Friday, January 25, 2013

Vlad Update: Trip to Ukraine #1

For those of you who are following our adoption saga......

I just returned from Ukraine. Let me say once again I would rather give birth 10 times than adopt. This process is so long and so hard.  I had not idea what people go through who adopt internationally.

I was in Ukraine for 7 days. 7 very long days. Monday left Detroit and arrived in Kiev on Tuesday. Checked into the hotel. Wednesday met at the SDA for a 30 minute appointment. Done for the day. Wait, wait, wait. Thursday (my birthday) waited all day for an appointment at 4 p.m. 5 minute appointment to pick up approval to go to the orphanage.

Waited until 7:30 to go to the airport to fly to Donetsk. From there a driver named Ivan drove us the 2 hours to Mariupol. Finally checked into my hotel room at 1 a.m.  Very old beautiful hotel called the Grand Hotel.

Up at 6 a.m. on Friday. Off to the inspectors office. A lot of talking back and forth between the facilitator and the inspector. I am pretty much there to hand over money. LOL

9 a.m. we are finally at the orphanage/prison. Yes prison. I am sick that anyone, especially children, need to live there. Vlad walked in and in one second all of the stress and money and waiting became unimportant. THIS is why we were doing all of it. The smile in his eyes said it all. She came. She really came.  I think until that moment he doubted that it would ever really happen. 

We spent about an hour there. Vlad had to write out a letter saying that he wanted to be adopted by us and choose his new name. We left, went to court, where I didn't even go in but sat in the taxi. Went to the notary then back to court, then back to the orphanage.

I got to spend a good hour with Vlad with an interpreter so we were able to talk about a lot of things. Home schooling, sports, how he was, etc. He really wanted to go to public school but for the friends he would make. Once I explained to him about the other opportunities and how he was going to have to work hard with me on his English and other subjects he was good (ha da sha in Russian) with being home schooled.

Ate an early dinner, then bed early.

The next day we couldn't go to the orphanage until 1 p.m. so again, just a lot of waiting. That is my job over there, wait and hand out gobs of money. Seems every time I turned around someone needed to be paid for something. Dima (our facilitator) would just say, OK 450 Grivna and I would say, OK here it is. :)  By the end of the week I felt like an ATM. 

On Saturday I was able to spend 3 hours with Vlad. That was precious. We talked a lot and were able to walk outside (still inside the orphanage fence, but at least outside). There is a woman (warden) at the door with a key ring to keep people and children in (and out). Like I said, prison.

Sunday the driver picked me up at 4 a.m. to drive to Donetsk. Dense fog and icy roads made for a harrowing drive. After an uneventful flight to Kiev, I sat in the airport until 8 p.m. (11 1/2 hour) for my flight to Paris. BTW there are zero restaurants in the Kiev airport. To say that I was a bit hungry is an understatement.  I was happy that I had a tiny bag of nuts left over from my first flight. 

The flight to Paris was just under 3 hours and only a light snack, but it tasted really good. Then a 14 hour layover in Paris due to a huge snowstorm. Again, no restaurants open as it is night time. Spent the night in a chair. Take my word for it, no fun. Again, an understatement.

At 7 a.m. the next morning they let us into the gate area where there was a nice little cafe. Yogurt and croissant and OJ never tasted so good. And I had a nice little French pasty to make up for all of my troubles. A yummy little raspberry tart. Yummmmmm..... Well, I am a pastry chef you know.  LOL

A 9 1/2 hour flight from Paris to Cincinnati where I sat next to a HUGE French man who didn't speak English and spent most of the flight spilling over into my seat.  And they say Americans are rude.  HA!

Finally home after the flight from Cinci to Detroit at 5:30 p.m. on Monday.

Today I finally feel back to normal.

For anyone who would feel so inclined I need prayers for the following:

Yesterday I submitted paperwork to an organization that donates money for older children being adopted internationally. They donate up to $5000. This adoption is going to cost us about $22,000, money that we did not have and were not planning to spend on an adoption. Please pray that we find favor with them.

I have booked my final trip and will leave on February 9th. I will be gone for about 3 weeks this time. Please pray that my family does OK. I have to drive up to the UP to pick up my father who is going to stay here and basically make sure my children don't die while I'm gone. Tom is working 75 hours a week to earn extra to make this happen and they can't be left alone that long. I'm trying to figure out ahead of time all of their activities and food so that he doesn't have to do anything, then when I'm back home I have to drive him back up there. Please pray protection over them while I'm gone (Feb 9 to about Mar 2).

Please pray for safe travels for me and most importantly that everything goes smoothly. No hang ups.

Thanks so much! I know that satan does not want this to happen and he is making it as difficult as he can but I serve a GREAT and POWERFUL God, Yahweh. This is His will and His will be done. I just pray for His strength to get through this final stretch. It's going to take Him because I cannot do it alone.


  1. I'm so glad you've started a blog!

  2. The French are the rudest of all....If you can manage it, don't bring Vlad home with a stop over in Paris. They almost made us a) leave Ilya there or b) all of us stay and not leave. It was surreal - and all very rude.

  3. I'm glad you got to spend the 3 hours you had with Vlad. Praying everything will go smoothly from here. Thanks for keeping us posted.