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International Adoption Stories

Ukrianian Adoption Journal (pg.8)

Sunday April 18, 2004 2pm

Jim and Mary Got up this morning too late for church, so we just went straight to "The Nest". The kids were watching a TV show, dubbed over in Ukrainian (or Russian, I

couldn't tell which) with the original language being English. I didn't recognize the program but it had "Merlin" who was some kind of magician in it. (you can tell we watch a lot of TV--Huh)

We left when they were ready to go get Tanya some perfume. She had asked on the bus ride home yesterday if we could get her some perfume. How she communicated this was precious! I had handed her our notebook to doodle in, and she drew a picture of a perfume bottle, with spray coming out, a little smiley face as the face smells the spray, and the letters "OK" written on the bottle. Then pantomimed the entire process with a questioning look on her face, and said "tomorrow?" How can you turn that down?

So, today we were off to find the perfume, hoping it was not too expensive, as we find ourselves running low on UAHs and the banks open tomorrow. The market between the hotel and the orphanage was mostly closed, with only a few vendors out selling some very yummy looking fresh vegetables. No perfume. But Tanya kept on walking, saying something about a market and the hotel. We decided to trust her and follow. Back past the hotel, and down a side street, about ½ mile or so, was another market. We didn’t’ even know it existed. It looked much more permanent. It was only about 1/3 open, but we found some perfume she liked for under 2.00 USD. We continued to walk around this new market, and Tanya found another pair of jeans she liked, so we got those. Then back to the nest.

We watched a slide show on the computer of the photos of the circus. The vast majority of the actual circus photos, Tanya took. She did an excellent job. Dima was definitely showing signs of lack of sleep from yesterday-just overall kind of whiney. We joined the kids for lunch, was DELICIOUS!

They set a table for the 4 of us-Jim, Tanya, Dima, and me. Lunch was borscht, which as GREAT. Even the potatoes here taste better! Along with the borscht was bread, which is great with the borsch, and for dessert, something they called "a-LAH-dee". It was a small, sweetened round bread like dessert, with the texture of foccocia bread, but looked like a solid donut. I don't think they were fried, though. They were sweetened on the outside with a cinnamon sugar glaze, and then a cherry preserves bit on top. They were great. We could not finish ours, but did ask if we could bring them back here. Our wish was granted.

Tanya and Dima were both going to nap today, so we thought it best if we do the same.

Some thoughts to pass along to those who are yet to come:

Most useful items and items we wish we had:

Probably one of the most useful items we have with us has been our notebook and pen. We use it a lot—every day. It is great to have pen and paper handy for notes to write to myself, and when shopping, I simply pantomime writing while holding out the notebook, and the seller writes the price down. It’s much easier to understand that way. We use it in communications with Tanya, and if all else fails, hastily drawn pictures convey a message very well. We have a “Joe Boxer” wide spiral, hard front and back cover, and it is holding up well. They kids doodle in it, and practice writing their names. The pen clips on inside the spiral, and it is ready to go at all times. My purse is big enough to hold it, so I don’t have to carry it separately. Highly recommended.

A large purse has been a plus. Mine could be a little bigger, but it will do.

We brought "Wet ones" hand wipes and have found many uses for them. Water is off at our hotel frequently, so they come in handy here. Plus wiping up little hands after ice creams!

What I wish we had with us: a few computer games. We have a lap top with us (Thanks, again Emily, for letting us borrow yours!) and we can write these updates, file pictures, etc. but we didn't think to bring a couple of CD ROM games. I'm sure the kids would have loved them, and given them something to do with us. We go outside and play Frisbee a little, walk to the markets, etc. but after a week and a half, with language just building, it is difficult. We do have some playing cards with us, and they have been handy-building card houses and playing concentration. The UNO cards were a hit. Dominoes would be fun, too. Any kind of very small, very portable game like that, that you enjoy, would be great to include, especially when adopting older children.

