Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Ukraine Revisited- December 14-16, 2007

Friday, December 14, 2007

One more time. . . .

I am leaving again for Ukraine tomorrow afternoon. While I am very, very excited to be bringing Evan home, I have to admit, the thought of traveling half-way across the world again makes me a bit nauseous! It has been a great week, but a long one.

After we arrived home, we enjoyed a very laid back day with the kids, but since then, we have been running at full speed ahead! Jacob came down with a nasty little stomach virus on Monday night. Thankfully it was just a 24-hour bug and everyone else in the house was spared! We put up our Christmas tree and had cookies and hot cocoa on Monday night and went to see the lights at a local park on Wednesday evening. Every other night this week I have spent my evenings running all over town trying to get my Christmas shopping done and get ready for Evan to come home. It has been quite a whirlwind, but I am so glad that I have had this week to prepare as there just was not much time to do everything between Uzbekistan and Ukraine. My body hates me for all that I have put it through and I have spent most of the week sick, but knowing that there is an end in sight has definitely kept me going.

We are right in the path of a nasty winter storm that is supposed to hit us tomorrow morning/afternoon, so I am a bit nervous that our flight out of Dayton may be delayed or canceled (causing us to miss our connecting flight at Dulles. . . hmmm, that sounds eerily familiar). Even if we get set back a bit, the way things are looking, we will likely still be able to make it home by next weekend, but any extra prayers for an uneventful flight over would be greatly appreciated!

If all goes smoothly with our flights, we are scheduled to arrive in Kiev on Sunday afternoon. From Kiev, we will take the overnight train to Kramators'k. Masha will pick us up at the train station early Monday morning and we will go to Artemovsk and Donetsk to pick up the decree, birth certificate and passport and, if all goes as Masha expects, we will pick Evan up late Monday afternoon and either take the overnight train back to Kiev on Monday or take an early morning flight on Tuesday. If we get back to Kiev early enough, we may be able to take Evan to his medical exam and submit all of our paperwork to the Embassy by Tuesday afternoon which could mean that we will be able to head home as early as Thursday evening or Friday morning. Our flights are booked for next Saturday morning, so even if we aren't able to leave until then, we should still make it home in time for Christmas!

I am hoping to update the blog as we go, so stay tuned!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Oh, the weather outside is frightful!

Four hours until our flight takes off and it is snowing like crazy outside! I think the chance of our flight leaving on schedule is probably slim, but I am trying my best to make snow cones out of this snow storm. My first snow cone. . .at least I am still at home and not sitting in the airport. Second snow cone. . .If our flight is delayed/canceled and we miss our connection in Dulles (there is only 1.5 hours between our flights), maybe we will get lucky and won't have to fly through Moscow. Not that I have anything against Moscow, but if we get delayed there. . say, overnight maybe, we cannot leave the airport because we do not have transit visas! So, flying through another country that does not require a visa would definitely make me feel a bit better about any delays. Why did I choose a flight that flies through Moscow in the first place? Well, the price difference was significant and, after spending a lot of money on flights between Uzbekistan and Ukraine, I needed to economize as much as possible, so Moscow it is!

Everything has worked according to the Lord's plan up to this point so I have no reason to doubt that it will change. If we get delayed because of the storm then there is a reason for it and we will simply roll with the punches. It is actually much less stressful knowing that someone else is pulling the strings and that I just need to trust (not to say that trusting is easy, but the Lord always provides). So, if any of you could spare a few prayers, please pray that the Lord's will be done and that, eventually, we will make it back to Ukraine so that I can cover my sweet boy in hugs and kisses and bring him home to his family forever!

Stay tuned. . .the best is yet to come!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Alive and well in Kiev!

Well, I've got to say, I still cannot believe that we made it. Our flight out of Dayton took off a few minutes late because the plane needed to be de-iced, but it did take off and almost on time. We got to Dulles about 30 minutes before our flight to Moscow was scheduled to take off. We were unable to get our boarding passes for our flight to Moscow in Dayton, so we had absolutely no idea where we needed to go. Luckily we found the gate quickly and were able to get there just in time for boarding. The flight ended up taking off an hour late which put us in Moscow an hour late. By the time we got off the plane we had 10 minutes before our flight to Kiev was scheduled to take off. Talk about a rush! Unfortunately, when we arrived in Kiev, we learned that our checked luggage had not followed us there, so we are without most of our belongings. Thankfully, both my mom and I packed enough stuff to get by for a few days in our carryon bags, so we should be okay until we get back to Kiev to claim our bags on Tuesday or Wednesday. I am a bit bummed that the bag full of orphanage donations, gifts to the orphanage workers and various things I was carrying for people will not be going with me to Artemovsk, but (for those of your who I am carrying things for) I have been promised that it will make it to Masha so that she can distribute the various items. I am sad that I will not be there to give things out myself, but as long as everything makes it to where it needs to go, I will be happy.

We will be traveling by "luxury bus" (aka a tour bus) to Donetsk this evening and are scheduled to arrive early tomorrow morning. The bus was definitely not my first choice, but all of the train and plane tickets were booked and it came down to a bus or a car and the bus won out! I have been reassured by my facilitator that it will be a "comfortable ride" and that "we should be able to sleep," and I am really hoping that is the case because I am exhausted. Masha will pick us up at the bus station in the morning and then we will get to work on the decree, birth certificate and passport and hopefully pick Evan up tomorrow afternoon.

Thank you all for your prayers and support. It was definitely on the wings of prayer that we made it here as scheduled today, of that there is no doubt!

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