We spent the bulk of yesterday in cold hallways staring at closed doors. It was tedious, tiring paper chasing that had to be accomplished in order for us to leave this place. Not one complaint from Kristina though. For hours, she shifted in her chair, flipped through a magazine I had stashed in my purse, and chatted with a curious little girl in the same predicament. In the monotony of the waiting room, I found amusement watching the beautiful imp of a child peek in from the hall at all of us. Over and over she returned to the doorway to glimpse at Kristina, the only other child in the area. Her red hat was pulled down close to bright eyes and the layers under her coat made her look slightly inflated. Eventually she slid along the wall until she stood across from Kristina who smiled at her over the raised magazine. One phrase whispered to her in Russian and the little girl climbed into the vacant chair next to Kristina, both of them staring intently at the pictures, pointing and commenting on the fashion models. I snuck my camera out of my pocket and captured a few minutes of their chatter on video. The interaction was a welcome distraction from a situation that dragged on and on.
As we traveled across town to the next office, Kristina pointed excitedly out the window. Snow flurries, like paperwhites blown by a strong wind, swirled before the windshield. The temperature dipped noticeably as sister Winter has exiled Autumn from her place in Odessa. The wet ground crunched like frozen fudge as we climbed from the taxi in search of the tax ID office. We had greater success here and are out the door in an hour. With the day spent, we returned to the apartment for left over pizza and dessert from last night. Kristina excitedly lays out outfit #2 for tomorrow and I produce a set of thermal underwear that promises to be a necessity.
Our facilitator went to apply for the passport this morning, and text messaged me several hours after the office opened to say she was still waiting to be seen. I am thankful that our presence wasn't necessary for the morning's portion of the paper chase. We decide to walk towards the big square with the Greek Orthodox church to take pictures, but despite the many layers of clothes the blowing wind causes Kristina to shiver and cling to my arm. Already showing signs of a cold, I decided to take her back to the apartment. Kristina has spent the better part of the afternoon clicking away at the computer as we wait for word from our facilitator. If she is successful at applying for the passport today, we should head to Kiev later this weekend. It doesn't look like we will make our exit date of Tuesday December 4th. I'm learning not to bank on dates. It is just too stressful. Instead we focus on God's unwavering control of the situation and His hand on every person and process in this journey. Please continue to pray for us and for my family back home.