August 8, 2009
Today was mine and Gabe's 22nd wedding anniversary. I think that half of Ukraine will share our anniversary! We saw at least 10 brides today. They were outside of our hotel first thing this morning posing for pictures; they were in the park; they were coming out of churches; speeding down the highway with balloons tied to their cars.
And then when we got to Gabrielle's camp, she had a special surprise awaiting us. She and one of her friends had designed a beautiful tribute to us. It was made with pine cones, flower petals, and berries. It was beautiful. Notice all the detail!
I had told Gabrielle weeks ago that we would be celebrating our anniverary while we were here; I never dreamed she would remember, not just the date, but the number of years we had been married! What a special time to share with her!
We brought salami and bologna sandwiches to share with all the children from Bela that are staying at camp. All our kids, including Gabrielle, enjoyed serving the others.
Afterward we headed to the village of Starribilsk, which we affectionately refer to as Starbucks, to do a little shopping. And I mean little. We found two clothes stores and one shoe store. We made it back to camp with the major purchase of fingernail polish and a blow dryer! But thats OK; the main purpose was just to get away from camp for a little while. We enjoyed the perfect weather, the ice cream, and, of course, the company!
Next was a game of UNO, which one should never leave home without when doing an adoption,and lots of silliness and laughter. We ended the day back in our newly found apartment. It is right in the center of Lugansk, near all the shopping and restaurants.Not that we will have much time for either; at least during the next 7 days as we wait for court. That long drive to "Starbucks" eats up much of the day. Tomorrow we get the honor of seeing two of our Ukrainian friends get married. Ira and Anton were actually officially married today (yet another one) but will have their church wedding tomorrow in a small village on the way to Starribilsk. Love is in the air!