Tuesday, October 1, 2013

First Few Days in Ukraine

I have been updating our trip on facebook but knew some of you would appreciate details.  We met Brandy Torvinen in Atlanta.  She had to come to the US Embassy in Kyiv to file some paperwork so we decided to fly together.  We were all boarded on the plane to Paris when someone smelled smoke and after some investigation, it was decided that we would change planes.  All that resulted in a 3 hour delay.  We only had an hour and half layover in Paris so we obviously missed our connecting flight.

I knew it was a possibility that we would not be able to get a new flight until the following day, causing us to miss our SDA appointment but was still at peace that everything would be OK.  God is certainly in control.  I rejoiced when they were able to put us on a flight the same day, landing in Kyiv at 5:30 pm, as opposed to our original time of 11:30 am.  Our luggage was not so lucky.

Brandy's luggage was available 2 hours before she had to get on a train last night.  Apparently, ours will be available 2 hours before we have to get on a plane tonight to travel to Lugansk to see our 3 kiddos.  We will pick up our referral at 4:00; head out to the airport where our luggage is supposed to arrive at 5:30.  We will pick it up and hopefully be at the other airport by 7:00 for our 8:00 flight.  Whew!

None of that really matters as much as the fact that at 4:00 we will pick up our referral from the SDA.  We had an interesting appointment yesterday.  This is our 4th time to go through this process.  This time was much more casual. No questions were asked of us except "Who do you want to adopt?"  We told her, she pulled their files, phone calls were made and we left.  I absolutely loved the older pics of my children that were in the files.  I initially posted them on facebook just wanting to share their beauty.  But then later took the photos down, after realizing my kids might not feel they were so beautiful, having been taken at such a traumatic time in their lives.

After we left the SDA, we ate pizza across from the SDA; took Brandy to the Embassy; exchanged money; bought Brandy a phone; had dinner with Zhenya and Nazar and had a wonderful evening.  (Zhenya is our son, Vitalik's, brother and Nazar is a friend/translator that we met this summer at Camp Friendship).  Its cold here but not TOO cold and a walking tour of the city was perfect.

We slept in this morning; Sasha will pick us up at 3:00 and our whirlwind of activity will begin.  Sasha Iakubenko has been facilitating our adoptions for 5 years.  He is a true friend.  He moved to Poland this year but was willing to come back to Kyiv to hep us begin our process. Anton Marchenko will finish up the process with us in Lugansk.  Its hard to believe that we first met Anton 5 years ago when we were adopting Roman and he was working as in interpreter for a missionary leading Camp Friendship.  We will land in Lugansk tonight a little after 10:00, where Anton will meet us.  We will spend the night at the Hotel Lugansk and begin our paperwork first thing in the morning.  We have stayed at Hotel Lugansk in the past and, though it is nice, it certainly can't beat our current accommodations.  We have been staying with Kyiv with Dr. Jim and Marianna Peipon who lead Ukraine Medical Outreach.  We have enjoyed getting to spend time with them this trip.

And that, my friends, is how are trip has begun.  Perfectly.

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