After perhaps three hours sleep between the two of us, we woke up at 5:00 am. We left for the airport at 6:00 for a 7:50 flight to the eastern side of the country. We were met at the airport by one of the ladies who had a driver waiting for us. We drove about an hour and a half through what I will describe now as a whole different world. We arrived at our new destination...which will likely be our home for about three weeks. When we were dropped off at the orphanage by the driver we actually arrived before our new translator. After sort of becoming familiar with Ukrainian, we have ended up in a city filled with Russian speaking people. When our translator arrived, we went into the large office of the orphanage director. We started speaking (through the interpreter) to one of the doctor's of the orphanage. He told us everything was fine with the little girl we were visiting. As we were talking, the door opened and in came a beautiful little girl with a beret in her hair and a fancy blue dress. She said "Mama" and "Papa" and then came right over to me. I picked her up, put her on my lap, and maybe forgot what my name was for a moment. Candace gave her a cookie and that's how we met our daughter. Okay...where to start, she is normal height, short fair hair, dark brown eyes, and skinny as a post. Our goal now is to fill her full of protein in the next couple of weeks to put some meat on her bones. Given the diet of many of the children in orphanages, there are not many plump children that aren't infants. Her name is Mila Alexandra and she goes by her middle name. Alexendra is her birth name and we are adding Mila (its Russian meaning is "loved by all"). She is three and a half and pretty shy, although she warmed up to us quickly. We spent the day getting settled into our new place, going back and forth to the orphanage, and visiting the travel agent (three times). This new city is a lot different from Kiev.
It's just after eight now and Candace and I are heading to bed soon because we are leaving tomorrow at 3:00 am for a 90 minute ride to the airport. We are flying back to Kiev with Alexandra and one of the doctors for her medical at the Canadian Embassy...which I mentioned before is mandatory for adoptions. We will spend the night there before returning back here. It will be great to have a day-and-a-half to spend with our new daughter. I say "daughter" because she is the one. It takes a couple of weeks of meeting with local inspectors, a court appearance, and then a compulsory 10-day waiting period for it to become official. That being said, a piece of paper will only be a formality. For the plane trip we picked up some quiet toys and healthy snacks.
We better get going...thanks for all of the supportive comments. Once we get back on Saturday I will try to figure out how to post some pictures.