Here's Steven actually sitting down in the hallway chair very briefly
Nastya and Alexey picked us up mid-morning. First off, we had to get a notarized copy of my apostilled power of attorney paper from Kevin. Then we headed to Irpin (the same town where we had court for Caleb's adoption.) I'd guess this was a 30-40 minute drive through some beautiful woods and fields. Teresa missed this journey because she was sleeping soundly on my lap.
There we went to the tax police office and waited in the car while Alexey went in alone. Nastya said in Ukraine everyone has a tax number--similar to the social security number in the U.S. We have to get Steven's number that he already has assigned to his new name before we can get started on his passport. Quite some while later Alexey returned to the car really, really, really frustrated. He had been told that it would take two days to change the last name, two days to change the first name, two days to change the middle name--and they could not change more than one name at a time. The SOONEST we could have the tax number would be a week from Friday. Definitely not good. I am hoping to be taking a anniversary cruise on the Snake River back in Idaho on that day. Well, Nastya got on the phone and called Oleg and I'm not sure who else. After several minutes of talking both she and Alexey headed into the tax office. And Teresa and I were praying that God would go before them, give them favor, make a way where there seemed to be no way. (Side note to readers: thanks to everyone else who has been praying for us as well.) They were in there quite a while but when they finally returned the new word was that we might have it done as soon as tomorrow!
But since we don't have it today there wasn't anything else we could do in the adoption process. And since we aren't done with the sit-in-the-car-and-do-paperwork stage, I decided not to stop for Steven today. I do NOT think he would tolerate the close confines of a car very well and since restrooms seem to be so few and far between in our travels, where would I take him potty if he needed to go? Teresa was very disappointed that he's not coming to the apt today but I hope understands that we must do what is best for Steven whether it's what we would prefer or not.
Alexey dropped us off at our apartment and I took in the suitcase of cold-weather clothes for Steven we'd left with them back in December. Teresa watched a few cartoons on TV, I sent a few emails and then we headed across the city by metro to visit Steven. Again the boys were outside playing. As usual some of the bigger boys met us out on the sidewalk to greet us. This freaks Teresa out but I think it's kind of fun. I also think some of the bigger boys must alert the worker of the little boys that we have arrived because we hadn't waited long before Steven arrived in the usual hallway 'play area'. This is a tougher place to visit because he loves to escape out into the other part of the orphanage, hide behind the drapes, rip leaves off the trees. He did kiss me today. He sat quietly in my arms for the longest time yet when I held him kind of like a baby. And he seemed to be calmed when I held him sideways across my arms and just gently swayed him back and forth. And we found out he likes dress-up: I had the two scarves in my purse that we purchased at the Perschesk-Lavra for head-coverings so we were being silly with them. We tied one around his head and the other around his shoulders. He was swaying around, singing, looking at himself and actually disappeared into another group's room for awhile, returning with only Teresa's scarf :( Other than that I would say he was pretty wild. But he was not the only one: the other little boys that came sneaking out were climbing up on the table, standing on the table, jumping off the table, getting into my purse, running off with Teresa's sweatshirt and sandals, screaming and one even tipped over a tree (I was really glad Steven wasn't the guilty party this time) Yipes! I was still down on the floor trying to scoop up the spilled dirt when the group came by for dinner.
I would so appreciate your prayers for peace for the people of the orphanage. Some are very supportive of our adoption but some are very worried. I guess just earlier THIS week Alexey had to deal quite sharply with someone there who is convinced we only want to adopt him so we can sell his organs. How could someone honestly believe we would put ourselves through ALLLLL the hassle and expense of an adoption for some sicko purpose like that. These rumors are widely circulated I guess here in Ukraine and so these people who truly care for Steven's well-being are sincerely worried about his future.
We were nearly at death's door by this time :) :) in spite of our well-rounded lunch of pretzels, granola bars (For Teresa), and a bag of Teriyaki turkey jerky so we stopped at the food court at the Maidan metro stop and I managed to order 2 Big Macs, 2 fries WITH KETCHUP, and drinks (with honest-to-goodness ice) AND straws!! That ordering feat was definitely worth a high-five. (Do I have to admit that the cashier spoke English quite well?)
Sorry, I'm not done but it's 1:45 am and I MUST get to sleep.