Day 3 (written yesterday)
Day 3 was filled with absolutely craziness. We went back at 4 pm to the SDA to pick up our referral and we waited, waited, waited, and waited. Surprisingly, there were many families there waiting. In the middle of waiting, Olga thought she and I should “run” to get train tickets and exchange money. Well, in America, when we say run, we mean “go”. Well, Olga meant “run”. Remember now that I am dressed, including shoes, for the SDA appointment, which is not my normal attire. I had on a nice suit and some nice, NEW black dress shoes with a small heel. Well, about 5 minutes into our run, I could feel the blisters on my feet coming on. I had no choice but to have a Tennessee Redneck Moment. Everyone knows how important shoes are to the Ukra*nians; if you don’t-it is the mainstay of their dress. Everyone wears heels. Not just your Sunday church heels, but HEELS! 5 inch stilettos were everywhere. Anyhoo….I had no choice but to take my shoes off and run barefoot through downtown Kiev to purchase train tickets and exchange money. I thought Olga was going to pass out. I assured her that it was ok and that I would prefer to walk barefooted than in those shoes. The result of the 5 minute run-7 blisters! My feet look like I have walked through broken glass.
Anyway, getting the referral for Anton was uneventful. We sat in a little hallway on the infamous brown couch and waited our turn. We were third in line and we showed our passports and signed our name and then we were out the door. After that, we walked about a mile and finally got real food. Now remember, we have been in Kiev for over 36 hours and have only eaten what I brought as snacks up until this point. We ate a place called the “Potato Bar”. It was pretty good. But, at this point, we were not picky. We ate bbq ribs and a potato with butter, cheese, and mushrooms. We bought extra bottles of water there for our train trip. After eating, we went back to the apartment, packed up and were taken to the train station. THE TRAIN STATION WAS FREAKY!!!
We boarded the train at 820pm and did not arrive to our destination until 115pm the next day! For all of you counting, yes that is 17 hours in a 4 X 6 compartment surrounded by several older, scary, big, Russian men. We only left the compartment once and that was to use the bathroom. That is a whole post in itself. After 17 hours of boredom and feeling like we were sitting in a washing machine, I decided I would take a bath and get cleaned up for our arrival to meet our translator. I bathed with diaper wipes, poured our last part of water over my fro to comb my hair, brushed my teeth, and reapplied deo and a little make up. Well, I am glad I did that. Sean did not. He thought we would get picked up, taken to our new apartment and then he would shower, etc. Well, we literally hit the ground running. We went straight to the Inspectors office with our translator, Angelina. Angelina, by the way, is absolutely beautiful! She took us to this room and we were interviewed by the Inspector. They asked why we wanted a child with DS, what our other children thought of it, how many cars we had, and what kind of resources we had for them. I am so glad I got cleaned up before all of this! We had no idea that this would be happening. The Inspector told me to turn around. I was confused at first. I turned around and there were about 10 pictures hanging on the wall behind me and there was Anton when he was about 18 months old looking back at me. We answered the questions satisfactorily and then Angelina said, “Let us go to see the babies.” I said, “Ok…Let us go!” The inspector rode with us and we arrived at the orphanage a few minutes later.
I almost cried when we pulled up to the orphanage. Now remember, I have only had one meal, half a bottle of water, and a couple of pieces of gum in the last 36 hours. I was car sick, hot, hungry, thirsty, dizzy, and nauseated. The “playground” brought tears to my eyes. I will post pictures and more about that later. We got out at the orphanage and met with the Orphanage Director. She was a very nice, older lady. She told me some basic information and then she told us to follow her. We were just following the Inspector, the director, and Angelina. We thought we were going to another room to finish the interview. We walked through the door and there was Anton and David with two caregivers holding them up on a small couch. They were sooooo cute, but soooo sleepy! They had waked them from their nap to come meet us. Anton was so cute and friendly. He immediately came and sat in my lap and grabbed a hold of me and would not let go. He smiled and smiled and smiled. He giggled and was elated that we were there for him. I played with him while Sean was trying to talk to David. David was so sleepy that he could barely keep his eyes open. The information that we had received about David being able to walk and talk was WRONG. He is tiny! I bet he only wears like a 9-12 months clothes and he can barely hold his little head up. He was like a little rag doll. I wanted to get him from the caregiver, but Anton was firmly planted in my lap and wasn’t having any part of leaving it anytime soon. After several attempts from Sean to take David from the caregiver, I put my hands out to the side and took him while I still had Anton. He is so little! He just melted right into me. He held on to me, too. They have never seen a man before and they were a little intimidated by this huge bearded man. They just looked and looked at him. Finally, Anton, with the insistence of the caregivers, got in the floor and played ball with Sean. He stacked blocks correctly and did everything the caregivers asked of him. David, on the other hand, lay very still in my lap and just wanted to go back to sleep. Our visit was brief-only about 15 minutes and then we were off again. We went back to the inspectors office and then to the train station. We were unable to purchase tickets back to Kiev, so we are going to stay in Sevestopol (sp) for tonight and possibly tomorrow night. We did get to eat again!!!! We went to a pizza place on the Black Sea. We ordered a large pizza, juice, diet coke, chicken salad, and fruit. The chicken salad was awesome or I was starving to death one. It was chicken, cheese, fresh pineapples, and some kind of either sweet mayo or dressing sauce. Very, Very Good! We brought the rest of the pizza and fruit to the apartment with us for supper. We have a nice little apartment, $50 a night, with a/c and they said we have internet connection, but I can’t get it to work. That is why I am writing this and saving it on a word document and I will post it when I get internet. Anyway, we are again exhausted and needing to rest. The driver is picking us up at 830 in the morning to go back to the baby house to see the cutest boys in the world. I will post pictures soon!