Day 19 of Anne’s Journey Back to Ukraine

Day 19 of Anne’s Journey Back to Ukraine

I woke up before my alarm again. It gets light outside so early and the window coverings do not keep out much of it. I laid in bed, not very comfortably, and tried to get caught up on my emails. The computer was sitting on the chair next to the bed. Like I said, I was not very comfortable, but I did get caught up without disturbing anyone else. The one room apartment is quite cozy. The boys are loving sleeping in the loft and Heather chose to sleep in the chair that makes into a bed. The only problem is that since my first child was born, I have been a light sleeper. Before my first was born, I slept so very deep and sound. So, the bed that I sleep in is not creeky at all, but the other beds creek every time anyone moves in them.

At 8:30, I had the task of quietly climbing the loft stairs and waking Hyrum. He was not easy to awake, but he finally became alert enough to remember why I was waking him up early. He did not want anything to eat, so he just put an apple in his pocket. Victor called at 8:50 and then came up to our apartment. We went through to make sure I had the paperwork for the medical clinic, and he showed me Hyrum’s passport. Yea!! We actually have it!. He then called a taxi. He must have been talking loud enough in the kitchen that Jonathon woke up and became curious enough about what man was speaking Russian in our apartment, that he came down the stairs and out to the kitchen. He said, “Priviet,” (sp?) or hello, waved and left.

We rode in a taxi with an Italian looking guy. Victor sat in the front seat talking with our driver while Hyrum and I sat In the back seat. I heard the words American and Utah. I had no idea what they were saying, but since I knew Hyrum knew, I was hoping they were saying nice things. We arrived at the clinic and made our way into the crowded waiting room or waiting hall. It is a hallway lined with chairs. It was crowded. We had to wait for a bit, but Victor was finally able to let someone in one of the offices know that we were there. As we were waiting, Victor told me that when he was there having an exam (I am not sure where he was traveling to – Austrailia, America, or Cananda), he had to wait while to adoptive families we put in ahead of him. One family was adopting something like six children. He just had to wait. He understands why these families need to get through the medical exams quickly, but most people do not and are not very happy about the adoptive families cutting in line.

Hryum in the taxi on the way to the health clinic, still thinking he has to get some vacinations!

We were finally invited into one room where Hyrum was weighed and his height measured. We then went back out into the hallway. We went into the Cashier’s room at the end of the hall and paid for his exam in American dollars. It was over $100. We then waited at the end of the hallway at the door next to the cashier’s door. When a man walked by Victor to go into the room, Victor spoke briefly with him. Victor said that we would be called in soon. After a relatively short wait, we entered the room. The man Victor spoke to was the doctor sitting at the desk in the room we were now standing in. He asked Hyrum questions about what he has had or not had. I guess that Hyrum must have told him that he had the chicken pox, because the doctor mentioned that he had had the chicken pox and assured me it was not a serious disease. I didn’t tell him that I know that already. I do not know how they can really rely on the word of a 12 year old boy (or a 9 year old girl for that matter) to take a health history, but I guess they do not have much of a choice. The doctor then examined him while I sat looking out the window at the green lush trees and an old brick tower. Oh, the chestnut trees are beginning to bloom. They are beautiful!! There are many chestnuts trees all over the city and Ukraine. Anyways, back to the doctor’s office. The doctor had me sign a form. I was kind of waiting for him to tell me about what immunizations that Hyrum was required to have, but he did not. We then went back out into the waiting hall while the paperwork was completed and put in a sealed envelope to be taken to the US Embassy. Hyrum was not disappointed that he did not get any shots (Jonathon was quite disappointed when he found out that Hyrum did not have to have any shots). We were called into another room and given a white envelope with Hyrum’s embassy papers, and we were also given a few loose papers. We went out to the lobby where Victor called a taxi. We were there for only about an hour and a half. Victor called a taxi to take us over to the US Embassy. We waited inside for the ten minutes it would take the taxi to get there. It was quite chilly outside and wet. It was a humid cold and Hyrum had not dressed very warmly. While we waited, Victor and I were chatting. I sat on the corner of an empty desk that was near the elevator. A woman that worked there was walking by me told me the chairs were for sitting not the desk. I got off the desk and just stood. She was very nice to me. We went out to meet the taxi and discovered it was the same taxi driver. Victor had volunteered that the taxi driver loves America. He has a sister that lives in Maryland and thinks America is great! The chatting continued in the front seat while Hyrum and I sat quietly in the back. We arrived at the embassy. Victor made a phone call and in a short time, was able to give Hyrum’s passport and white envelope to a guard. We then left. We had considered walking home as we had the previous week with Natasha on a beautiful sunny and warm day, but due to the weather, we caught a bus that took us quite close to where we were staying. Victor came up with us to give me some papers. The children were happy to see Victor. They really like him, and he really likes them.

Some of the papers are the children’s grade reports from their classes. The only things that Yuri gets good grades in are physical education and some kind of hands on class. It is a good thing that we are good at teaching math in our family, because Jonathon will need it. I sure hope that he is willing to work hard. As I mentioned before, he had the disadvantage of having a mother that didn’t bother sending them to school and did not work with them at all for his first five years or so of school. He then lived in a shelter for a time, where the people there really did not care for the children. If the children ran away, they didn’t even bother looking for them (their college age sister Leena shared this information with me). They figured if they got hungry enough, they would return. The children were finally put in an orphanage where they really began school. Heather and Hyrum were in the earliest grades, and that was an advantage to them. Jonathon was put into his age level with no preparation. So you can see how discouraging his academic education has probably been for him over the years, so his love of playing sports had been his one bright spot in his day. I hope that he will not become discourage with all the work of learning English AND beginning the basics in math to get a strong foundation. He does enjoy reading out loud for our scripture reading and even with the missionaries and at church. That is a big plus. He also enjoyed reading some of the Chronicles of Narnia in Russian. We have the series at home in English and Russian that I hope he we enjoy reading.

