When we opened up our blog we could not believe that there were 31 comments posted. Candace was so excited that she moved her chair forward quickly and caught the power button with her knee. We waited excitedly as the computer started for the second time. Well...I don't know what to say. As we read the comments the two of us ended up having tears in our eyes too. This was mildly awkward given that the other 15 people in the internet cafe were teenage boys playing some online game together. In reality, it did not matter to either of us because it was so nice to feel connected to home as we read down the page. I was actually more embarrassed when I had to call the lady over to restart our internet account.
Allright...we woke up at 2:00 am...Candace with five hours sleep and me about three. We got picked up in a cab by the driver, a doctor from the orphanage, and Alexandra. She slept for most of the 90 minute ride to the airport but I still spent most of the time looking at her from the front seat. She was great with the plane...a little scared when we traveled by bus from the terminal then walked up the stairs. Things are different over here, even at the airports. We spent the hour long flight playing with a doll and an etch-a-sketch. When we arrived in Kiev we were picked up by people from the agency. Our first stop was a pizza shop for breakfast. I ate quickly and watched for about 10 minutes as this little girl devoured several pancakes and a big bowl of porridge. I realized that this whole day would involve watching her experience a bunch of things she had never experienced before. The food, the driving in a car, all of the people in the city. We had already spent several days in Kiev but it certainly looked alot more exciting as I watched her head swing from side to side as she soaked up everything with her eyes. After breakfast, we went to a photo studio for her passport picture. On the walk there, I was humming "la la la" as I carried Alexandra. Out of nowhere she started belting out some Russian song at the top of her lungs. As we moved down the crowded sidewalk, strangers were smiling and laughing, while I kept humming quietly to encourage her more. I am not sure what the song was but she sang it a few more times throughout the day. While I don't know what the heck the words were I can't seem to get the tune out of my head. At the photo studio, the facilitator also suggested that we take a family photo. I was okay with us despite almost getting choked up as we posed for the photographer. Our first family picture. Then we went to the hospital for her medical. Everything was excellent...she is extremely healthy. The doctor that accompanied us said that she has only ever had chicken pox and one cold in her life. The doctor that performed the medical said she is a very bright young girl with excellent motor skills. So we may have a point guard in the family now. At the end of the visit, one of the ladies started laughing. When we asked her why she pointed at Alexandra and said that she saw her mimicking Candace. I looked and the two of them had their hands buried in their front pocket and were slowly swaying side to side. After lunch, we dropped the doctor and Alexandra off at the apartment and we left for what was supposed to be a short visit to the notary public. The visit was pretty significant because we were submitting the offical papers that stated that we wanted to adopt this little girl who we first saw in a picture on Tuesday and met for the first time yesterday. It kind of blows my mind to think about how quickly things have unfolded and how fortunate we have been. Just to clarify, our experience has been far from typical. We have been blessed by having tremendous facilitators, excellent drivers, incredible people at the orphanage, great timing, and lots of luck and good fortune. We ended up waiting at the Notary office from just after 2:00 until almost 6:30 pm. They were running late and lots of people were coming in without appointments. We didn't mind the wait but we were eager to get back to the apartment and visit. When we did return around 7:00 pm, we had supper, then threw a blanket on the middle of the floor and played and visited until about 8:30 pm, when Candace made us all go to bed. I was exhausted but I spent about 30 minutes lying back and thinking about what was happening to us, and how it would change the rest of our lives.