Several people have asked why so long until court? There really isn't a set answer, Ukraine doesn't give you reasons. It depends on the region, the judge, the case load and it can vary at any given time. Our facilitator has just been fantastic and if anyone could have gotten us a quicker court date it would be her, but it is just hard right now no matter how much effort was put in. The other family adopting from there, who have now become our good friends, are in the same situation.
Our dear and wonderful facilitator is so funny she says to Lena, "Mama and Papa are going to leave a suitcase here, so see they will be back." Wow! suitcase security! it doesn't get any better than that.
On a serious note, we left her our hearts and we have hers, there is her security, and I can't wait for the day we can bring her home.
The orphanage has set up two pools that sponsors have given them. One is a small pool and the other is a larger 4 foot pool. The ground under the pools are all rocky and broken so they have laid blankets underneath so it won't poke holes in the pool. The kids swim in shifts of about 10 minutes each and it amazes me how they stand on the hot pavement just waiting their turn for a short stint in the pool. No one complains when it is time to get out. About twenty kids get out and twenty kids get in, it works like a well oiled machine. At times the pool is wall to wall children splashing and playing and having a great time. With the happiness these kids exuded you would have thought they were at a resort.
The day we left the pools had been set up for about a week. The water was black and very warm from sitting in the sun. I can't even imagine what is brewing in there or what the bacteria count would be. We asked Lena to please not swim in the pool and she seemed OK with it because I don't think she liked the look of the water either. We told her we have lots of pools and lakes at home she will be able to swim in. She loves to swim and was very excited about that idea.
As I mentioned, we have gotten close to several of the children and as we got in the taxi to leave it all caught up with me and I just cried as they all gathered around to say goodbye. Lena was smiling and waving through her tears. As I looked back from the taxi window I realized she was sad because we were leaving, but smiling because she knows we will be back, her family has found her. Our hearts were really breaking for all the kids who are still waiting for the miracle of a Mama and Papa to come find them. You can see that hope on every precious face, maybe next time it will me.
It is a very emotional experience and I thank God we have had the privilege to do this, but it is definitely not easy at times. God has drawn Mark and I even closer through our adoptions and he has taught us patience to wait upon him and his timing, and all this shall come to pass. We would appreciate your prayers for protection for Lena and for this time to go fast.