Court and Kiev!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Now that I have a few moments to catch my breath, I want to spend a little time recording our second trip to Ukraine, in which we officially adopted our new son!
Early in November, David, Yana, Adam and I boarded a plane that would eventually get us to Kiev. We arrived in that city on the evening plane, via Amsterdam. We ate, slept (a little) and got up bright and early the next day. We jumped (okay, maybe staggered) into our driver's car and got ready for the seven hour drive to Ochakiv.
After a long, bumpy drive and quick stop at the hotel in Ochakiv, we drove to the orphanage for a visit with Andrew. He was outside when we arrived and ran at full-speed towards us, yelling to a friend, "It's my family!" There were hugs all around, and a little shock on Andrew's part, in regards to Adam's height. lol!
We had to leave Andrew at the orphanage that night, but got up early again the next day for our court visit.
The director was at the hearing, of course, and we were able to thank her again for the love that she has showered upon Andrew. What a precious lady!
Andrew's impromptu speech during court was amazing. Our translator, Yana, told us everything that he said about embracing his new life with his family, and we were all a little teary-eyed. Oh, how I wish that it could have been recorded! But, in the end, the most important part of court that day was that we were granted custody of Andrew (woot! woot!). We then took all of the orphanage staff (who were at court with us) out to lunch. Yana, Adam and Andrew spent some time getting to know each other (and being incredibly silly!).

David had to fly back to the U.S. the next day, and we thought that we would be staying in Ochakiv for the 10 day wait after court. But, surprise! They told us that we could spend the 10 days in Kiev! So, it was back into the car for us, and we were on our way again!
On our way to Kiev, we encountered a lot of stray dogs at gas stations and stops along the way. Adam and Yana had to pet all of them. They wanted to take this one home. Sweet little thing was hungry and cold.

We got to Kiev and settled into our unique apartment (why yes, it did have a fake stuffed tiger on the wall) for our 10 day stay. David flew back to the U.S. and Yana, Adam and I started a bit of a routine. Andrew enjoyed cooking for us sometimes.

And we went for lots of little walks and outings.

Andrew taught Yana to knit
(and then Yana tried to get Andrew to knit with her every day afterwards!).
Adam, Yana and I played a lot of games
(and tried to get Andrew interested in some of them!).

And the three teens did schoolwork. It was a blessing to have some work for all of them to do. It really helped everyone's attitudes to have something useful to accomplish.

More doggies...but this one is not a stray!

I was so grateful for this time in Kiev with my three oldest kiddos. What a beautiful city! We all enjoyed it immensely.
In my next post, I'll share photos of the amazing cathedrals that we visited in Kiev, so stay tuned for that!

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