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Ukrianian Adoption Journal (pg.6)

Tuesday April 13, 2004

Jim: Man--- The "Diner of Death" really did me in.

I have had probably a total of 1litre of coke/sprite and another liter of water plus a banana and one zone bar since I lost my battle with the spoiled chicken on Friday. Forget Dr Atkins-the "Diner of Death" Ukraine Diet is the way to go-I have probably dropped 15-20 pounds over the long weekend. I have been able to spend some time with the kids, but I wear down after about 90 minutes.

Today we arrived at the orphanage and went with the kids to the "hospital" (really the local clinic). They have to get a paper signed by all the specialists there to be released for adoption.

A note on Socialized Heath Care-

The theory is noble and wonderful-the reality is otherwise. Doctors make on the order of $50/mo. Thus the best and the brightest have either left Ukraine for the US or have changed professions- to be able to better support their families. Those that remain are over burdened and work in conditions far below our standards in the US. Patients wait in huge lines to be seen-actually several huge lines-

Line 1 Check in and get your chart-no HIPPA issues here
Line 2 Blood work
Line 3 Specialist (or many lines if you are going for a checkup)
Last line-back to return your chart.

Be sure while walking and waiting to avoid colliding with the open testubes of biohazardous materials being hand transported from one area to another.

It's an all day (or several day process).

We had trouble getting in to see our primary in Vegas-we fired her--- here you are stuck with what you have--FOREVER.

After a couple hours moving from line to line with the kids, we decided to get back to the orphanage (Max was to meet us there for more paper signing this morning) . We found out that Ivankiv required that we meet with the Minister of Children’s Welfare (or something like that) and she must approve us prior to court. After our experience with the Inspector, we were a bit wary. Gallina (the Orphanage Director), Max, Mary and I made our journey into town for our "interview". ---Side note-Max told Gallina that I was suffering from the "Ivankiv trots" and she insisted that we immediately go to the apothecary for something that will "make me all better by lunchtime" (I'm ALL for that). Stopped there and got some bitter herbs in a tablet form (if you want to look it up for me it's called Laevomycetinum)-I was skeptical-but now I believe--- an hour later and I am beginning to feel "human" again.-Okay back to the main plot-

We met with the Children's Welfare Minister-lots of questions, but not the "grilling" like we received from the Inspector. It's very clear that they care very much for the children of the village and want to make sure they are placed in loving homes. They want to make sure that we will retain their Ukrainian roots and that the kids will be encouraged to stay in touch with those left behind. (funny since that was one of the first things we asked Max -What can we take back with us that will help them remember their homeland?). We passed the test and she agreed to get all the paperwork done for us today so we could get a speedy court date (pray for Thursday).

We walked back to the orphanage to find that not all the required signatures were obtained at the Hospital. Max and one of the caregivers went back to get the needed signatures. Mary, Tanya, Dima and I walked through the Rynok looking for clothes for Tanya, then off to the hotel happiness for a quick lunch at the "Diner of Death". (I passed on the food and went up to the room for a nap).

Waiting for Max at the hotel now-they really want to speak with him at the front desk-I think they are concerned that we will skip out on our bill (about $50USD for the entire week)

More later-----

It's later-

Max just stopped by the room---frustrating day for him. The Inspector is holding out on signing the paperwork.. She legally has 10 days to do this--- normally it is done the same day-well-she does not like Max, us, or just does not like life. We have been approved by a social worker, the adoption agency, the INS in the US. In Ukraine, we have been approved by the NAC, their psychologist, the Children's Welfare Minister, the deputy mayor (both of whom are superiors of the Inspector) and the Orphanage Director, but this woman is not going to sign that paper without causing some pain… (no-we don’t think it is monetary pain) The worst case-she could hold us in limbo until NEXT Thursday----arghhhhhhhhh we hoped to be HOME by next Wednesday.

On a happier note-We had a great day with the kids--- played puzzles in the hotel room-Tanya took lots of digital pics around the orphanage.

Tomorrow-we meet the kids at 8 and go shopping at the market for clothes. Max will be here by 8:30 and begin his quest to get the last piece of paper signed (wonder if he has thought of slipping some Prozac in her Cik (juice).

The drama continues tomorrow

Wednesday April 14, 2004
Jim and Mary
Ahhhh a new day of adventure.

Up early to meet Tanya and Dima at 8 to do some shopping before school. To add to the take home luggage:

2 Tanya pants
a really cool leather coat
2 pair of socks
a purse
nice "euro" skirt and blouse set

Dima racks up
A pair of “Spiderman” jeans
2 pair of socks

grand total about 300UAH---about 60 bucks-- try that at Dillards J

after shopping, it's off the school for the kids and back to the Hotel for us.

***********back to the story****************

Max met us at the hotel and took us to the market--- Mary is doing very well with the language, but I am ready to eat some meat and do not want a repeat of the "Death Diner" experience. I’d prefer a native speaker to determine if the ham is fully cooked. Ahh it is! Some ham, cheese, bread, yummy stale raisin/cherry toast, a couple of bananas, Moloko, water and coke--- LUNCH! I ate a little-it was good-I may be ready for The "Diner of Death" again tonight!!

A couple of hours at the hotel and Max is back-The inspector keep putting him off- "Methinks she does not like him". We decide to head to the Orphanage to get our couple of pages of social and educational questions about the kids answered. It's very clear that the director has a very soft spot for these 2. She was in tears a good part of the time. Great Students, Great kids. (we already knew that)

Max is off again to try to lock down the approval from the Inspector (at this point we think she is toying with him)-It’s okay, Max-As Mary said, “this is great practice for your future job at the UN!

Tanya and Dima are back from school-- Tanya wants and needs a haircut-they have a salon at the Hotel Happiness (go figure). Dima and I head back to the room to play cars, Mary and Tanya do the "hair thing".

Really cute cut-We have heard horror stories about stylists in the Former Soviet Union-this lady did a swell job-really…especially considering the total was about $2USD.

Back to get the kids to bed and then us to bed. Just saw Max-the Inspector's approval is DONE!!!!!! YAY!

Tomorrow morning Max is here at 8 to get the final 2 signatures, then Mary, Max and I are off to Kyiv to the notary and the NAC (and the internet)--- Sorry to the guys in Columbus--- your music will be in tomorrow’s upload---

More tomorrow!

Thursday April 15, 2004 Mini Update
Jim and Mary Hi gang--

We are in Kyiv today dropping off papers at the NAC and getting some stuff notarized. We found an internet cafe ---with no floppy drives-- so what follows is the nitty gritty--- if you want to read all the good stuff and not spoil it--- close this window NOW


We are still waiting for a court date-- could it be tomorrow? Maybe. Probably Monday. The local Inspector has been quite "diligent" in her efforts (aren't we understanding) causing an unexpected delay--and so it goes.

The kids are great- We have been able to spend a lot of time with them-- most of the day every day since we arrived in Ivankiv last Thursday. Tanya is a bit smaller than Emily and Dima is tiny. Both are in good health and VERY anxious to come to America.

Sorry for the lack of updates--Ivankiv has no internet-- they are still working on getting running water 24/7. Very nice village--just not a techno land.

We will find another Internet place with floppy drives before we head back there this afternoon

Keep the prayers coming. (more...)

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