Mom and Dad, sorry I wrote such a short reply to your newsy email. I will try to do better.
Linda, thanks for the update and for your support.
And to all my RR friends--many thanks for all the prayers and support.
We met our driver and Dima (translator) at 7:30 am and began the longer-than-I-thought, snowy, slushy journey out of the city to a much smaller town called Irpin. There Dima got permission from the Inspector for us to visit the orphanage. Next stop was in the tiny town of Vorzel at the administrative office of the orphanage where we tried to get the Director's permission to visit. He was out but the Deputy Director gave permission in his absence. Then down the road and across the street to Sasha's building where we were escorted to the Doctor's office.
And now to the news you've all been waiting for--after being told his medical history, we met Sasha and he is absolutely wonderful. Billy, Scheri, Teresa and James--you guys are going to LOVE him. He is a bit chunky, has real light brown hair (kind of long) and blue eyes, chubby little fingers and has the cutest personality. Very curious, social, friendly but not overly-so, very attentive to sounds like the telephone ringing, hammers banging, saws buzzing (they are doing some renovation in his building.) Tries to mimic words. Points to his 'nose', 'mouth', 'sweater' on request. Does part of the motions to some children's rhymes the care-giver was reciting with him. Is partially potty-trained (I'm not sure exactly what that means) He loved the little bear that says 'I love you' and lights up when you squeeze it. (they called the bear a meesha) Kevin put the bear in Sasha's pocket in his overalls and Sasha thought it was great. I also took bubbles (though we didn't do too many per the dr's request because they are messy on the vinyl floor.) The first time we handed Sasha the wand he tried to blow and then stuck the wand in his mouth :) He also liked it when Kevin took pictures of him with the cell phone and then showed him the picture--he recognized who that was. There are 7 kids in his group and tomorrow morning I guess we get to play in a room with all of them. He is way cuter and way more developed than I'd imagined.
I was impressed with the medical chart which the Dr. of the building gave info out of. She said the kids go to Kiev twice a year for checkups and talked about reports from psychiatrist, ENT, cardiologist, surgeon, neurologist, eye doctor and also mentioned speech therapy and some kind of pool therapy (swimming) The hallway had photos of kids, the office had several bright, colorful toys. The caregiver obviously had a loving relationship with Sasha.
Near the end of the visit, the doctor asked what we thought. We both said he is wonderful. We were told we had as long as we needed to make up our minds about adopting him but ,of course, paperwork could not start until that decision was made. That was a no-brainer.
We went back to the orphanage administrative office again to try to get the director's approval but he still was not in. So we went down to a store where you pay for everything at once and which was equipped with shopping baskets and scanner type check stands. We were buying snacks for us plus some diapers (it has been years since I've purchased that little item) and some snacks for our visit tomorrow.
We sat in the car quite awhile before we got the message that the director was available so we went in and shook his hand and then he and Dima spoke back and forth in Ukrainian. Kevin and I were excused to the car while the paperwork proceeded. I don't know what all he did in there but we did have to supply the name we chose: (drum roll please . . . ) ****Caleb Alexander*** and state that we wanted to retain his actual birthdate of June 14 (you are allowed to move it up to 6 months forward or backward. )
After obtaining that approval it was back to Irpin for us where the Inspector's approval was added.
Finally our driver took all of us back to Kiev, drove right up on the sidewalk and parked outside an office of some kind (notary?) for quite awhile while our feet got icier and Dima's feet apparently ran around. Eventually Dima called us inside where we sat on a wooden bench for quite some time. He showed us Sasha's original birth certificate (boy, I'd like a copy of that) and a form showing our names and address in Cyrillic (?sp) Pretty cool looking! Finally we went in and signed that form in front of a notary. and then we called it a day. We got home at 3:30
Love to all, Joy