Monday, January 25, 2010
The SDA stopped our proceedings today and imposed a mandatory Interpol clearance on everyone. Tanya broke the bad news to us this morning. The SDA has up to 40 days to get such a clearance and there is no telling if families already here will be expedited. An Italian family has already gone home. All facilitators and are in an uproar and fighting for their clients. We may have to come home soon, too.
Tanya sent her friend Oksana to help us sign a notarized letter of authorization to let the SDA start this process on us. It was marked URGENT and she wants to fight to push it through. The document is on the overnight train and she will hand deliver it to the SDA (Tanya is in Kiev). From there the SDA gives it to another Ukrainian agency which actually orders the investigation. This hand-over could take 5 days alone. It is our hope that Tanya can push this all through and shorten the wait considerably. How short or how long, we don't know at this point. Tanya wants us both to hold out a couple of more days to see if the uproar from herself, fellow facilitators and the involvement of a particular country (not the US) might have the SDA rescind this new and sudden order. Also, we hope that we can "expedite" this!
So, Heidi may fly home this weekend, we don't know yet. I may stay and fight, But I don't know about that either. We are weighing our options right now. WE DESPERATELY NEED YOUR PRAYERS!
Heidi and I awoke early this morning and had a failed attempt at traveling to see Zina. She is in a sanatorium about two and a half hours away in a little village, northeast of here. Everyday that passes sets a record for the coldest day I have felt. This morning was no exception as we waited in vain at the bus stop for a Martshuka. We finally flagged down a taxi.
The small print says "Feels like -33F"The bus station wasn't any warmer because they don't heat this public area. Heidi and I just couldn't get warm. Oksana was on hand to accompany us and she didn't seem to mind the -11 degree temp. After waiting for an hour at the bus station, we were told that there would be no bus to this little village, perhaps tomorrow. We had to call Zina and break the news. If we have court this week, Heidi plans to fly home a week early and will miss seeing Zina this trip. Zina gets back to the orphanage the first week in February.
There is no news to report this side of the world. Since our phone call from Tanya on Friday, we've been in a waiting mode. I wish this time counted towards our 10 day wait! We still pray for court this week and we see Rimma every day. She is subdued and quiet when Oksana isn't around to translate. Rimma knows some English, but is shy and afraid to try it. She texted Oksana 9 times yesterday while Oksana was in church. "Please come today, I want to speak with my parents." is the message that Oksana showed us on her phone.
Best friends, Rimma & Ilona
We took Rimma out of the orphanage all day on Saturday and Sunday. It's terribly cold as I have previously stated, but at least the Sun is shining and the sky is blue with no overcast and not a cloud in the sky. It's been this way since Saturday morning.Having eaten several meals with Rimma now, she has told us that she doesn't like celery, mushrooms, radishes, cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus, salo, fatty sausage or fish. I'm with her on the salo and fatty sausage. Heidi is pleased that she doesn't like fish. Yeah, we don't have to buy the nasty bag of snack fish that our other kids love!
Now that I have sufficiently bored Matt, perhaps some daily observations are in order. I don't like it when people from other cultures don't at least try to assimilate with the country and culture in which they live. Pesky Americans that turn their noses up and talk trash about other cultures irritate me at best. After all, we are in THEIR country! If I have ever, accidentally I assure you, come across as looking down on Ukraine, I apologize. I like it here, my children are from here, and I respect the uniqueness of the culture. I just like home, more. These are mere observations of things that I have noticed that are different to what I am accustomed.
- Musically speaking, Ukraine seems to be time-warped to the late 80's. early 90's possibly. This is great for me, I spent my teens & 20's in this time frame. It was unusual to see Milli Vanilli dancing on screen to "Girl, I love you" the other night.
- All four wheels swivel on Ukrainian grocery carts, hey, why don't we do that! I'm perpetually in some body's way and this makes it easy to move over! Love it!
- Snow removal is a waste of time! The ice patches the long-existing potholes.
- Despite the ice and snow laden streets, no one ever gets into an auto accident.
- 26 (yes, I counted) can easliy fit into a 12 passenger Martshutka.
- There is always room for half-a-dozen more in above mentioned Martshuka.
- If you are thin, young, and female you MUST wear skin-tight jeans.
- Careful when you order pizza. Pepperoni sounds just like pepperchini from an English speaking mouth. Just like Mushino (man) sounds like Machina (car) to us.