Saturday, January 17, 2009
Day 5 Trip 2 - The long hard road
Today, we started the day by springing the kids from the orphanage!! They were ready and dressed in their new clothes that we left them yesterday, except Katya still had her orphanage shoes on. I lifted her up quickly onto a little table by the door to change them into her boots and I got chewed out by the caretaker that it wasn't sanitary, that I had to take her to the cloak room to do it. The caretaker did invite us to take a picture of her groupa before we left though. Then all the kids were ready to go. We left the orphanage at 8:30 a.m. to drive to Odessa to get their tax i.d. numbers and digital pictures taken for their passports. Then, the plan is to stay in Odessa at another Christian clinic until their passports come back and then go to Kiev for the embassy stuff and medicals. Just a little way out of Belgorod, Robin got car sick and vomited all over herself and Jason. My brother had given us some barf bags that were a lifesaver, but of course the kids didn't know how to use them when that first one comes!! I had read a lot about orphanage kids getting carsick because they rarely ride in cars. We stopped the van and tried to clean them up the best we could. They didn't want us to get the suitcases out to change their clothes so we went the rest of the way with a "faint" scent of vomit. She got sick several more times, but the barf bags are ready. When we got to Odessa, we went to the tax i.d. place first. (They need a tax i.d. number with their new names - I am not sure why when they are leaving the country, but it is a rule.) We waited outside in the minivan while George went inside. (We did take this opportunity to get out a clean shirt for Robin and some coloring books and markers.) Even with the coloring books, it took a long time, so we got the kids out and took them to an empty lot across the street to run around in. That passed the time a lot quicker. When George came back, we loaded them up and drove to the next place. We went to the place to do the digital photos. They get each passport information ready and take all the kids photos. Jason was fascinated by a lady working at a computer at the next desk and kept getting closer and closer 'til he was at her elbow. The girl let her watch her and I took some pictures too. I really hope that the passports are correct. The girl's names are too long to fit in the box, so they had to be written in. I have read about a lot of problems with this. (And of course this has me worried, so please pray that these would come back correct - I don't want to stay here extra days for a typo!!) Next we took the kids to a pizzeria and had lunch. George went to an "Anteka" and got Robin some carsick medicine, which turned out to be a miracle drug!! I wish we could buy those in the states! At sometime during this busy morning, George decided we should just drive to Kiev in the minivan and stay there at Orphanage 12 that would be cheaper and a better place for children than staying in Odessa, which is all great except that we had already been in the car for hours and we would have to be in the car "6" more hours. But George already had it lined up with the driver. I won't go into details about how awful it was, but just think of a minivan with four lively children, five adults, and no seatbelts!!.....and the faint smell of vomit. I think everyone was miserable by the time we reached Kiev, but our adventure wasn't over yet - The driver didn't know how to find the orphanage so we drove around for another 45 minutes - and the drive wasn't just 6 hours either. I think we were in the van about 8 hours! Yuck!!!!! We finally found the orphanage and Bogdan was waiting for us. (I first heard about Bogdan, through Life2Orphans.) He took us to a tiny apartment with two beds. George failed to tell him there were 7 of us. Luckily, they have another apartment that they rent out for extra money for the orphanage. We then moved our bags again! Monte and George went to get some groceries for the night. We showered the girls, gave everyone a light supper, played for a little while and then got them ready for bed in their new jammies. (Thanks everyone who gave us new jammies!!) Then the fun began, Jason started screaming when it was bedtime, that got Katya started. It was loud for quite a while before everyone quieted down and finally fell asleep.