Friday June 22, 2007
STILL 1 day till Joey's release
Well, the good news is that we WILL be able to make our train tomorrow night. We have the documents done, notarized and 100% ready for the US Embassy. The bad news is that we did not make it back from Donetsk in time to pick up Joey from the orphanage. It seems there is new paperwork that must be completed by the orphanage director before we can get him--- We did not have the documents to present to her until after her day was done. (she had an all day conference yesterday and could not be bothered to stay until 6pm when we got there).
Max got here at 6:15am and caught an hour or so of sleep. He went to the courthouse to get the signed decree at 8am---They said it would be ready and waiting. Well, it was not waiting—he was. Finally Max was able to get the decree at 10. (we were at the hotel watching Discovery Channel's "How it's Made", "Myth Busters" (both in Ukrainian) and various Ukrainian cooking shows (we can now make a mean stuffed standing pork chop))---oops almost forgot the dubbed informercial for the magic bullet…. I WANT ONE OF THOSE!! Pesto is 6 seconds? How cool is that??!??!!
Back to the real story—
Sasha drove us to the notary in Kramatorsk, then to Joeys birth-town to get the birth certificate changed.
Next the one hour drive to Donetsk to get the birth certificate authenticated and then to the passport agency---
The court decree took forever. It was about an hour to get the birth certificate---10 minutes to get it authenticated and less than 45 minutes for the passport. We were VERY lucky—to get started 2 hours late and have a 2 hour drive to Donetsk and STILL get everything done is incredible (it usually does not work that way!!)
It was 4:30 and we were wiped out! We celebrated a fruitful day by taking Max and Sasha to McDonalds (none of us had eaten since breakfast and we were not in the mood to go hunting for the Mexican place)
Time for the 2 hour drive back to Slav'yansk. We stopped off in Kramatorsk to pick up some pictures of Joey when he was little. Sadly, the workers could not scare them up.. Hopefully they will find them and send them to us.
We finally made it back to the hotel close to 7. We decided to splurge tonight and went to El Dorado. Actually, the food was just okay—we should have stuck with "our café".
10pm and bedtime.
Tomorrow Max will drive to pick up Luba from her home (45 km away) and bring her to the orphanage to sign the papers we need. We will meet them there at 9:30—sign the papers and get Joey out of there—Max will take Luba back home and do some sightseeing at the Lavra. Mary, Joey and I will take him to the square to ride a "power wheels" and terrorize the pigeons---then lunch and back to the hotel for a nap before we head back to Donetsk for the overnight train ride to Kyiv.
Sunday is mass in Kyiv (we'll get in too late for English) TGI Fridays and the circus (we STILL can't reach Catie and James' relatives in Ivankiv L). We'll be on our own—Max will be busy translating documents for the Embassy.
Thursday June 21, 2007
1 day till Joey's release
Today was great day and a difficult day. It was great because we are but one day away from springing Joey from the joint. It was also great because of the wonderful party with his groupa. Yet it was very difficult because it was the day we said goodbye to our new friends- Lera and Mimmo and Lucia.
After a big storm last night, today was breezy and cool. It felt more like October than June. We got to the Orphanage for our morning visit and found Joey all bundled up to go outside. We headed out, but soon got cold and came inside to his groupa's playroom. We played with the hula hoops, emptied and refilled the toy basket and spent a lot of time wrestling on the mat.
Mary asked that he get a bath either today or tomorrow before we go. They decided to give him a bath BOTH today and tomorrow so he had to leave us 15 minutes early.
We hung out and waited for Mimmo and Lucia (the Italian couple who are also adopting) to finish up their visit and we met up with Lera who was nice enough to go with us to the ceramic market. (in case you missed it—there is a huge pottery plant here in Slavyansk. They make pottery that is resold under an Italian brand). The market was amazing. Things were just closing up as we got there but enough merchants to look for goodies. There was a HUGE coffee and tea set—it was beautiful—for 22 hrvn (less than 5 dollars). We got a few goodies to take home and walked out less than 2 dollars lighter. The Italian couple was as amazed as we were. They were familiar with many of the pieces—they actually found some items that match things in their kitchen back home. In Italy it was over 10 euro for something that was 40 cents here----crazy! We'd like to try to get back there tomorrow for a couple of minutes if there is time.
We all went to get lunch—Lera helped Lucia get something that was NOT chicken with Cheese (pretty much all she as eaten in 2 weeks) It was nice to sit as our "Mini UN." Italy, US and Ukraine (Actually Lera is a Russian citizen) all sitting down to enjoy a meal together—Leda, our waitress, was a bit overwhelmed. After lunch a sad farewell to Lera.. Thanks for being a great friend—we will stay in touch!
Max called a cab for us at 3:30 and we picked up cake, ice cream, fizzy apple juice and Champaign for the party.
4 O'clock and party time!! The kids were so excited to see the cake. We listened to music, ate, and played with bubbles. It was a very nice time! I feel a little bad for the workers. We left them with six 5 year olds all amped up on sugar.
We had a chance to take Joey outside for a little while. We fed Stimpy and walked around the grounds for one last time. Big hugs and I think Joey understands that tomorrow he gets to leave with us. We asked the workers to explain to him that we would be back around noon and we would be leaving! Tomorrow Joey will be officially and legally a member of our family.
We had a quick bus ride back to the hotel. We dropped stuff off and decided to have one last meal at "our" café. The food was good and we were pretty much able to order in Russian (amazing how much you can learn in a month). After dinner Leda presented us with a Chernihivska mug as a "present". Spaseeba!
We had Mimmo and Lucia to the room for a Coke Light and goodbyes. They have court tomorrow. We wish them well!
We are all packed and ready to go first thing in the morning. Tomorrow needs to go well—I'm confident that it shall!
Jim and Mary