Friday, December 19, 2008

The New Year's Tree and St. Nicholas

These are pictures of the huge New Year's Tree standing in Independence Square with some close-up shots of some of the panels around the bottom. I assume the pictures on the panels come from stories well-known in Ukraine. I really don't know why the tree was lit for awhile tonight because the official lighting was on Dec 20.

First off I want to say a big thank you to each one who has left a message. You really cannot imagine how much I appreciate every comment-it lets me know that I am not just talking to myself and reminds me that we are not alone. The success of our adoption will be the result of the prayers of many, many people. Also I want to let everyone in Hansen know that we are not having any more problem with our email so we would love to receive any and all notes (hint! hint!) And to all my Reeces Rainbow friends, you do not know how it is killing me not to have internet time to follow all the digests and blogs. So I am sending out congratulations for any and all good news that I will read about when we get back to the States and am asking God to help in all the difficult situations that may be going on with anyone.

Unfinished business: to any who are wondering, yes, Kevin was able to fix the zipper on my coat. And the clothes-even the jeans--dried very well so I didn't need to worry about that at all.

Yesterday, Thursday, honestly was quite a frustrating day for me because it felt like so little was accomplished. The only thing we did on the adoption front was get in the car with Alexi and Dima, drive to a nearby notary, and change the wording on our petition to adopt for the court. The notary seemed very pleasant and she thanked us for adopting. Then back to the apartment we went. I need to realize however that a lot of other stuff was going on that we were not directly involved in: our case WAS presented at the guardianship council, and I think paperwork involving the orphanage was also done. I believe Alexi said that paperwork for the court will be submitted on Monday and some other paperwork on Tuesday. Courts close on Dec 26 so please pray that God's will and timing will be done. Of course, we would like to have court done before we leave.

We decided while there was still daylight to jump on the Metro and see if we could figure out the missionary's directions for getting to the church. By the way, the metro now costs 2 grievna per person rather than half a grievna. But the exchange rate is much different also: when we were here before, the rate was 5:1. It's been changing daily since we've been here and I've seen it about 9.5:1! We got to the correct metro stop without difficulty but couldn't figure out which bus to take from there. Christine, the missionary, told me the name of the street we were looking for and I tried to spell the first part of it the way I thought it would look here--but didn't see it. She mentioned giving us fuller directions so we'll have to take her up on that.

When we got back to our stop we each ate some yummy potato cakes, salad, fries and tea for less than $5 all together. We climbed up to ground level and were so tickled to see that the huge tree in Independence Square was all lit up with very colorful picture panels all around the bottom. Back in our room we listened to multiple repetitions of the world news on CNN (the only English channels are news channels so I'd have to say I'm way more up to date on what's happening on the planet than usual :) I did Sudoku puzzles (thanks, Mom), a load of laundry, and watched a Bonanza DVD.

Today feels better. Thanks again for your prayers. Alexi picked us up and we drove over to the orphanage which is in Kiev but quite a distance from our apartment. We got to go right into R's play area. The little boys were all dressed up because the orphanage was having St. Nicholai 'concert' and we got to watch it from the front row!! There are 7 little boys in R's group (including another little R that several of us know and love) They were the youngest boys in the auditorium. I'm not a great judge of numbers but I'd say there were around 150 boys in there of various ages all of whom it seemed were dressed nicely. The group of boys on the stage were mostly dressed in black pants, white shirts, black ties. They sang songs and recited quite lengthy parts. At the appropriate time, St. Nicholai appeared on the stage which scared R who was seated between us. He started crying. One of the workers came to try to comfort him which worked for a bit. Then R moved over by her for awhile before coming back to us. Then it seemed to become a bit of a game for him to move from her to us so Kevin just sat him on his lap. The program was very cute but as is the story of my life it seems, my phone camera was dead as a doorknob so I got zero photos.

When we got back to the playroom we tore out pages from our Color Magic book and let all the little boys color. They'd seen Kevin pull a furry paw glove out of his bag so were very interested in what else might be in there. R got hold of my camera and was pretending to take pictures. I posed for one. The main worker seems to like us. The little boys all headed to eat so we waited in the playroom until Alexi got back. I was pleased to see the cute wallpaper with kittens and puppies on it. We peaked into the bedroom (the door was open) and used the restroom so got to see the 7 little potties, the 7 towels, 7 toothbrush holders. I was glad to see each person had their own. Also there was a shallow (maybe 6 inches deep) maybe 2 1/2 to 3 foot square porcelain tub. I wonder if that is what they use for bathing the kids.

AND WE FINALLY HAVE CHOSEN A NAME: STEVEN MIKHYAL McCLAIN. The middle name is part of his paternistic name and we like it. Birthdate March 6, 2004.

Well, I'd better get off of here--we need to go find lunch.

B, S, T, J, and Caleb: we love you so much. Have a great time at Grandma and Papa's house tonight and please give everyone our love. We love you Mom and Dad, and Mark and Kim and Jessica and Brandon and Natalia and Justice and John and Kandous. I did get a head start on the cookie dough and on the butterscotch peanuts--just so you know! We will miss being with you.


Alice said...

Wow, the orphanage sounds just the opposite of the horrors I was imagining! I guess all our prayers for little R's protection were answered. It is great you are getting to spend time with all 7 boys. What a blessing for all of you.

Conethia and Jim Bob said...

The orphanage program sounds so sweet! I'm glad you got to watch the program. Another couple who is adopting now wasn't allowed to watch their little girl. I pray your court date comes swiftly. Stay strong.

Charissa said...

It's so great to hear an update, Joy. I hope you'll be able to post pictures of that sweet boy soon!


Wow, Sounds like fun.. Can't wait to see pictures !! Steven is 20 days older than our Bella. That is pretty neat. I will pray for court be the Holidays start over there. jody

a said...

oh how wonderful, I am so glad he is in a nice home and will be going to an even nicer home. It sounds like things are going so incredibly well for you. I am so glad they were able to present you to council, I hope you are lucky enough to get a court date before the 26th, wouldn't that be wonderful? Big prayers they can squeeze you in...

AZmomto8 said...

The institution sounds amazing, so loving and well run. I would bet the staff and director at Vorzel had a little to do with that, they loved R so much. I love the number 7, I think it is a good sign it is such a part of R's life too!

The camera thing sounds so much like R, LOL.

Praying all continues to go well.

Shelley said...

We're praying that you get a court date before the 26th. What a wonderful Christmas present that will be!
I'm glad to hear that your little guy has been in what sounds like a relatively good place. Can't wait to see pictures!

Amy said...

I'm so glad to hear that your little Steven is in a nice orphanage. I know I cried the day I heard he may have been transferred and worried about him. Now that he has his Mommy and Daddy that he has wanted and needed so badly. Praying for a quick court date for you.

Anonymous said...

The kids are all exited that today is the last day of school, before Christmas.

I hope that you have a good day :)we all love you!


Carson's Mom said...

That is encouraging to hear about the orphanage- it certainly sounds better than some we have heard about. Hopefully you can get pictures of the other "R" while you are there in hopes of him finding a family as well.


MamaPoRuski said...

Congratulations on a successful Metro ride! That is an accomplishment!
I am an adoption blog hound only because we spent 8 weeks in Ukraine and NEVER met another adopting family until the embassy! If it were not for the local missionaries to speak English with and talk to when we were frustrated, I don't think we would have made it! Praying for you!