2 days till Joey's release
**** some tech stuff. As I said yesterday, Yahoo is killing it's Photos section. We have migrated all of our photos to snapfish, but I'm having trouble setting up public directories there—plus I cannot update the html on the website since I do not have my authoring tools here—sorry—no more photos until we get home (unless I have an epiphany as to how to do it) Also—I'm not sure if we'll have internet again until we get to Kyiv. Things will be moving fast Friday so Thursday's blog will probably be late at best or we may need to go dark until Sunday. Please check back early and often!
sooo close! I can't believe it— Tomorrow is our last day of visits—A regular visit in the morning and the party in the afternoon! Yippeee!
Today we rode with our Italian friends to the orphanage. They do not like the trolley-bus (too many people) so we took the regular bus (1 hrv vs 60 kopek) and we got there a little early for the "dance recital". It pretty much went the same way as the last program did--- teachers and a small group of kids performed for the rest of the kids and some dignitaries (and the adoptive parents). The theme was "back to school" and the older kids all got new backpacks and school supplies. It was quite cute except for the song for the closing credits (it prominently featured the "F" word many times—that is a first for a preschool performance for us).
We tried to get pictures of the other kids in the group after the performance, but we did not bring a still camera, just the video with a 2 megapixel still. Some photos look great—the ones we took of the kids did not--- we'll try again tomorrow.
We had about 45 minutes to play with Joey after the performance—just kinda hung out and played with the dogs.
We stopped to eat on the square on the way back to the hotel (the Italians have a translated version of the menu there). The food was pretty good (chicken with cheese and fries) but most of what we ordered was not available--- (I'm sure in honor of Mr Lenin who was peering down upon us). We were going to go to the lake, but a big storm has rolled in so methinks it's nap time.
The Italians and American's will take ice cream cones to all the kids to celebrate today's wonderful performance… We have 53 ice cream cones on hold at the 7-11 (well it IS open from 7am til 11pm)
And later it is!
First we took mahroshna (Ice cream—sorry for the bad transliteration) to all the kids--- lots of hugs and spaseebas! It is hard to believe so many great kids need a home--- I wish we could take them all home with us---- One girl in particular. Her name is Nastia (Natasha) She is the mother hen of Joey's group. She knows a little English and LOVES to practice on us. She has been out of sorts since her friend (and Joey's best friend here) Kristina left on the "blue bus". She is pretty and sweet. Dark hair, blue eyes. She seems to be about 5 or 6. A born leader, but not bossy at all--- we actually thought about how much it would put us back, time-wise, to go back to Kyiv and get paperwork and adopt her (we are approved for 2), But my boss is already wanting to fire me, so another 2 weeks here would no doubt cause me to spend some time in the unemployment line. The best we can do is put out the word—PLEASE—if you are even thinking about adoption—contact us and we can tell you more.
The afternoon's visit with Joey was tough. It rained and we were not able to get out much other than under "our" shelter house. He chose today to see how far he could push us. He found out the answer is "not very far". Three (or was it 4) "time-outs" a LOT of crying and I think he is finally understanding boundaries--- there will be more tussles, but hopefully we can be firm, consistent and loving in correction and it won't cause any of us too much grief!
We stopped by the Chernehivska café for dinner. Mary got something like a chicken swiss steak. I got chicken, peas, and corn in a cream sauce. Good stuff! We will miss the friendly staff and good food there!
It's hard to believe we are down to our last day of visits! We will meet the Italians at 9:30 for our last (hopefully) trolley-bus ride to the orphanage. Meat sticks and a coke and we'll be done. We'll go to the pottery market with Lera tomorrow at noon, then to get treats for the party (the director wants cake from a specific bakery—wonder if she owns it) We'll get the cake, ice cream, juice and some Champaign for the workers. We have the party play list ready to go on the computer (and no songs with the "F" word will be featured). Maybe we'll watch Kidsongs (but I hope not-- hehehehheeee)
Friday looks like this: (I hope)—sorry if this is a repeat--
8am go to courthouse to get the court decree
9am Drive to the notary in Kramatorsk to get everything nice and "official"
10:30 Get to his birthtown for the birth certificate
noon back to the Orphanage to pick up Joey for the last time!!!! (YAY!!!) J
Drive to Donetsk
2pm Go to passport agency to get his Ukrainian International Passport
4pm To hotel in Donetsk
5pm McDonalds in Donetsk for his first taste of American food (this is actually up for negotiation—there is a Mexican restaurant in Donetsk that Katie (Our Peace Corps friend) said is actually pretty good. We are very curious to try it—so that may be his first taste of "American" food.)
If this works out, we have most of Saturday to lounge around—if not, we will be doing passport stuff then (the passport lady offered to come in on Saturday if need be!
7pm Get on train for Kyiv
sleep on train (we have a 4 berth 2nd class sleeper car)
We will try to get to Ivankiv to see Catie and James' relatives. If they are still on vacation we'll go to the circus and/or the zoo and take it easy.
AM Doctor visit
PM American Embassy
12 noon flight to Paris
sightsee in Paris (the French Embassy STILL will not answer their phone so our hopes for a travel visa are fading a bit)
We really need the birth certificate, passport and American Embassy to come off without a hitch for this to work--- it's not unheard of, but there are often problems. Max knows that we will be stuck with him and him with us for an extra week of we hit a road bump.. needless to say he's working extra hard to see that we are going to get out of here!!
Hopefully you'll see more from us tomorrow--- Keep praying for us. We need it!!
Jim and Mary