We flew into Kiev on Monday. Sveta picked us up and we had 12 hours until we caught our plane to the region. She took us to lunch at a place that looked liked an oasis. The wait staff were all in traditional dress. It had a huge pond, and was ringed by gazebos and little cabins that were all different and done in Ukrainian decor. Each one had only one table, so you felt like you were in your own little world. Beautiful Ukrianian music drifted around the gorgeous flowers planted throughout the garden setting. I imagine there must be a place in heaven like this.
Unfortunately, we were completely exhausted so our enjoyment was short lived, because as soon as we ate we started to nod off. We had several hours before our flight, and we couldn't keep our eyes open. There were two swings large enough to lie in, so they brought out cushions and Mark and I fell alseep with the breeze gently blowing over our worn out bodies. Maybe, Sveta knew this is what we would need before the next part of our journey. She said, she was watching over her two American babies as they slept, and rocked in the swings :)
We went back to the airport and waited another 6 hours because our flight was delayed (surprise, surprise) Sveta has sworn I am carrying bad "delay" mojo when it comes to flying.
When we were on approach into the region, it was very late. I was emotionally drained and exhausted; we had been at this going on over 40 hours. As I looked out over the twinkling lights, I was thinking, here we are in the middle of the night almost on the border of Russia. Our children are all home going about daily business, and I suddenly felt doubt. These little thoughts that are nothing more than vapor, and have been silent and inconsequential on a regular day. They have no substance, until without notice ,they start to assault and began to take form.
I looked over, I couldn't tell Mark what I was thinking because I was afraid by giving voice to these things then it makes them more tangible. DOUBTS? What doubts? How could I possibly have doubts? This is what we have been working towards for over a year and a half, and we are almost to the summit.
It is much easier and nicer to share the positive, but honestly many people have doubts at one time or another along the way. I won't share the mundane details of mine, because in the end they don't matter, but lets suffice it to say they were rather ordinary in nature; relationships, resources, balancing acts, etc.
The plane touched down and I left the doubts behind. I knew that our destiny and Lena's had been intertwined from the beginning of time, and there is nothing more secure than knowing God was the master orchestrator of her becoming our child.
We arrived the next day at the orphanage and Lena came running at full speed, and threw herself into our arms with such sheer joy on her face. There were tears and hugs all around.
She is a beautiful, sweet, thoughtful girl. We had left her some money and she bought a gift for me. It was a bracelet, and so much thought had been put in to buying it, even her presentation was so endearing it brought tears to my eyes. Bracelets are my signature jewerly. I have had one on my wrist most everyday since high school. She presented this to me and I was so touched because she had noticed the fact that I wear them often. Like her, the bracelet was tasteful and very elegant. God, I love that child!
Yesterday was our court day. We arrived first, and soon after Lena came in wearing the pretty dress that Alesa had carefully and thoughtfully selected for her. We did not bring shoes I didn't have her size. She was in high heels and obviously not used to them, she got out of the taxi and tried to run for us as she always does, but realized she needed to concentrate on staying on her shoes, so she tottered towards us instead. Cute!
Lena was so nervous, she asked Sveta several times if there was any way they might say no to the adoption. Sveta kept assuring her that it would all be fine. She was not the only one who was nervous. When they asked Mark and I why we wanted to adopt her, and Mark gave a very moving answer, I was in tears, lots of sentimental tears during births and adoptions. As I gave my answer I could hardly get the words out I was so emotional . Lena was between us and she reached and took both of our hands and laid her head on my shoulder I think the judge, jury, and prosecutor could see that she was our child that we had finally found. One of the ladies on the jury was wiping her eyes. There were no more questions after that!
We went to the judges chambers and were served refreshments. Everyone was so nice and we enjoyed this time. Sveta has a way with people that makes them love her. The judge invited us to her country home this weekend.
We went and took care of paper work to apply for a passport, and then took ice cream, Snickers bars, and juice to the orphanage. Lena decided what she wanted served at her celebration party. She is a Snickers girl I knew I loved her, but Snickers really sealed the deal!
Mark left on the train today to return home and I am staying to wait out the 10 day period. Sveta made him sandwhiches for the train ride she spoils us so much. She is absolutely the best!
Sveta asked the orphanage director if we could have Lena during the 10 day wait, but the director said no. We will go visit her everyday.
There is a girl here she is 12 but looks to be about 8 or 9. I have seen a lot of kids at these orphanages but this little girl is a stand out. I would love to adopt her. The other orphanage kids told us she is really nice. In fact another family is here with their daughter who was adopted from this orphanage and she said Alona is "the perfect child". You can't get a stronger recommendation that that. I have pictures if anyone is interested in adopting her and we will find out this week if she is available. Honestly, she was out with a broken arm our first time there because if we had met her earlier I think she would have had to come home with us. :)