Hello Everyone! (Happy Birthday 65th Dad!)
Great News ... Everything is finished and we are heading home tomorrow! The boys and I went to the embassy today and were given their visas!
It has been a long week! On Sunday, I returned to Ukraine from London. I spent most of the day flying and then all night on the train from Kiev back to Kharkiv. I arrived in Kharkiv a few hours later than expected and so Monday was very rushed.
I first had to go to the court to pick up the final document allowing me to take custody of the boys. The court is located nearest to Jack so I went to get him first. He was anxiously waiting for me. He changed his clothes while I signed papers. The whole orphanage seem to be a buzz with what was happening. Several older boys were coming by to shake Jack's hand and wish him luck. Once the papers were signed we headed downstairs to give our regards to the director and say goodbye. As we were doing so, Jack's entire class came out to see him off. I took a picture of Jen with his class and their teacher. As I snapped the photo, I was struck by each little face that was smiling with joy for Jen; but I also saw a little other something in each face that made me acutely aware that each of them need a family to love them as well. A bittersweet moment if I ever had one. We hopped right in the car because we had to hurry to get Slava and make it back to the train. A few of the boys ran after the car, dragging their sleds, and yelling, "Paka! Paka Jenya!" Translation: "Goodbye! Goodbye Jenya!" It was a very emotional picture out the back window. Once we drove out of the gate, Jack leaned back against the seat, tilted his head back, closed his eyes, and let out a huge sigh.
When then drove the 90+ minutes or so to Slava's orphanage. There was a lot of traffic and it took us longer than we'd hoped. This was disappointing because the director of Slava's orphanage is probably the warmest and most loving person I've ever. I had hoped to spend time with her that wasn't rushed and all about business. Her story is truly inspirational and I wanted to learn more about her.
When we did finally arrive, Slava was waiting. He also changed clothes. I signed papers. The representative at the orphanage gave Slava some instructions about behaving himself and then said a blessing over him. We then went down to the director's office. She had 2 books about Ukraine and the specific region they lived in for Slava to keep as a reminder of his heritage. We hopped in the car and raced for the train. We made it with a few minutes to spare.
Since arriving back in Kiev, the boys have had physicals, gotten vaccinations, and we've had three trips to the embassy. Now everything is done! Tomorrow we are heading HOME! And not a day to soon.
Thank you for all your prayers. God's sovereignty, faithfulness, and grace have seen us through these past several weeks! Please pray for our safe travel home. We are looking forward to seeing you all SOON!
Sorry there are no photos. Technical difficulties! The boys chose the top three songs for the playlist.