Hyrum does great in his academics and average in his physical education. He is very much an eager learner and not shy in the least about trying something new. Heather was going to school with children two years older than her (Hyrum’s age), so her grades were not fabulous. They just didn’t have children her age at the orphanage. I hope that she will have great success learning at her own level. I think she will learn English quickly. She likes to copy, at times, what Lucy and I say. I already know that Gabe is not going to be so happy about her copying what he says, because when we were Skyping the other day, Gabe says, “Tell Heather to quit copying you!” I told him that she would probably be copying him too. He said, “She better not!”

We hung out in the apartment for a while. We had planned on meeting with their sister again today. We have met with her two other times. She called to see if we could meet earlier than we had planned. We said yes and headed out shortly after to to meet her new Pazata Hata. We waited for her. As we waited, I was looking around for a place to sit. I found a light poll with a big wide cement base that was perfect to sit on. Something about the gray paint looked a little odd to me, so just before I was going to turn around and sit down, I reached down and touched the paint with my pointer finger. Uh oh. I almost sat in some oil based light gray paint. My backside would have looked very bad. Jonathon realized what I had just about done and he started slowly clapping, you know a sarcastic kind of clapping. I kind of thought that was funny.  Their sister arrived and we headed off to Pazata Hata. After we had started eating, Leena told me that her sister told her that I had asked them if they knew any family stories or stories about the children that they could share with me. Apparently, the oldest sister Ira lived with the grandma much of the time since she was a half sister, so she didn’t know much of went on. The other sister, Leena said, was too shy to tell me much even if she did remember. So, Leena told me that she had a few things that she could remember that she would share with me. I had a little tiny notebook that I keep in my wallet, and knowing that Tony would love to hear as much detail as I could share, I took notes the entire time she was talking. Sorry I won’t be sharing the stories with you all, but I soooo appreciated her taking the time to share them with me. She also brought a few photos to give us. None of them were really great quality, but they are treasures none the less. We finished up our visit at Pazata Hata, or so I thought. We headed upstairs and as we were passing the little kids room, where people can leave their children while they eat, Hyrum and Heather really wanted to stop their again to watch one of their favorite cartoons about a big bear and a little girl. We did this yesterday too. Since no one was in the small room and the cartoon was playing. We all made ourselves comfortable on the little chairs. Jonathon played a game on his sisters phone. Hyrum and Heather watched the cartoon as Lucy, Leena and I continued our visiting. I finally said it was time to go. I had told the children that I would buy them an ice cream cone. I invited Leena to join us. Instead of going to the little booth, as I had originally planned, we went in to the McDonalds. Wow! That was quite the experience. I will try to include a photo. It was like an upscale, trendy restaurant. Do they have fancy McDonalds in New York City and other big cities?! In the front they had a Mc(something) where they served fancy desserts and lattes or whatever those coffee type drinks are.

The fancy McDonalds

 We needed to meet Lucy’s brother, Alex, to get some parenting books I had lent to Kim and Kerry and they had left with Lucy. We invited Leena to join us for the walk. We walk much further than I had thought we were going to go, but it was a pleasant walk. We ended out at the new stadium they are building for the Euro 2012 soccer games. The children and I said our goodbyes to Leena as she left to catch her train. She was in tears, Heather had a few in her eyes, and Hyrum looked like he was intrigued and touched by his sisters tears. I assured her that we would keep in touch with her. She was the only sister that really tried to keep in touch with them. She cannot care for them and is grateful that we will be able to help them.

We met up with Alex and had a nice walk back through town. We stopped by a stand and purchased some more Russian videos to bring home. They all have Russian subtitles that I hope will help me and some of my family learn Russian or retain Russian. Heather was very excited. We now have the movie Up, Bambi, Beauty and the Beast, etc. Alex pointed out the the first 5 star hotel that was made 10 years ago in a remodeled old building. He said there are now a number of 5 star hotels in Kiev. We stopped by the grocery store to get some groceries and snacks for the trip. Alex offered to stay outside with the children so we could be faster. I thank him, but told him we can all go in. Grocery shopping is one of our events of our days. I enjoy having the children there with me. They probably won’t consider it nearly as fun after being in the States for a while. We then returned home. Lucy had to head out to meet a friend to help her buy a train ticket. The kids and I switched the laundry, hung the wet stuff, and packed a little bit more.

Oh, I almost forgot. I was eating a small cup of yogurt and granola, which was my dessert since I didn’t buy any at McDonalds. As I was eating it and checking my emails, the children wanted me to come join them in eating more salted, dried fish that their sister had brought. She brought three more. I decided to join them, after all, I hadn’t died eating from the other two dried fish. I must say that yogurt, granola, and salty fish are probably not the best taste combinations, at least I don’t think so. Lucy returned from her meeting with her friend. Her friend told her that she smelled so badly she the friend could hardly talk with her. We did smell very fishy. Since we have to rip the fish and each little bite with our hands after pulling off all the scales, it is hard to smell like anything other than fish. My boys at home would love the fish!! So sorry we can’t bring the last one home to you.

That pretty much finished up our day. Two more days until we will be home!!

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