Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Flight Information

Here is our flight information for THURSDAY for anyone who would like to come out and meet us:

S ECONOMY                   AIRCRAFT:      AIRBUS INDUSTRIE A319

I am hesitant to say for sure, but I think we actually get to fly home.  The passport is on its way to Kiev and we should get Katya's visa tomorrow at the embassy.  I wonder what bizarre adventures we will encounter between now and when we land!

Please keep us in your prayers, maybe for good flying weather and all our flights to happen on time.

I will look for my shoe pictures.  I didn't get that many good ones because I felt funny photographing people's feet, but I'll post what I have.

The men all wear these very pointy shoes

These are a little weirder than they appear here.

I didn't have the courage to take too many of these.  As I look at them now, they look sort of normal to me.  I suppose they will be in our area before too long if they aren't already.

 Hope to see you very soon!


Monday, July 18, 2011

Still Waiting

OK.  I guess I need my stuff sent over.  I think I'm going to live here.  But seriously, we did not get the passport today.  We were told it would certainly be here tomorrow, but I'm not holding my breath.  We rescheduled our flight for Thursday so we should have enough time to get this finished leisurely.  Our plane is schedled to be in at 7:28 p.m. Thursday evening.  We would love to see all our friends and family if you can come meet us. 

This is really just an update.  We are doing nothing except for existing in limbo.  I am going to try to go to the store for enough meals to get us through.  That will take a half day if we're lucky.  Then I hope we go with Yuri to the airport to pick up the passport.  That will be the other half of the day.  Wednesday we will pack and get the visa (I hope!)  Perhaps I can get some cool pictures to post.

I'm pining for home but still making it.  Your prayers have surely supported me this whole time.  I don't know what I'd do without your support.

See you Thursday!



Waiting today to see if the passport arrives and everything happens in time to travel tomorrow.  I can't help but be cynical, but hope still springs eternal!  We are just hanging out here in Kiev.  We went to the zoo on Saturday and took the metro.  That was fun, in a new experience sort of way.  It is way cooler than the infernal buses in Odessa!  There's not much to add right now since we're just waiting.  We lost internet connection again for over 24 hours.  It seems to be a persistent problem in Ukraine.  I will show you some pictures of the past few days, then let you know when we arrive at home.  OR tell you of some new disaster or hang up.  Which ever comes first!

At the metro.

It's way underground.

Below, in the metro.

Our daily coffee shop.  It's called Coffee House.  The sign says " Espresso Cappucino Bar - Coffee House"

Our little mini-mart.  It sells bread, milk, cheese, fruit, and of course, the two staples here; chocolate and vodka.
At the zoo.  It's a little like the Fort Worth zoo was years ago.  It's a very large zoo and has many animals.  It's a bit unkempt, but more natural.  At least in the people areas.  The animal habitats are pretty medium.  Some animals, like monkeys, are just kept in cages.

"Another picture, Katya?!"

We have 369 pictures that Katya took so it was hard to pick ones to show you.  This guy was so cute though!  I had to include him!

I hope my next blog is short and sweet.  Please keep us in your prayers.  God has been faithful, even in the storm.  I trust in His purposes and know that all of the trials here will be fashioned for His glory.  Amen!


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Back to Kiev!

We finally made it to Kiev!  It is so good to be here.  It is so different than Odessa too.  It almost feels like the U.S..  I must be getting delerious.  Kiev feels so much more upscale, probably because it is the capital city of Ukraine.  Our train ride was very nice.  We were on the same train our friends were on the day before us.  They said it was like being in hell fofr 13 hours, (the length of the ride,) and was around 100 degrees.  Brooke, the wife, was trying to recover from food poisoning so she must have really been suffering.  The next day, however, about an hour before we left for the train station, it began to rain.  When it rains here, it cools off quickly.  We were so fortunate to have a cool wind coming in the train.  We were rocked to sleep and found it difficult to get up in the morning.  It's nice to have an occasional pleasant experience amidst the chaos and stress of the adoption process.

We checked into the nicest apartment we have stayed in yet.  It has a strong wifi signal inside the apartment, plenty of sleeping space, two great air conditioners, a nice balcony and a nice kitchen.  And it is $10 cheaper per night than we expected.

