Thursday, June 26, 2008

Spending time in Kramatorsk

Had to post this picture to let all of you know that John finally got his milk last night. Let me tell you---- he enjoyed his bowl of cereal.

We are loving our time in Ukraine in general. We have been surrounded by some of the most wonderful people and we can't say anything negative about our experience thus far. I personally feel like I couldn't be in better hands with our in-country facilitator. She is amazing, down to earth, and while our relationship is probably supposed to be more on a professional level, I've enjoyed getting to know her on a more personal level. I know that I will miss everyone here once we leave. Last night we sat up quite late drinking homemade Coffee Americana with the owner of the apartment as her son set up high-speed internet for us, our facilitator, and our driver. I was in good company.

Last night, the owner heard that all of the water would be shut off for a couple of days and so she prepared by filling every empty bottle and pot in her home. John doubted such a thing would happen but just as I finished taking my shower at nearly midnight last night, the water did get shut off! And has only been on a brief amount of time in the early morning since last night. Thankfully, we have the water in the pots.

Here is a view outside of our apartment window. Very nice.

I think Dennis would enjoy watching the birds feed. Someone was here spending time with the birds yesterday evening. Reminded me of the episode of Hey Arnold (a kids cartoon) where there is a pigeon man.

Around 8:45 this morning, we were off to visit Dennis. Today we had a driver since we had to go to the notary between visits, but tomorrow we will walk to and from the orphanage.

When we got to the orphanage to visit, we had to make sure that at least one of us checked in by signing a book. Then we were allowed to go to Dennis' room.

They brought him to us all fresh and smiling with his hair combed back............. a stark contrast from yesterday's first meeting. I really got the sense he remembered us. His outfit, although still an orphanage outfit was adorable. His pants were pulled up to his chest....... but on him his outfit looked so cute.

I know you guys are probably waiting for a picture of his sweet smile----but neener-neener- neener you'll have to wait till after court per Ukrainian law. We are hoping that that may be as soon as early next week!

Have I told you just how smart Dennis is? At first he was holding and drinking from the water bottle that John had given to him. Once he saw me get out the little cow and sit it on his lap Dennis quickly chucked his beloved water bottle on the floor since he thought he was now getting something better. :) Very typical for a small child. :)

Here is a picture of him crinkling up the photo page I was telling you about yesterday. I'm not sure if you can tell, but his hands are so petite and just beautiful. On his right hand he does have some redness that the orphanage doctor says is from him gnawing on his hand and finger but thankfully it is looking a little better today. Yeah!

Dennis loves to wrap his little fingers around ours-----especially to pull himself up.

Not long after we started visiting with Dennis we were asked if we wanted to take Dennis outside to watch a program that the orphanage was doing for the kids. Of course we said yes....... who would want to miss that?

Here they are instructing the kids about an obstacle course they will be doing-----kind of like a gymnastic event------baby style. I must say that the kids are very well taken care of here. The orphanage staff do a tremendous job of caring for each of these children.

Near the end of the program everyone got up and danced, including John. They also danced to "I wanna be a chicken." It was so cute to watch the children move around.

Within minutes of the program starting, a doctor came to take Dennis to get a full medical report on him. It was nice to see things moving along so quickly with our process.

Though we were free to go, we asked to stick around to play with the children. It was wonderful playing with all of them. This frog that wanted to kiss and eat their noses kept their attention for a very long time. A few children I could tell had FAS-----but their personality was such that I wish I could take them all home. But honestly that wouldn't be fair to Dennis at this time because he needs our full attention as do our other children at home---which being surrounded by these children made us also miss. We miss you Adam, Caleb, Rachel, Julia, Annalyn, Sveta, Anna, William, Andrew, and Jonny! So instead, I will be coming home looking for families for all of these children, so start spreading the word. :)

We asked the children if they wanted to put the puppet frog on their hand. Only this little girl was brave enough to give it a try.

While waiting for our facilitator to get back from the notary, we went for a walk around the orphanage and surrounding area.

Here is whimsical piece of art on the orphanage wall near the front door.

These look like a long strip of garages separate from the tall apartment buildings behind us. Kind of like a mini storage unit back in California.

This road was made of dirt and led to somewhere beautiful.... I imagine. Can't say for sure because we didn't have time to explore. Maybe tomorrow.

Not too long after this, we said goodbye until 4:00 PM and headed off to have lunch.

We took out our driver and facilitator for lunch----- a very small token to show our appreciation for all that they have done for us. We had a delicious lunch----- I had a garden salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, red peppers, and dill, later followed by quail lapsha with hard boiled quail eggs and chunks of quail meat. Very tasty. John had Trout shashlick and vegetable rice which was also very tasty.

After lunch we headed to the notary to sign documents and after we visited a park across the street.

In the middle of the park was this fountain surrounded by water. It was fun to watch three children running in the water. If we lived here, there would have been thirteen in the water. :)

Since it is about time to go and visit Dennis again, I will say goodbye for now. But I will leave you with one last picture of......... a Ukraine bus.


