Well, the end is in sight. If everything goes as planned, we will be home in 24 days (August 9)
We have a court date on this coming Thursday to make the adoption official. After that, we have a mandatory 10 day wait before we pick up Emma for good. This is just in case someone wants to object to the adoption (which never happens) Once we pick up Emma (on the 28th) we have to take a one day trip to her home town to get a new birth certificate with her new name and us listed as parents. Then we will come back to Okteerka to apply for a passport. Then we travel to the city of Sumy to drop off the information because that's where the passports come from. It is a minimum 5 day wait after that to get a passport. We are willing to pay a little extra if we have to to ensure that we get it in 5 days. After that, we travel back to Kiev to apply for Emma's visa. We think that will only take a day. So, if all of that happens as planned, we will have an extra day or 2 in Kiev to do some shopping before we get on the plane. We wanted to leave ourselves a couple of days extra in case something doesn't go as planned. We are very excited that the end is in sight, but at the same time, 24 days seems like an eternity!! Tomorrow will be one month since we landed!
We are still visiting Emma daily. Some days are better than others. At times, she doesn't want us to touch her, and other times she is hanging all over us. I imagine this whole thing is a little confusing for her and a little overwhelming. It is getting tough to know some of the other kids too. There is one girl who is about 12 years old who always hangs around us. She is very sweet and just wants some love and attention. We are trying to keep our distance because we don't want it to be hard on her when we leave, but at the same time it is difficult to ignore her. Our eyes were really opened to older kids here. Everyone just wants to bring home babies, but there are so many older kids who are so good and we can clearly see that they would do so well if they were given the chance. I know there are couples out there reading this blog who are waiting to come to Ukraine and I just want to tell you to consider taking an older child. I was one of those people who thought only a baby would do well once you got them home. But every kid here has potential.
We did some measuring of Emma yesterday. She is average size for a 6 year old. We emailed pictures to an adoption specialist in Edmonton and she said Emma's size and all of her facial features are normal (indicating very little chance of fetal alcohol syndrome) Her feet are 6.5 inches long. Her legs are 25.25 inches, waist 22.5 inches, arms 14 inches. We brought some clothes from home, she basically fits into a size 6.
As for life in Ockteerka, it remains very interesting. It is quite different from Kiev and Donetsk, which are much larger cities. All of the cars here are very old. And we're not talking like 10 years old, we're talking 20-30 years old! And many, many people travel by motor scooter or bike. We see bikes everywhere! And these also are not new bikes. They are super old! Sometimes I feel like we're living in another era. There are very old women riding these bikes, too. Like 70 year olds! It's unreal!
Another funny thing is eating in restaurants. We often eat with our american friends, so there are 5 of us. We all order at the same time, but we never eat at the same time. It seems as though they just make a meal and bring it out when it's ready, even if the rest of the dishes aren't ready. It's very strange. Last night Terry and I were out at our favorite spot and we were getting bothered by a drunk cook. He was sitting across the restaurant from us and yelling a mixture of english and russian. We kept telling him over and over that we didn't understand. He ended up buying us dessert (prunes covered in whip cream....YUCK!) Then on our way out he gave Terry a great big hug and patted my behind. That was not a very good time. :(
We moved to our new place yesterday. It is alot nicer than our old place, aside from the moldy bathroom. The strange thing is, there are only 3 plugs in the room and none of them are close to a mirror. Makes using my hairdryer and curling iron quite difficult! We finally got a decent sleep, though. We now have an air conditioner. We don't have any windows in our room, so they painted a great big window with a beautiful ocean scene on the wall. Too funny! We are scheduled to move into a room with a window next week.
That's all for now. Miss you all!
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