Monday, June 8, 2009

Kiev, June 5-7

Dressed up again for our second court date

A view of the entry door to our apartment

Teresa being silly. There are a lot of plants being tended out behind the apartment building.

We are in a different court room this time. The judge sits in the middle seat with the jurors on each side of her.
The cell for criminals is off to the right.

Kevin, the inspector and Joy

Alexey, Nastya, Kevin and Teresa
Our visit with Steven in the afternoon--officially our son now

The orphanage grounds

Walking out toward the front gate
Relaxing back in the apartment

Big church near our apt--Catholic I believe

There was a wedding in progress apparently--Kevin was intrigued with the limo
Having pizza out on the deck of this restaurant

Our Dnipro river tour--this boat is similar to the one we rode on

Teresa and I went strolling along the riverside while waiting for Kevin to return from changing some money for the tour

I thought this little church kind of out on this little 'island' was really cute

Scenes along the riverside while on our river cruise

This is some official building up near St. Michael's
Views of St. Michael's

A little panorama of old Kiev inside the furnicular
Goodness! Will I ever get caught up on this!

The judge came back into the room on Friday and began reading her decision. Now Roman is officially Steven Mikyal McClain!!! It was wonderfully good news after such a long wait. My eyes were pretty leaky.

Our visit with Steven that afternoon was pretty rough, however (and that was after we spent almost an hour trying to find the orphanage--things looked so different with leaves and grass and fruit stands rather than just ice and snow AND we got off at the wrong exit to begin with) I think most of the people who are following this blog are at least somewhat familiar with institutional behavior and that is definitely what we were seeing. On the one hand Steven seemed to really like having me hold him, hug him, kiss him, etc and he responded positively by hugging back, kissing his hand at me, etc. But he also bit my neck and spit in my face a couple of times. He also grabbed my glasses over and over. Right now, he seems to think running off, throwing toys, grabbing glasses, spitting, etc are quite funny and just giggles and giggles. Kevin really held his ground about not letting him run out the door to join the other kids outside--just kept telling him 'no' and 'nyet' Teresa was pretty bummed with him and was saying 'he doesn't care about us' and 'I like Caleb better' etc. because we were trying to play with him and Steven kept just turning away from us--throwing ball at wall rather than to us, running into hallway, living room, etc. It was a tough visit for all of us. I really hesitate to say this but I think it's important because other people who haven't travelled yet may have some tough visits and need to know it's pretty normal. It honestly reminded me of how people treated Jesus when he came to adopt and redeem us.

I think I forgot to mention earlier that Kevin's wallet got stollen on Thursday. He hasn't even been carrying it but in our apartment had been getting something out of it and just put it in his back pocket by habit. He'd noticed it when we were walking WAY down the street looking for an internet cafe, so he had buttoned the back pocket and pulled his shirt down over the top of it. However, in this one metro we were absolutely packed in like sardines and we are guessing that's when someone took advantage of the situation. So rather than visit Steven that afternoon we had to go back to our apartment and cancel credit card, debit card, etc.

Saturday exhaustion set in and we slept until something like 2 or 3 in the afternoon!! Yipes!

Sunday was a great day. It was raining when we left our apartment--which by the way looks much better in the daylight--several trees and lots of flowers are planted out there. Anyway, we made good use of the rain ponchos Pat got us--thankfully, she had the sense to find out what weather in Kiev was like. We got to church a little late, right in the middle of the prayer and worship service. We saw a few people we had met when we were here before and met some other very precious folks. Being the first Sunday of the month, they were serving communion. The regular pastor is back in the States temporarily. We actually ended up staying for the beginning part of the second service as well. Then home in lovely, sunny, rather hot weather to change into jeans and crocs and downtown we headed. Boy, did we do the town. We walked all over the place, we ate pizza on an outside deck with lovely baskets of petunias hanging overhead, we went on a one hour boat tour of the Dnipro River (only 25 grievnas apiece, exchange is about 7.6), we rode up and down the furnicular, we were at St. Michaels when they were actually doing a service. The harmony of the music was beautiful. Then we headed for the internet cafe. Thankfully Kevin and Teresa did not take my suggestion of just going on to the apartment. I found out I had no clue where I needed to be. There is a HUGE underground shopping mall near the Tolstogo metro that goes all the way to the end of Kreschatik boulevard, I guess. We walked and walked and walked trying to get to this Samsung Club. Finally we found the right place. Then over to the food court for baked potatoes and some kind of sandwich. They turned the light off on us--I think it was about 10:15 or 10:30 pm by then. It was a long day.

