Today was just a down-day. Since we didn't get Wesley's passport, we couldn't do the list of things originally scheduled. Instead I took the crew (including Chris of course ;) ) for a walk all the way up Basiena Street and to Lesi Ukrainky street to a huge (fancy) kids' store to look around. We decided to have Aleksa walk, since she's been doing better (the stroller is more behavior-control than necessity!) and she did GREAT. Wesley loved being out and it was brisk but NICE out. Puddles, no ice, and about 2 degrees Celsius. We "wrote a letter to Santa" so that he will know that we'll be in Ukraine and let the kids test out some Ukrainian toys that they might ask Santa for so that he delivers them something fun at the apartment on Christmas morning.
We also picked up some smaller diapers because the ones we'd bought for Wesley swallow him whole. He fits pretty well in a size 4. They are still a bit big but not too bad. He is TINY. He'll be 6 in February! He's built a lot like Emma was when we brought her home, but he's got a lot more strength!
After shopping we exchanged some money since we've got a few more days here then went to McDonald's. It's sad that we eat at McD's in Ukraine, but there is NO other fast food here! There's a McD's at every main corner in the center of Kiev tho. I've been cooking for the most part, but today we decided it was lunch out. Aleksa did SO GOOD again! She waited with Chris at a table while I ordered our food (with Wesley) then I brought Wesley in the stroller up the flight of stairs to the tables and went back for the food. Aleksa is working on eating ONE mouthful and then chewing before cramming something else in her mouth. That one takes a while to learn. But she is being more patient about it at least when we require it of her ;)
Then we walked alllll the way back down the hill and stopped quickly at a market to pick up a few other essentials since, again, we're here for a bit. We piked them onto the stroller and came back to the apartment. We figured out that I can carry the backpack with the kids' essentials in it and Wesley (in the stroller) and Chris took the grocery bags and Aleksa's hand. We left the two 2-liters of water in the bottom of the stroller and I survived hauling it to the second floor. A tricky process in an apartment without an elevator!
We rested, hung out, Wesley played and fussed when I tried to get him to take a nap. Aleksa looked nicely at a book and was generally just sweet for the afternoon. Eventually I took Aleksa with me and just she and I went to the closer market that has everything we need and we got the rest of what we were looking for. The first market had cat food but not baby food, and they had cleaning supplies but not tissues. WEIRD. And no produce. Anyway, Aleksa and I went to get the rest of the groceries like apples, tissues, lotion (the kids are SO dry!) and of course some Coca-Cola ;). I wasn't so sure how she'd do, but once again she was AWESOMELY behaved!
Our first trip to the grocery store a few days ago she cried and screamed and we were sure we'd be thrown out. I was thinking "Oh goodness, what have I done?!" by the time I left! This time I had her 'help' push the cart and I held on top of her hand and pushed it as well. She wanted to eat the fruit but seemed to know she'd get some when we got home when I told her later (we're working on signing "wait" "all done" and "more" and she understands all of those now!).
She walked to the market, up and down the stairs to go under the street (that's how you cross major roads in Kiev) and back to the apartment. Since we're staying over a coffee shop and Chris and I have talked about wanting cocoa several times, Aleksa and I stopped in and got two "cacao's" (kak-ao). I wasn't sure how I'd carry 2 bags of groceries, hold Aleksa's hand to go up the stairs, and juggle 2 hot drinks... but the cups STACKED. How cool is that?? So Chris and I enjoyed hot (expensive, ick!) delicious hot cocoa.
Dinner, baths, and bed went pretty quick. Aleksa went to sleep without too much of a fuss but Wesley took that as a good time to start vigil. He went to sleep about 10:45! He was just crabby and overtired, and he's constipated which doesn't help.
Tomorrow we HOPE AND PRAY that we can get EVERYTHING done for the Visa's!!! PLEASE PRAY!!
We will take the kids both for their medicals in the morning, and then Wesley's passport should be in "after 1". We have to go back to the medical office after getting the passport and pick up the medical forms (must see passport to get it) then to the Embassy for the Visa. Since it's the day before a holiday, the Embassy is closing early at 3pm! They emailed me to say that as long as we are there by 3, they will process it.
We are hoping to be able to do all of that and be done.
Realistically, it probably won't happen.
I had to move our tickets today since originally we were supposed to fly home tomorrow, so we decided to set them for next Wednesday- which was the first available flight for the 4 of us AFTER Monday... in case we have to do paperwork on Monday.
IF we are able to get everything finished tomorrow, then I'll call my travel agent first thing in the morning and see if there are still flights available ON Christmas day. If so, we will go ahead and pay the change fee a second time and go HOME.
It's not likely. It's more likely that we won't get the Visa in time. Or that the flights will then be full for Saturday if we do get the Visa. But we know that God is in control, and that we are here for His plans and purposes and in His timing.
We both have peace. And that is what we need! Our families back home are ok and are aware of the changes. We've had people step up to continue to help with my kids at home for those few extra work days after Christmas, and Chris' family understands that she'll be home as soon as we can.
Thank you for your continued prayers, and may God Bless you as you prepare your hearts and homes for the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ!