Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Chapter 14 - Just how much can you do in a few days???

Our original plan was to rent a car and leave at noon to Odessa.  The train would have cost us 100 dollars each way.  The rental car cost 50 dollars a day plus gas.  Since there was not much difference in price, we chose the rental car.  The taxi dropped Roc and myself off at the orphange and dropped Ken off at the airport to get the car.  We requested a GPS to help us and when got to the airport they had some good news and some bad.  The bad news was she didn't know how to work the GPS and Ken couldn't because it was all in Russian!  The good news however was since he was one of their best customers they were going to give him a map of all Ukraine!  We couldn't read any of it!!!!  So after calling our new friend David Sloan to help us, he and Ken sat there for a couple of hours getting it to work.  Roc and I walked to a pizza place we found to wait for Ken to pick us up.  Before we left Roc grabbed 50rph and Ken said that should be plenty of money.  So we ordered a "pepperoni" pizza and two cokes.  The waiter spoke a little english and they had pictures!!!  We sat there for about 1 1/2 hours because Ken told us to take our time.  Then the waiter brought the check and when Roc opened it up I just looked at her face and started laughing!!!  I knew by the expresion on her face that it was MORE than the 50rph she had brought.  I asked her what the matter was and she said its 62rph.  We called Ken, who was no where close to being finished, and he asked if we had any coke left and to just drink it slow!!!  I was laughing and Roc was trying to figure out the bill.  The poor waiter came over because he saw Roc looking at the bill and calling on the phone and asked us if we needed help.  He said that it was around 8 American dollars.  Roc said she knew and asked can we could just sit here for a little bit???  This made me laugh even harder.  I told her we could sit here all day if we wanted and not to worry because tata would be here soon.
Once he and David, okay, David, got the GPS working we were on our way to Odessa.  It was now 4:30 and we knew it would take at least 6 hours.  We really didn't want to be driving in the dark but we decided we better leave and not wait for the morning because we had to be in court at 5.
I am so glad we decided to drive.  It was so neat to see how people live outside the city.  The beautiful landscape.  The farmers and how they farm.  It was great!  We were warned about the police and how they just wave you to pull over, but the drivers flash their headlights at you to warn you that police are ahead.

Okay, so the roads were BUMPY and you ALWAYS have to pass a truck or slow car, and I mean slow, and we couldn't read ANY of the signs but we had GPS and maps so it worked out really well.  Until we stopped for gas!  Our GPS didnt really have any arrows to show us where to go.  Say what????  Okay, we still had our Ukraine map right?
So we made it to Odessa but now we had to get to our hotel, through the city, with all those streets, with no GPS and it was dark.
Guess what?  Some how we made it finally to a landmark........McDonalds!!!  Yeah, we knew were we were!  It was actually better we arrive after 10 because even though the traffic was busy, it was by no way as busy as we have seen it during the day!
We visited the kids the next morning and they all rememberd us and we had a fun two hours!  Court the next day was at 5 and we were told to be ready at 4.  We were picked up and dropped our interpeter off at her house, the lady from the orphanage at her house to pick something up and then to the courthouse.  Our interpeter met up with us at the courthouse.  We went through what we would be asked, how long it would take and who would all be in the room with us.  At about 10 after 5 we were called into a litte room where the judge, clerk, two witnesses, procecuter, spokeswomen from the orphanage, spokeswomen from the childrens welfare office, Roc, me, Ken and our interpeter!  It was going to begin so they turned the fan OFF!  Why?  Have no idea!  It was so hot and crowded it was rediculas!  We thought it was funny and everyone got a kick when the lady from the orphanage said yes we were a good fit for these kids and that Roc was such entertainment for all the orphanage kids and staff and that she would make a wonderful sister!!!   After standing and sitting for an hour answering questions it was done.  The only part I got tears in my eyes is when they came to Dani's story.  She was abandoned.  Not in a hospital or orphanage, just left where someone found her.  Okay, and the part where they said no one wanted these children made me cry too!
After messing with the GPS we got it working again and headed back to Simferpol.  It took a little longer because we stopped off on the side of the road where they were selling things.  We bought a small basket at one and yummy cherries at another.  People sell a lot of cherries along side the road, about every 1/2 block for a mile or two.  Oh, and we were stopped by the police!  Yup, they waved us to pull over.  We were not speeding so we were not sure what was up.  He came over and started talking to us and Ken just said I dont understand.  He kept talking and finally Ken said english.  He looked at me like I could/would talk to him and I just said, english.  He then started talking to us some more and what we thought he wanted was proof we owned the car.  We got our translator from Odessa on the phone and we were right, he wanted proof it was our car or proof we had rented it.  We showed him the papers and he let us go on.  We have been told we were lucky bacause they can make you pay for anything as silly as low air in the tires!!!  Hey, when we do something, we go all out to get the true experience  of it ALL!!!

