Finally INTERNET!!!! In Odessa it seems to be extremely difficult to get internet! We tried to get the landlord from the flat to get it for us, but can't. We tried McD's because we heard they have it, don't. We tried the big mall because we heard they have it, don't. We tried to find internet cafe, nada! We have to have internet not only to keep JODI updated but also because Ken is working from here and Roc is doing her homework from here. So Ken went on a quest to find a 3G internet. He found a young kid at the telephone shop by the train station who was selling them AND JACKPOT, he spoke some english! He got home, OMG I'm calling this place home??? Ken set it up and guess what? All in Rusian!! We tried for maybe 15 minutes and then decided time for another walk back to the store. This time Roc went with just to get out for some scenary. I stayed home, there I go again, to do laundry and dishes. When they got back, walla, internet! Success! Bingo! Yay! Ken said that he cant bring Roc anywhere anymore cuz she flirts with everyone........she came home with a bracelet. She got it from the 18yr old guy that sold us the 3G and helped us get it running. She really wasn't flirting it's just how she is, VERY outgoing and we LOVE to give her a hard time!!!! Thats 1/2 the fun of being her parents!!!!
Because the 3G will cost us more if we upload photos I will have to wait till we are back in Kiev to do. I know, bummer!
Okay, we decided to take the train for more reasons than just my fear of Serge's driving. We would save money for one night not spent at our flat and also the money we had to pay Serge to get to Odessa. Roxana also really wanted to take the train.....Harry Potter fan. We packed up all our luggage because we had to be out by 1. We did not want to bring all luggage down to Odessa with us so we left some at our "teams" office till we get back for our second part of all this. We were told to be at the SDA to pick up our referral at 4. 4:30 and still waiting for someone, anyone. 4:45, still waiting. 4:55 Ken decides to just go get the referral himself since they close at 5. He saw the Directors right hand lady (the one he and Roc met in 2008). She smiled at Ken and asked another facilitator in the room if she could help us. They called us in and both the SDA and facilitator asked where Serge was? We said, good question! The facilitator that was helping us happened to know Serge, I think EVERYONE knows Serge!!!! She called him while we were filling out the paperwork to get our referral. Traffic was Horrible and that's why no one was there. We saw that there was 1 pack/referral left after ours and we figured out it was the Goodwins. By the time we were done the Goodwins drove up and we got to say a quick hello and good luck. We then drove to the train station to get the Goodwins there train tickets. No, they were not with us, they were in a taxi and we were with the "teams" driver so we met them there. We waited for awhile and then went to TGIF to eat and wait for Nico (driver) who is GREAT! Good guy! And of course he and Roc talk Spanish with each other because he was a Spanish translator in Cuba for the Soviet Union years ago. Again, he loved her! Good thing we brought her with!! She has been GREAT entertainment for everyone! She is such a good girl! I am glad she is seeing all of this for so many reasons. I know, I'm getting to the kids but that part is chapter 4 and I'm still in chapter 3!
We went at 9 to "get" our train tickets. There just "happened" to be 1 sleeper car left! What "luck"!?! It did not cost us any more, it just was the "last" one left. Okay, hope you get it........the team got us on the train!!!!
Ken and I both went to sleep right away but Roc ended up staing up all night just looking out the window enjoying her time.
Next morning got off the train, met our facilitator who brought us to our flat. In 2 hours we were to meet our new children.
We first had to go get the local referral at the administration office where the questions began. Why, Do we have room, Can we afford it, How many kids do we have now. We got there blessing and then we waited for them to type it up. We then had to go pick up a inspector to come with us to evaluate how we interacted with the kids. We arrived at the orphanage at around 11:30 and went through the kids files and were asked pretty much the same set of questions.
Then it was time. But before I start there are 2 things I want you to know. First, Ken is the type of guy that knew nothing of DS except what a lot of people think. Thats not good or bad its just reality. Sad maybe, but its true. I'm going to be very honest here and he was very nervous and leary. I was scared too and it is so hard to explaine in words but I am the type of person that would take in every stray dog, cat, animal or ANY and EVERY man, woman or child that I could or maybe couldn't. I worry about the logistics, ramifications of everything AFTER the fact. Ken not at all like me!
We find out the Luke has more problems than we thought. He was deprived of oxygen and they had to do an emergency C Section on his mother. It's the lack of oxygen that made Ken nervous.
They brought all three in together which was a bit overwhelming because we really didn't have time one on one with them. Dani was first in line. They told us that she would ask all the time where her mama was. If someone new came to the orphanage she would ask "Are you my mama"? Heartbreaking! She stopped in the middle of the room stopped and just looked at me. I reached for her and told her to come here and she got the biggest smile on her face and littarly ran to me and hugged me so hard! Priceless!!!! She is sooooo cute and very tiny! Josh went right to Ken and Ken was lifting him up in the air and he was laughing and thinking this is so much fun. This is all happening while I was with Dani and they were right next to me so I could see it. Then I put Dani down and Luke came to me, or I should say I went to Luke. He was petrified which in return scared me. I didnt know what to do. I had two other kids that were all over Ken and I, and I didn't know what to do. The caretaker had Luke in the corner by himself and so I went over to see how or if, I could make him not so scared. I did my best but he really did not want anything to do with any of us. They told us we could bring the kids outside for a little bit so we did. As we played with them one on one as much as we could we asked Roc to stay with Josh and Dani while we went to Luke. He was so obviously scared of us it broke my heart. He just really was freaking out.
We had to go get some paperwork done so our facilitator told us we had to go. The caretaker needed help with bringing Luke and Josh in because she could not do it herself so Ken and Roc helped her. They got to go all the way to their rooms. Luke did not want Ken to leave, he did not want to go to the caretaker. I think that was a good sign, right???? Please, please anyone reading this who has experience with DS let me know what I should know or look for!
It was to say the least, very emotional!! I told Ken that I didnt know if I could handle Luke, if we could handle Luke, if the kids could handle Luke. Ken being Ken and me being me, I jumped to the conclusion that this is who Luke is. Ken, not being a talker, was just thinking and then said to me and Roc in a kind of quesion like, he seemed to like me. He did seem to want to be with Ken over any of us. We talked about it all night and Ken said we have to give it more time. Its not only the DS but also a big part is being in a orphanage his whole life and we both know what that does to a child. He said remeber what it did to Lica? He could have been scared, out of his norm, wondering who the heck are these funny talking people and why are they looking and talking to me!
We were not able to visit that evening because we had lots more running around to do. We met Serge at the administration office. He was there before us doing what he needed to do and then our facilitator went in to do what she needed to do. That left us there to talk with Serge. I asked him if it took him three hours to get here and he said no, actually 2 1/2! Thats all it took for Roc to lay into him. You drive to fast and you are going to kill yourself she said. She told him he was crazy! He loved it and he loves this kid. They started talking about God and how God is watching over him when he drives. She told him God doesnt like it when you do stupid stuff! Thats all it took, the next hour was spent listening to Roc and Serge "discuss God"!!! She said she wanted to have ice cream that night. He told her God provides for what you need and not what you want. He asked her if she worked hard today? She said yes, we were running all day! He said then instead of all the talking you do you should just go up the street and get some ice cream. She said she didnt have any money and he told her again that God provides for what you need! If you worked hard than you need ice cream. He said she could go get free ice cream up the street because God would provide. She argued with him about that and all he said was you talk to much and if you want I will go with you and you will ask for ice cream and you will get it for free because God will provide you with it. She wasnt buying any of it but they walked up the street and she came back with a "free" ice cream bar! That lead to another 1/2 hour of them talking about God and what each other believe. She brought up Buddah for some reason or another and he said that all the little kids in China thinks he is a happy Buddah because of his belly! These two were to much to handle and we had to get going so as we were leaving she asked if she would see him tomorrow. He looked at her and pointed up to heaven and said God provides you with what you need not what you want! We did end up seeing him the next day!!! The next morning we knew we had to see if we could, in some little way, see anything from Luke. Both Dani and Josh came to us all happy looking for balloons and all was well. Then they brought Luke out and he was not as scared but still scared. He wanted to go to Ken right away so Ken took him first walking the grounds while Roc and I stayed with Dani and Josh. Then it was my turn and I was scared. Scared that I would see nothing, scared that I would have to say no, scared that I may have been so wrong in thinking I could do this. I went over to him but he just wanted Ken. He wanted to sit with Ken, touch his face, and have Ken make fun noises to him. I started talking softly to him and make eye contact with him and it seemed to be working. Ken slowly started walking away until it was just Luke and I. He started to panic a little so I would just talk softly to him. I kissed his hand and tickled his belly. He wasnt to sure or keen on that but then I would just back off a little to give him some space and then try again. He let me put him on the slide and when I put my hand out he would grab it. He is so different than Josh or Dani - they both are BIG huggers and laugh a lot!
I still was not sure. How could I not be sure, that alone was making me crazy and hate myself. I hated myself for not feeling a contection with Luke like I had with Josh and Dani. The reason I told you about how Ken is because what happened next surprised me and put a sense of peace in my heart. Ken pulled me aside from Roc and It was just us two. He said I dont know a lot about Lukes condition or DS. I know we are scared but I see it in Luke. He needs us. He needs a family. He needs our family. It WILL take a lot of time but I think we need to give that to Luke but only IF you are up to it. Yes I told him, I am up to it but what if he never likes me? Nan, he will not only like you, he will love you. And if that is not enough, we will Love him!
This comming from Ken meant more to me than you will ever know. And he is right. If nothing else WE will LOVE Luke. Nothing in return, we will just love Luke and hope and pray that that is enough. So for today all the paperwork went in for all three kids. This could all change if they say no or if something drastically happens between now and next week to make us change our minds. Please pray that we see a change everyday in Luke!