Big church near our apt--Catholic I believe
There was a wedding in progress apparently--Kevin was intrigued with the limo
A little panorama of old Kiev inside the furnicular
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.