I'm pretty sure that in a Ukrainian minute I might be able to do five or six minutes worth of things :).
We learned during our first adoption process that time isn't nearly as precise here. It's a matter of "10,15 minutes" becoming 2, maybe 3 hours. Not the end of the world, and in the great scheme of things NOTHING we can control. But we have to just laugh when someone says "ok, so in about 10 minutes we will..." and then it happens in 3 hours! :)
Today we went to the SDA. Our appointment was at 9am... which was really a little after 10 when we realized it was going to be a while longer after that too and we went to the Notary to do something while we waited. When we came back, just about 11:30, we waited a while longer. Then we went upstairs. We saw a photo of Aleksa at, guessing, about 3 years old and a baby picture of her. We weren't allowed to exchange the photos, but once we have a court decree then Nadya will do that for us if possible.
We weren't offered to see Wesley's info this time, and we knew that they wouldn't give us both referrals together since they are at different locations.
It was pretty funny-- since I was there without Michael on Thursday, the woman who had seemed fairly stern, said to Michael (jokingly), "How can you let your wife come to Ukraine alone? She is beautiful, aren't you worried, that's a big risk for you to take." I guess she was concerned I'd find a Ukrainian man, or rather a Ukrainian man find me? LOL Well, not to worry, I don't generally wear any makeup, don't wear my dress pants and dress shoes, and I'm pretty safe when I'm not spiffed up :D
We went downstairs after viewing the information and Nadya said "wait here, I'll be back in 15/20 minutes." We said "sure, see you in an hour or two" and then had a great conversation with a woman adopting three older siblings. What a blessing to meet other Christians walking out the call to care for the orphans and to adopt older children! She is bringing home a 10, 12, and 17 year old and has a 16 year old at home. Her husband has had to travel back and forth and she has been here holding down the fort. Pray for this family, that their integration as a family will go smoothly! They have hosted the two boys (12 and 17) twice now so they are excited to finally be a family soon :)
Nadya came back (in about 30 min or so), then Yana came. Yana is very sweet and will be working with us similar to what Nadya will do for Wesley, but for the part of our adoption in Aleksa's region. Nadya then left to go help the Lutz family get their tax codes. She thought she only had a busy morning, but she didn't realize it would turn into an all day affair! We are very thankful for her help, and she will begin working with us again once we are starting Wesley's adoption in just a few days.
We finally left the SDA with our referral and our bound dossier (they literally sew it together) at 1pm. We were VERY glad to get it before they decided to go to lunch :) They close down from 1-2 for lunch.
We contemplated going to Aleksa's region (about 3 hours away) today and meeting the inspector (like a social worker) but that would take about 30 minutes, and we would be driving for 6 hours to accomplish that. Instead, we will leave at 5:30am and get there around 8/8:30 when the office opens. The plan is to go to the inspector in the main city, then to drive out to the town where the institution is and meet with the director, then to be able to see Aleksa again at that time.
I will post again, hopefully today, to explain WHO the main players are in this adoption since even I am having a little bit of a difficult time telling who's who :)
Today, the rest of the day anyway, we are just here in Kiev enjoying a little down time. We're going to seek out some food (it's about 1:45, time for lunch!) and then may meet up with an adoptive family or two if anyone's around in the evening. It will be early to bed for us, though, so we can get up and going EARLY in the morning and be ready for the taxi at 5:30. Which will really be 5:30... or pretty close to it anyway I think (unlike the 15 minute Ukrainian minute!)
Please pray that tomorrow we will find favor with the director of Aleksa's institution. This day may be what her future, and ours with her, boils down to. We have heard through one avenue that the director was in the hospital. Another avenue said that he has battled cancer for a long time, so that may be the cause. Please pray for him! We don't know whether to hope that he is there, or hope that we deal instead with a deputy director as far as Aleksa's future is concerned. We, of course, want the best of health for him and hope that he is there and available to speak with us. On the other hand, could this be God's timing for us to meet with someone else that will, in his stead, sign off on Aleksa's adoption? Or, could it be a bad thing... that someone else may sign off on it then he return and be upset that someone else would do it, or that we didn't wait for his blessing? We don't know! But God does. So we will continue to put this in His hands. Please pray God's will be done!!
In Ukraine we are 7 hours ahead of Eastern time, so our meeting with the director may happen around 10 am here, which is 3am in Florida. For those of you west coasters that are night owls, it will only be midnight for you. PLEASE pray!!
This day of meetings is the first of several BIG THINGS that we will have while we're here. Depending on how the day goes will determine what will happen from there on out. It's possible that that decision could carry on for a few days, but tomorrow is the start and hopefully not the end.
If you have a specific prayer for us for this time, please feel free to post it in comments. If you'd like for it to not be published, just say this first and we will read it and agree with you in prayer but not publish. THANK YOU!!