On Wednesday morning we headed for the Sloans to meet them and drop off some stuff for the orphanage that they work with.  That was quite the trip on getting there!  David met us at an intersection to bring us to his and Joleen's home.  It was beautiful and their kids are awesome!!!  We talked and the Joleen, me and the kids played a game and then they invited us to lunch.  We went to a yummy pizza place!  On the drive to the restaurant their kids asked if they could go with us.  Having Roc, Davey, Nate and Brianna in the back seat and listening to them laugh and talk made me miss home so much!  I got to kid around with them, ask them silly questions and hear silly answers!  It was the highlight of my day!!!!  I miss my kids back home something awfull after that ride.

David didn't want to be in the picture because he knew both Joleen and I were going to put it on our blog!!!  So he took the pictures!  I hate pictures too but I thought I would put it on here for Lyndi!!!!!!
After lunch we headed for our visit with Dennis where we met up with the McDonald's and TJ (Misha)!  They are so nice and TJ is so sweet!!!  Here he is dancing with his daddy!

And here,  once again, are  all of us just for Lyndi!!!!!
On the way out of the orphanage today we saw some kids outside playing with a few caretakers.  I asked Roc if she wanted to run the cherries that we bought over to them to see if the kids could have them.  They were surprised and happy and all the kids came running over to get some!  It was a fun few days and very exhausting!!!  I would do it all again in a heart beat!!!!


  1. What an adventure you have been on! I am so happy that you were able to get in touch with the Sloan's and have been able to spend time with them. Aren't they a wonderful family?

    Congratulations on one court finished. Praying the rest of your journey will go smooth.


  2. LOVE HEARING YOUR STORY!!!!!!!!!!! your pictures are beautiful! im so happy for all of you!

  3. I'm following your blog with lots of interest since we'll be there in a few months getting our daughter! Congratulations on your beautiful kids! (If you see a little girl called Dasha on RR, tell her mommy is coming!)

  4. Love all the pictures! You guys are So busy, all that running around. Man, you're going to need a vacation after this!
    It's truly a wonderful thing you are doing....

  5. I am SO GRATEFUL for all of the gifts you collected for the older orphans! I am truly overwhelmed and do not know how to thank you enough. The girls may never get to know you, but they will carry something with them for the rest of their lives that will remind them of people that love them... their memory albums. And the boys are really going to enjoy the balls (Thanks, Roxana!). The toys are going to be awesome for their birthday gifts, and I am grateful for the yummy Reese's pb cups. (My kids and hubby are thankful too, since I've been sharing!) You guys are just wonderful people, and I am truly thankful. Please let us know if there is anything more we can do for you!

  6. Nance, I wish you guys well! I am so impressed by your ability to write about your experience in such detail. You must have amazing time management skills! - Thanks for your sweet note about Zeke. We are thrilled, after 3 long years, to have a healthy furry baby. (And, nope... we're not ready for the human kind! But how I thank God that people like you have been given the love and desire to bring these kids HOME!)

  7. YAY, you posted pics of YOU!! You have me cracking up...everyone is afraid of riding the train or metro and you guys are brave enough to rent a car and drive! AND you got pulled over, I LOVE it!!!

    Ok, so one meal, we didn't have enough grivna last year, so the other person I was with left to exchange more took them forever to get back, because the 2 money exchanges on the street we were on were out of money! They had to walk several miles and then come back, the whole while, I was sitting alone with her purse and cell phone not knowing WHERE she had gone. Too funny!

    Can't wait to follow the rest of your adventure!

  8. FRITZ'S.....WHERE ARE YOU??????????

    Wondering what you are all up to now.....

    It's Saturday.....

    Happy Fathers Day Ken! You're the MAN!

  9. I love hearing about your adventures! Yeah, Sounds like you guys experience it all!

    Can't wait to hear more.

  10. Thanks for the Love! Your babies are precious! :)


About Me

I married my high school sweetheart 26 years ago. Ken and I and have ten of the greatest kids from different parts of the world. We are hoping to bring a few more kiddos home! Throughout the years in our adoption journeys it has made us want to bring some kind of hope to these kids. This blog will hopefully allow us the opportunity to advocate for some of the orphans in the world. Join us in our journeys and the day to day happenings in raising 10 kids.....and counting.