Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Temporary Residents of Ukraine

Sorry it's been so long since our last post. A lot has happened since then. Unfortunately it has not all been good. The last we posted, we were leaving Kiev on a train to Donetsk.
We had to be out of our apartment by noon and our train was not leaving until 7pm. So we hired a driver to tour us around for the day so we could keep our luggage in his car. We saw several sights, including an outdoor "museum"...very similar to the Ukrainian Heritage Village at home. It was about plus 30 and sunny. I got a very bad sunburn...we were all sweaty and we were dirty from walking through all the dirt. Then we had to get on this train which our facilitator called a nice was not so nice. There was no place for us to clean up. The bathroom was pretty yucky. In fact, you can't even use the toilet when the train is in a city, as it drains right onto the ground.
So here we are all dirty, trying to get some sleep on this overnight train. Well, the ride was not very smooth or quiet, so we did not get very much sleep. The train arrived in Donetsk at 7:10am. We had an hour to get our luggage off the train, find a taxi, find our apartment, get cleaned up before we had to meet the orphanage inspector. It was a mad rush. Terry managed to get in a shower. I managed to get in a sponge bath and a change of clothes.
We got to the city hall to meet the inspector. She was a very beautiful, young woman. She only spoke to our facilitator. She did not acknowledge us in any way. She never spoke to us or smiled at was very strange.
We filled out some paperwork when we were there, and then it was off to the orphanage to meet the little boy.
Before we met him, we sat down with some ladies who went over his history and medical charts. His story was so sad, but we won't get into it now. Then we got to meet him.
He was the cutest little thing....very tiny. He did not look like a four year old...more like 2. He was very happy and vibrant. Unfortunately, we are not able to adopt him due to his medical conditions. We got to play with him for about half an hour. It was absolutely heartbreaking to have to say no to this little boy. I took it pretty hard.
After our appointment, we went for lunch to talk about our options. Our facilitator wanted to know if we were ready to go home, or if we would like a second appointment at the adoption center. We, of course, are going to stay for the next appointment. We have decided to stay in Donetsk until the next appointment because the rent is half the price than Kiev and the apartment is nicer. The sad thing is, we have no internet connection there. I cried when I found out (what a suck) Well, overall, yesterday was a pretty crummy day for us (Terry's birthday yet) Oh well. Now that we have had a day to rest, things are looking better. All we can do is look forward to our next appointment. This will be our final appointment, as Ukraine only allows 2. They tell us our next appointment will be within 2 weeks. They won't tell us when, they will just let us know when the time comes.

We are now living on our own in Donestk. We had our facilitator go home, or we would have to pay her daily to stay with us and be our translator. Life has been quite interesting. You should have seen the stares we got when we were grocery shopping yesterday! No one here is very helpful at all. One guy at the deli counter in the grocery store walked away from us when we asked him a question in English. Don't worry about us though. We will find our way. We had a friend come out and visit us today. He showed us where the internet cafe is (YAY) It's quite a way from our apartment, but he showed us how to take the trolley to get here. Donetsk doesn't
quite have all the amenities of Kiev, but now that we know our way around, we'll be OK.
So we may not be posting quite as often, but we will whenever we can. Like I always say, please keep sending us your comments and emails. It is our little piece of home!

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