Friday, June 27, 2008

Our third day in Kramatorsk

Good evening from Kramatorsk, Donetsk! We have water..... and it looks as if it is not temporary....... at least until the next pipe breaks. Our facilitator has been working very hard getting documents notarized, submitted, sent off on the train back to Kiev, etc. etc. where she is headed back to do a couple more things necessary for the adoption process. Again, we couldn't be happier with how wonderful she is.

Come time to visit Dennis, we decided to walk since it is only around 15 minutes away by foot.

Come join us.......... this is main drag we walk down. Wild flowers or pretty weeds, which ever you want to call them, scatter the empty field on either side of us.

The castle like building and wall behind the recycle bins are the orphanage walls. It is neat to see that Ukraine is attempting to recycle. Too bad we haven't seen too many people doing it.

I had the privelege of being shown around the orphanage. Going up the stairs and down the halls had all of these wonderful pieces of art with styrofoam backing.

Here is the one of the nurse's rooms. We have to go through that door every morning to sign in.

And here is the star of this blog-------Dennis!

Once again he was bright eyed and bushy tailed when we came in to get him. Because the nurses didn't have him quite ready for us to take him, I had the privelege of checking in on him through his bedroom window. Instantly he spotted me and we locked eyes. It was a good feeling.

Dennis continues to amaze us-------- it is like he has been introduced to a whole new world. He wants to explore everything and has come to adore his Daddy already!

I love this picture of Dennis on Daddy's shoulders!

At first, he wasn't too sure about these balls. But Daddy made them fun.

Dennis enjoyed this swing very much. Not so much the swinging part, but he really liked playing with the little balls that slid up the rope. We could only push him ever softly because his balance is not too good yet. Though I don't have pictures, we got to feed Dennis mashed banana and later, baby food that we brought. After hearing how the caretakers feed Dennis, we had no trouble feeding him the pureed food. I am glad to see that he enjoys eating with little trouble afterall, just as long as it is pureed.

In between visits with Dennis, we went to the notary, post office, and courthouse. It was a very busy day but we also managed to stop for coffee and ice-cream and enjoy a little bit of down time.

By one of the post offices was this children's play area. They have them all over Ukraine. It is really a wonderful thing------ wish we had them back home. I would say our swingsets in our backyards are equivalent to them.

Next to the courthouse they had this mini bazaar--- like a farmer's market. We walked up and down the rows and got to see all of the different things they had for sale.

Since the shoes we brought are way too big for Dennis, we looked for new ones but didn't find any. :(

John is standing in front of what we know as Home Depot back home.

There was lots of fresh produce for sale. We bought fingerling potatoes, pickling cucumbers, and tasty tomatoes. Very inexpensive.... only a couple of grivna.

As we were leaving, I saw this Babushka selling cherries and strawberries. They were both very tiny berries and the strawberries were quite pathetic looking. We passed on the strawberries but bought a cup of the cherries which turned out to be very tart. Our driver pointed out back in the car that we could have picked these cherries off of any of the trees growing along the sidewalk. But it didn't matter to us because we wanted to help the Babushka who by the way was very very nice as was every vendor we bought from.

Around 3:30 pm, our facilitator came out of the courthouse to inform us that we have a courtdate! Tuesday, July 1 at 9:00 am we will have court to offically adopt Dennis and make him a Reed! Hooray!

Before our facilitator left for Kyiv, John and I wanted to cook her a homemade meal.

We made potatoes fried in butter, cucumber-tomato-lemon salad, fried eggs, and bread and butter. It was very simple but we all agreed it was delicious.

Later, I stewed up those tart cherries with lots of sugar. And to my girls reading back home---the cherries turned out delicious---- better than the berry compote I make at home.

As I close, I must say that while I feel very at home here, I do miss my family and own home back in good ol' California. Being here has once again humbled me greatly as I look around the kitchen I am cooking in and compare it to my own luxurious American kitchen. Everything here is half the size of what my own kitchen is minus a dishwasher, can opener, ice maker, and garbage disposal. Makes me think twice about complaining that I don't have a second oven.


Mindy said...

I think it is the greatest thing that Dennis's Mommy and Daddy can come visit him in his birth land. I can just imagine now how it will be in several years as everyone sits around one Christmas, pulls out these pictures, and rediscovers just how amazing the journey to get Dennis really was.

I hope you don't mind but I wanted to put a button on my blog to point to yours. I couldnt find one, so I borrowed one of your photos. If you would rather i didn't use it, I understand completely. Just let me know!

adopting2fromUkraine said...

Love the pictures!

What a bright, clean orphanage! They tried their best at our daughter's orphanage, but the buildings were so old and not in really good shape. They tried to use bright colors of paint, but you could tell there were layers and layers of paint.


Kathy & Matt said...

It sounds like you're doing great and really connecting with Dennis.

Thanks for sharing photos of the surrounding areas. It's fun to see them, and even though we were there in Jan/Feb, they bring back so many memories.

You continue to be in our prayers!

Troy and Rachel said...

I love your detailed posts. I may have said that before but I feel like we're experiencing the Ukraine with you!! I totally laughed out loud at the photo of the Home Depot!! Troy and I experienced the humble feeling when we cooked meals in a tiny little kitchen. We just kept saying look how fine we are with not near the stuff we have in our kitchen!!

So glad you got your court date! Congratulations!!!!

Salzwedel Family said...

I look forward to your post every day! I love seeing the Ukraine through your eyes & hearing your experiences. July 1st is just around the corner...praise God!

Mike & Tara said...

Congratulations on the court date!! I love all the photos and the stories. Dennis is going to be so happy with his new loving family

Deanna said...

Amazing that your Court date is Tuesday!! What a blessing!!

Love reading your posts, and viewing all the pictures...

Cheryl said...

