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International Adoption Stories

Ukrianian Adoption Journal (pg.12)

We went to the zoo and back on a Trollybus (our new fave mode of transportation). It started to rain so we called it a day.

Got back to the apartment and not a drop here, so mom and Dima are back to the park. Tanya and I will cook dinner. Spaghetti, sauce (it was VERY hard to find any sauce-finally spied a small jar of Barilla mushroom and 3 cheese), and large hotdog like sausages. Plus a nice tomato salad and some garlic bread--- scratch that-just bread-I thought there was some garlic here but nope-

The saga of the soft boiled eggs has a happy ending. Never thought to look in the oven for more pots and pans. We DO have a frying pan! Fried Eggs tomorrow morning. Yea!

April 26, 2004 7:45pm

Kind of a frustrating day today-Looks like it may take one more day than we hoped. There was a conference of all the vital statistics people from all over the Kyiv Region. That caused a delay in getting the birth certificates legalized, which made us too late to get them apostilled today. They won't be ready until 4 tomorrow (but Max thinks he MAY be able to get them sooner).

We pick up their new passports tomorrow morning at 10. Embassy appointment is at 10:30. Plane leaves at 3:05. Plus we need to get a trip to the doctor in there too. I say there is no way it can happen. Max said not to change the tickets until tomorrow at noon in case he can pull it off.


Everyone ate breakfast---as a matter of fact Dima ate 3 breakfasts.

Breakfast 1: A hard boiled egg and juice.
Breakfast 2: Corn Flakes and milk.
Breakfast 3: Sausage, kefir and bread and juice.

He is very skinny-he did not like the orphanage food-he LOVES sausage.


Max and I were out early to hurry up and wait for a break in the conference to get the needed stamps. Mary and the kids waited at the apartment. We should have had them at 9 and to the Apostille guy by 10. We got them a little after 11. Argh. Back to the apartment to pick up the rest of the crew and head to the notary. (Notaries are a big deal here-more like lawyers than US notaries)

WOW-so much for a quiet evening-there was just a fireworks display outside of the window-- Right outside of the window--- A professional one--- really cool.. Not sure of the reason, but that was neato!

Okay where was I? Oh the notary. We waited and waited in the cab for Max.. Problem Our usual place had a computer failure. They lost everything. The other neighborhood notaries wanted our Ukrainian Social Security Numbers-a problem since we don’t have those numbers… We’ll give them a little while to get it fixed. We all go wandering around the neighborhood. Find the Ukrainian equivalent of Best Buy. As opposed to everything else here that is super cheap, stuff there is VERY expensive. MP3/CD Players for over 100USD (I just paid $18 for one at Best Buy before the trip). On the way back to the notary we stop off at a bread kiosk and I spot my favorite, "Hot Dogs baked inside of bread"! We buy 4 of them for a grand total of about 80 cents. Back to the notary-NO LUCK. Their computers are dead (maybe some of that "special edition" Microsoft software?? We find another notary that does adoption stuff and about 30 minutes we are finished.

Max is off to "motivate" the passport guys to get moving. We head to our cafeteria for the first time with the kids.. It is PACKED. I take Dima and find a table. The girls hunt for good looking grub--- and boy do they find it. A couple of cabbage, cucumber and corn (strange but good) salads. borshch, cabbage rolls, baked chicken with cheese, potato varenky and some really good cheese blintz sort of thing (last 2 items smothered in sour cream (I could really like living here)).


Back to the apartment--- for movies on the computer ("special edition" 5 dollar Russian language Jungle Book 2 and Cheaper by the Dozen from a street vendor)

Everyone is ready for hot baths (it's a cold rainy Kyiv day).

Dinner is whatever is left in the fridge (Ham and Cheese omelets, Sausage, bread, and tomato.)

Dima is a little eating machine-As I mentioned, he loves sausage ( it's kind of like salami but better).

I head back to the store for more food for tomorrow (maybe if we stock up we will leave tomorrow).

Back to the apartment and chocolate éclairs for all.. A free fireworks show and now the kids are off to bed-and so are we-Here’s hoping for a more productive day tomorrow.


April 27, 2004 7:30am

Gooooooooooooooooood Morning Kyyyiiiiiiv


Bright Sunshine-It's going to be a nice day-Hopefully a productive one too!

Big Breakfast for all-

Before I continue a quick note about yesterday. It was the 18th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster. The root cause of Tanya and Dimas road to the orphanage. A huge memorial for all the kids who suffered because of the disaster was held on the main square. There is still a large section of Ukraine and Belarus that is not habitable. Many here think that the accident, and it’s cover-up, (so that May Day festivities would not be hampered) was one of the primary reasons for the breakup of the Soviet Union. When driving just a few miles from the reactor, our driver commented that they should build these plants in out of the way places--- The faulty Russian designed reactor and a bad decision to conduct a risky test did the reactor in. The impact on health, most feel, could have been greatly minimized if the area was evacuated immediately as was called for in the plans, rather than wait days -and in some cases weeks to get people out of the contaminated area.

