Monday, December 1, 2008

We Are in Odessa

We flew down to Odessa from Kiev Sat. evening. We had to be out of our apartment by noon, so we had a couple hours of waiting at the Kiev airport. The terminal is surprisingly small for being the nation's capital.

The Kiev airport is east of Kiev a long way, maybe at least 20 miles. it took forever because the traffic was bumper to bumper until we got out of the city. Ukraine is interesting. There were 3 lanes painted on the freeway but 4 lanes of traffic. The highway to the airport is lined with birch forest. It is very pretty.

We are staying with American friends in their apartmemt in Odessa. To respect their privacy, we won't be giving detail about them in this blog. But we are extremely grateful for their hospitality.

Sunday, we slept in, and pretty much stayed in for the day. Mark worked on school work, and I worked on my job work. I am set up to work remotely when I can.

Odessa is warmer than Kiev. It seems like summer compared to there.

Last night we went to an English church service in someone's home. There were other adopting families there that you may recognize: The Push's and their new children Maria and Vitaly, the Wildeman's and their new daughter Vera, and Pam Greer and her new son Justin. They are all staying in the same hotel. As we were going to meet them, we ran into Jim and Melissa Vanderburg and their son, who were checking out and returning back to Belgorod.

Today, the Wildeman's and us start our adoption process in-region. We are using the same facilitator here, Alyona, one of Oleg's team. So: It'll be a race to see who finishes first! We get the head start as we are getting picked up at 9:00 and them not until 10:30. Mark will stay back at the apartment. There is no point of him tagging along while we do meetings and paperwork.

The first order of business is to get a Power of Attorney for our facilitator here. Then it's off to do I don't know what. I believe we meet with the Inspector to get permission to visit the orphanages. At some point we will need to either formally accept or reject our referrals in writing. I don't know if that happens today.

We should be able to see Sergey today sometime 2:00 or later.

We may find out more about Valya and her siblings today. It is the Inspector who decides if the siblings csn be split up. We don't want to break up a family. But if the siblings don't know each other then maybe that is OK.

I have lots of pictures with no time this morning. I have a big post about life in our apartment in Kiev that may interest you. I'll post more as soon as I can. Many of you have told us in private emails that you are following along closely. We are glad to share our experience with you. Like you, we experienced Ukraine vicariously through the blogs of many others (just look at all of the links we have over on the left!). Now that we are here it is our turn to do that for you.

Hope all is well with you.

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