Wednesday, January 20, 2010

SDA appointment

Hi all,

Sorry it's been so long but as most remember sometimes you have Internet and sometimes you don't I will let you figure out which was the case. So I left off that we were traveling to Bachisary to visit the inspector this is the town Tanya was born in. We had gotten word earlier that morning that there definetly would not be a seperation for the girls given but the is a brother in another boarding school that we could possibly get seperated so we picked up Tanya and traveled there. Well the news didn't get alot better there seems the mom has been visiting the girls and if these visits are considered official then you have to wait 6 months with no visits. The good news was the inspector did say she felt she could seperate the brother from the 3 girls. So e talked to Tanya and asked her why her wishes were and she said she would rather not bring her sisters with her as she has had to care for them all their lives and she wanted a new life with a new start without her sisters. We were taken back by this as to us as Americans I could not dream of leaving my brother behind if he had an opportunity to have a future also. We told her to think about it and we had to get on a plane to Kiev for our SDA appointment on Tuesday. As Jeff and I sat in the airport I could see the sadness on Jeff's face and I asked what he was thinking and he said he didnt want to talk about it till we were on the plane. As we left Simferopol I knew we wouldnt be returning. Jeff said that she was not the same little girl he left 5 months ago. She had changed, had hardend, had grown up way too much and we had to think of Madison and what we didnt want her exposed too.

We arrived in Kiev just in time to celebrate Gayla's birthday party with her and her friends. It was a wonderful night of singing and fellowshiping and it kinds eased the pain of the past few days. We were taken back to the apartment by our driver where we settled in and slept before we had to be at the SDA on Tues...All went well and we got a referal for one girl. I bought a awesome artic fox hat and I lot very Ukrainian now and it is so warm and I need it as the region we are in it will be -23 degrees tomorrow and we have had about 9 inches of snow. We have no internet service so we must visit the internet cafe to check and recieve emails so posting will be limited. Please pray for us the right decisions are made and we make it home safe. The prayer that I have decided is my signature prayer for this adoption in the Serentiy Prayer. I is what is getting me through. Madison is struggling with us being gone. She is very sad when we talk to her and wants us home. We miss her how can she have been a part of us for such a short period and it hurts so much to not be with her. I am sure we will all make it through this as our work here is not done but will soon be. We love you all and pray for our safe travels with the weather and the roads.

Jeff and Donna

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sunday in Simferopol....

The morning did not begin very early for us as we are trying to adjust to sleeping when we should be awake and vice versa, so at 10 we finally got ourselves together and went downstairs to see the Princess Dasha sitting at the table eating breakfast that her mama had made. We sat down and watched as Oksana made french toast. We ate and just really enjoyed talking and solving the worlds problems. Soon we all got ready and bundled up and walked outside for Jeff to realize he forgot his long underwear so eventhough Dasha was wrapped up like a snow bunny Jeff felt the need to go back in and dress for the unusually cold day here in the Crimea. We walked to the end of the street and before I had to ask (or whine) Oksana assured me we were catching a bus. So we got on the bus and headed toward Gargina. We got off the bus about a block away and walked down to the orphanage we were greeted first by Oyla and she is just the sweetest thing and might I add an emotional wreck....but she smiled and we asked where Tanya was and what was with all the traffic. Today is election day in the Ukraine. There are 18 candiates for president and a voting station was at the school so Tanya was selling crafts that the children had made. We made a stop in the boarding house to get Galya and wait for Becky and Gulya to join us as we brought over Becky's medicine. When they arrived we headed toward the school to find usual she greeted us with a smile and hugs...We asked the caretakers if we could have the girls to take them to get something to eat. As we were walking out I asked for someone to go get Galya. Olya immediately ran in and was gone for just a second and came out bawling her eyes out...we asked what was wrong and Oksana said the caretaker was saying very mean things to her like she was not worthy or good and Oksana asked her why she speaks to her this way and she said "she knows why" so we just tried to get her to stop crying and took her onto the cafe to get some french fries and juice. All the girls sat and ate as myself, Jeff, Oksana and Becky just talked. After this we took the girls back to the compound of the orphange and then we had somethings to talk about with the girls. Tanya had shared that her little sister had been severely burnt when she was little and we asked to see her scar....poor child...she had fallen into a firepit.. she has the most unbelievable smile you would never know the scar on her skin...truly makes new meaning of beauty is only skin deep. We left the little girls at the orphange and walked with Becky and Gulya to their apartment where Tanya and Gulya fixed us dinner that consisted of fried eggs with crab meat on top, cookies and sunflower seeds...Then we said goodbye to Tanya and the Child's and came on home to Oksana's.

Tomorrow we will get to see Alex (aka Jeff Gordan) as we make a trip to the town in which Tanya was born to talk to the inspector and then back to Simferopol to catch a plane to Kiev to make our SDA appointment Tuesday at 12. It will surely be a long day tomorrow as there are many unknowns that are still waiting decisions...Update on passports will also come tomorrow say a prayer for Becky and Guyla...they have been here 7.5 weeks and are ready to go home.

Donna and Jeff

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Finally Arrived

Hello all,

Tonights post probably wont be very long as I am sure neither Jeff or myself could tell you what day it is for sure.....its Saturday night in Simferopol but Saturday morning at home with our wonderful family that we are already missing...

Friday began with Jeff and I sleeping in too long but neither complaining as we knew it would be along time before we showered or slept in something other than a jet sitting straight up. When we finally got it together packed and repacked again to make sure we were not over the weight limit then we stored our bags at the hotel and set out to see the city. We walked to Central Park where we were approached by a gentleman on a bike and asked if he could give us a ride, so we sadi yes and he wrapped us up in a blanket and we told him to take us to Lexington Ave as Jeff had researched that this is where the most important store in NYC guessed it Harley he pedaled his hardest I felt so guilty exspecially everytime he lost momentum and I could just feel him saying " did you two have to eat everything on the room service menu this morning" anyway we did throughly enjoy the tour and we landed safely at the HD store and then we found a cool pizza joint and we had some New York pizza and NO we walked back I did not punish another poor bicyclist....we thought we would leave the hotel about 4 for a 7 flight but we got back early and decided to go ahead and start that way...well it was a good thing we did cause it took us 1.45 hr to get to JFK just arriving right at 5 for check in.

7pm ET...we were lucky to sit beside each other as the plane was full...we were hardly off the ground when the culture of Ukraine smacked us in the cokes just juice and water for the whole 10 about a caffiene headache. between no caffiene and sitting up sleeping for 10 hours it was very hard to stay friendly to each other as one of us SNORED and the other legs were too long to be comfortable.

2am ET ....the lights can on in the cabin and the bustle the flight attendants came through the cabin with hot rags....Jeff and I looked at each other as our fingers were burning off and we looked around and watched as everyone else knew what to do...wioe your face...Jeff kept mumbling something like....."I dont know what the heck they are doing this for in the middle of the night" well we soon found out rise and shine its breakfast time ...yes you guessed it orange juice and there we are eating with our eyes closed and our breath stinking....then we tried to go back to sleep but now was time to fill out immigration cards....then it was tea time...then it was time too collect the pens and inspect our immigrations see where this is going.....

5am et or 12pm Ukraine time.....we landed in Kiev....oh did I mention it was COLD...we walked off the plane and was hearded to the passport control...we stood in line for just about 15 minutes which was very fast then in our delirium we went to the caroselle and waited for our luggage after watching the same bags come around for the 100th time we looked around to realize our bags are not here unless we came in from we finally got our bags and kept our heads down acting as though we were talking to each other in hopes we could slide by the guards and not be patted me they were lucky they let us go....

6am ET 1pm Ukraine....we met Galya decided we should hop the plane to Simferopol to be there Monday morning to try to talk to the inspector plus we had brought Becky's medicine to her so she needs it as she has been here now for 7 weeks...I will get into that later but it aint good.....our first appears the government quit paying the passport processors and none of the Ukraine is getting Passports....Becky has been waiting for 12 days now....UGH they are saying 2 more months...dont freak out we will talk more about it later too tired tonight....

135 Ukraine time we left Kiev and headed to Simferopol...

300 pm Ukraine time we arrived to fog thicker than you can imagine but our wonderful Oksana was standing waiting for us and it was off to the orphanage to see Tanya....ofcourse we pulled up and just as in July the children run out to see who is visiting and Medine and Valera were the first to run up Medine hugged Jeff and Valera extended his handed as to say "long time no see" then they all wanted my phone to see pics of Nina" they thought she looked beautiful....we immedicately asked where was Tanya and Medine said she is inside.." I think she has changed her mind and dont want to come"...not what you want to hear when you have just traveled for 22 hours straight ...but when she came running out it didnt seem as she had changed her mind she ran straight to Jeff screaming PAPA....

600 pm We gave the kids all their goodies and took lots of pics and talked to Tanya and her sisters privately for awhile until Oksana said lets go home.]

7pm we stopped at the market and Oksana got all the fixing to make us a greek salad..I was so excited. we came home to Oksana's ( she would not dream of letting us stay at a hotel and we ate and talked and now I am falling asleep typing but I knew everyone would want some news....

So the long and short we are here and have LOTS of work ahead of us for the next couple of weeks and from what we hear...we are in for another wild ride in the Ukraine.

Love to all
Donna and Jeff

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Down to the wire

Well it is 7 days till we travel and we are acting like there is nothing to do to get ready. We have been consumed with everything about paperwork and Eli and Madison and the boys and everything else but it is crunch time. We don't even have airline tickets to New York yet. We have a lot of details to figure out and I guess that is normal, it is going to be even harder this time leaving the boys and now Madison to.
As I write this it has been below freezing for 8 days now and in Simferopol the lows are mid forties and the highs fifty five to sixty, what a heart breaker. Best I can tell they have a much milder winter and the summers are lower humidity than ours also. About 8 or 9 days after we arrive Tanya has a birthday so we will get to celebrate that with her, we bought her a I-Pod nano and I have four or five Ukrainian Cd's to install with lots of pictures of family and home. Green is her favorite color and I was lucky enough to find one. Stay tuned in a few days thing will get busy here!
Jeff & Donna

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Day

We got to talk to Tanya this morning and she is doing well, she is healthy and happy.
She has a birthday coming soon, January 26. Madison got to talk the most of course, but it was nice to hear her voice and know she is doing well. Twenty four days till our SDA appointment, we are allmost ready. The family that we know from Lexington that is there now ran into some problems with Interpol like we did and they had court today so I hope all went well. I hope this finds everyone well and Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

1 Month and 5 Days till travel

Trying to be patient but it is getting harder to do. Christmas is just 2 weeks away and the first Grandson will be her before you know it. A whole lot of things still to happen before we leave. Can't wait to get back to the Ukraine and see the friends we made while there last time and visit with all the kids at Gargarina. Well not much more to say just getting inpatient.

Jeff & Donna

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Corespondence with Tanya

We know a family from Lexington that is in Simferopol adopting and they have been nice enough to pass along our letters to Tanya and it has been great to hear that she is doing well. I think they are spoiling her a little. She is excited and ready for us to get there. We have one month and twelve days and a lot of stuff still needs to happen before we go. The Colts did not fair so well in the state game but we are proud of them just for being in it, a school with 267 kids that go out and accomplish what they have is tremendous. Well I hope to have more news soon.
Jeff & Donna