Day 4 of Anne’s Journey Back to Ukraine


Day 4 of Anne’s Journey Back to Ukraine

I must begin with my brief battle during the night with a mosquito. What! You say. Mosquitos in April! That exactly what I thought. But it was true. I heard that mosquito battle whine and tried to shew it away. I then laid there awake, awaiting the next attack. Sure enough, I could hear it. I slapped the side of my head and must have hit my unseen target. I was not bothered again and only had one tiny little bite mark just under my left eye. I would have looked terrible if I hadn’t killed that thing!!

It is now Tuesday, the BIG day.  We get to go pick the children up today!!!  We figured out our schedule last night so that we would be ready for the taxi drive, Yura, when he would arrive at 8:30 a.m. When I woke up I checked the hot water, and guess what . . . yep! No hot water! Lucy wondered if that might happen when we discovered the radiant heat (heated by water pipes) had been turned off while we were gone yesterday. So, we quickly boiled water in two pans. I put one of the pans in the bathroom sink and leaned over the tub with a mug in my hand. I scoop up some boiling water, added a little cold water and dumped it on my head, you can imagine how the rest of the hair shampooing and conditioning went. I then stood in the shower to try to get the rest of my body somewhat clean. Lucy used the kitchen sink to do her hair and then the shower when I was finished.

I like our bathroom! (now that we have hot water!)

We managed to be ready just a little bit behind schedule. We took the bumpy ride out to the orphanage. It was a two hour ride from Dnepr. Lucy and I passed most of the time on the bumpy road trying to finish the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice that we had watched yesterday on the train. Please do try to imagine how much more romantic the movie would be bumping along the country roads, swerving to miss the potholes, and getting a bit warm with no air-conditioning. It made us feel like we were bumping along with them in their carriage rides.

We arrived just before the last half hour of the movie. Zhenia and Luba were out front waiting for us. They were dressed nicely. I proceeded to go to the director’s office with our facilitator to sign the papers that would allow us to sign the children out of the orphanage. I signed a document for each child and then had to sign two more sets of these three documents, in all I signed 9 pages for both me and Tony.

I asked Lucy to go around with the children taking photos of their rooms and their friends. While they were doing this, I asked, Yulia, the director, if she would please share with me any concerns or information she felt would be helpful to me as the children’s new mom. She did share a little bit. She also said that she feels that the children will always make her along with Tony and I very proud. She will miss the children and is very happy for them. She said that when she was in our home last fall that she was so very impressed with my me, my children and Tony. She felt that we would all be a good family for Yuri, Zhenia, and Luba. We had a lovely conversation (through Victor, our facilitator). I thanked her very much for her wonderful care of the children and all the other people that help care for them.

Yuri’s Bedroom. Do you see him down there?

I decided that I really needed to use the restroom. They told me which one to use. Up to this point, after having visited the orphanage for almost three weeks, I had managed to NEVER use the restroom while I was there. So I walked into the restroom and discovered there were no doors on the three little stalls that didn’t really have much of a wall to divide them. I turn around and went to find Lucy. Lucy returned with me to stand guard at the door so that I could have a bit of privacy. Are you wondering if it was smelly? Of course, it was! How can it not be when the toilet paper has to go in the garbage next to the “toilet” thing?!

We gave the girls the fingernail polish and the supplies that went along with them. We also gave all the embroidery floss to the girls. We asked them to please share all of them.  Next thing I notice, the older girls have the fingernail polish supplies sticking out of their pockets as they go by. I guess they will find something else to do with those nice clear shoe boxes that all the supplies were in.

Saying Goodbye to some of the teachers.

We went to the apartment building next to the dormitory to meet and say good-bye to one of Yuri’s teachers and one of Luba’s teachers. Luba’s teacher got a little teary eyed as we visited. We sat down and looked at the photo album with pictures of our family and of the children when they were in our home. I think these teachers really care for these children. While we were doing this, small little groups of children and workers were gathered in various places in front of the school and the dormitory to say Paka (Good-bye). We headed for the car, waved good-bye, took pictures,  gave Yulia a hug, and climbed in the car. Oh, first I had to climb in the back seat of our facilitator’s taxi so that I could go over the expenses he has incurred, get my money, and pay him. We then climbed out of the back seat. We had already had a similar meeting when I arrived today at the orphanage and had to get the money he had withdrawn from the children’s bank accounts. I really do not like doing business in the back seat of a taxi cab, but it was the most convenient place to transact such business and better than in front of the many pairs of watchful eyes. I also forgot to say that when I had returned with Zhenia to the car to get our photo album to show to Luba’s teacher, I found the taxi locked, but discovered that one of the orphanage boys was sitting inside the taxi. Seeing which boy it was made me just a little bit nervous. He had been the boy that had stolen a bag of candy that one of the children had given me for my birthday a few weeks ago. Because of this, I had Zhenia open the trunk of the taxi so that I could put all of my belongings into the trunk so that this boy would not be tempted. I took a quick look through my equipment, and it didn’t look like anything was missing. Back to where I was at. I had just finished my backseat meeting with my facilitator. Lucy, the children and I all climbed into the car to make our departure. Yuri, Zhenia, and Luba were all very happy as we rolled down our windows and waved to everyone as we drove away from the orphanage heading down the hill in the direction of the mighty river. Earlier, one of the girls names Anna was crying. She is a cute dark-eyed girl. We were not quite sure what all she was upset about, but it was said that she was sad to see these three friends leave. She is too old to be adopted.

Leaving the orphanage city.

We had a happy two-hour drive to Dnepr. We arrived at 3:00 p.m. After unloading our stuff into the apartment, the children each took showers and we got their laundry started in the washing machine. We realized when we smelled the unpleasant odors of their shoes and socks, that first thing on the agenda for tomorrow would be new shoes.

After the children were all dress, we went out and caught the streetcar to go up the street to Pazata Hata for an early dinner. They were out of my tomato and cucumber salad, so I decided to eat something besides my regular salad and borsch. I ate one of the salads that my son Ryan really likes (according to Lucy) along with two stuffed bell peppers. It was okay, but I think I will go back to eating my salad and the borsch.

Anne, Yuri, Luba & Zhenia at Pazata Hata (sp?)

We finished dinner in perfect time to walk over to the branch building for the English class that the missionaries offer. The children and I attended the beginner’s class. Wow, what a crowd of people were there for all three classes. I was amazed. There were probably over 30 people there for the beginners class. We stayed around visiting for a while. I met Elder Hall that my son Ryan served with. It has been so fun to meet some of the people that Ryan worked with. I would so love to go to the area where he served as a branch president, but alas, that will need to be on another trip (maybe when we come on our next adoption tripJ!)

After we finally pulled Lucy away from all her visiting, a couple of the missionaries walked with us in the direction of a good shopping market. When they got us close enough, we thanked them and parted ways.  We purchased some groceries to get us by for a few meals. As we checked out, we all managed to get the stuff bagged up. We then went out to catch the streetcar. We could have walked, but the bags were heavy enough that the handles would have cut into Yuri and Zhenia’s hands if they carried them for very long. We were glad to get home. I tried to do some blogging. It is really difficult to take the time to blog. Please pretend that I am over here speaking so much Russian that you can allow yourself to excuse all kinds of grammar and spelling errors. Thanks! I didn’t get into bed until very late and when I did get into get, I was so very cold. We had left the windows open. I tiptoed into the boys room to get the space heater that I had noticed in there. After testing it out in the kitchen, I tiptoed into our bedroom to get it plugged in. I FINALLY fell asleep. The apartment was cooking hot by the time we woke up the next morning.


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