Thursday, January 26, 2012

Day 14

Has it really been two weeks already?!
Two weeks and I haven't fallen down on the ice! And that's saying a lot. I fall at home on dry ground all the time! I said that out loud earlier and Nathan said I probably jinxed it... and then he nearly fell... twice.

I gotta say... with the exception of missing our kids, our time in country hasn't been that challenging.
Sure, it's not America-convenient, but I assure you the way we are living cannot be qualified as "hard", big-picture.

There was no AG visit today :(

Some of the families are staying in regions that are pretty remote. Our's is actually quite large and there is so much at our fingertips. Our apartment is probably one of the biggest of all the families, and it is very very nice. A nice large apartment also means it is one of the most expensive. In addition, the location of our orphanage doesn't allow us the opportunity to use public transportation- we HAVE to pay a driver to get us there and back every day. We knew that might be the case, we did not know how expensive it would be. We had heard an average daily cost of families living here for the time being and it is costing us about twice that. Also twice as much as it costs us to live at home- with no income coming in. Ouch.

Unfortunately, our budget just isn't going to allow us to visit the baby as much as we would like. We have set aside the money that we HAVE to have for her visa, passport, medical, the train back, our rent, etc. and it just doesn't leave much left over. We are cutting back to five visits a week until we get a better idea of how long we will be here and the bare minimum needed for survival.

So... that meant a free day.

Our morning routine was about the same, but we spent mid-day cleaning up and taking care of some odds and ends.

This afternoon we set out on a walk. I just wanted to see... MORE. I want to see people and places and things.

I forgot how hard it is to walk when you can't feel your legs :/

We walked for an hour or so and then stopped back at Pizza Bella for an early dinner. We met Carrie and Lee afterward for Bible study at church (which is in a small room inside a rec center).

It is so unbelievably cool to worship, with the same songs of praise that we know, except in another language.
The lesson was taught by Nathan/Nate, an American missionary, and translated by Victor, the pastor of the church. We really enjoyed it and met some great people!

My favorite thing from the lesson:
You don't look in a mirror to see how good everything is, you look in a mirror to see what you need to fix. Use God as your mirror. He will show you what you need to fix in your life AND give you the power to fix it!

Other non-biblical highlights of the evening:

1- One of the young ladies came over and introduced herself. When we spoke, her eyes got big and she said "American?!". Da. "Oh! You look Ukrainian!". YES! That's what I'm talking about! We most definitely have not had that reaction anywhere else :)

2- Nate and Nathan could probably talk for hours, mostly about weird stuff they've eaten in their travels. Nate is now bringing Nathan hair clippers tomorrow so he can cut his hair and we are going to their house next week for dinner/game night.

3- Even Ukrainians, who don't speak English, will walk up to my husband, point, and say, "The Unit! Cool Breeze!" hahahahaha

Home now to thaw and need real coffee. This dissolvable coffee/chocolate powder mix concoction is not cutting it... and I seriously need some chinese food. I never in a million years thought the one thing I'd be craving above all else is chinese food.

*Just FYI- if you know me, you know this already:
I have taken TONS more photos every day than I have actually put on the blog.  I can't wait to get home to edit them, and will probably share at a later date for those interested ;)


  1. It is so beautiful there! I can't wait to see all the pictures! Praying for a court date! Love you guys.

  2. :( Wanted to see more pics of AG, but I'm sure you're more bummed than I am. But totally understand. It's great you two got to roam and venture more. Can't wait to see the next post! :)

  3. Rent a car? Find yourself a cheaper apartment? Take the bus to the orphanage? You go soooooo far away to adopt a kid and only see her once per day, sometimes? How will it look to the court?!?

  4. Is there a way for people to donate more so you CAN see your baby more?

  5. Batya- and others,
    The cost of our apartment is the norm in this region. Other families in this region are paying the same, it just happens to be a nice region. As I stated before, public transportation is not an option. We have researched our options with help from many others. Our orphanage is located outside of city limits.

    Also, our orphanage only allows one visit per day, even for Ukrainian or biological families. We have a great relationship with the staff and a wonderful team working on behalf of our daughter. We have full confidence that none of this will effect our ruling in court.

  6. I am not sure if the above meant that to be rude, but Amber, I think it is so admirable what you are doing. I cannot image what you have been through and will continue to go through. But my family is praying for you and yours. Good luck and Blessings.