Sunday, October 28, 2007

No longer MIA

Hi everyone, sorry to keep you in suspense for the past several days, but I promise it was not intentional. We have been without advanced technology since we left Kyiv on Wednesday after our SDA appointment. Our original plans to stay at Donetsk Christian University were changed as it was the opposite direction of the two orphanages.

A. made arrangements for us to stay in an apartment in Gorlovka. It is a 10-15 minute drive to Artyom's orphanage and 1 + hours to Torez. It is very nice and comfortable and we feel very safe to walk to the Internet cafe and Market (during the day, as there are no street lights here and it is very dark at night) There is no Internet however, in the apartment, so we are now just able to post.

Enough of the boring stuff. I will get to the real news. Our SDA appointmnet went well.
Short and pretty sweet as others before us have reported. All of 10 minutes, if that.
We had learned the Friday before leaving Atlanta that Igor's file was not at the SDA, which indicates he is not registered nor available for adoption. It was very disappointing, but we knew God had the bigger plan, we just were waiting to see it. 

Since we have been approved to adopt 3 children (boys) we decided that maybe God had a third child intended for us all along that only he knew of or maybe we were suppose to just bring home Artyom and

Zhengna. Either way, we were at peace about the changes and continue to pray for clear direction and wisdom. 
A. informed us that we should make a petition at our appointment 
for the third child so that we could meet with him when we saw Artyom as he was also at
 Gorlovka Hope. 
This way we are not losing any time and extending our stay in Ukraine. 
Otherwise, had we just gone to the orphanage and chosen a child while visiting, we would 
have to return to Kyiv (an 11 - hour train ride) and petition again. 
This could add another 
week to our stay. So A. brought us 5 profiles of little guys. 
A few of them had been to the 
U.S. in the past 1-2 years on the hosting programs like Artyom was with us last Christmas. 
I was still too fatigued to make a decision about what child to meet so 
I asked Mark if he would. He chose to meet a boy who is 8 years old and has similar
 physical features as our Nick.  We will meet him next Monday as we have to wait for the 
SDA to fax permission to the Gorlovka Authorities.

We traveled by train on Wednesday evening to Gorlovka. A. had us hit the ground running on Thursday after a quick stop to the apartment to drop off our baggage and shower we headed for Torez to meet Zhengna. Artyom had been at camp at the Crimea, an island off the Black Sea. This is a special state funded camp for orphans and he was there for the past one month. So he just arrived back on Thursday night. We will see him on Friday.

Our visit with Zhengna went well and although we knew he was small for his age, it was very emotional, not only for Mark and I but for the many observers in the room present. We are the first family that has come to adopt a child from this orphanage. Z. responded positively to both Mark and I and smiled and laughed as we played catch and blew bubbles for him.  I am keeping a detailed journal of each days events on our laptop. I will post them when we return to Kyiv, as the cafe will not allow us to hook up our lap top to their connection. I will also post our many photos and videos at that time as well.

Friday was actually the first day I did not have to check with Mark on the day and time we were existing in. I felt well rested and out of the haze I'd been in. We headed to the deputy's office in Gorlovka to get the permission of the local authorities to visit Artyom, just as we had in Torez. This time though the assistant deputy" wished to meet and question us. We were in her office for what seemed to be an hour. Her phone rang every 1 minute for the first 30 minutes, I think. Anyway, she was a woman who meant business, but she was also was warm and smiled often, which is not common in Ukraine (the smiling, that is) . She was obviously concerned for the well being of the children and asked us many questions about our parenting styles, examples of how we discipline our children, what do we "expect" of the children with regards to their behavior. We shared photos of our home and family. She was amazed and smiled big when we showed her photos of a few of our wonderful godchildren and told her we have 6 all together. She is also an animal lover and ooohed and aahed when we showed her the photos of Chloe and her6 puppies. Another step closer, we headed to the Orphanage with another social worker from the office to observe again our interaction with Artyom.

Artyom looked great, although mama thinks he has lost weight. Funny, I say that because apparently at the Crimea the children are fed very well and can have all they want to eat. Helen, the director of Gorlovka hope is an amazing and loving woman. She is Ukrainian and also fluent in English. FYI for the families with coming soon t Gorlovka Hope. Helen tells me that the frying of potatoes in the orphanage is FORBIDDEN by the doctors. So get ready for a trip to McDonalds. No wonder there is not a bunch of chubby kids with bad cholesterol! No wonder Artyom was thrilled when I let him make his favorite dish for us at Christmas last year .... "fried katoshku (potato) chips" and I kid you not, there was a 1/2 pound of butter and 1/2 shaker of salt on those chips!! But , boy were they good!

We  are getting ready to leave the Internet cafe and head to Gorlovka Hope at 1:00.  We will be delivering special gifts today for families coming soon to bring home their children. We wish we could download the photos right away as I know you are longing to see those sweet faces. I will do what I can to find another way, otherwise I will do it for sure when we return to Kyiv. Please continue to cover us in prayer as it is so comforting and definitely helping.


Amanda said...

I'm so happy to hear that Zhenya is well!!!! This child has a hand on his life! It makes me so happy. I hope you are able to figure out a way to post, I was getting very anxious for an update.

I'll be keeping all of you in my prayers,

Amanda Clark

Nataliya said...

Oh, I'm so happy to hear from you! Glad to hear your visits with Artyom and Zhengna went well! I'll keep my fingers crossed for very smooth and fast process so that you can come home with your sons very soon!

Julie said...

Theresa and Mark, It is great to here from you,I did not have time to check over the weekend,I am taking some time while Elijah is sleeping.I had his picture taken on friday they turned out so cute.Ilook forward to seeing your pictures.God bless! Julie

Leslie said...

Hi, guys! We think of you each day and hope things are progressing as quickly as possible. Are you wishing you had packed lighter? We sure are!