Payne's said...

Hi! I love reading your adventures! I can alomost hear your voice sitting over a cuppa coffee telling me all you have experienced. Keep blogging - I'll keep reading!

God Bless,

Anonymous said...

I will say it again... how awesome to be able to follow this journey with you!!!

Even though We can't his little face, seeing him in your arms is so precious!!!

Meredith said...

Ah, I know exactly where you're at :) We enjoyed watching the pigeon man from that window too. Another American family stayed there while we were there and we met the son- whose name escapes me- as well. He even watched the movie "Transformers" with us one night when we all got together. The apartment has a beautiful new toilet thanks to my friends as well LOL It's much better, I assure you!!

Glad to hear things are going well. Kramatorsk sure looks more beautiful in the summer when there's not 8" of mud or snow on the ground. God Bless you guys, we're praying and following along! If there's anything you need please don't hesitate to ask!

Jeri said...

Okay Christine, you've answered my question about filling the van on THIS trip! LOL

Can't wait for court so we can see Dennis's face again although he does have the cutest little head....

Praying for quick court so all of your family is together. I have to say, you know you're really a parent when your child's tattle comes halfway around the world! haha Too cute!

Rachel said...

Once again I have to say I love, love, love hearing about all of this! Thanks for sharing!

Brian said...

I will see you soon!

Mike and Christie said...

I love the picture of his little hand gripping John's hand. It reminds me of us gripping our heavenly Father's hand. That attempt to trust that hand that is held out to us.

Great pics,
glad you found your milk!

Kevin and Tammy said...

Great blog. Are all of the children in this orphange special needs? Thanks for sharing.

pearly1979 said...

Loving every bit of every entry!! :)

Christine and Darren said...

Hi! I love your blog! Your description of your first meeting with your son really brought back memories. What is the great song playing? May the rest of your journey be without obstacles to bring Dennis home quickly!

Julie said...

Love reading about the adventure!!! Ukraine looks so beautiful!!! I can't wait until we get there!!!

Love the pictures of you and your little man! Can't wait to see his smiling face!

Troy and Rachel said...

Thank you so much for sharing your emotions and all your pictures. I'm so glad your first meeting and subsequent meetings have gone so well with Dennis! It really does look like you are having a wonderful trip. We are so happy for you.

Salzwedel Family said...

Thanks for letting us join in this adventure vicariously through blogland. I pray your family bonds grow stronger with each visit.

Connie said...

What beautiful pictures! Thanks for sharing with us. Of course, I'm looking forward to the pictures of Dennis meeting his brothers and sisters too! :-) Please give him a hug (and one for you and John too) from all of us. Love ya!

adopting2fromUkraine said...

Thanks so much for sharing all this with us!

Our first trip, we were so nervous and anxious about everything. Then, when we went back the second time to pick up our daughter, we enjoyed the trip so much more. Now we are wanting to go back. It is amazing how endearing this country can become:)

There were some of those garage/storage unit looking buildings at our daughter's orphanage too. Maybe that is typical of Ukraine orphanage storage?


Zac and Jenny said...

What a wonderful story... your descriptions are so perfect... allowing me to "feel" everything right along with you. Can you pass me the Kleenex?

Dennis' hands are beautiful. I can hardly wait to see his sweet sweet face.

Congratulations to all of you!


Laurel said...

Awesome update! God bless.
By the way, tell your facilitator that we miss her. My dad and guys will be there around July 14th and hope to see her. They will contact her as the date gets closer.

Kathy said...

Wow. This is so exciting!!!

rachel said...

hi mom and dad , have is ukrine?i can see that you are haveing fun with tell dennis that i love him.and i love you too.we are haveing fun.

Gudl said...

I am glad that things are going well.
God bless you!

Denise said...

Dear John and Chris

Your Aunt Tonya is here and I shared your blog with her. She says have a good trip and gice Dennis a kiss for me.

Jenka said...

Can't wait to see his sweet smile, but his hands and his hair are adorable.

He will be showered with love by his 10 siblings. It's a shame that some countries have limits on the size of adoptive families.

Annie said...

Christine; you are an angel to share so much with us. I almost want to say that you can't imagine how much pleasure it gives me .... but I think you CAN imagine.

God love those sweeties - I can see why you stayed to play with them! I envy you being there and having that dear little boy's sweet self in your arms - finally!

Ashley said...

What a wonderful day! I know exactly how you feel about wanting to take so many home. I feel the same way, but know that we just can't. I am doing just what you want to do and spreading the word of children that I met. I am trying so hard to find Christian families for them. Thank you for doing this. God loves and sees them all. :)

Anonymous said...

Just want to say what a great blog you got here!
I've been around for quite a lot of time, but finally decided to show my appreciation of your work!

Thumbs up, and keep it going!