This was on the train so it is a little dark and blurry.
Also on the train. It was fun.
Lucy and Sasha in our room
Kick'in it! He used up the whole battery on the Ipod in that position today. It really was great to relax a little.
This is our media center.
The view of the front door and entry way.
The washing machine (yeah I finally have one again) in the bathroom - Can I just repeat that this shower ROCKS!
The toilet, in case you didn't know. Hanging from the sink is a kind of Boday. Natasha showed me how it works, but I will pass, that you very much!
Our little kitchen.
Our dining room area...quite the space for entertaining don't you think?
The refrigerator. It is pretty big for frig's around here.
Okay, if you thought teenagers ate a lot of food. I took this because it was his second trip through the food line. He was woofing it down tonight.
Here is a very well nourished Sasha!
We passed this on our way home from dinner.
These men were up really high about ready to unroll a banner of some sort.
Lucy and the boys in our entertaining area/bedroom.
This is us playing Monopoly. I always, always without fail, loose at this game.
Sasha was practicing counting in English today.
Kiev is still a beautiful place. The train arrives in Kiev at 5:55 am so at 5:00 am they come by and knock on your door to give you a wake-up call. I sat up, opened the door, said “da”, closed the door and crashed back down on the bed. I always wake up often during the night on the train. It is always a good night though, even if I don’t sleep enough because the train is fun. Plus, riding the train usually means progress.
You know I miss my husband for many, many reasons, but this morning I really missed him as I had to lug that very heavy suitcase, with a backpack and shoulder bag up and down many flights of stairs.
We met up with our ride and headed to our apartment. The apartment is the best apartment I have been in so far. I mean on a scale of bad to best…it is the bestest! After 30+ days I actually had a shower with real water pressure….it was AMAZING! The apartment is very updated and comfortable. There is a couch in the family room that lays flat to make a bed. The boys will share that bed and Lucy and I will share the bed in the bedroom.
They picked the boys and I up at 9:30ish to head to the US Embassy. Honestly, there is not a single thing fancy about the embassy. There was a very long line outside. Now, that is a Ukrainian line which means there was a crowd of people that did not resemble a line at all outside. Because I am a US Citizen, I was taken right to the door and allowed in. We first checked in at a security check. Now, Natasha warned me to leave all electronic devices in the car…so I left my phone. Well, remember, I was extremely tired and not thinking very clearly, so as I got through the security check, this is what I missed in my purse: a camera, portable air card for the computer, nail file and a pair of scissors! A pair of scissors!!!! Can you believe I could be that stupid! Anyhow, I basically emptied the contents of my purse onto the table and into a little bin for them to store. We were directed through an outdoor foyer area and into another building and onto the adoption department. The room was small with two windows, each with a slot for sliding documents under the window, and several chairs lined the edges of the room for waiting. There were just a few people in seats and there was a woman at each window being helped by a man at each window. Almost everyone in that room spoke English…nice! When it was our turn, the man reviewed our documents, pulled out a checklist and checked items off for each boy. He gave me a paper which showed how much money I owed and directed me to window 9 to pay. I might add that after the trip to the Embassy I no longer have to wear a money belt. That is good and bad. It is good because my middle doesn’t need to look any bigger and bad because it means I don’t have enough cash to need to hide it. I did and returned to the man with the receipts as instructed. Because Vitaliy is 14 he had to have his fingerprints taken. We were out of there probably within 30 minutes.
Next, we were onto the medical exams. Here is the scene. We walked into another slightly decrepit building and into a corridor filled with people and crying babies…right out of a movie, huh!?! We had Elaina (don’t know the spelling) with us. I can’t really talk to her much because she knows very little English, but if you what someone to push her way to the front and get you in, she is definitely the one to do that. We still had to wait at least an hour, but we did get in. The doctor gave a quick scout-like exam to each boy and asked them some questions and that was it. We will be able to pick up the sealed envelopes for the Embassy tomorrow and then head to the Embassy to pick up the Visa’s. At that point, we are 100% DONE!
There was a bit of drama and on my part, trauma, working through getting our flights but hopefully by tomorrow morning that will be done also. If all works out, we will be flying home on Friday and arriving in Salt Lake City at 2:10 pm in the international terminal. I will make sure to post the finals on that project. There was nothing available for us on Thursday.
We spent the rest of the day hanging out at home. We did go out to get a bite for dinner but then headed back and played Monopoly. We are all ready to crash a little early tonight. Vitaliy’s brother and sister come first thing in the morning tomorrow. Lucy is going to visit a friend at the train station tomorrow morning and will pick them up and get them here. So, we should be able to sleep in long enough to be ready by 8:00 am. We are looking forward to their visit.
As always, I love you all so much and I am VERY excited to come home. Please continue to pray all the way to the end for me as I know I still need your prayers. Love to all and goodnight!!!