Friday, February 29, 2008

How To Research Medical Information

Someone asked in a comment how to prepare for the medical information. We found a lot of files in the Adopt_From_Ukraine yahoo group. If you can get past all the bickering there is some good information from this group. Use the group to your advantage. At least pick over the file section and post for medical reference material. I hope that is helpful. I do not have the electronic files here to email to anyone right now. Rita

No News Friday

We were hoping for some news today but received none. We will try again on Monday. Next week will be a time of assessing our situation.

We thank everyone for their emails, comments, prayers and positive thoughts. It means a great deal to us to read what you write.

We hope the path of others that come after us will be much smoother. Decide if you can live with the worst outcome, prepare for it, then rejoice in your success.


Thursday, February 28, 2008

Waiting for Our Path to Unfold

We are in Kyiv at our original apartment. In a way it is like coming back home. We have grown comfortable to some degree here. We will be patient and wait to see what will unfold on our path.

There is a purpose to everything. Sometimes the answers come over time and will remain unknown until we are ready for them. We will reflect on all that has happened and remain open for our answers. We will focus on accepting all that is.

The emails and comments from perfect strangers have moved us and are greatly appreciated. There is great compassion in this world.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

We Are Going Back to Kyiv

We are healthy and physically fine, but we are heading back to Kyiv. It has been an emotionally difficult time here in the region. with regard to the adoption process.

I understand why people don't post a lot of information on their blogs now. It is an emotional rollercoaster ride and it leaves you empty and worn. Often you must just be quiet, patient, regain your emotional endurance, and wait to see what will happen.

This is the hardest thing we have endured, or at least the equivalent of a medical crisis within the family. It is heartwrenching and not for those with a lack of emotional endurance.

Aiden is homesick but springs back quickly with a little playing outside and compassion and understanding. A little chocolate before lunch rather then for dessert doesn't hurt either. We live in the moment now.

I am sorry for the limited information. It is necessary for the moment.


Sunday, February 24, 2008

Last Weekend in Kiev

Since we leave Sunday night we need to finish off what we still want to do in Kiev. I could have slept all day yesterday, but we found another church on our list located just north of Independence Square. We then headed over to St. Sophias and it started to rain. We will try to tour St. Sophias today before catching the night train to our region.

We met the Johnson family for dinner last night. They are finishing their paperwork before heading home to the States. They are a lovely family and their daughter is a delightful girl. She is perfect and charming and cute. Aiden loved playing with her and didn't want her to go home with the Johnsons. We hope we find a daughter this delightful.

There is nothing new to post. The city/town we will be in is relatively small and doesn't have a lot of tourist sites, but it is known for its natural surroundings. Summer would be more ideal in this area, but we will make the best of it and we also have a little one with us to keep us entertained and busy. So far we have had no down time at all.

Friday, February 22, 2008

We have Another Referral

We have a referral for a girl. We are heading south on the overnight train, probably on Sunday. She is 4 years old. We think this may work out. We are cautiously optimistic. The files we saw at the SDA were much better today. We were shown many files. Perhaps too many as the information was overwhelming and coming at us too quickly. Please wish us the best. We will post as soon as possible.

Congratulations to the other families here that have met their children. We are very happy for you.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

If You Are Using an American IA Doctor

We heard through the grapevine that a couple declined a referral of two relatively healthy children because their American IA doctor scared the wits out of them with maybes. Now I'm no expert by any means, and I'm just passing on a perspective that was discussed with me here in Ukraine by Ukrainian experts. Under the circumstances, American IA doctors need to protect themselves from liability in addition to helping you. They will not tell you that there is nothing wrong with the children and that you should adopt them.

A Second Appointment!

Our translator called to inform us that we have a second appointment tomorrow. We are so excited and so scared. Going through a second appointment will make us turn gray earlier then expected. It is one of the most nerve wrecking times in our life. We hope we find our child today. Will post again as soon as possible. We will not know where we are going until after we make a selection and we will more then likely be leaving very quickly. We do not know if we will have internet access. Please send us the best of luck.

Aiden was very homesick last night. He was not making good choices and said he wanted to be a mean guy. Then he just blurted out to me that he wanted to go home to our house and didn't want to have a brother or sister any more. Poor kid. He does remarkably well most of the time but nighttime can be difficult for him. I think a lot of the food from the grocery store has a lot of sugar in it (I can't read the labels) and that isn't helping him stay calm.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Back to the SDA

We went back to the SDA this afternoon to talk to the #2 person about getting a second appointment. Our translator will call her back tomorrow to see what update is given at that point. We ran in Dr. Yuri outside the SDA. He said he talked with a family that seems to have turned down a relatively healthy sibling referral (2) based mostly on fear. We hope we make it to the point of making a decision on a relatively healthy child.

