Friday, March 29, 2013

Mission Accomplished

I'm happy to report that the last few days have gone much better.  Ruslana slept through the night the past two nights and her hyper spells have worn down.  She hasn't had any sad moments since the first night and she seems to be enjoying her time away from the orphanage.  She's also completely comfortable around us, and obviously loves us a lot, with makes me feel good.  Fingers crossed that all this good behavior continues.  Yesterday she asked us repeatedly for something to eat, which we thought was a type of soup.  We ended up discovering from our facilitator that it wasn't soup, it was ice cream! Ha! We decided to get her a cone for her good behavior.  This girl has got to learn to take bigger bites takes ages for her to get through it!

After about 30 minutes...
An hour...
And the finale...NOO!! Don't bite the bottom!!
On the way to get ice cream we saw a babushka with a cat in a hat. Random?

When we arrived last Friday we paid an extra fee for Ruslana's passport to be expedited.  We were told that, in doing so, her passport would be finished in three to four business days.  Well, our 4th business day came yesterday and it wasn't ready.  Forget that it was promised, that's irrelevant in Ukraine.  Our only hope of finishing everything in time to go home on Saturday was if (1) the passport finished this (Friday) morning, (2) we pay more money to have a special driver hand deliver the passport to Kiev, and (3) then there needed to be enough time to finish the paperwork at the Embassy, before it closed at 4pm, and hope the Visa would be printed at the same time.  It was a tight timeline, and in our experience, those never work out.

To top it off, we discovered last minute that we needed to have health insurance verification for Ruslana at our embassy appointment, which, by the time we realized it, was in two hours.  The insurance company in the US was closed due to the time change, and we weren't sure what we were going to do.  Thankfully I have the world's best mom who went to my house at 3:30am, dug through files, and sent me pictures of the filled-out application I faxed in last week.  We had to hope that this would serve as sufficient documentation.

Praise God the passport finished at 11:30 this morning and was on its way to Kiev.  We couldn't pick up the medical exam results or start processing the Visa until the passport arrived, so it was imperative it got here when promised, which was supposed to be at 2:00pm.  That is after all what we were paying for.

We headed to the embassy with the plan of meeting the driver with the passport at the office.  Seeing as though our last drive to the embassy didn't turn out so hot, I took preventative measures this time.  I packed a couple of trash bags, an extra pair of pants, and gave Ruslana a motion sickness pill before we left.  I wasn't taking any chances this time! I also told her to tell mama if she felt sick, but she responded by laughing, so I wasn't feeling totally confident in that one.

Once we arrived at the embassy (vomit free!!!), we were told we couldn't start any of the paperwork until the passport arrived.  It needed to get there no later than 4:00pm or we'd have to wait until next week.  The familiar knot in our stomachs we've experienced so many times over the past two months was in full force as we glanced at the clock every few seconds.  What seemed like an eternity later, the passport finally arrived at 3:56pm.  Yes, with only four minutes to spare.  Thank goodness the embassy workers were gracious enough to stay after closing to finish up the paper work, accept our health insurance verification, and issue R's visa on the spot.  Yes, the adoption process is now officially DONE!!!  

Victory shot--we're finished and vomit free!
What we thought would take 4-6 weeks in country ended up being just two days short of 8 weeks.  Boy are we ready to go home! We are taking the next plane out of here and will arrive in California just in time for Easter.  Hallelujah!


  1. I remember the motion sickness medicine they gave our son who was also 10 when we adopted him kept him awake they entire night on train. It does the same to me. Try feeding her small amounts of crackers before & during travel. Good luck!

  2. Praying for your journey home and bonding period!

  3. Ha ha I like to take my time on eating my ice cream cone too! i m glad that everything is going well and we all still miss you guys!

  4. So awesome. Great work you guys and congrats on your new wonderful daughter! We can't wait to meet her!