We have been on the go with no time to blog the last few days. Sorry about that. We are now in Kiev and finishing up our final steps before we can go home. We arrived this morning on the train. Our apartment in Kiev is really nice. It is walking distance to a beautiful park, lots of shopping, and is almost right above Gloria Jean's (coffee house with an American menu). We spent the day playing in the park, doing laundry (no more laundry in the bathtub, we have a washer), and playing in the spacious apartment. I was telling Kevin that hide and seek is much more fun here, Our tiny one bedroom apartment in Lugansk had about three places to hide, but we played everyday anyway, Here there are lots of new spots and we have some clever kids! They have really enjoyed the city so far. I figured out that if I set the computer near the window that we get WIFI. I am sitting up on the window ledge updating the blog and everyone else is asleep, or sleepy-sleepy as our kids call it. One time Kevin said "sleepy-sleepy" to Alina and it stuck. They all think going to bed is called "sleepy-sleepy" and eating is called "yum-yum." Even Kostya said "sleepy-sleepy" today. :)
On Thursday we picked up the two little ones from the orphanage. We had a party for each groupa. Alina's, Ilona's, and Igor's. We brought juice, cake, candy, chips, and orange slices. Edik joined in Alina's party since we really didn't get to do this at his orphanage. Taking him back to Luganask Orphanage #1 was a reunion for him. We even got pictures by his old bed, etc. So it was special for him as well. Then it was time to go. It was hard to say goodbye to so many wonderful people and the "family" our children have lived with for so long. There are many very wonderful people working there. Our children love their caregivers and we were always very welcome and comfortable when we visited. Everyone made us feel very at home there. The orpanange director himself is adopting a child from the orphanage, so you know he has a heart for the kids. As we drove away in the taxi Alina cried a little bit. I think it was a mix of sadness and excitement and I am glad that she let a few tears fall. Before long we were "home." The kids have had so much fun together. It is so neat that they have each other. They all love playing together and it is so fun to see their faces with each new little thing.
They loved the train ride and they did really well. Kevin brought backpacks for each of them and we filled them with surprises. It kept them busy the whole time. They loved the train. They all stuck their heads out the window and said "paka" (goodbye) to Lugansk. They slept pretty well (Igor fell off his bed once and Ilona woke up once as well) and they were so happy to be in Kiev this morning. We were surprised this morning to see Julia at the train station in Kiev. She happened to be there because she is traveling on vacation right now. It was a total surprise to run into her.
Tomorrow we have medicals for the kids and U.S. Embassy stuff to do. Thank you for your continued prayers and support. Alina is doing much better with Kevin already. She calls him "Pop" which I think is so cute. The kids are all doing really well. I am especially impressed with the two little ones. So much change in their little lives. Everything is new to them and they are taking it all in and having a great time doing it! Alina is such a good helper. She is a great translator for our family. I can't believe how much English she understands. Of course Kostya is a huge help to us! He does everything from helping with the kids, to preparing us lunch, to doing all the work we hired him for. ;) We have been very happy with him the whole time. He always impresses us with his hard work and efficiency. Please pray for Edik. We have only just begun to get to know him and he is still getting to know us as well. The language barrier there is huge. He is used to being with the older kids so he can be pretty tough and a little aggressive. He is such a cute and sweet boy though. I am hoping that he realizes soon that he can trust us and that he doesn't have to act to tough with his family. I think since he has been with a group of mostly teenagers he had to grow up fast to keep his head above water. We are praying he realizes he is still a kid and it is safe to be a kid in our family.
And a bunch of pictures. I haven't uploaded them in a couple days, but here are some from a few days ago:
Just because it's cute, here is Alina and Kevin playing Barbies.
Meeting Edik for the second time.
He says goodbye to his friends through the windows.
And we are a family of four!
and the craziness starts!
It wasn't all the kids.
Don't even ask. ;)
You are only as cool as your dinosaur pajamas. (Thanks Uncle Jeff and Aunt Melissa!)
Finally settled in bed. They are so happy to be together!