OK.  Now for the bad news.  This morning as I was filling out papers for the embassy, I noticed that Katya's international passport had her date of birth wrong!  That was a shock.  It has to be applied for in Odessa, processed in Kiev, then sent back to Odessa to be stamped and picked up.  This is usually a three to four day process.  We went ahead and went to the embassy to see if there was anything we could do to still make our Tuesday the 19th flight home.  I was leaking tears the whole time.  This was just too much.  They said the passport has to be reissued.  The embassy ladies said they would stay open longer for us on Monday if we can get the new passport off the plane from Odessa by about 2:00 p.m. Monday and rush it over to them.  Then maybe, maybe, we can get the visa issued on Monday.  PLEASE PRAY!!!!!  Another delay will cost us $500 (at least,) and we don't know if we can re-schedule tickets that late.  It could delay us much longer.

So, we came back to the apartment, rested and took a walk around our new neighborhood.  I will add pictures below.

At the train station as we head for Kiev.

Having fun Pee Wee Herman style on the train.

The girls on the upper bunks of the coupe.

Our apartment entrance in Kiev.  I sure don't know how anyone initially finds these apartments.  There is no sign above it or anything.

Beautiful buildings in Kiev.  There are so many here.

I thought this building was very cool so I took a quick picture as we passed by.  I didn't notice the bus until I uploaded the pictures to the computer.  I wish I could tell you about it.  I guess it's just floating there in the air!

In a park near our apartment.  This is a plaster face in a tree.

Hannah playing with the water.  Katya isn't in many pictures because she loves to do the picture taking.


This is a walk we took in Odessa with my friend Michelle (you probably know her by sight by now.)  I forgot about these pictures so I'll put them in here.  This was the day before we left Odessa.  This is a cool looking structure near the sea port.  It reminds me of the building Hercules knocked over accidently in the Disney cartoon.

This is bridge where couples who are to marry visit.  They hang padlocks on the bars to symbolize their devotion and unbreakable bond in marriage (I think.)

There are hundreds, maby even thousands of pad locks.  The couples sometimes have their names engraved on the locks.  There are some locks with smaller locks attached.  These represent the children the couple had.

This is the house with one wall.  An Odessan oddity.

That's all for now.  We have some time to wander this weekend so I'll try to get some more cool pictures.  Please keep praying, and thank you for all your prayers so far.  Without them I think we'd have vanished into a black hole!

Love - Sarah

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Off to Kiev!

Got the passport today and waiting for the 8:00 p.m. train to Kiev.  Will arrive there about 9:30 in the morning.   I will update you as the week passes.

Love to you all!


Thursday, July 7, 2011


Hello!  We finally have Katya with us.  Wednesday we were running all over town all day.  We woke up early, just eating a banana on the way to get Katya, and didn't stop until 5:00 p.m..  Poor Katya didn't eat at all!  After visiting two passport offices a few times each, and going to the notary repeatedly (no one signs anything until it's notarized,) and  the orphanage to meet the social worker, we finally got to sign her out of camp.  Oh, wait!  We took a very brief run to the stable to sit on some horses while someone walked us around with them.  It was a scheduled event with special trainers lined up for us.  We had invited people to go, so we HAD to be there.  Just squeezing it in really added stress to the day.  In the end, we flew by McDonald's, inhaled food, and crashed for the night.

Today was busy too, but different.  After we ate breakfast, we bought Igor a goodbye gift and met him at the movies.  We saw Transformers in Russian.  The first half left me confused, but when I figured out who was bad and who was good, I could keep up.  Then Hannah, Katya and I went back to Katya's old neighbor's house (Tamara.)  We then all walked down the street to another neighbor's house for dinner (Angelina, or Ella.)  Ella's son, Oleg cooked us pork skewers.  It was so good to have grilled meat!  We ate from the gardens of both houses.  We Americans don't hold a candle to Ukranian hospitality.  We took them flowers and a watermelon, but we received so much more.  They shower you with presents.  We came home with cucumbers, raspberries, apples, little plum like thingies, but they're small and green.  (I don't think we have a name for them in America.)  They served us home made wine and champagne.  And if there's any time between eating and activities, they find more food to serve you.  So we ate and ate and ate.  Then we went back to the apartment.

Tomorrow we will have a leisurely day.  I want to buy some more clothes for Katya.  A good friend here will meet us and shop with us.  We will get our bus tickets to Kiev for Monday.  Oh yes!  Mondey we should have Katya's international passport and can leave.  Then things will move quickly (Lord willing!)

I have some more pictures.

Tom and Mary.  More adopting parents.  New friends to us.

Waiting in government offices.  This is actually at the notary. 

Still waiting.

This is how they sweep.  Notice the length of the broom if you can see it.

Short broom and a rake-like broom (in the back.)  Used for leaves.  It's actually a bunch of sticks just tied to the end of a big stick.  It seems to work pretty well.

At the stable.

Hissing at a horse.  A perfect halloween cat.

Only a few more blogs to go I hope.  Until next blog.