On Wednesday we decided to go to downtown to look around. We stopped at the restaurant for lunch. For about $13 we got two very unusual but good salads, two very good fish entrees with very good fried potatoes. Then we got a call from Oles: we had to go to Odessa to fix our problem with some more paperwork. We went to the train station and got tickets for that night. Then we went home, packed our bag and went to the orphanage.
We were asked to help one girl with her English homework. That was tough even for me and Bob! Another girl (she is new at the orphanage) kept staring at me. When I looked at her, she smiled. Then she asked me to help with her English homework too. Poor girl! She is 14 yo and she doesn't know one word in English! I encouraged her and tried to help. I saw hunger in her eyes for normal attention. She listened to me very carefuly. Her lips quivered. When the homework was done she said "thank you" and with a big smile gave me a kiss on the cheek. I didn't expect that, it touched my heart. I hugged her back. During that time Bob was helping Flower with her homework. Then several little kids started jumping all over us. It was fun, but one little girl sat on my lap and asked me if I could become her Mommy. I had to swallow my tears. How can I tell a 6 yo angel that I can't be her Mommy right in her face? I started asking her questions leading our conversation in a different direction. After having dinner with all the kids, we went to the train station.
We got to Odessa about 6:30AM on Thursday. Oles met us there and said that there is one couple from the USA and they got lost. We thought he was joking about us. But no, he wasn't joking. We met the couple from Florida who were adopting a 2 yo girl with down sindrome. Their facillitator was late. All 5 of us went to McDonald's for breakfast. Guess what? We had to pay for ketchup! This couple's facilitator showed up and they left. We had a couple of hours before the office opened and we went for a morning walk. It was chilly and windy. Oles showed us downtown and we saw the Black Sea. When we were done with all the paperwork we went back to the train station and got tickets to go back.
On Friday we had our important meeting with the adoption authorities. When we were on the way to the administration building, we saw how the local police tried to stop and arrest some criminals right in front of us. It was wild! When we got to the adminisration, Flower wrote the petition that she wanted to be adopted by us. Then we sat down in front of the whole group of people. They asked me and Flower some questions. It took no more than 10 minutes. They all said "Yes"! We had to stay around because we had to sign some more papers later. So, we walked around downtown and took some pictures. Then we went to a restaurant and got 3 very good business lunches (soup, entree with a salad, bread and a fruit drink) and two desserts for $13. The paperwork was taking longer then expected then we finally went back to the orphanage. We got on Skype and talked with our Anastasia for the first time since we left. It was so nice to see and talk to her! We miss her SO much! After that we had to go back to the administration building. Then we had to walk around downtown some more. Later we took Flower to the orphanage and had dinner with everybody.
I have to say we've had a great initial contact with Flower. She loves to hug and loves to be touched. She still calls me "Sveta", but she calls Bob "Daddy" (maybe because "Bob" sounds more strange for her). Flower loves to laugh and she has a beautiful smile. I don't think she's able to have a bad picture taken of her. She seems to understand what is going on around her and she is looking forward to the day when we leave Ukraine. It is getting closer to the day when this girl will be an orphan no more.
4 weeks ago