We landed in Kiev and Yuri picked us up-sporting his American flag t-shirt! He was great-took us to exchange some money, ran us by a small grocery store and then to our apartment. We ventured out for dinner...thought we were headed to a pizza place. Didn't find the pizza place and ended up in a place that served traditional Ukrainian food (the sign looks like it has pizza!). So Lance got his first taste of Ukrainian food-perimini-noodles with meat and/or potatoes inside. He approved. And of course he got some window shopping in-stopped in a sports store and the Nike store...leave it to Lance to come to Ukraine and shop!
We came back and tried to crash early. The team had told us our appointment with the State Department of Adoptions (SDA) was today at noon. About 8 am our Ukrainian cell phone rang and Julia was calling to tell us there was an earlier opening and that she'd be at our apartment to pick us up in 10-15 minutes! Scrambled to get ready (we were still trying to wake up from jet lag) and off we went!
After months of waiting for our appointment, it was here. The SDA is actually through a very plain non-descript door. And what was crazier for me, is it's right by a church that we visited often when we lived there. St. Andrew's is a place tourists always like to see, and it has a hill of vendors set up selling souvenirs. Just crazy to think that behind that door so many lives are changed and there's stacks and stacks of important paperwork.
(SDA door is through the gate at the bottom right of the church picture)
We met Serge in the hallway, shook hands and walked right into an room with a desk, couch, and coffee table...oh and an adoption official (who looked to be our age). It was straight down to business. She showed us a file of the little boy we had known about, and we got to see a baby photo of him (which they let me snap a picture of before we left-I think it's the only normal, clear-headed thought I had the entire time we were there-I asked if we'd get a copy of the photo later and they said I could take a picture of it...the photo of the photo might be the only baby pic we'll get). I don't think I was prepared to get as much info as we got at the appointment. They went over some of his information (medical terms, family info, etc) and we signed in the log book saying yes we wanted to go visit him.
And that was it-in and out and done in less than 10 minutes. It felt a little bit like a whirlwind...between jet lag, the back and forth of English and Ukrainian mixed in with everyone in the office and trying to fully understand his file, it was a little bit of a fog and overwhelming. We walked across the street with Julia and Serge, got some breakfast (although neither of us were very hungry, we made ourselves eat), I spotted a street vendor selling poppy seed bread that I knew I liked from when we lived here so I jumped out and bought some, and then Serge brought us back to our apartment. It was definitely an emotionally charged morning for us and the jet lag wasn't helping. We're both anxious to meet him, and I'm ready for my nerves and stomach/nauseousness to settle down.
We spent the rest of the afternoon napping, Face timing with Tanner (although if I can't stop crying after I talk to the kids, Lance might be cutting me off), and then went out exploring again. Thought we were headed to TGI Friday's for dinner...but it has apparently closed. We ended up at The Burger (I was voting for American food)...and then got ice cream Snickers for dessert. And of course, Lance decided that the Ukrainian meal was way better-hands down-than the American burger!
Early to bed tonight and then headed to the region where the little guy is on the early fast train...our driver is picking us up at 6 am! Thanks to everyone for the emails/FB messages and for praying-not sure we'd be making it without the prayers! Definitely an anxious day for us, but we're excited to meet him, find out more about him and are just praying for clarity and wisdom. Please keep praying!!!