Friday, December 21, 2007

Coming Home and Going Back

Steve on the short walk from Misha and Vitali’s orphanage to Max’s internot. It is uphill both ways and we have to walk it in bare feet!

Max loves taking pictures and this is one he took of us setting up the “Yolochka” (Christmas tree) Max will stage toys and take pictures of them. One of the words we have learned well is “pukozhitsa! pukozhitsa!” (show me, show me) because they want to see the picture on the back of the camera.

One of the boys in Max’s group with his banana and “Machina” (car) that we were able to give the children for St. Nicholas day on December 19th. A special thanks to all those who gave us gifts to share with the children.
We will post pictures of our boys after court.

We are coming home on the 27th of December and will come back to Ukraine to finish the rest of the paperwork and pick up the boys when we get back to Ukraine on January 8th. Ukraine likes celebrating holidays and the Government has declared December 28th through January 7th as a holiday! This means we can do nothing towards finishing up the paperwork. It is nearly the same price to stay here or go home so we have chosen to go home. This will allow us to prepare the boys’ rooms, re-energize, visit with our girls and just relax!

We are so eager to be home with the girls but we are torn by wanting to stay here with the boys. We know the boys are being treated well but that does not make leaving them any easier. We will leave plenty of snacks and toys for the boys and call them occasionally. We are trying to emphatically let the boys and the orphanage staff understand that we are coming back!

Today we both feel a little lousy and are trying some of the items our friend Ginger sent us and some of the folic acid our friend Joe at Prescription Specialties compounded for us. Please pray that we will feel better tomorrow.

We headed out to see the boys at 9:00 this morning but ended up chasing tickets all day. We stopped at Aerosvit and were told they had NO tickets until January 15th! We then headed to a travel agent who was closed and had a snack at a local coffee shop. The agents kept trying to find a direct ticket from Kiev to JFK to Knoxville and finally I told him to just get us a ticket whether it meant going through Amsterdam, Moscow, Vienna, or Australia! Our non-English speaking driver quipped in “maybe Peking!” Finallythe agent found us a ticket for $5,000 each to which we quickly said Nyet! He looked again and found that he could get us into Atlanta on the 27th and leave Atlanta on the 7th of January. We went ahead and booked the flight and headed out to the “Vagzal” (train station) to get our train tickets to Kiev. It was about noon so we were unable to make the long trip out to see the boys today and headed home until Zaftra (tomorrow)!

We still have to figure out how to get to Knoxville from Atlanta but that is only three hours and will be alot easier than trying to swim the Atlantic Ocean!

We have now been gone 14 days and seen the sun only once. It gets dark at about 3:45 pm so Ukraine competes very well with Buffalo for good weather this time of year!

It is incredible to see the different worlds in Ukraine. Misha and Vitali’s orphanage is a well kept facility but shows its age through uneven worn floors hidden under linoleum, layers of paint that make it impossible to shut the doors completely and fences that are sagging. Right next door though is a house that would compare to the best in America. It has a beautiful wall with a ornate fence on the top. It has a six car garage. The house is three stories tall and about 10,000 square feet. The house is easily a $2.5 million home. The disparity is striking!

Please keep us in your prayers as we head to court on December 26th!



Purple Princess said...

Thanks for the chat messages dad!

Purple Princess said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nataliya said...

Oh, I'm so glad you found the tickets! Of course, $5000 each ticket is ridiculous, and I would say "net" too :)

Irina said...

"The disparity is striking!"
Yes, the reality is those, Ukraine is the many-sided country. It is a shame to me with my country! The abject poverty adjoins to brilliant luxury :(.
I trust, you will present boys the best life. It is difficult to present, that would wait for them here. I see work of the God in your actions. Therefore my heart with you:).

Anonymous said...

There are many shuttles from the Atlanta airport to Chattanooga every day for about $35 one way per person. If you wanted to do that Daniel could take you to Knoxville. Have a Merry Christmas, Bonita

Anonymous said...

I just thought of the fact that we will still be in NY for Christmas when you come though, Chattanooga would still be closer for you than Atlanta :)

Anonymous said...

Steve and Melissa:

We are glad to note the progress and pray for your continued journey for successful adoption and safe return. We can pick you up from Atlanta. Just let us know.

Dayakar and family