Today--yes, almost caught up--we had a time getting ourselves out of bed. The visit with Steven today went much better. He walked right over to us when we arrived the 2nd time (the first time he was napping) but went obediently with his group to have a snack. We got to play outside with him and he seemed much calmer. He wasn't too interested in the bubbles. He threw the truck so as we'd decided ahead of time we just calmly put the truck away. But he enjoyed sweeping with a bundle of twigs he found (Caleb loved to sweep, too) and we played ball with him quite awhile. He absolutely loved it when Kevin put him up on his shoulders and ran around with him. He was smiling ear to ear. Teresa and he played on some tires. He let me hold him and hug him and kiss him and didn't bite me or spit at me. He did grab my glasses a couple times and actually threw Kevin's on the ground. He ended up playing quietly digging with a stick in the dirt--not really interacting with us but not running off either and not being so wild. Teresa and I played in the dirt, too. Just as I was thinking 'we could pretend we are making cake' Steven took a bite of his dirt--hopefully he didn't swallow too much. The adjoining field to this play area has tons of stinging nettle in it. Kevin got a little on his leg but the hand sanitizer seemed to make it feel better.

I'm sorry this is so disjointed and dry. Hopefully now that I'm pretty much caught up with the facts I can spend more time with feelings and reflections, etc.

Thanks to everyone for their prayers and good wishes. I am dying to read up on Reece's Rainbow to see how all my friends are doing but will have to wait.

For anyone in Kiev or coming soon, here is our address: Krasnoarmeyskaya St. 102, Apt 131 Our apt phone is +88(044) 529-1872. We have a cell phone, too but I don't have that number with me right now. We are closest to the Palats Ukraina metro stop on the blue line.

As far as the vote that was supposed to happen here in Ukraine on June 2 that could so drastically affect adoptions, it has been delayed for now. Nastya has heard all kinds of rumors about whether it's going to actually happen or not. I think it is still pretty much up in the air.


Alice said...

Hurray! Congratulations!! Praise God!!! Steven is finally yours! Wow, you guys have had a tough time getting there. I am so happy things have worked out. When do you bring him back to your apartment? Praying for the transition for Steven, and the adjustments all of you will be making.

Lyndi said...

Congratulations, it's official!! We will be there next Monday, so maybe we can catch up to you guys. I wrote down your address and number. Hope your visits with Steven continue to get better and better and the bonding and healing can begin!

Mandy said...

Congrats!!!!!!! Sorry about all the mishaps but wow. to see the words Steven McClain, made me tear up!!!!
Tell Nastya and Alexi hi :)
Praying you home!!!

Charissa said...

Praying for you all. I loved your insight on the comparison of how Jesus was received. It will take time. God bless your family!

a said...

in the words of Dory "just keep swimming, just keep swimming" you'll be home in June, YES!!

The Keno Family said...

Thanks for the great update Joy! And congratulations on your new son! I will pray for a smooth trip home and that Steven will blend into your great family quickly!
Mary Ellen Keno

Arizona mom to eight said...

I am so happy to read all of this Joy and congratulations on your successful adoption, you know I am thnking HF right now. Prayers for a seamless journey from this point forward. Hug Steven for me.

Christy said...

Yeah! He is your son now! So excited for you! I hope you enjoy the rest of your stay and have a safe trip home! Sorry about the wallet.... like you needed that to worry about!

Amy L said...

It just breaks me heart to think of what Steven has gone through living there. Finally he is coming home and will not be hurt anymore.
I'm sorry to hear about the wallet, how stressful!
Praying for all of you and thank you for the update, I have been praying for Steven since the first time I saw him:)!

Hi~I'm Alysha said...

What a great post to read! This one was sooo waited for!:) Congrats on your new son!!! Thru tears I read his new name :) There's no place to go but up from here! God is soooo good!~Praying for you all.~ ((HUGS))