Sorry for the late post! We had a long, eventful day. We got up at 6am, left at 7am, and just returned to our rooms...it is now 10pm. Lizzie is wiped and I'm not far behind. In fact, she begged to go to bed and is already sleeping, not 5 minutes after we got here. So let's catch you up.
As I said, we left bright and early to go to Kahovka, Lizzie's birthplace and home for her first seven years as a child. After an hour and a half ride by car, we arrived. At first it was dificult to find the correct office. In due time, it was located and within an hour, we had our new birth certificate complete with Heidi and me as parents and Lizzie's name changed to Elizabeth Rachel Rogé.
On the way into the city, Lizzie described to me her last memories of where she had lived. She told me it was a huge apartment complex right by the Dniper river. On the other side was a big road and the complex had it's own park. On the way out, she recognized the building and said here it is! It was just as she described it and yes, it was right on the bank of the Dniper, between the river and the main road. Nearby was a roundabout she tried to tell me about. We pulled over and snapped a few pictures. I explained to her that I was sad for her when she told me this was her former home. She explained, again wise beyond her years, that sometimes bad things have to happen so that good things will happen later. I paraphrase her broken English, but I understood what she was trying to tell me.
We got back to Kherson after another hour and a half's ride and immediately launched into the paperchase for the passport. Tanya advised me that there was a new law in Ukraine recently passed that said all new passports for children older than 14 required a police check in the old name and one in the new name. By law, this could take up to 10 days, but she would see what she could do. As she walked into the passport office, which by the way is right next to the police station, she saw a group of people having a meeting in the lobby. One of the persons was an old friend from her youth who she went to school with. He is now a higher-up in the police department. He tells her (and the passport people) to process our request for a passport and he will do the check right away. In other words, proceed! They do and he does! The whole thing took a couple of hours, but it got done! We might have a passport by 10am tomorrow. Glad we took those photos on Sunday!
The next bit of news had us running all over town again. The passport office said that there was another law concerning children over 14. Children have to sign an affidavit stating that they consent to leaving the country for adoption. Really? Lizzie rolled her eyes at this one as did Tanya...it was so funny! Lizzie exclaimed, "Yes, I want go to America three years now!" Nope, not good enough, gotta have the statement. So off to the Opulent Notary's office we go! This lady loves us, we've spent a few grivna in her place over the past two years! That took another two hours and we got the form back to the office before they closed.
About that time, my good friends Aleks and Vera Fedechuk from mission AGAPE called and asked us to come for dinner. Yeah! I agreed! Did I mentioned we had only a snack all day! This was a blessing and I didn't have the added hassle of finding a restaraunt. As usual, Vera outdid herself and I got to spend time with the kindest, sweetest couple I've met in Ukraine....aside from Andei's parents, of course! We stayed until 9:30 and Andei's parents brought us home. If you guys don't remember me writing about Andrei or his family, Andrei is the cool young man I hang out with here in Kherson. He speaks great English, having lived in the US for a number of years. His dad is a pastor and his mom, well she's a great cook and a sweet person, too. Andrei serves as my translator every evening, leaving Tanya my facilitator to do other things.
So, where does this leave us and where do we stand? Well, it all hinges on the passport. If we get it as promised tomorrow, Lizzie and I will be on the Wednesday evening train to Kiev. We will arrive in Kiev on Thursday morning and go to our initial Embassy appointment before lunch. Once that is done, the Embassy will send us for the medical exam, required immunizations and possible Xrays. On Friday we would return to do the Visa interview and approval. That would have us flying out on Saturday morning and arriving in Denver, sometime around 3:45pm that same day! Like I said, it all hinges on the passport.
Save your prayers for our Pastor, his wife, and the Ukrainian daughter they are trying to bring home. They have hit a birthday snafu and it could halt the adoption. They have an Embassy appointment at 2pm tomorrow to plead their case. It seems that the SDA has the daughter's birthday wrong and she is already older than 16 and doesn't meet the requirement of US law that allows orphans to be adopted if they are over 16 but younger than 18, provided they have younger siblings. They do have an out and I pray that it wins their argument. Please Lord, let this happen. I appreciate your blessing on Lizzie's adoption but please now turn your attention to them!
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