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Ukraine Adoption Stories



August 26, Thursday Sunny and 80s
We left early to go to the US Embassy to finalize paperwork. Everything went well. We were told to come back at 3:00 p.m. to pick up paperwork for Ella. On our way back to the apartment we stopped by KLM to arrange for our flights. All flights were full until Sunday. We were bummed but still hopeful things would work out. KLM told us to call back tomorrow to see if they could put us on stand by. So we went back to the apartment and prayed we would be able to leave tomorrow. We tried to relax, played, fed Ella and packed just in case we could leave the next day. We also prayed that Eric would feel better the next day. He had the stomach virus Debbie had a couple of days ago. We to bed but it was so hard to sleep.

August 27, Friday Sunny and 70s
Today Eric found a new pastry at the grocery. It was pretty good! We fed Ella and play a while. We prayed we would be able to leave today. We are to call KLM at 10:00 a.m. to see if we have tickets. We called and no tickets yet, but now we are to call at 12:00 p.m. to see if we can even get on the stand by list. We called at 12:00 p.m. and we did get on the stand by list. We now have to get to the airport by 2:00 p.m. We were hurrying to get Ella up from her nap and get her fed. It was stressful. We did get ready and got the airport on time. The airport was crazy! We really do not like the Kiev airport. We had to wait to the very end but it was worth it. Their were only 2 seats available and they were ours. Tell me that wasn’t a God thing! They weren’t together but they were at least in the same row. Debbie cried she was so happy. Getting to the plane was a little challenging. No one would help us and everything was in Ukrainian. Finally the nice lady that had helped us get our seats directed us. We are on the plane. YEAH!!! We now pray that Ella will be OK. She did great. We had very nice people that sat next to us. We made it to Amsterdam. What a relief! We still weren’t sure if we would have to spend the night in the airport. Everything went so well at the Amsterdam airport. Passport control gave us a 24hr VISA. No Charge! Ella smiled at them, how could they say no. The businessman that sat next to us was nice and helped us find our way. We made it to our hotel. It was the best! We cried and Ella slept. What a combination. We took a hot shower and relaxed. We looked forward to tomorrow morning’s breakfast buffet.

August 28, 2004, Sunny 60s
Ella slept great. We fed her and got us all dressed. We headed off to breakfast. It was the best food we had in a long while. Breakfast was awesome. We were then off to the airport to get our tickets. The bus from the hotel took forever, but we made it. We get to the airport to find out we did not have tickets. Debbie was in tears. Kiev KLM had messed up the tickets. A very nice lady from KLM helped us get tickets. We ended up on stand by again. We got our luggage checked with only 10 minutes left before it closed. WE made it to the gate. God was definitely watching over us. We had tickets, together none the less. Yeah! When we checked in their were 20 people on the waiting list. We find our seats in the middle, not the best, but we were together and we were headed home. A light with eight children asked if we wanted to trade seats. She had two window seats. I thought Debbie was going to bust into tears again. We also met some very nice people on the plane. A gentleman that is the President of the sister city program was headed back to Cincinnati. The sister city that he was visiting was Kharkiv; Kharkiv is the city were Ella is from! PRETTY AMAZING! We are supposed to send him our email address and he will send us updates on Kharkiv. She did so well on the plane. We tried to feed her a little early so she would not get fussy. She only cried a few times. She did not want to go to sleep. Another person we met was a Russian missionary, she was headed back home for a little while. She said the visit orphanages that house children with sever dismemberments. She was great to talk to. On the way back we wondered if we would have luggage in Detroit or not. Everything was so crazy we figured we would never see our luggage again. We arrived in Detroit. It was a great feeling and we were so relaxed. We had plenty of time to get to the gate. As soon as we left the plane Ella started crying. It was bed time and she did not want to go to sleep. Her crying played to our advantage as we went through customs very fast. We thought we were going to have to get rid of the tulip bulbs we brought back. The inspector called his manager over. The lines were backing up and with Ella crying they said we were fine and to go ahead. Everyone seemed so amused by her stroller. It was an adventure getting it through security. We made it through security fine. We were in hope that these tickets wouldn’t be messed up as well. We made it to the gate and everything was fine. Of course Louisville is not a real popular destination. I think there were maybe 25 people on the plane. The unfortunate thing was that Ella had finally gone to sleep in the airport. We had to get her out of the stroller and she woke up. She was not very happy. Everybody know she was on the plane. She finally did get back to sleep. We arrived at the airport. We were so excited to see everybody. We were overwhelmed by the number of people that came out. God heard all the prayers.

God is so awesome. We had tears of joy. We arrived home to find food, clothes, pampers, and toys. It was great! We can’t tell you how good the food tastes. We did weigh ourselves before we ate and we had each lost about seven pounds. It would have been more if we would not have had McDonalds.
We love and appreciate your prayers so much! We hope that you have enjoyed reading about this journey!

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