Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Update on Us!

Yesterday was our SDA appointment with the Ukraine adoption officials.  Basically we met with them, told them we are interested in adopting Anya, they pulled the file (with an attached adorable photo of Anya at age 12 when she entered the orphanage).  We reviewed it, they then asked why we want to adopt her, and to tell them a little bit about our family.  That was done in about 4-5 sentences, and then they asked if we still want to proceed, we said yes, they say "are you interested in seeing any other files on other children?",  I say no, and Todd shrugs his shoulders as if to say, "maybe".  (He later told me he thought he was supposed to do that, because Ukraine does not allow preselection of children, only blind adoptions.)  And that was it!  We left and had the rest of the day to explore Kiev.  We waited for the Jacobson's to have their SDA appt, and then we all went to eat lunch at Mafia Pizza!  (with english subtitles on the menu).

FOOD  So far I have not had any trouble finding things to eat. Before we got out of the car, our facilitator Alex taught me how to say vegetarian in Russian, but to my surprise, both restaurants we ate at had English subtitles, however I stuck with safe, and ordered a margarita pizza both times.  They have very unusual things on the menu, Lard and Pig Ears for appetizers.  The gas stations here are pretty cool, they have nice pastries and fresh made espresso available.  (Not like the cappuccino vending machines and hostess cupcakes I'm used to seeing in American gas stations.)

TOURISM We shopped and wandered around Kiev yesterday.  Fashion in Europe is very different from home.  Now I understand why Anya was so picky about the clothes when I took her shopping last summer.  I think before we head home on our final trip, I will take her shopping here in Kiev and get her some clothes that she likes.  My sister Rachael's son Nick, who has been home just a couple months is still wearing the 1 pair of jeans she bought him in Ukraine before coming home.  He wears them almost every day.  I have been asked to buy him a new pair while here, so yesterday I was shopping for him and taking pictures to send back to Rachael to get Nick's approval.  I was surprised to see quite a bit of English words and English speaking retail shop workers.  I don't think we will be that lucky once we venture on to Kherson.  Some guy with birds put a bird on my shoulder and insisted he take a picture on my phone for me.  Then he asked for 100 grevna ($12.50), We were annoyed, but Todd handed him a 200 grevna bill and asked for change, then the guy changed his mind, he wanted 200 grevna ($25) because there were 2 birds, 100 each he said!  I was really annoyed, asked Todd if he didn't have any smaller bills, he pulled out 70 grevna, and I took the 200 back from the guy and handed him the 70 and walked away!  I was mad, he was mad, and Todd was mad.  (lesson learned for all of us that day!  ha ha)  Today Nastya (our facilitator) has arranged a tour guide of the city.  Then at 4pm we pick up our papers from the SDA office and head to Kherson via overnight train ride.  10-12 hours, I've heard.  But we are booking first class and getting the whole cabin, which we were told is not that expensive and well worth it!

SLEEP Not really getting much of that.  We brought Ambien, but I can't really take it because of Leo.  Which is why I am up at 4am blogging.  Leo has been so good, slept off and on all day yesterday, but come night time, he was wide awake!  Finally got him down around 2am (and now at 4 I am awake.)  UGH!!!

PICTURES  I didn't bring my camera.  (one less thing to lug around).  Using my iPhone.  Will upload later.  Leo is waking as I type, so logging off.  Will add pics later.

Bye for now.


Christopher said...

Good luck! I hope all goes smoothly.

Allison L said...

I kept your blog on my feed because I was always curious if you would go back a some point to adopt Anya. :) I'm happy that I just read she will be. God bless.

Annie said...

Ithink the LAST thing I expected in Russia was to find how even the women in the country are really STYLISH (not quite in the same way an Amercan would be but actually edgier). I took one illustrative photo early one morning as a woman emerged from her little wooden house (barely more than a shack) for work, dressed like a fashion model.

I toally MISS Russian food - yes - such amenities as GOOD coffee and tea (and pastries!) available just about everywhere.

I'm very excited for you and Anya!

Tina in CT said...

Lard and pig's ears - I'd pass on those too.

Glad to hear you aren't having problems in the restaurants. Pizza is always a safe thing.

Too bad about the man with the birds.

Hope your train ride is enjoyable. I slept on a train from Spain to Paris and remember it as being nice with the motion.

steph said...

Yay!! I follow Rachael's blog and so I saw yours and followed through the hosting. I have checked periodically to see what might be happening, if anything. I'm excited for your family and for Anya! Congrats!! Oh this is a beautiful time of year in Ukraine! Enjoy. By the way, I had a little run in with the bird guy in Kyiv also. He would not give me my camera back or take his birds back!! Watch out for the people dressed as characters, too... :) Good times