I woke up fairly early today. I had some cereal and some tea (Red Rose from Candace's newly recovered suitcase). I spent some time preparing for our meeting today and then I read a Ukrainian travel guide for 40 minutes. When Candace awoke, we went for a walk in our neighbourhood and took some pictures. We stopped at a neat coffee shop down the street from the Canadian Embassy. When we got back to our apartment, we spent about one hour learning some more Ukrainian. Then we got ready and were picked up at 1:30 pm. By picked up I mean someone came to our door and we joined them for a walk across the city. It was probably equivalent to walking from Polo Park to Portage and Main. There are taxis everywhere and people in private vehicles will even stop and give you a ride for payment. Yet everyone walks. This trip is challenging my beliefs about eating poorly and not getting enough exercise. Our appointment was at 2:00 pm but did not start until 2:10 pm. We were led to a small office at the Department of Sport and Youth. A psychologist (using and interpreter) asked us some questions and then provided us with dossiers which profiled four girls (ages months /years were 1-6, 2-0, 3-5, and 3-8). I stopped listening after I saw the picture of the second girl. As soon as I saw her face I thought "Please God make sure everything is alright with her". And guess what...she is a perfectly healthy and active child who was described as friendly and full of life. So Candace and I will return to the adoption office tomorrow to pick up a referral to the orphange. We will be traveling to a small town in eastern Ukraine on Thursday. It is either a 10 hour train ride or a one hour flight. Despite the difference in price, $150. per person versus $20. per person, we will be going by air. Again...we will be meeting a little girl on Thursday who may well become our daughter. How cool is that! This blog entry sounds all warm and fuzzy when I reread it, but the day was not without its challenges. You see, we were approved in Manitoba for a girl between 14 mos and 3 years and the little girl with whom we were matched is 3 years and 8 months old. In spite of being told by our facilitator that it could be difficult to get her approved, we said the heck with it. We even tried to call the Canadian Embassy seceral times during our meeting but no one answered. So we left the adoption centre hoping to be approved to adopt someone who appeared to be out of our approved age range. Candace and I then went to an internet cafe where I searched for some phone numbers. First I called te agency back in Winnipeg but got the answering machine...probably because it was still prior to 8:00 am back home. Then I tried repeatedly to get through to the Immigration Department at the Embassy without any luck. So we went back to our apartment and sat around on pins and needles waiting for the phone to ring. Around 6:00 pm it rang! It was the director of the agency in Winnipeg who said "You have nothing to worry about Stephen. 3 years old is 3 years old is 3 years old". So we would be approved for any child up to 3 years and 364 days. After doing some cart wheels and an improvised happy dance, I called one of the other couples to share our news. They were just sitting doiwn for supper at the Chateau Restaurant down town. So we got ready quickly for the 15 minute walk to join them. It was a great experience...everyone was excited about what was happening and we were toasting and congratulating each other repeatedly. We got back to our apartment around 9:00, turned off the lights at 10:00, and ended up talking until 1:00. Finally, we got out of bed, played a game of cards, before falling asleep around 1:30. I cannot for the life of me understand why we had trouble sleeping.
The blog is set up so that the most recent post is shown first. If you want to catch up on what's been happening, start at the bottom and scroll up. You can also click "older posts" at the bottom of the page or use the blog archive on the left side of this homepage. If you want to know what time it is in the Ukraine, click on the link to the left that says "Clock and weather".