And for that matter, if I would have thought of it, I could have made a CD of the pictures we have of our house and family. We have all of these pictures on our main computer at home, and a CD is certainly a good way to carry those pictures.

Bring batteries from home if you have a digital camera—you need the photo batteries if you want more than a picture or 2 per set of 4. You'll have no trouble finding them in Kyiv, but out here in the boonies it strictly Russian rip-offs that are okay for CD players but not anything heavy duty.

Stuff NOT to bring--- You can find nearly everything in every little "dorf" (except said batteries). Don't worry about soap, shampoo, TP, toothpaste, deodorant, make-up, hairspray etc. It’s all here--mostly the same brands as in the US and at about 1/5 the price as back home. Bring what you will need the first few days, then get to the market and buy what you need for your stay in Ukraine. Finish it up and don't bring it home---(wouldn't you rather take up that space with a cool CCCP hockey jersey instead?)

Will close until later-I want to get that nap in!


Sunday April 18, 2004 6pm
Jim and Mary That was a nice rest—up and back to the orphanage at 4. Dima is still sleeping--Tanya looks like she would like to still be sleeping--- Kyiv wore them (and us) out.

We spent time with Tanya and her friend Tanya in their room. Found out that the "other Tanya" is also coming to the States as a part of a home stay program in June. Hope it's somewhere out west so the girls can get together. We saw a card of the family with whom she will be staying. (Daniel and Rose if you are reading this let us know how to send you photos—Tanya is excited about coming. She is a great kid--If we had room for one more, we’d bring her home with us)

Talked about lots of stuff--Tanya's English skills are amazing 10 days in. (I suspect that she knew a lot more from class at school, but was shy about trying) There are very few things that we cannot (between her skills, the dictionary and the notebook) figure out. Tanya practiced writing in English. We looked over her school books.In the US she would be late in Algebra 1 or in the beginning of second year (she's in 8th grade). High School Physics, Geography, Biology and Chemistry. Much like the old Soviet system the focus is on the "precise" sciences rather than on the arts. She could probably smoke most American high school seniors on math and science standardized tests (at least in Las Vegas—“the land of the low expectations”). Bad news for the good ole USA.

We are all very tired--especially Dima, who at 5:15, has not yet gotten up from his nap. Mary and I decide to head back to the hotel. Tanya has an early day at school. I have to wash my pants by hand in the sink---since no one else will. (Feel sorry for me here—or not).

Going to the "diner of death" tonight--I'll not be having the chicken.

Hopefully court is tomorrow afternoon--Keep you posted

Monday April 19, 2004 6pm

Jim and Mary A whole lotta nothing today. The kids had long days at school We had to stay close to the hotel in case we could get a court date for today.

We did have a little time to get to the Rynok for some Moloko and Coke and back to the hotel. Got word from Max at about 11:30 that we needed some extra papers because Tanya is 14 (police check for passport, bla bla bla..) He was promised the letter from the NAC by close of the day today. Max raced up to Ivankiv to get all the other papers done and to check the Judge's schedule for tomorrow. Look like we'll be in tomorrow morning (as long as the Inspector does not have to teach a class--if she does it could be afternoon and another exciting night here in Ivankiv).

We met Tanya from school and went shopping for a backpack for Dima. We also picked up a nice leather briefcase to give to Max—The prices here are really wonderful—

We wanted to walk with Tanya and the caregivers to pick up the little kids from Kindergarten. On the way we ran into Tanya's aunt (we knew of her -- she visits very rarely and she is unable to adopt them). She brought a going away gift for Tanya and Dima- We wanted to give them some time together, so it's back to the hotel for an early night for us. We are getting VERY anxious to get home. We really miss all the kids and grandma and want to get our family together and get on with life.

Keep us in your prayers for a quick and painless hearing tomorrow.. Again, hopefully in the early morning so we can get the papers, birth certificates and get to Kyiv by tomorrow afternoon! (more...)

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