Dima and mom just returned from trash duty. When we got the trash ready to go out Dima was asking "moshna" (Ukrainian for "may I do it"). Hope that enthusiasm does not go away!

Tanya went out to call her friends-"big" Natasha says "hi" to everyone.

Max will meet us here at 9:30. Pick up passports at 10. Then to the Doctor, the Embassy and Home (?)


Hey Julie-you will be happy to know that yes, Dima LOVES "Machina" Hotwheels, anything to do with cars-so you will have someone to play with.

Hopefully our next post will be from Paris-Adieux!


April 27, 2004 2:11pm

We are NOT at the airport :-(. Everything is done except the US Embassy. We have an appointment there tomorrow morning at 10-- sooooooo One more night here. It was pretty scary-- they told Max the earliest they could get us in was May 4th--AHHHHHHHHH. He was able to beg his way into an appointment tomorrow) Tickets are changed. We have all the same flights just a day later-- So we'll be in Cincy Thursday from about 3-6pm (we actually arrive at 1:20 but want to allow plenty of time for immigration--wanna meet for food?) . Arrive in las vegas at 9:47pm. If anything goes wrong tomorrow we are going to end up stuck here for an extra week-so keep us in your prayers!

April 27, 2004 8pm


So, have we said we’re ready to go home lately?

Well, we are.

It's The US Embassy tomorrow at 10am- they are doing us a favor by squeezing us in. Hopefully they will do us another favor by processing paperwork and getting it out a little early for us as well. Usually paperwork is ready for pickup by 3. Our flight is at 3:05. We can probably make it to the plane if we are at the airport by 1:45. ("pretty please nice American Embassy person" we have an extra bedroom if you need a place to stay in Vegas, and a very nice Las Vegas T-Shirt (from the World's Largest Gift Shop on the Strip) as a lovely parting gift.).

My guess, one more night here. ( I don't want to say that too loudly, Mary is not happy about it AT ALL).

And then there's the dreaded--"if anything is wrong with the paperwork the next appointment is May 4th" scenario. If that is the case, you will find us lounging for the weekend at a Black Sea Resort--- Yalta sounds nice--- good enough for Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin it’s good enough for us. And we can stay like kings (or dead former foreign leaders) for the price of a Motel 6. Hey that almost sounds like fun (except that my vacation time has run out and I am now officially on “family leave” so there are no paychecks coming to the Stolz family—hey did you happen to see that you can make a donation through pay-pal J)). So I shall capitalize (and bold) the "ALMOST".

The upside is a one day delay will give us time to get the French transit visa. That is the only upside I can come up with, and after thinking about it--we'll be in the airport in France from about 6pm until boarding time at 9am. Dinner, a movie, breakfast and that only leaves about 9 hours of time to fill (hopefully with sleep). If we DO get the transit visas… we have to clear customs and immigration. Get to a hotel (probably get to sleep by 10 or 11). Then up by 5 to get back to the airport, through security, passport control and to the gate. (a lot of hassles). Either way it works out, it will be a challenging time—Kinda wish we would have flown KLM/Northwest (though I’ll end up with a free international ticket and Mary with a domestic ticket after all the miles on Delta at the top fare class).

We are all in a funk today--especially Tanya. She is ready to go to her new American home--- Have I said lately that we are all ready to go home. We couldn’t imagine all the people who talked about the only thing that mattered at the end of their trip was getting out of here (Ukraine). It seems like such a nice place!! Now, we know EXACTLY what they were taking about. WAH! (Kelly, you were right!)

The kids are in bed--The hot water is running especially brown today, so we’re not sure a bath is in order. (hey did I mention that I think I have ring-worm--- Does spoiled chicken cause that? How do you say Lotramin in Ukrainian?). WAH

Hey here's something fun. We were teaching the kids American Sign Language as a way to reinforce some English. Well, the sign for the letter "t" and the sign for "toilet" (a waving "t") is a particularly bad gesture in Ukraine. (we knew that and have been very careful not to "sign" the need to go to the potty). Mom showed Dima the sign and he busted out in laughter--- He ran to get Tanya and show her what "mama had taught him". We explained that that sign needed to be reserved until we reach American airspace. Max thought it was a “swell” thing to teach them and is hopeful that the kids will show off their new American gesture for the Director of the NAC when we go back to say "bye bye" --N---O---T !!

Heeheehee

BTW--- have we said that we are ready to go home lately? (more...)

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