Saturday, December 6, 2008


It is Sat. morning. Here's the latest from yesterday.

Friday was a quiet day for us. Our understanding is that there will be more happening on Monday. We are waiting for Sergey's orphanage to complete some paperwork that will be sent back to the SDA in Kiev. Kiev needs to approve the paperwork so that we can get a court date.

Our facilitator wants us to visit Andreyevo and get Valya's paperwork before she sends in the paperwork from Odessa. She is trying to arrange the trip for Monday. I'll call her tomorrow to find out if there are any concrete plans. Andreyevo is just off the main highway from Odessa to Kiev, about 100-150 km. from Odessa. It is not the county seat. The paperwork from the Andreyevo orphanage is processed through another city, somewhat near there. We will be driving there.

Eventually, if we are able to adopt Valya, we will have two different court sessions in two cities to attend.

Meanwhile, yesterday, Mark worked on homework in the morning before the Wildeman's arrived to share lunch with us. We had pizza bread. It is something like french bread, with pizza sauce, meat, and cheese, then cooked in the oven. We had a nice visit and got caught up on all of the latest adoption news. Then we played a game with Scrabble pieces.

At 3:00 we visited Sergey again. On Friday's, they don't have homework, so we stayed until 6:00. We took along 15 bananas to share with Sergey's class. While we were there, the orphanage's social worker, named Dina, summoned us all to her office. We needed to tell her what Sergey's new name would be, including the middle name. Ukrainians do not have middle names. But she knew from working with Americans that he would be getting one. Nancy had already decided what she wanted it to be. I didn't have any say! She talked it over with Sergey on the way down to the office and it was alright with him. I'll hold off telling you his new name until after court. Sergey had to write his new name on four different forms. I asked Dina if I could take a picture but she said nyet.

After we got back home again, Mark worked on homework. We have been here a week and we haven't done any sightseeing yet. We are thinking about doing that tomorrow. There is an opera house here in Odessa. I would like to go to a ballet while we're here. I need to get online and check out the schedule. It's a little hard to make plans, though, since we don't know if or when we'll be spending some time in Andreyevo with Valya.

Here are some pictures from yesterday.

Working on homework. Scanning a history exam to be emailed back to Mark's teacher.

Visiting with Brad and Mari Wildeman. They are adopting 17 y.o. Vera.

Street vendors. We see these fellows, and more like them, every day when we walk to the orphanage. There are many markets. It's a wonder they can stay in business.

A stray dog passes us by with a tire in his mouth. Where did he get it? Where is he going? What's he doing with it? The mysteries of Ukraine.

Mark walks on ahead of us with a pack laden with bananas.

Almost all young women here wear knee-high leather boots. Here, a young mother tending to her baby, and a young lady waiting for a bus in front of the orphanage.

All of the trees at the orphanage are painted white along their bases. I thought it was limited to trees. But here, a decrepit concrete light pole on the orphanage grounds is also painted white. The mysteries of Ukraine.

When we arrived at the orphanage, the kids had just finished cleaning their playroom. Here, Sergey, Grisha, and Karina are laying the rug out again. Karina seemed to take charge. The wall on the far side has awards hanging on it that the kids earned for various things. The one on the top in the black frame is a singing award that Karina had won. The cabinet under the TV has snacks in it. The cabinet in the book case is full of VHS videos that the kids can watch. A pail of soapy water is next to Karina's feet.

The orphanage director's daughter Eva (pronounced Yeva in Russian) stopped by for a visit to their playroom. She was a cutie with a ponytail on top of her head sticking straight up. The kids enjoyed her while she was there. The older boy in the blue shirt was caring for her.

Teaching Sergey's best friend, Marat, to play Dutch Blitz.

Watching the Disney Jungle Book video. There was a Russian voiceover but you could still here the English underneath it. Very weird. There was one person speaking all of the different characters. The kids would come and go constantly out of the playroom. In this picture, the dark hair girl was brushing and straightening the other girl's hair. The boy in the orange shirt is covered with burn scars and has a deformed hand, presumably from burn injuries. One can only wonder about his traumatic past. Was there a fire where his parents were killed? Was he abused? He seems nice and is not as wild as the rest of the boys. The mysteries of Ukraine.

Mama Nancy with her boys. Here they say Mama and Papa for the parents.

Sergey took some pictures.

This is Luba. She sat on the couch with us while we were in their playroom. She is a quiet girl and doesn't interact much with the other kids. She seems nice and does smile. She has only been in the orphanage for a year. One can only wonder what her private pain is. The mysteries of Ukraine.

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