FINALLY our Gotcha Day! We weren’t able to get the kids out on Friday because Emma’s medication had not yet been prepared. At 8am we were at the orphanage and met with the director briefly. The lawyer also came in and thanked me profusely for the donations we made from the children’s accounts. In total it ended up being over $5,500! Mike and I had discussed how we might be able to help out the orphanage, but having just spent 7 weeks in a foreign country and completed two adoptions we didn’t have much financially to part with. Also we’re now doing an open heart surgery when we get home, so financial donations from our side just wasn’t an option. God answered that when He provided this money that we could donate without it impacting our home situation. Isn’t He good?
Ok, so we met with the director, turned in paperwork, I was given a small pin with a little triangular flag on it and brought into a small room off the side of his office. There he asked me to mark my home town on this huge world map. Titusville was actually on the map! Anatoly has been the director at Antoshka for 10 years and has a pin in the map for each American adoption. It was neat to see the marks all over the US of kids that have come home to forever families! Another neat thing is that the newspaper article that was written about our family was published that morning. Unfortunately there wasn’t a copy at the orphanage and we weren’t able to get a hold of one the remainder of the day, but I now know that it was written nicely at the very least. Even the lawyer, whom we’ve had some differences of opinion with in the past, commented on how happy everyone was and how the article was so nicely written about our family. Anatoly also showed me his file of all the articles written about Antoshka since he arrived and said that this one will join his file as well. How neat!
After an hour at the orphanage we went to the bank to her stro to finish the second account closure. Then back to the orphanage to find my two kids dressed up in their COMING HOME outfits complete with snowsuits! It was great to see them in ‘real’ clothes vs. the tie-up pants that they wear at the orphanage. Emma took to the stroller quickly and was all smiles! I took some pictures with the nursing staff in their area, one with the director, his wife, and the lawyer, and one with the director and Natalia (facilitator). Then we hit the road from what I didn’t realize was about to be a LONG day!
We were in the car for about 6 hours straight- literally. Natalia even brought my lunch to the car (complete with ceramic plate) from the restaurant and came back out to get it a while later. I mixed bottles, changed diapers, and fed (or attempted to feed anyway) the kids in the back seat of the car by myself. Considering neither of the kids can sit up but they both roll (and can’t be laid down on the seat) this was quite a feat. In addition to the sheer craziness of being in the car and on my own for such a long period of time (Natalia was out of the car for a lot of it and the taxi driver was very kind to dump the bottles when I rinsed them but that was about it!) Micah also decided that he wasn’t sure he was happy with the new arrangement and he refused to eat. ALL DAY. He had eaten at the orphanage around 9:30am (I think) and it wasn’t until 10pm and a ‘new trick’ that I got him to eat more than a swallow that was poured into his mouth.
So, just a little stress! After leaving the orphanage we went to the courthouse to get the last document, the notary to pay someone for translating my POA and then headed to Donetsk to do passports. After getting the legislation started we went to park somewhere for a few hours while it was done. It was past lunch time so we stopped at a small diner type place and Natalia offered to get me a ‘hot dog’. I was cautious about this idea because I had been warned about Ukrainian hot dogs and that that food was single handedly the thing to avoid . But when that’s all that’s available you do what you’ve got to!
A few minutes later Natalia reemerged with a ceramic plate containing two slices of bread each with tomato sauce, a slice of what looked like maybe thick bologna, a nice thick layer of mayonnaise (EW!) and shredded cheese. Hot. It was… interesting… I ate what I could and Natalia reemerged to get the plate and bring it back in. Luckily I’d brought a coke with me and plenty of water for bottles.
Another hour or two later with passports in hand we headed to the airport to catch our flight to Kiev. Those of you that donated to Daria’s Reece’s Rainbow grant, YOU made this part possible! I’m not sure what I would have done if I had to take the train with basically 2 infants for 13 hours. It would have been worse than being in the back seat of the car for 4 hours, that’s for sure! The flight was quick and uneventful and Emma sat in her seat while Micah slept the entire time. Natalia was a great help on the plane and helped carry Emma, get bags, and get the stroller folded and unfolded.
After the airport we headed to a translator’s home before going to my apartment (still kicking myself for agreeing to that one!) and when we landed at 6:30 it was after 8:30 by the time we made it to my apartment. A LONG day!
Micah was asleep when we arrived and he slept from 8:30-10pm. In that time I made up bottles, changed Emma and gave her a bath. She LOVED it! Then I got her settled and Micah woke up and finally attempted a bottle! The trick was the added baby food and he ate like a trooper. Then it was off to the tub for Micah for his first bath as well and he didn’t like it quite so much (or… basically… at ALL!). Emma had fallen asleep right around 10 but unfortunately hadn’t had the last dose of her meds yet and I had to wake her for that. By 11pm both kids were asleep and I laid down to a very UNRESTFUL night of trying to make sure neither kid woke the other, fell off the bed, or fussed without answer. I went to bed around 12:30 after washing the bibs and hanging them on the radiator to dry, washing the bottles since I only had 4 for both kids together, and getting myself ready for bed. Then I was up at 2am, 3am, 5am, and there was no sleeping after that. The day had begun .