Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Another Day in Odessa

"Mama, how do you spell 'wonderful'?" Kristina asked head bowed over the keyboard as the slow click of the keys indicated her typing abilities. She labored to write a few sentences in an email to Sarah and Mandy, girls from a Phoenix Christian high school who have come to Odessa to minister to the orphans over the last few years. Their parting letters were spread before her on the desk, the bubbly colored script promising their prayers until they reunite next summer. I set up an email account for her last night so that her caregivers here can communicate with her when she leaves Ukraine. Remembering Sarah and Mandy's kindness towards her on their mission trip to the orphanage, she wanted to share God's new chapter for her life.

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.


Chris and Virginia said...

It's wonderful following your journey and we are hoping that these last items go quickly and without problems.

Kristina seems such a joy, cherish this time with her. I can also see where being able to communicate with your new child is so important.

Our prayers are for a safe, speedy trip home for you both.

Tami said...

I love these videos! It so fun to hear her speak in English - I love that accent! ;) I'm selfishly hoping you'll still be around in Kiev on Monday and Tuesday, but will cheer with you if you're able to go home sooner! ((hugs))

The O'Haras said...

That the Lord would give you peace these last few days. Get in touch with Michelle or Nataliya and enjoy a day of fellowship...Nataliya has our old phone, and they are staying down by the steps so not far from you! Michelle should still have our old number if you don't ;)

Goes On Runs said...

peace be with your & the rest of your family!

Courtney said...

We would love to meet up with you in Kyiv if you're up there by Monday! I think there's a group of us getting together for dinner Monday night, and we'd love to have you and Kristina join us! I'll post details as we have them. :)

Melissa E. said...

I love the videos!
We leave in 9 days!

Unknown said...

Kristina is just a joy to watch and listen to her accent! It is such a blessing that she is able to communicate in English with you. I am not sure our girls will be speaking English - although Rymma knew "thank you very much." :o) We do have pocket translators that we used last winter and they helped A LOT!

Steve and Gail said...

We arrive in Kiev on December 5 for our December 7 appointment. We will have the same phone number that the Roberson's had, so you can probably get that from Michelle. We haven't picked up the phone from them yet, so I don't know what the number is. We would love to meet you if we are all in Kiev at the same time.
God bless

adopting2fromUkraine said...

Kristina already has a grasp of the meaning of English words! :)
It must be great to have your own private translator!

We don't know what snow looks like either, here on the Gulf Coast. We are going to FREEZE! LOL
I was wondering if you have seen Nataliya and Oleg? They seem to be very close to you.

Hope the rest of the paperwork goes quickly!

Unknown said...

Hi everyone. I see you have a good time together, it's so cool. I liked your video when Kristina said, Waltmart has everything"... She so funy isn't. Say hi from me to Kristina. I hope you'll home very soon.
Thank you for your comment on my blog. We love you all.

Anonymous said...

who freezes fudge?!?!... and then steps on it!!?!?!?!..