Sunday, August 7, 2011

A Grand Adventure!

I've been HORRIBLE at posting in this blog since we arrived in Kiev, but that is because I have been too busy enjoying myself and time with Eric, Carol, and the Maddox Family.

But allow me to rewind.

We left Ocala, FL at 4:00 a.m. on Thursday, August 4th in order to get to the Atlanta airport in plenty of time which we did.  I will never forget that feeling of seeing the airport knowing that I was leaving to go to the other side of the world to meet a child that I have grown to love, yet never met.  It was very emotional.  Getting our boarding passes at the gate was also super emotional since we we flying on buddy passes and not even certain we would make the flight to Frankfurt as a result.  Not only did we indeed make the flight, but we flew first class (or business class) and that alone was quite an experience.  I felt so overwhelmed with gratitude to Mr. and Mrs. Morris who so graciously donated their passes to us and as we took off from Atlanta I had tears streaming down my face.

The next morning we landed in Frankfurt and it was exciting to be in Germany (well, the airport anyway!).  I could hear so many different languages, see so many different cultures represented, and it was not something I had ever experienced- I loved it!

Our flight from Frankfurt to Kiev, however, was vastly different than our previous flight and I could not get off of that plane fast enough!  The smells, the food that was served, and the social differences were a little much in that tight space.  While Carol played Scrabble on her Kindle two Ukrainian men literally watched over the backs of our seats to see.  I do not think they had every seen a Kindle before, seriously!  Thankfully the flight was only about 2 hours and we landed safely (but not fast enough!) and I could finally say, "I am in the same country as our son!".  It was a fantastic feeling.

Eric and I had been told to expect a certain driver, Niko, but instead a younger, taller man, Eugene, was awaiting our arrival.  Eric was so shocked that I walked right up to him, stuck out my hand, and was so willing to go with him, but I knew of Eugene and knew that he would get us to our apartment.  Our ride to the apartment was a wild one and I can honestly say that I had never experienced anything like it. The traffic on a Friday afternoon was INSANE and we darted in and out of traffic for almost an hour and a half!  Eventually we made it to our little apartment in one piece.

We were so exhausted by the time the day was done that we went to bed at 6:30 p.m. and slept until almost 9:00 the next morning.  But once we got up and moving we excitedly ventured out to explore our new "home away from home".   Two words: LOVE IT!  Eric, Carol, and I love it here and felt comfortable walking around and even speaking to the locals.  Out of the three of us I am more comfortable speaking what little Russian I know, but we have been able to communicate well with only a few minor embarrassing snafus.

At this moment it is just after midnight so it is now Monday, August 7th, but Sunday was an exciting day for Eric.  He and the Maddox Family worshipped at Hillsong Church with our driver, Eugene, and it was a sweet time of fellowship.  Unfortunately I was not feeling so hot when I woke up and Carol agreed that I needed to go back to bed so she stayed behind with me.  But I got to hear all about it when Eric got home and something pretty amazing happened after the service.  Since Eric, Eugene, Brian, and Laurie were all first time visitors they got to go to some sort of special reception and they shared why we were all here in Ukraine- to adopt children with special needs.  It brought tears to the eyes of those that heard and it seemed like a relatively new concept to them (from what I gathered from Eric- not entirely sure).  They also shared about the ministry of Reece's Rainbow and we pray that it moves the hearts of others to adopt children within their country that so desperately need homes.

We have also tried new foods and overall everything we have tried we have liked.  Last evening we went to the Ukrainian buffet with Brian and Laurie and LOVED it!  I hope to eat there again before we head to Dima's city,  Kremenchuk.

And shopping?  Well, we are learning so much about our new culture by immersing ourselves.  We also ventured way into the city last evening and saw so many new things.  Kiev is really a very pretty city, especially at night.  Overall, if I had to compare it to a place in the States, I would say Kiev is very much like Washington, D.C.  Kiev is also the capital of the Ukraine so it makes sense.

So the big question many of you have had for us is when do we get to meet Dima?  Well, we will not be in Kremenchuk until Friday so that is most likely the day that we will meet him for the first time.  I am absolutely excited to do so but am also enjoying learning about his culture.  I want to soak in as much as I can so I can share it with Dima as he gets older.

In the meantime I miss my boys on the other side of the world but know that they are in good hands with Eric's Mom and Dad.  I heard that Jeremiah and Elijah survived camp and I'm sure they have lots of stories to share.

As I'm sure you have noticed I have not posted pictures here.  We have mainly been taking videos and have set up a Youtube channel to share our adventure with you all.  Click HERE to see the videos.  There will be pictures for sure, but my camera is cumbersome and I've been lazy.

On that note it is time for bed here.  We have a full week ahead of us and I am beyond excited.  It is so amazing to think that it has only been 7 months and 3 weeks since we committed to Dima.  It has been worth every stressful minute!


Shannon said...

Felt the same exact way as we were approaching the airport in Houston... can't wait to catch up with you guys later today! :) :)

Aislinn said...

Sounds awesome!!!!

So excited all is going well, we have been waiting for your first post :)

Hugs and love :)

Aislinn and Andrew