Thursday, January 17, 2013

The first of many "FINALLY"'s

It finally came.

Last night we got on a train in Kyiv around 8pm, slept in the train, and arrived in the region where the orphanage is located.  We immediately got into a car and drove for 2 more hours to the orphanage.  

Before we could actually go into the orphanage we needed to get permission from the local government.  That requires additional paperwork and time for processing.  So, while we were waiting, we went to the apartment and got settled.

Finally the time came to head to the orphanage.  However, when we arrived at the orphanage, there were other issues that the orphanage was dealing with.  We were required to do more waiting, waiting, waiting.

After what seemed like forever... the door opened and Alina and Maks walked into the room. Ahhh… hugs and kisses all around.  Even Maks (although we’d never met him before) was so excited to see us.  At one point he was sitting next to me and suddenly turned, wrapped his arms around me and gave me a huge hug.  So sweet!

A few minutes later, Albina came into the room.  Again, hugs and kisses all around.

We talked for a bit, and then played a game of UNO before James and I were called out to meet with the orphanage director, psychologist, social worker and medical doctor.  This meeting was VERY interesting.  They all had their files and went through and disclosed all information about the children that they had. 

Here are some of the things we learned:

  • The children arrived at the orphanage 4 years ago.
  • Albina is a very hard worker and loves to be challenged.  She is very tidy and loves housework.  I was told a few times that she will be a very big help to me.
  • Alina frequently tells the director how much she loves her family and asks when they are coming for her.  She has been very anxious to have us arrive!
  • The orphanage personnel believe that Albina is meant to be a scientist, but say that she can be whatever she wants.  They told us she is very clever and a very good student.
  • The orphanage personnel believe that Alina is meant to be an actor.  She loves drama and dancing and loves to be the center of attention.
  • Maks' speech is somewhat delayed, as is typical of orphans that don't learn to speak in a family setting (they simply don't have as much one on one interaction).  This should be remedied once he's in a family setting.
  • The orphanage LOVES these children.  They were very positive about them and loved talking about them.  
  • At the end or our meeting, the director told us that we would definitely look back and be very grateful to the orphanage for these children because they are such good children.  :-)
After our meeting, we had more time with the children while our facilitator ran some errands and worked on more paperwork for our adoption.  Albina wasn't able to spend a lot of time with us because she has a final mathematics exam tomorrow that she needed to study for.  However, we were able to spend quite a bit of time with Alina and Maks.

Toward the end of our visit, Alina wanted to take pictures and videos with my camera:

James and Maks in orphanage
James, Shelly & Maks in orphanage

After leaving the orphanage, we went and got groceries and had dinner.  Now we are relaxing and about to sleep in preparation for another long day tomorrow (more meetings, paperwork, and finally visiting with the children again).   

Today was a long day.
Today was an exhausting day.
Today was a great day!


  1. So happy for you guys to finally be there with your kids. Best of luck to you on the rest of your journey!

    1. Thank you so much Debbie! Best of luck to you too... all will be well! *hugs*

  2. I am just crying tears of joy! Oh. My. Goodness! Maks' laugh is ADORABLE! And Alina is such a ham! haha I loved seeing James interact with them. There is so much love happening! I am so happy for you!!!!!!

    1. Thank you Tamari! I love Maks' laugh as well. So contagious and cute! And Alina definitely loves the camera!

  3. Great! Finally united. So happy for y'all. Have they been properly prepared for....da da dum ..... UNCLE BILL!?!?! OH NO!!!

    1. No one can be properly prepared for Uncle Bill! You're just too amazing. But I'm hoping they'll get used to being part of our amazing family. :-)

  4. I love it, I love it, I love it! I can hear it in your voice by how happy you are to be there! So happy for you:)

    1. Thank you Jaime! We are happy to be here. But will be even more happy when we are finally home (too soon to think about that though... we still have so much time here!)

  5. The orphanage told Becky and Kevin that their Maks had severely delayed speech. He is speaking English really well now and there is not a huge delay.

    So fun to see with your kids. Give a hug to big Sergei from us all.

    1. That is so good to hear. After our interaction with him yesterday, we feel he will be just fine and will learn English really quickly. If I see Sergei I will definitely give him a hug from everyone!!!

  6. LOVE this!!!I'm sure this was one of the best days of your lives. It's clear from your video just how happy the kids are!!! They seem to have wonderful personalities.

    1. Thank you! I just checked out your blog. How exciting that you are just around the corner from your own journey. I will look forward to reading more and seeing a beautiful outcome in the end. God bless you in your journey!