Friday, October 21, 2011

Our first full day with our daughter, Julia

After we all clamored off the train and our driver got us and all of our luggage to the car, he suggested that we grabbed breakfast at the McDonald's at the station.  He had to wait for some paperwork to come in on a train in less than an hour and our Embassy appointment was scheduled for 9:00 am and after that we'd go do the much anticipated medical exam.

We were excited for our first meal with her but clueless--we hadn't really gotten much of a glimpse at what she'd eaten at the orphanage or how much.  We ordered all of us big breakfast platters and orange juice figuring that with multiple options, she was bound to find something she liked.  And she did.  Hashbrowns.  She ate hers and probably a third of mine.  Some bites of eggs, a few nibbles of the sausage and some good big drinks of orange juice topped off the meal.  With a full stomach and lots to look at, she was a happy girl.

After breakfast, our driver had to run documents to the SDA for four new couples (yay!!), so we went along for the ride.  It was actually perfect because we'd wanted to head back to that area and shop the souvenir 'lane' that is set up with small shops lining the sidewalks there.  We got all our shopping done and waited just a few more minutes in front of some breath-taking scenery.
 That is one thing that was frustrating in the beginning with not being able to say where we were is there is such beautiful history here!  The night we left Kiev to go to Zaporozhye we got to spend about four hours walking with our driver (who also does historical tours) and learn about and see some amazing cathedrals and landmarks.  Going inside one of these ancient, magnificent giant works of art was a dream come true and so spectacular--and we couldn't tell anyone about it!  There will definitely be a lot more photos to come, now that we have a bit more leeway to tell our story.

Once it neared 9:00, we were on our way to the Embassy.  When we got there, we saw five or six signs set up with half-hour time frames on them.  Each had a line of at least a dozen people each.  I was trying not to let my face grimace as I thought of waiting in these lines outside in the cold with a 6-year old.  I was more than happy when our driver said that we would not wait in these lines and instead, the guy managing the door told us to walk right up.  We went through security, left everything but our documents and our wallets and we were off to fill out documents.

The documents went smoothly and soon we were headed to do the medical exam.  There is only one place to have an Embassy approved medical performed.  I am sure I mentioned it before, but we were very nervous about how it would go with her history of a positive TB test.  It's been fun to be here, but the closer we get to being cleared to go home, the faster I want to get there.  We waited a short time and soon we were in the room with the doctor.  He took a look at her ears, her eyes, and listened to her heart and lungs.  Then the nurse came in and took her for measurements.  This part got a little bit funny.  After they brought her back in, he told us that she weighed 26 pounds and stood 3 1/2 feet tall.  He pulled out the percentile chart to tell us where she was and instead went "Oh, well..that's not too bad." when he couldn't find her on the chart.  He then told us her 'usual' weight and height range for her age.  Um, yeah.  She's a bit off.  We'll get there though.

He assured us that she didn't need x-rays--meaning he was confident she didn't have TB and our stay would not be extended!  He gave us an English translation of her immunization card and her upcoming schedule as well.  We could hardly keep from skipping as we left the appointment with medical approval in hand and headed for our apartment.

After we got to the apartment, we took a little walk to the market just up the street to get some lunch and a few things to keep us fed and happy for the next couple of days.  We got home and boiled up some vernicki for lunch.  Little girl ate pretty well, but does better if you help her in addition to letting her feed herself.

The night went well and she had a blast wandering around the apartment.  We had one small tantrum when was playing with an empty coke bottle and water and wound up getting it all over.  I think maybe she didn't get a chance to play with potentially messy things before so she doesn't have much of a concept about of where she is in space.  (Like if the water is going all the way into the sink or all over the edge and the floor.)  She was subdued by taking the whole scene into the bathtub and I snuck the plug closed on the bathtub.  Slowly we managed to get the girl who panicked at just the sight of the tub inside the full tub and soaking until she was a prune!

We tried to Skype with home but it only lasted for a few minutes as she was pretty well worn out from the day.  She snuggled into the blankets on the floor and began her rocking routine.  After just a few minutes, she was asleep.  I laid on the bed and cried a bit over the rocking thing.  I knew what was coming but it still just hurts my heart to witness.  Hopefully time will adjust us both away from the source of the habit and my heart will heal a bit over what has happened to hers.

She is most definitely a wiggler in the middle of the night as she woke up halfway across the floor--11 hours later!  She woke up happy once again and she loved hanging out in her pajamas this morning!


  1. Soon you'll be tucking her into her own little bed. Won't that just be the best.

  2. I am just in tears reading this.... It makes my journey seem soooo far away!! I cannot wait to meet your angel!!

  3. so happy you have her, each day will get easier.
    soon you will be HOME!!! so excited!! prayers for safe easy travels.


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