Adopting Grace

The journey to bring our little girl home

Browsing Posts tagged bus

Rainy Day


This very well may have been the first time Leeza had ever seen crayons. She figured out what to do with them quick enough!

As we headed out today we realized Ukraine doesn’t have something we hadn’t even missed until now…gutters. The temperature has dropped and it’s rainy and the streets are flooded. Without proper drainage there’s 4 inches of water covering many roads and the sidewalks are a mess, making walking a challenge since the only walking shoes I brought are sandals. But we made it! There is frequently a man standing near the front gates and we always just assumed they were workers taking a break. Today the man came out to us and seemed a little agitated and wanted to sort of search Philip. We realized he was interested in what was over Philip’s shoulder and once he saw it was just a back pack he smiled and waved us in. It took us a minute to figure out what he’d thought it was…from the front it looked a bit like a gun slung over his shoulder and I guess he thought we were trying to walk in armed! The thought of Philip walking around with an AK47 makes me smile…we don’t even own a BB gun!

They looked a little surprised that we came today, but found a spare room for us to play in. The big playroom we’d been in yesterday was obviously filled with several groupas and it sounded like they were doing excersizes or something in there and having fun. We were next door in a smaller room that we’re guessing is a therapy room and break room for the doctors/therapists. They would periodically come in to make tea or change clothes as they got off their shift (one guy stripped right to his undies in front of us…we quickly averted our eyes and pretended like we didn’t notice!). Grace seemed familiar with some of the stuff in there and as a tour of doctors came in we couldn’t understand what they were saying except that one of the pieces of equipment was used to help kids like Grace. We had a good time singing, wrestling and letting her play with crayons. She didn’t seem to know how to use them and I’m beginning to wonder if they let the kids this age ever practice ‘writing’ or coloring. Forrest has told us they don’t ususally start educating them until they’re 5 or 6 so they may not have access to crayons at this age. I haven’t seen a single book anywhere in the orphanage yet.

We’ve finally gotten the hang of the bus system here so thankfully we didn’t have far to walk and today’s bus didn’t break down (yesterday we had to get off half way home…it sounded like it had lost it’s transmission along the way). We have a short walk from our bus stop at the bazaar to our apartment and we were trying to pick the least flooded way home, not paying much attention to the cars whizzing by on the road…until one hit a puddle by us and we got sprayed! We made it home a big soggy, but thankful it had happened on the way home instead of the way there. On such a wet, cold day we both thought naps sounded great and although it’s hard to be away from our kids one of the perks is getting to rest and just take a slow day.

Yeah, we all do cheese smiles well!!

About paperwork…we had hoped to hear a court date today, but Violetta said there’s still one paper she’s waiting on from Kiev before we can get a date. Sasha was waiting for it at the train station today so hopefully it came. Please be praying for a date soon…after that’s done I can start heading home and our 10 day waiting period can begin.

Grace loves to draw as much as any 4 year old. She does a pretty good job of it as well.

We made it to the orphanage today by ourselves, partially walking and partially catching a marshootka. Grace’s groupa was running slow so they still had to eat breakfast and we learned why she wasn’t so excited about the tea cookies we’d brought for snack a few days ago…that’s what they eat for breakfast. They had those and some tea, which I suppose is much easier to clean up after than the yogurt and fruit we do at home. We got to play outside a bit and noticed that she’s occasionally saying ‘yes’ and maybe ‘Daddy.’

After our visit we wanted to see if we could figure out where one of the marshootka routes stopped closer to our apartment so we hopped on and just stayed on, thinking it probably just ran through the

Grace loves the slides as well. We got a lot of "again again," only in Russian.

main part of the city where we live. Ummm…no. We passed the stop we knew, at the train station, and it just kept going. By the time he got to the end of his route we were about a 30 minute drive out of the city and we thought he was telling us to get out so he could take his break. Philip managed to mime a ‘U turn’ and he said he was going to do that and he agreed to let us stay on and had us sit up front so we could tell him when we wanted to get off. He knew a few words in English so we managed to tell him we were from America and he introduced himself as Slava (we think). Like everyone else here we’ve managed to communicate with, he was curious why we had come HERE. They are all trying to get out and can’t fathom why an American would come to their city. He was a very sweet older gentleman and is one of the nicest people we’ve met here so far. He patiently drove us back into town and made sure we got off at the right stop by the train station (I’d had to pull out the picture dictionary to show him where we wanted to go). He refused to let us pay and we’re laughing at the thought that maybe Slava has a blog and tonight he’ll post about these 2 weird Americans who refused to get off his bus. It took an 1.5 hour marshootka ride, but we learned to say train (poyest) and that our town is much larger than we originally knew!

For all of you who were praying for our paperwork, we’ve heard that Sasha was able to get the paper he needed from Grace’s hometown today and it’s on it’s way to Kiev. We’re hoping to maybe hear something about a court date by Wednesday.