I have to say again, last night’s train ride was really fun. As long as the train was moving it was easy to sleep. The movement of train seemed very soothing. We arrived at 6:42 am in city that starts with Z. We made it off the train quickly and easily and our facilitators and drivers were right there to greet us. Hubby and I were introduced to our facilitator who directed us to the parking lot and to our car. We managed to squeeze our luggage and ourselves into a little econo-box. We were supposed to be able to get to our apartment at 7 am but found out it wasn’t going to be ready till 8am. We stopped at McDonalds for breakfast and ran into another one of our friends with the two children there. After breakfast we headed to our apartment. Once inside, the apartment is nice but honestly the outside looks and feels like the slums of New York. We are happy here, though. We had maybe thirty minutes to shower and get dressed and run downstairs. On the way to the orphanage we had to stop at the inspector’s office to pick her up.
There was a huge difference to Z town compared to the city of Kiev. People were not dressed to the hilt, they did not drive expensive cars and for the most part, they had more worn out looks to them and their expressions. It is a very poverty stricken looking community. There are little houses on the way to the orphanage that are barely holding together. There were many stray dogs running around and several people walking. Not nearly as many cars as in Kiev and the cars were definitely not high end like in Kiev. The people we saw looked more like the kind of people you would imagine seeing in this area. It definitely gave you the feel of a depressed community. Still, the people were very nice and friendly.
I recognized the orphanage from pictures I had seen on the internet as we drove up to it. It was exciting to walk up to it. I couldn’t believe after all this time that we were going to be able to see the boys again. We walked in and headed for the director’s office. I recognized some of the kids that we passed by and others that we saw on the wall in pictures. The director welcomed us warmly. She is a busy woman, but very nice. She asked us a couple of questions about where we live and then I could see her look startled and I knew that our facilitator just told her how many biological children we have. She told us that we have good hearts and kind eyes.
I didn’t expect it but our oldest boy walked in the room. I turned and saw him reach for Hubby and give him a hug and he had a great smile on his face. He gave me the strongest hug and it was amazing, a moment to cherish forever. He looked so happy and I know we were. He sat down and the director asked him questions and told him that this was his decision to make. She spoke with him matter-of-factly so he could make a good decision. His decision was already made though. He just wanted to sign that letter. Then very unexpectedly, our younger boy was brought in and I will never for the rest of my life forget that scene! He was so very, very happy. I will never forget it! He reached for Hubby’s hands and just touched them like, “you are really here! You are really here!”. He gave each of us unforgettable hugs. I can’t really even describe to you how wonderful it felt to be with them again. We had been told that the younger one had been asked by four families if he wanted to be adopted and said no to them all. But to us, it was “Da, da, da” over and over. (which, of course, means, yes, yes, yes). He was obviously so happy to see us, they both were.
After a while they were told to go back to class and we had to run to the notary, inspector, notary again and several other places. I really just stopped asking and let her do her thing. We sat in the car for a long time and finally took short naps in the car. We all went back to the orphanage and were able to spend the rest of the afternoon until almost six with the boys and the other families in our group. Occasionally, other children would come in and many of them we recognized from hosting. We didn’t have a translator with us, but it didn’t matter. The younger one sat on Hubby’s lap and played with the ipod for a while and the older boy and I worked on communicating with each other. Tomorrow we will bring some of the donated items to them and each day we come we will continue to bring them all those things. They will all love it. Another great day! Please continue to pray for us because not everything is smoothed out but things are looking promising. We love you all and miss you all!