I wonder if most people know that the imfamous SDA hallway is really a stairwell. There is a small hallway through a doorway if you want to call it a hallway, but it has a couch in it and is really for people waiting to see someone inside the office.

We had a late lunch at our favorite Ukrainian cafeteria and met with the Paulsens for an hour before they too headed over to the SDA. I hope things work out for them with a second referral.

We walked back to the apartment through the courtyard at Pocrafvsky(?) Church and picked up a couple pictures of some saints. There is a delightful kiosk in the courtyard selling all kinds of religious items. Our translator said this church is not listed in any tourist book because it is purely an operating church and monestary.

Drew thinks the answer to a good night of sleep is a couple beers, so I'm going to try one and see if I can finish it.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Exploring Kyiv

We spent the day exploring St. Andrew's Street and Old Town. I made a list in the morning of places to see in Old Town and then left my guide book at home. We found several churches and took many pictures. Unfortunately none of the churches we found were the churches in the tourbook. Nonetheless the day was not a waste. Old Town is quite charming (I seem to say that a lot) and we will take the Funacular down to Podil and pickup where we left off. I recommend picking up a couple of the travel guides while in the States. The two lent to us are quite different and together make for some good reference information.

Our translator is weaving her magic. There is nothing transparent here. You have to trust your translator and we do. We are still here and have not been sent home and we are still hoping and chosing to be optimistic that the SDA will looking kindly upon us and give us a second appointment.

The bread here is devine. Several of the loaves we have purchased have had seeds on top of them with such a distinctive taste. I cannot place them and may not have had them before. Please leave a comment if you know what they are.

It began to snow quite heavily this afternoon on our return home. We found a back way to our apartment along the hilltop overlooking Old Town and we then cut through the walkway at Pocrofvski Church and the woman's monestary. I hope I am spelling that correctly as I have not seen the church noted in any reference material and it is just a delightful place to stroll. It must be beautiful in the Spring and Summer when the rose gardens and vegetable gardens are in their glory. Aiden was a real trooper on our 3-4 hour walk today. He became whiny toward the end, but we found some baby stroller tracks, and tracks are the end all for Aiden. He walked the tracks to see where they led us, which was right back to our apartment.

Monday, February 18, 2008

We Are So Thankful We Did Not Get Sent Home Today

We did not get sent home when we filed our Petition for Second Appointment. This was a good day and sometimes that is all it takes. We wait now to hear more.

We played at the playgroup between St. Sophia's and St. Michael's. We ate at a fabulous cafeteria style restaurant that is down the first street on the right if you are facin the parking lot entrance to St. Michaels. It is the first door that you have to walk down "into the basement". It is clean, the food is wonderful, and it is not expensive. When we purchase food in restaurants often times you pay by the weight. Our cafeteria choices were weighed for serving size. The cheesecake was European style. No cream cheese but rather more cottage cheese or ricotta like. Our bill was around $12. The bathrooms were clean and the commodes were American style.

We walked along the overlook in the north of Artema Street. The city was built on hills much like Rome. It is a beautiful view and gets you off the city streets. You enter on to Artema again. After a few more blocks we took another side street that lead us to one of the entrances to the lovely church just down the road from the US Consulate. It was another pleasant walk to the apartment with the eyes. We picked up a postcard book for pennies and a lovely silver Ukrainian Orthodox pendant for around $20. Our tranlator said this is a convent and church. Very close by was a death camp during the war and this church helped people escape. The church is around 250 or 300 years old. Not as old as St. Sophia (around 1000 years old), but to us this church and garden is the mostly lovely.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Dr Yuri

Yes, you are allowed to call your personal medical doctor during the appt and go over the files with him/her. I feel it was worth the consulation to know which files to dismiss. You don't want to waste time with files that contain information that you don't want to consider. Do your homework before coming with regard to medical conditions if you don't have an IA doctor. Then again I am offered words of advice from former adoptees that their children had diagnoses they were told to avoid and didn't really have them.

FYI about the appt. There is mixed information on whether your translator is allowed in the appt. Before it was yes and now it is no but we were able to have ours nonetheless probably because one from the SDA was not available. Also, write up sheets of questions to ask and have a separate sheet for each file. Info comes so quickly and you don't want to scribble it down on just a piece of paper.

Please pray for us/send positive thoughts (and to the children). We are fearful about our second appointment request. We are fearful we may not find a child to bring home and to love. While we would like a perfectly healthy child we will be glad to have a child that can just BE an interactive sibling to our exisiting child.

Heartbreak in Ukraine

Unfortunately our referral did not work out. This boy has much more severe issues than what was presented to us at the SDA appointment and will need full time care. I will never forget this boy. It is heartbreaking leaving a child that needs a home.

