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Ukrianian Adoption Journal (pg.2)

Emily, guess what? Tanya does not like soccer, but does like basketball! And she likes to run track and field. She ran in a 1K race yesterday and took first place in the city! She describes herself as a "sportsgirl". She will fit right in our family. We stayed

and visited with them for about an hour and a half. We were really just getting warmed up, starting to loose some of those "first date" jitters on both sides, when Maxim returned and said we had to go right then. The plan was to go pick up the director, (who they had returned to school) then go to the other school to pick up the inspector, then return us all to the orphanage, where we would formally "meet" the children, under the watchful eye of the inspector. I guess this is the way it is supposed to be done, since we didn't have the "direction" when they had let us meet them. So, off we were to accomplish yet another round of pick ups and drop offs. I guess the kids just miss that day of school.

Once back at the orphanage, we went to the director’s office where they brought Tanya and Dima into meet us. We were back to square one! I hope all of this was explained to them, what we were doing, or else they think we are total idiots for going over AGAIN the picture album, etc. When we left the first time, Dima was totally comfortable with Jim, now, under the watchful gaze of all of these adults, he sat nervously on Tanya's lap. The inspector wanted to talk with Tanya and Dima first, privately, then with us. When it was our turn, she was not friendly AT ALL. I don't know if we were missing something in the translation or what. Even Maxim says he cannot figure out what she was getting at. She kept talking about how we are going to make sure that these kids and our kids at home are going to get along. We explained as best we could, but she was not satisfied. Finally, she brought up some "program" in Kyiv, and "offered" it to us. As best as we can understand, it is supposed to be some kind of thing where these "experts" can match children and adults who will make the best families. And this will ensure that these kids will get along with our other children. I'm not sure how. She admitted she could not require it, but it was very clear that she preferred that we take advantage of this very generous offer! Some of her comments were trying to explain it through an analogy of a man and woman get married and then decide 2 or 3 years later that they are not in love and don’t want to be married anymore. She also asked if we had ever had a conversation with someone, where it started out amicable, then we felt anxious and aggressive? (you mean like NOW??!! Only this time!)

Anyway, we declined her generous offer of the former Soviet Social Scientists studying in depth our family structure, through us, to determine if our children, who they have never met, will one day not get along with these children! I kind of felt raked over the coals, but Maxim assured us that this “institute” was not required, and she was only offering their advice and council. She would approve the paperwork without it.

We left there in search of a notary. (Left the inspector there, I’m not sure how she got back to where ever she needed to be!) There are 2 here. One does not work on Thursday (Today is Thursday) and the other was out, not sure when she would be back. Back to the orphanage, to pick up the director. Maxim spent a long time in there, and we were sure the inspector was giving him another hard time about all of this. But I don't think she was there. When he came out with the director, he said they were taking us to the hotel (and I use the word lightly-more later) ordering us lunch, and then they had 2 or 3 things to do. They would be back to pick us up later, when it was time for us to sign some papers.

The hotel: The only one in Ivankiv, I believe. Now, mind you, we are not picky. Really, we are not. I just was not expecting a 2 story "trailer" to be a hotel. The room is small, painted light blue, and looks like a very small classroom in a "portable" at public schools. There are 2 smaller than single size beds, and we were each provided with a set of sheets to make that bed. There is a pillow case, a flat sheet to use as a bottom sheet and a duvet cover to place the wool blanket inside. At least that is what we have done, so if it is wrong, you all can laugh at us now! I guess the bed is comfortable, as Jim is asleep! Outside of the room, in the "entrance foyer" of the room, is the 2 room bathroom, shared by our room and the room also off of the same foyer. One room is the toilet room, one the shower room.

There is a wall plug in this room so we can charge the computer battery, but I doubt there are any internet connections in Ivankiv. We are going to try to work very hard to make this happen as soon as possible, to return to Kyiv!

Tanya was excited about coming to America. She wanted to know if we were going today. I tried to let her know, no, maybe in about 10 days. Then she asked if we could go "tonight"? I guess she really wants to come home with us. I'm so glad.

WE were more nervous about today than about the NAC meeting yesterday;. What do you say, how do you meet a child, an older child, who you are going to adopt? Do you hug? Shake hands? Immediately say how you love them? Risk scaring them off? I was not prepared to meet them while jammed in a car, but that is how it happened. When we left the orphanage for the first time after meeting them, I did hug both of them. And both squeezed back with a true, deep, affectionate hug. And then, of course, I cried.

After checking in at the hotel, Maxim took us to the restaurant in this hotel, and ordered lunch for us, then was off. We are waiting here for his return, hopefully soon, so we can sign the notary papers and I guess that is another "big step".

I'm keeping my spirits up, looking at the bright side of things. It is raining, and instead of the wind howling through aluminum, corrugated walls of our hotel, we could be out in it, with no place to stay for the night! And, MAJOR PLUS, this place is walking distance to the orphanage. Like I told Jim, we will only need sleep here, hopefully. We are hoping to spend all of the rest of the time at the orphanage with the kids. I’ll buy the orphanage food, too, if we can eat there with them!

Until later..

Later it is now.6:45 PM

Jim Maxim returned for us-through Yuri, the driver. Actually, Yuri came to our room and said "let's go now, Maxim needs to you sign papers". He was at the notary typing the papers, as she did not know how to do it. We got there, signed and took that paper to the orphanage, where we got to see the kids again. They met us with the best hugs! Boy, is Dima ever strong. He squeezes so tight, it is like he never wants to let go. Tanya is right there, as well. Maxim said this was what he wanted the Inspector to see, the spontaneous hugs of parents and children! Well, when sitting in an office full of adults, supposedly meeting for the first time, I would not expect exuberant greetings like that. Maxim grabbed our digital camera (good thing we taught him to use it) and took a few pictures of us with the kids, then talked to the director. Apparently, what they want to happen is the permission, or whatever it is called, to be signed by the inspector so it can be turned into the NAC tomorrow. The director sent us back to the Inspector, with directions to Maxim to "talk to her like she is a woman. You are a man, flirt a little, and get this done!" We all thought that was funny!

While in the director's office and all of this was going on, Dima was gathering his friends, one or two at a time, and bringing them by, getting just close enough for them to see, then grinning and pulling back, running away. I saw Tanya come by a time or two with her friends, in much the same manner. Always with big smiles.

More hugs and we were off to the inspector's office for Maxim to "flirt". He did not get this paper signed today, but feels confident that he can get it tomorrow morning, then return it to the NAC tomorrow. We are running up against Easter weekend. This is the year that Orthodox Easter and Western Easter coincide. The director was urging us to possibly return to Kyiv this weekend and experience Orthodox Easter with all of its beautiful pageantry. We are torn. We would really love to experience that, but have no one to share it with there, so we would essentially be “alone”. On the other hand, if we stay in Ivankiv, we could spend Easter with Tanya and Dima and the other kids in the orphanage. We will talk to the director tomorrow.

If Maxim is successful in getting this document early tomorrow, and returns to Kyiv early, Jim may ride down with him, then get the bus that runs back here. I'll stay here and visit Tanya and Dima. Of course all of this depends on what Maxim says.

For now, we are studying our translation book to be able to order something we like for dinner, at the restaurant in this hotel.

I still can't believe this day has finally come. We have met our children. They seem truly happy to be going home. On the way out of the orphanage for the last time today, one little boy yelled "Dima mama"!. Made me cry! (more...)

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