cold! Eddik woke up this morning with a cough and stuffy nose, so I don’t want him getting any sicker before we leave for the US. I suspect we will be here at least another week waiting for the passport.
Anyway, thank you so much for the prayer. Please pray we get his new Ukrainian social security number on Monday so we can apply for the passport. If all goes well with that new number and with the passport application, we could travel home next weekend. We are so anxious to get home, but for now, we are enjoying each other and bonding wonderfully. He is such a great boy and so full of joy and enthusiasm. He is going to do great in our family. We are truly blessed to have him! God has been good to us!
Tim and the kids have asked that I post pictures, so I’m going to try. I’m not sure it will work because of the slow internet.....