Congrats on your court date! What a complete blessing! Ukraine is lovely and your apartment is quite nice. I have to agree with you, I love the picture of Daddy and Dennis, Dennis up on his shoulders. His arms are so tiny! He will flourish and grow. I can already see the bonding.

You are such inspirational people. Thank you for posting everyday! It gives people like me and my husband the encouragement to continue with our adoption. You are wonderful people! Great people!

I can't wait to read your blog again!

Love and blessings from Michigan,


Jane said...

Hi Chris

I didn't realize you were going to Kramatorsk, that is the same orphanage that we adopted maggie from & I recognize the play room you are in with Dennis. We stayed in the orphanage director's daughter's apartment when we were there. She is a speech pathologist at Antoshka and her husband is the lawyer there-he will go to court with you.
We loved Kramatorsk, we were there in the deepest darkest Winter though!!!
I'm glad you got a court date so quickly

Jane said...

There is a huge market in Kramatorsk on Saturdays, if you can get someone to take you there, you can get shoes for Dennis

Rachael said...

Dennis' little arms are soooo tiny!

WheresMyAngels said...

Great photo's!Thank you so much for posting them. It is really cool to see what it looks like over there! Can't wait til we see pictures of all your kids together!

Shelley said... happy you have a court date!

kelly said...

SO glad to hear you have a court date! Great pictures too

Connie said...

Congrats on the court date! I am glad to hear that you are one step closer to bringing Dennis home. Great pictures!

Lots of love to all of you - including the family back in CA. :)

Melissa E. said...

Won't that be a good feeling on Tuesday the first?!!

Love the pictures. I enjoyed Ukraine and kind of think of it with that same longing I have for camping. You get to appreciate what you have and rough it a bit--particularly because of the language! But, it was an adventure and it was pretty fun!

Amy said...

Congrats on a court date for next week! That is great!
Love all the pictures and details you are giving everyone! Though it is difficult to describe the adoption trip in Ukraine - you are doing an amazing job! I hope that thigns go smooth with court - so you can bring Dennis home soon!


MMrussianadoption said...

I am so happy that you got your courtdate so quickly. He will be home sooner than you think. Yay

The Balsis Family said...

I love following along. The Home Depot cracked me up. Looks like you are getting great time with Dennis. Congrats on Tuesday!

redmaryjanes said...

It sounds like everything is moving along very well. I am so excited to really see him. He is just so tiny, what a little darling.

Tami said...

Congrats on the court date! That's wonderful...and quick! :) Keep the pictures coming!

Leah said...

I'm so excited that Dennis has is forever family. I've been praying for him since I first saw his picture on the RR website. What a lovely little boy, so full of life, just waiting for a family to call his own. I'm excited to see how he thrives with his new family. The growth is going to be in leaps and me chills just thinking about it!

Shannon said...

I am so glad I checked you blog. I had to go back quite a few posts to get to this one but it was fun.

I am so thrilled that you are finally there and will be bringing Dennis home with you soon.

Praise God!

Laurel said...

Wow, only 1 week from SDA appt. to court! Amazing. God is definitely approving of this adoption and opening many doors for you. :-)

Anonymous said...

Hey we got your website from Emma's mom and we were in Kromatorsk when they were. You're staying at our old apartment. Be careful flushing TP in the toilet. Are you using Svetta? Is vitalli your driver? HOw do you guys like the two ridges in the bed? How's Antoshka? How's Dima and his mom (the landlord)?
Please email me if you want or if you have any questions about Kromatorsk. We were there for 11 weeks.

Erin and Robb

Anonymous said...

I just remembered right outside of the apartment complex on the right looking out to the street is a little bakery. The food is great and they have little slices of pizza that's good. You just point to what you want and tell them how many. They type the price on a calulator. They were always honest and nice there and everything there tastes good. I also like that it's right there at the apartment.

Erin Kerley

Payne's said...

Oh I am so thrilled you have a court date so soon! One more step closer to bringing your darling little boy home!

Blessings & Besitos,

Darla said...

You two are exceptional! THank you so much for letting us in on the journey! Your kids are truly blessed to have parents like you!!!

Chelley said...

Thanks for sharing photos of the surrounding areas.
I love your detailed posts

Court date is Tuesday!! What a blessing!!

Kevin and Tammy said...

You will have him with you before you know it. I know you are ready. We are ready to see that smiling face too. He is so adorable. Hopefully they will waive the 10 days and you can bring him home sooner.

mommajeane said...

Wonderful news to hear of your court date... things are moving along. Dennis is a dear and I love all your pics. Our new son, Jonas who is missing his l eye looks at things differently too. We forget about him not having that eye because he acts so normal. I pray the rest of the process goes smooth and fast. I totally understand your heart for home.

Mary & Michael said...

Congratulations on getting your court date so quickly; that is wonderful news. I’m glad you are having such a good time with Dennis, he sounds like such a joy. He will be home with you very soon.

MamaPoRuski said...

The recycling bins are a first for me, I hope they have popped up since our visit last year, it killed me to throw bottles away! I love the walking pics and all your blog. You have many amazing gifts! Congrats on the court date, I am reading several blogs that have had the waiting period waived so hope yours is too!

Annie said...

What a wonderful day! Your facilitator sounds awesome!!

The meal you made looks great, and you can feel "fortunate" all the time as I was noting that the kitchen there looks better than mine at home! Sadly, I am not kidding here. (Though, I do have a portable dishwasher, thanks be to God.)

You are blessed to be there in such lovely weather you can store up such nice memories.

I really like the artwork - the squares you said had styrofoam back - could you take a close-up if you get a chance?

Paula said...

I love all the pics. It sounds like your adapting very well in your little apartment. The Babushka looks like a sweet woman, I would have bought the cherries too.