We are filing an appeal for a second appointment. We may see what will come of this on Monday or Tuesday.

We were shown no files with remotely healthy children. We requested files for a child up to 6 years of age of either sex. We were shown at least a dozen files. Almost all the pictures were quite good. We are very saddened by the situation. We came to Ukraine because it is the country of my father's family. It breaks our hearts because these children need and deserve parents. We may be able to help them a little financially but cannot bring such a sick child home. I will never ever forget the beautiful boy we visited.

Please send us all your positive thoughts and/or prayers.

We are waiting in Kyiv and did a big grocery shop today. Aiden had us on our last nerve. We purchased a few small toys for him again today. All he wants to do is play on Gameboy and on pc games. I'm ready to throw Gameboy on the street. We are going to stick to our expensive apartment and go to the local parks for entertainment. We are living on the cheap in an expensive city. If we aren't sent home we will have to save our money.

Internet connections are challenging here. 1.5 weeks to figure out how to connect at our apartment. Finding a restaurant with Wifi takes some walking and often the network is down. Oh, yeah, dinner can easily cost $60+. We see people order something to drink so they can sit down to use the Wifi.

There are lots of details to know when coming here. Thankfully we were well prepared in some things, but knowing it and experiencing it are different things. Learn to use the taxi buses. It is easy and will get you around quickly. Pick up maps - several - at the airport. You will use them!!!

That's all for now. Will see what happens at the beginning of the week.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

We Have A Referral!

We have a referral for a boy born Dec 05. He is about 300 km away from Kyiv. His mental abilities are fine. He is one of the smartest kids there and is well liked. He has "contractor of the left knee" and isn't able to stand on it. Our Dr Yuri said we should accept this referral and he will discuss this with an orthopedic doctor friend. His file was only shown beginning yesterday. He has no other medical problems.

Dima is taking us out to purchase some souvenirs. We found Status near Independent Square and ate at a restaurant across the steet down in the lower level or like down into the basement.

I hope to post or reply to emails from anyone that wants some feedback on the SDA appointment. There were not too many good files available today. In fact this was the only file that didn't have serious mental issues or FAS.

Dr. Yuri was worth the $50 consultation fee. He was kind enough to come to our apartmentat 4pm. He is a kind and soft-spoken man.

The churches here are incredibly beautiful. I am in awe of the history of this place and that come only from viewing the architectural beauty. I wish I could spend more time just studying the architecture.

Will try to post again tonight or tomorrow morning. My brain has been scrambled since we arrived.


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

First Days in Kyiv

Sorry for the tardy post. We wanted internet connections in the apartment but didn't get it. We walk across the street to the post office and pay about $1/hour for internet time. It is very convenient, but we cannot use our laptop and you have to take all your email addresses and remember everything you want to do. Anyway, we had some cell phone issues for the first two days that have now been cleared up.

The flight went well. Passport control was a non-issue. We sailed through customs. Our translator was easily found. We went to a grocery store before going to the apartment (with the books and the eyes). Kyiv has anything you need except perhaps peanut butter. Anyone planning to travel here should not bring food stuff or toilettries. I'm not sure about over the counter meds because I didn't check them out.

The weather is actually quite pleasant. We hope to get some toys from a toy store today and take Aiden to a park in the neighborhood.

We met with Dr. Yuri last night. He is worth the time and the small fee for the consultation.

Our SDA appointment is tomorrow at 11am.

We hope to catch up with the Caseys and the Paulsens today. They both have their appointments today.

We are still trying to get our sleep/wake cycles corrected. I've had about 8 hours of sleep since arriving. I just can't sleep. Aiden seemed to be all set but woke up at midnight last night and didn't get back to sleep until 3pm. Drew is getting more sleep but not enough. This sleep thing can drive you to madness.

Little things are making us crazy. The old keyboards at the post office duplicates letters and overlooks spacebar entries. Our pastries dropped in a plastic bag without a bottom (cream all over the bag). Trying to cross the street. We don't get all our change when we pay for stuff. Whoever said don't sweat the small stuff was right.

I'm running out of internet time. I'm not sure how I will ever be able to send pictures. Hope to find a wireless internet place soon. Our translator really doesn't seem to want us to go to one and doesn't seem to know where any are locally. (yeah)


Friday, February 8, 2008

Off We Go!

We leave tomorrow. I don't know if you are ever really ready, but we are packed. One check in large duffle rolling bag, two backpacks, and one overnight rolling suitcase. Laptop bag and hand bag too. We will work down a lot of the stuff we brought: protein bars, peanuts, hand sanitizers, diapers, and small gifts. Much of the stuff we are bringing is because we have our son with us.

Will post again when we arrive in Kyiv.