After court Bill went home to Virginia and I remained in region for the "ten day wait" before the two days of paper chasing and then finally getting the kids out of the orphanage. I have been adopted into the Murza family during this time. Serge and Natasha Murza from Poltava Christian Church and their precious three children have opened their home to me and my kids for the rest of our stay in the region. The ten day wait did not exist for us as a few days after court I was called and told in three days the orphanage will close for Fall break and the kids will go away to camp. So I was given special permission to get Ira and Rostik out of the Internat for good on October 25th. It was a very busy day - actually everyday is very busy keeping up with two very social teenagers. The drama department performed a play of little RedRiding Hood for the younger children at the end of the school day. Ira (as well as another boy who desperately wants a family) had the lead roles in the performance. Ira did an amazing job in memorizing lines and speaking in this performance. It was about a 30 minute performance and the video has overloaded my IPad. I will share it privately but can't post publicly the other kids from the orphanage without permission. Well after the performance, and sharing of cookies and other chocolate treats with many of the kids Ira and Rostik said goodbye. The hardest part was Ira leaving Julia. This dear sweet girl is Ira's best friend and one of three roommates. All that Ira asked for when we left was to be able to send gifts to Julia from America. Many items we bought for Ira were given to Julia before she left. We will be sending gifts but most of all I would love to send Julia a family. I cannot even write this or speak about Julia without crying for her. Is there anyone who has room in their heart to take in a dear girl who appreciates anything given and would love to have a mama and papa. I will pray that she too would be able to come to America before it is too late for her.
Since the 25th we have been to A going away party at Salvation Church, English Club, two church services and survived two days of paper chasing. Paper chasing is when we travel ALL DAY with our adoption facilitator, Tatyana and our amazing driver Valentino to get court decree, passports process, birth certificates and more. Tatyana was told she could not do it all in a day but she did. This just meant that we do not stop to eat but that is not high on the list when Tatyana works to get the job done. Here are a few offices we went to:
As well as the car we all drove in. Driving here is a nonstop obstacle course as large potholes and vehicles are dodged. I say large but we went through many that were beyond anything I have seen on a road in America. I told Tatyana that a successful adoption is one where no car accidents have occurred. And on day two of paper chasing we had to drive two hours to do some legal work in the area that Ira and Rostik were in 8 years ago. So the three of us survived the trip in the back of the vehicle.
By the way this week is not only paper chasing but people chasing. The kids were arranging meeting up with two friends from their previous orphanage while we were there. Well, despite the busy day they were able meet up with these ladies on a street corner and then spend time at a cafe together. The kids said they ere their godmothers who wanted to give them each a special gift. Once we got to sit down and talk with these ladies (with Tatyana interpreting) I found out they were godmothers appointed at the previous orphanage. The presented them with silver rings with the symbol of the orthodox church where they were Christened. They were very sweet and caring and Ira's godmother gave her a hard facts encouraging talk on what it means for her to be adopted. She was told through tears that this is not only an adoption but a rescue as she would not be able to survive if she was not able to go to America. She spoke bluntly about her attitude to her -hmmm seems like she is getting that talk from many as they say goodbye here. With tears pouring I videoed this heartfelt talk of the two of them. I know I will need it to show to Ira often.
Thank you ladies for coming to meet up with us in our travels and saying good bye to the children. I got hugged and kissed by them and told in Ukrainian, " Good job".
Even Rostik and Ira had to sign papers. I do not know how many times I signed my name over the last two days but everything that had to get done was completed. Way to go Tatyana -you proved to Serge that you could do it for two kids.
Tatyana told me best case scenario we would be able to go to Kiev on Monday so we could go to the Embassy on Tuesday. I told her I would just wait and pray for that Tuesday appt and not post anything til I knew for sure. Well, the official email came this morning that we will be at the US Embassy for our appt at 9am on Tuesday.. So that means the three of us will be taking the three hour train ride to Kiev on Monday. Another step closer.
Just wanted to share one fun picture. Ira Deutsch got to Skype Olya Binkley last night. Olya came home to NC with her family only a few months ago. Her parents, Sam and Michelle have paved the way for us to be here and have such a smooth journey. They have been encouraging us along the way and now their daughter got to tell our daughter what it has been like to be living in America these past couple months. And a special thank you to Holly for the idea and Abby for the instructions on how to take this picture on the IPad. It worked! Thank you Olya for sharing with Ira. I look forward to getting you two together soon.
When I get another rare free moment I will share some more special moments.... Thank you all for your prayers. I am so grateful for all God has done with blessing us with these two teens, and for all who have reached out to us on this journey. Missing home so much and long to see Richmond. Our nightly Skype calls with any family and friends available or not help tremendously. Only problem is the kids do not understand that sometimes Holly has to work and Heidi has to go to class. Very soon, very soon, very soon, we will all be together as family.